Windows Phone's worldwide market share continues to drop, and now has under a 3% market share. Can anything save the struggling smartphone operating system? The Nokia acquisition certainly hasn't helped.
Strategy Analytics' latest figures paint a bleak picture for Windows Phone. It says that worldwide, Windows Phone's market share has dropped to 2.7% in the second quarter of 2014, down from 3.8% a year previously.
And there's even worse news. Now only has its market share been dropping, but so have total sales -- 8 million in the quarter, compared to 8.9 million in the quarter a year ago. That drop came as smartphone sales have surged 27% in the last year. There's only one way to describe these results: dismal.
Windows Phone is in trouble where it needs to be strongest -- in the world's two largest smartphone markets, the U.S. and China. Woody Oh, Director at Strategy Analytics, said:
"Microsoft Windows Phone continued to struggle in the United States and China."
That is backed up by the latest research from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, which shows Windows Phone market share at 3.8% in May, down from 4.7% a year previous. And Kantar found that its market share in China was a minuscule 0.6% in May, compared to 3% a year ago.
Even in Europe, which has been a Windows Phone stronghold, Windows Phone market share has been falling, to 8.1% in May, down from 10% in November, 2013, according to Kantar.
It may finally be time for Microsoft to admit that Windows Phone has no future, and will always remain an extremely niche product, for example, for enterprises that want a total Windows-only hardware strategy. But if anything, Microsoft has been doubling down on Windows. The company had begun to embrace Android via the Nokia X line of Android phones aimed at developing markets, and which carry Microsoft rather than Google services. But earlier this month, Microsoft announced it was killing off that line.
So what is Microsoft's future in smartphones? If it continues its current path and strategy, it has very little future at all.