Gartner has released their quarterly smartphone market share numbers, and have confirmed the precipitous drop in Microsoft’s smartphone market share, from 3.0% and 9.033 million units in Q3 2014 to 1.7% and 5.87 million units in Q3 2015.
Microsoft itself has announced that they shipped 5.8 million handsets in Q3 2015, suggesting other OEMs delivered 70,000 handsets only to the market, despite the profusion of different OEMs shipping Windows Reference Design Devices all around the world.
Regarding the crash, Gartner notes:
“Despite the announcement of Windows 10, we expect Windows smartphone market share will continue to be a small portion of the overall smartphone OS market as consumers remain attracted by competing ecosystems,” said Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner. “Microsoft smartphones will mainly focus on driving value for enterprise users.”
Of course the fall in market share was largely Microsoft’s own doing, with the company announcing in Q2 2015 that they would “retrench” from much of the market and leaving regions where they were not profitable. Microsoft as a company has focussed much more on enterprise and productivity, rather than the consumer market, and has seen significant success in Europe, where the OS holds more than 20% enterprise market share in many regions.
It remains to be seen however if the enterprise market can exist without a strong consumer presence, as this has certainly not worked out for Blackberry, which only has 0.3% market share.
Definition of terms used:
Installed base is a measure of the number of units of a particular type of system—usually a computing platform—actually in use, as opposed to market share, which only reflects sales over a particular period. Although the install base number is often created using the number of units that have been sold within a particular period, it isn’t necessarily restricted to just systems, as it can also be products in general. Because installed base includes machines that may have been in use for many years, it is usually a higher figure than market share. Many people see it as a more reliable indicator of a platform’s popularity.Installed base is not the same as the total number of units sold at any given moment in time (cumulative sales numbers), since some of those units will typically be out of use because they have broken, gone missing, been made obsolete or replaced by newer versions.