Wednesday, March 13, 2013

After eights. iOS, Android, Windows Phone after 8 full quarters of sales. Is 3 a magic number for Microsoft?

At the beginning of 2012, I predicted on this blog that Windows Phone would reach 5% of smartphone platform share during Q4 2012. At the time, WP had around 1.5%. A few of my industry colleagues then contacted me wondering why I was so pessimistic about Windows Phone. But there was some logic behind my calculations.

A year ago, the struggle wasn't for 100% of the market, but for the 25% that Android and Apple didn't already control. And given Android's growth momentum and lower price points, Microsoft's addressable market was actually quite small.

I suspect those individuals who thought my five point assessment was unrealistically low are very aware of the current market numbers. Analysts estimate that Windows Phone took about 3% share during Q4 2012. Some estimates were lower. I was about half right, which, academically at least, is very wrong.

Nonetheless, I continue to maintain that Microsoft will push and push until Windows Phone is indeed established as that third platform. If things do work out, Microsoft could surpass 7 or 8% within two years and approach 10% soon after that. That's the type of a share a third-ranked player in a duopoly-type market is usually lucky to get.

Windows Phone was released in October 2010. It was and still is a solid, competitive smartphone platform. And that's what should be most concerning to Microsoft and Windows Phone vendors: it's good and still nobody cares. What more can one do? There's a three-letter answer to that question: it's time to find the WOW.

After Eights: iOS vs Android vs Windows Phone after their first 8 full quarters of sales:

Is 3% a magic number for Microsoft?

For those looking to network with Chinese mobile players and understand the market: the kind producers of the Global Mobile Internet Conference 2013 and the extended "G-Trip" contacted me to share a 25% discount code with any readers who might wish to attend. You can register your attendance at and paste in the following code into the "discount code" section: GMIC-VQ9596MT

GWIC 2013. Be there. And see see Tiananmen Square.

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