Windows Phone Beats BlackBerry for Third Place in the U.S., but Victory May Be Fleeting

While Samsung and Apple continue to fight to the death for the top spot in the mobile OS market, the rest of the top players in the field lag far behind. However, there is a quiet duel for third place behind those two juggernauts, and Microsoft has just overtaken BlackBerry.

According to Strategy Analytics, in Q4 2012 Windows Phone beat the BlackBerry OS in terms of market share, and it’s the first time this has happened since 2006. (That was seven years ago, folks, or approximately an eon in tech time.)

Windows Phone 8

This isn’t terribly surprising; Microsoft is pushing its Windows Phone 8 platform hard, and the operating system reaps the benefits of running on some strong hardware from the likes of Nokia and HTC. And of course, there are still a certain number of handsets running Windows Phone 7, which bolsters those numbers. For its part, BlackBerry is a brand that has been losing its luster for a while now.

BlackBerry 10

However, Microsoft’s victory over BlackBerry might not last long; users have been waiting for the newest BlackBerry OS for months, and now that BlackBerry 10 is here--on all four major U.S. carriers, and with at least one handset that’s all touchscreen--sales will no doubt spike.

The question is how big the spike will be, and whether or not users are still interested enough in the platform to keep buying in.