Windows Phone news

Windows Phone's nosedive continues: When will it R.I.P.?

One more day, one more piece of bad news for Windows Phone: IDC found that in the second quarter of 2014, Windows Phone's market share dropped yet again, to well under 3%. Is it time to sound taps for the operating system?

There's only bad news in the IDC report. In the second quarter of 2014, IDC says that Windows Phone had a 2.5% market share, down from 3.4% a year ago. Even worse is that the total number of phones shipped dropped as well, even while the smartphone market continues to have sizzling growth. IDC says there were 7.4 million Windows Phones shipped in the quarter, compared to 8.2 million in the same quarter a year ago. That drop happened at the same time that total smartphone shipments grew from 240.5 million in the second quarter of 2013 to 301.3 million in the second quarter of 2014, for 25.3% growth.

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These latest IDC numbers almost precisely mirror the most recent ones by Strategy Analytics. Strategy Analytics found that in the second quarter, Windows Phone had a 2.7% market share, down from 3.8% a year previously. It also found that total sales dropped to 8 million in the quarter, from to 8.9 million in the same quarter a year ago.

Even in a traditional Microsoft stronghold people are staying away from Windows Phone: Good Technology's most recent Mobility Index Report found Windows Phone with a mere 1% of enterprise market share for smartphones.

Meanwhile, IDC found that Android continues to dominate smartphone sales, with 84.7% market share in the second quarter, compared to 79.6% a year previously. The iPhone had 11.7% in the second quarter, compared to 13% a year previously.

If you look hard -- and you have to look really hard -- you can find some glimmers of hope for Windows Phone. IDC said that Microsoft might be signing up more manufacturing partners for the second half of 2014. And Paul Thurrott points out that Microsoft now gives away Windows Phone licenses for free to Windows Phone makers, which could bring in even more partners, and drop the prices of Windows Phones.

Windows Phone does best among bargain hunters, IDC notes -- just over 60% of all Windows Phone devices sold are $200 or below, not including contract incentives. So new manufacturers selling low-cost phones could eventually boost Windows Phone sales.

Unfortunately for Microsoft, though, Android is strongest at the low end as well, with almost 60% of its sales going towards under-$200 phones. Still, it's not quite time to say Windows Phone is dead. But if a year from now it's still bouncing along the bottom, you can kiss it good-bye.

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