Windows Phone, Android take bite out of BlackBerry

Summary:First-quarter figures from IDC show that Microsoft's Windows Phone platform is making inroads against longer-established competitors, such as Android and iOS, by poaching former users of the BlackBerry and Symbian operating systems.Francisco Jeronimo, research manager for European mobile devices at IDC, said that Windows Phone shipments for the first quarter of 2012 were up 156 percent, year-on-year.

First-quarter figures from IDC show that Microsoft's Windows Phone platform is making inroads against longer-established competitors, such as Android and iOS, by poaching former users of the BlackBerry and Symbian operating systems.

Francisco Jeronimo, research manager for European mobile devices at IDC, said that Windows Phone shipments for the first quarter of 2012 were up 156 percent, year-on-year. In total, Windows Phone market share grew to 4.1 percent, up from 2.2 percent, according to figures from IDC's first-quarter 2012 mobile phone shipment and market share report, released on Friday.

However, while Windows Phone is enjoying more support, it is not helping to turn Nokia's fortunes around, according to Jeronimo.

"The Nokia Lumia range has performed interestingly but it still below expectations," Jeronimo said. "Nokia's new Windows phones to be launched this year will continue to contribute to steady growth for the OS."

He added that Windows Phone would continue to make gains throughout 2012 and that "the new Windows Phone 8 handsets to be launched by manufacturers are drawing attention from operators in Europe".

Microsoft's gains came at the expense of Research in Motion's BlackBerry OS and the Symbian platform.

"BlackBerry OS is losing its shine with consumers. Shipments were down 27 percent year-on-year to 2.5m units and market share fell 9 percent in [the first quarter of 2012] from 17 percent in the first quarter 2011," Jeronimo said. "Symbian represented less than 5 percent of total smartphone shipments in Western Europe. The operating system lacks operator support and the latest version of the OS, the Symbian Belle, has failed to attract consumers in the region."

Symbian device sales were down a total of 70 percent during the period. Jeronimo added that he expects "the last Symbian devices to be shipped by the end of the first quarter 2013".

Android device sales for Western Europe were up 124 percent during the three-month period and represented 55 percent of total smartphone shipments for the region, adding to the decline in Symbian and BlackBerry OS users.

"Google's operating system has been able to compete with Apple's iOS in the high-end price-tier segment, but more importantly it dominates the lower-end price tiers where Symbian and BlackBerry were traditionally strong," Jeronimo said.

Apple also increased its smartphone market share with its iOS platform reaching 25 percent, up from 21 percent during the same period in 2011.

Topics: Mobility

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