Did Windows Phone Skip Ahead of BlackBerry? Not So Fast, Says comScore

Numbers are a funny thing, and contrary to their very nature, far from absolute when a human element is involved. The latest mobile data from two market research firms underscores this dilemma and proves you should always take market share figures with a pinch of salt. One of those firms is Strategy Analytics, which just a few days ago reported that Microsoft had, for the first time, surpassed BlackBerry in the fourth quarter of 2012 to become the third most popular mobile operating system in the U.S. and Canada behind iOS and Android.

Specific figures were only shared with its clients, not the press, so we don't have an idea of the margin of victory, if indeed there was one. Say what?


According to data from comScore's MobiLens service, out of the 125.9 million people in the U.S. who own a smartphone, the majority are rocking Android (53.4 percent), followed by iOS (36.3 percent), with BlackBerry (6.4 percent) in third place, not Microsoft (2.9 percent). Both BlackBerry and Windows Phone lost market share in the most recent quarter (minus 2 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively), according to comScore, but BlackBerry's share is still more than twice that of Microsoft's. Go figure.

comScore Data
Source: comScore

If it's any consolation (and it won't be), both platforms are really battling for relevancy, not each other. BlackBerry and Windows Phone users combine to claim a less than 10 percent share of the smartphone market in the U.S., versus Android and iOS, which together control almost 90 percent.