Nokia Becomes World’s Largest Windows Phone Vendor, First Good News in a Long Time

It’s been downright painful to write about Nokia for many months; the company made missteps, suffered ugly losses, slashed thousands of jobs, and made some eyebrow-raising decisions, the most notable of which was going all in on Windows Phone 7.

Nokia’s recent smartphone market share freefall was mostly due to ditching its Symbian OS in favor of Windows Phone 7, and as expected, Nokia is slowly gaining ground again as its Windows Phone 7-based Lumia family of devices proliferates.

Chart: Strategy Analytics

According to Strategy Analytics, in Q4 2011 Nokia had 33.1% of the market share--for Windows smartphones, that is. A year before, the company had 0% of that market. More notably, the total growth of Windows smartphone shipments is on the rise, which is of course a good sign for Windows and Nokia alike, but all Windows Phone smartphones combined make up a very small percentage of the overall smartphone market.

Thus, Nokia has a solid one-third of a very small market, but according to the report it is doing so at HTC’s expense, which is also a good sign for Nokia. The company has to be pleased with some good news for a change, however small.

Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, put it succinctly in the press release: “Nokia is by no means out of the woods yet, and it is still on a long road to recovery, but capturing top spot in the Microsoft smartphone ecosystem is an encouraging baby-step forward for the company.”