Last month Microsoft announced that they shipped 4.5 million Windows Phones in the holiday quarter Q4 2015 last year.
Now analyst company Gartner has weighed in with their market share numbers, which are meant to represent sales to end consumers (vs Microsoft’s and IDCs shipment numbers to retailers).
The numbers confirm the dramatic drop in Windows Phone sales in Q4 2015, from 10.4255 million in 2014 to 4.395 million in Q4 2015, a drop of nearly 60%.
Gartner does not comment on the reasons, but we do of course know Microsoft left a number of markets and released fewer models at higher prices in Q3 and Q4 2015.
While the results are of course discouraging, I think the earlier number of more than 10 million sales is more indicative of the market demand when a company is really trying, and hopefully the new profusion of interesting 3rd party devices will mean that the vacuum left by Microsoft’s “retrenchment” from its sales channels will be filled by OEMs selling Windows phones rather than Android handsets.
Looking at the other numbers, Q4 2015 was the first time Apple’s sales decreased year on year, and the overall market only grew 9.7%, its slowest since 2008.
Android increased 16.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015, to account for 80.7 percent of the global total. Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner said “Android benefited from continued demand for affordable smartphones and from the slowdown of iOS units in the premium market in the fourth quarter of 2015.”