Gartner has released their estimate of smartphone sales numbers in Q2 2016, and at first glance it looks like good news for Microsoft, as Gartner has awarded Windows Mobile 1.971 million sales in the quarter, 770,000 more than the 1.2 million Lumias Microsoft says they themselves shipped.
While some sites have suggested this is evidence of Microsoft’s strategy of moving the ecosystem from 1st party to 3rd party hardware vendors such as Alcatel and Acer has succeeded, it is however likely this is not the case.
This is due to Microsoft and Gartner reporting different numbers. Microsoft’s 1.2 million sales are shipments to store shelves, which may include retailers, Microsoft stores or carriers or direct sales to companies and consumers of course. Gartner however claims its numbers represent sales to end users, which would usually include devices which may have shipped in previous quarters. Unlike Microsoft’s numbers, these numbers would include handsets sold during Microsoft’s two for one fire sales and various other discounts.
The most recent Adduplex data continue to show Microsoft has nearly 97% of the Windows Phone smartphone market (virtually the same as a year ago), and if we assume there are around 50 million Windows Phones in use suggests only 1.5 million of those are not manufactured by Microsoft/Nokia.
This may of course change as Microsoft’s devices sell out from the sales channel and new desirable handsets such as the HP Elite x3 arrive on the market, but the failure of the Nuans Neo kickstarter (less than 500 handsets were sold at $270) suggests the 3rd party Windows Phone market remains remarkably small.
Other news from the Gartner release is that iPhone sales have dropped for the 3rd consecutive quarter year on year, and that Android now holds 86% of the smartphone market.
Do our readers think the smartphone market may turn into a one horse race, a bit like on the PC end? Let us know below.