Windows Mobile hits 3% market share, Windows Phone 7 expected to do better

r2010111Canalys have released their Q3 2010 smartphone market share numbers, and the latest numbers see Windows Phone 7 market share hitting what is likely to be rock bottom for a Microsoft mobile OS, 3%.

For the 80 million smartphones shipped, that would account for 2.4 million handsets sold, down 600,000 from Q2 2010, when the OS held 5% of the market.

Fortunately for Microsoft Microsoft has already started shipments of their new OS, with early reports indicating a great reception.

Canalys agrees, writing:

Devices running Microsoft’s OS accounted for just 3% of worldwide smart phone shipments in Q3 2010, though with the launch of Windows Phone 7 devices, the outlook for the fourth quarter and beyond is significantly improved.

"Windows Phone 7 is streets ahead of earlier iterations and provides a vastly improved user experience that will pleasantly surprise many people when they come to use it. The integration of Microsoft service assets, such as Xbox Live, Bing, Zune and Office, greatly strengthens the proposition and we are confident that the initial array of products will perform well," said Chris Jones. "But the big challenge will be for handset vendors to differentiate their devices sufficiently given the restrictions Microsoft has placed on customizing the user interface, and its relatively demanding minimum hardware requirements, which will confine devices to the higher end of the market. The market is also awaiting the platform’s availability in non-roman languages to support its expansion into important emerging markets. Failure to deliver this soon will restrict the volume opportunity."

Of particular interest in the numbers is how rapidly Android has moved to replace the iPhone, growing 1,309% YoY from 1.4 million units a year ago to 20 million units in Q3 2010 , now dwarfing the market share of Apple’s operating system in USA (43.6% vs 26.2%), despite the release of the iPhone 4 falling in the same period.  While in some ways this may make Google look unassailable, it is actually much more an indication that the market remains volatile.  Microsoft of course hopes some of that mojo, including multiple carriers, networks and manufacturers,  rubs off on its Windows phone 7 handsets. Apple of course, with only one phone on the market, should be worried.

Read the full report of Canalys here.

Do our readers agree that, like Windows Mobile, the iPhone is heading towards becoming yesterday’s news? Let us know below.

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