Microsoft’s Windows Phone Market Share Shrinks Below 1 Percent: Gartner

Microsoft launched its last Lumia handset, the Lumia 650, back in February this year. The decreasing number of Lumia handsets has certainly showed up in worldwide sales of Windows Phone smartphones. Overall though, Gartner says worldwide smartphone sales in Q1 2016 grew 3.9 percent year on year.

Gartner’s Q1 2016 worldwide smartphone sales report found Microsoft or Windows Phone’s market share shrunk to less than 1 percent (0.7 to be precise) in the first quarter of 2016, from 2.5 percent a year earlier. Gartner has come out with its latest data showing that Android yet again rules the worldwide smartphone market with 84.1 percent market share while iOS follows second at 14.8 percent in the first quarter.

The market condition of Windows Phones may further worsen as the company recently revealed it had no plans to launch any new Windows Phone-based devices this year.

The company recently announced while selling its feature phone assets to Foxconn that it will continue to develop Windows 10 Mobile and support Lumia phones including the Lumia 650, Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL. The Redmond giant has been struggling to keep up with Apple and Android OEMs in the smartphone ecosystem, and saw a 46 percent drop year-on-year on mobile revenues this last quarter. Microsoft is said to heavily rely on its upcoming Surface range of smartphones that made headlines for months and is expected to be unveiled only in “early 2017.”

Gartner’s latest report also claimed that Apple registered its first double-digit decline year-on-year, with the company’s market share at 14.8 percent at the end of the quarter. Samsung remained the top handset maker with 23 percent market share. The latest data also claimed that the first quarter of 2016 saw three Chinese brands – Huawei (8.3 percent), Oppo (4.6 percent), and Xiaomi (4.3) rounding up the top five smartphone vendors in terms of sales, taking roughly 17 percent market share together.

Speaking about Nokia’s upcoming re-entry into the smartphone market with brand-licensing model, Anshul Gupta, Research Director at Gartner, said, “Nokia’s announced return to the smartphone and tablet markets will not be an easy mission. In today’s market it takes much more than a well-known brand to sell devices. Making good hardware won’t be an issue for Nokia, but users need a compelling reason to remain loyal to the same brand. Furthermore, that the smartphone market is slowing down makes it difficult for mobile phone vendors to reach previous levels of growth. New company HMD is entering the market at a less prosperous time, making it even more difficult for the vendor to do well in the short term.”

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