According to data released by Gartner, the market share for Microsoft's Windows Phone handsets has crashed dramatically over the past twelve months.
In a period where Gartner claims that Android saw its market share increase from 25.3% during the third quarter of 2010 to 52.5% for the last quarter, Microsoft saw the market share of Windows Phone collapse from an already precarious 2.7% to a feeble 1.5%. Sales over the period fell from 2.2 million to 1.7 million.
While Microsoft has lost a lot of ground, other players have also lost ground to Android. Symbian's market share halved, dropping from 36.3% in Q3 '10 to 16.9% in Q3 '11. Over the same period Gartner's data shows that RIM's market share fell from 15.4% to 11.0%, and even iOS fell from 16.6% to 15.0% (unit sales for both RIM and iOS increased).
Gartner reports that Nokia has seen a significant drop in unit sales:
Despite the drop in sales, Nokia is still shifting a lot of handsets (more than Samsung and LG combined) and it's clear why Microsoft is betting the Windows Phone farm on Nokia. Despite rocky economics, Nokia sells phones that people want. If Nokia can sell Windows Phone handsets like it it was selling Symbian handsets last year, the platform will gain significant traction.
Question is, will people embrace Windows Phone like they once embraced Symbian?