comScore: RIM, Microsoft face mobile market share crisis

comScore: RIM, Microsoft face mobile market share crisis

Summary: comScore's latest mobile market share figures suggest a shift away from BlackBerry phones, leaving it in a share slump, while Android and iOS maintain good growth.


This time last month, Research in Motion had a stable but low market share compared to the superpowers of Apple's iOS and Google's Android mobile operating systems.

But the BlackBerry maker faces a market share crisis, according to the latest comScore figures. While Microsoft is still trailing behind in fourth place, only behind Symbian, it continues to lose market share before it has even established itself in the smartphone space.

RIM was finally knocked out of the top five mobile OEMs list, with HTC climbing to 6.3 percent replacing RIM's November to February share of 6.6 percent.

In slightly better news, Samsung retains the top lead as the top handset maker in the U.S., with a steady share of 25.6 percent, just over half of the smartphone market.

With Samsung and LG's success in the top mobile OEM market, this could be attributable to Android's popularity as the most used mobile operating system in the U.S. market, reaching over half of all U.S. mobile users at 50.1 percent, a rise of 3.2 percent between November and February.

Apple's iOS grew modestly by 1.5 percent to 30.2 percent, holding a near third of the U.S. market share. But there is more suffering in sight for RIM and Microsoft as the two drop 3.2 percent and 1.3 percent respectively.

Microsoft's Windows Phone dropped 1 percent to from 5.4 percent to 4.4 percent between October and January, but hit another major snag as it dropped to 3.9 percent between November and February.

Outside of hardware and software, what people actually do with their phones in the past three month average is interesting. All activities are up from the previous comScore market share figures, with no decline in any activity.

Text messaging is up, despite email and social networking rising by an increase of 1.1 percentage points compared, but is down by 0.3 percent between the months of October and January, and November and February.

Image credit: comScore.


Topics: iOS, Android, Security, Samsung, BlackBerry, Mobile OS, Microsoft, Google, Apple, Smartphones

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  • I would say crisis for RIM.......

    But not sure I would call it a crisis for Microsoft. They have a diversified business that is seeing things other than Windows and Office bringing in good cashflow these days. RIM, not so much, they are all in on Blackberry and really no where else to go. Not to mention that Microsoft is innovating with a fresh new approach that could bode well for it over the "me too's" of smartphones! WP may not be a sales hit, but they have caught the attention of many and few dislike it from all the things I read out there.
    • I was thinking the same thing.

      I remember that MS's whole entertainment division was facing a "crisis" years ago, with "will XBox be around in twelve months" headlines and what not.

      I agree that MS is well diversified, and with Metro tablets on the horizon, the link between WP and Windows will become more obvious to many.

      You're right on RIM being all Blackberry. What do they have to fall back on to keep things alive long enough to take off, as MS has done with thing like XBox, ect?
      William Farrel
      • Windows Phone is collapsing

        This is Windows Phone's failure. It can't be looked at any other way.

        It doesn't matter if it combines the older Windows Mobile with current Windows Phones. In theory, the new models should make up for sales losses in the old models. But they're not.

        Beware anyone thinking of buying one of those Nokia Lumia phones which run Windows Phone software. Windows Phone is a dying platform.
    • Microsoft is big, they have lots of profits

      They can pay billions of dollars a year to support Windows Phone. And XBox. And Bing. And cloud. But that money comes out of their shareholders and eventually those folks are going to say "Hey, wait. Investments are supposed to earn profits." If you're going to pick some fights, try and pick at least one you can win. But Microsoft hasn't won a new fight in just about forever.

      They're milking their cash cows but those cows are getting old and pretty soon they're going to stop giving milk. They're spending like they want to win, but they're getting nowhere. It's like your basement-dwelling cousin has taken over the company.

      When Apple sells an iPad or Samsung sells an Android tablet, at least they make good 20% or better margin. You can't say that about HP and Dell and Windows laptops, and those two are the top of the heap in Windows client sales. That's a sign that change is in the wind.

      It definitely is a crisis for Microsoft and if they don't see it then more the better. I'm just about done with their prevention of progress strategies to protect their monopoly. We get to choose now, and I choose "no."
      • You are way off base.....

        And I see you aren't into investments much. Microsoft is spending alot of money on loosing divisions right now, but they still are stockpiling cash while doing so, so as a shareholder would you rather they just stop trying and revert to a stay position and just ride out their profitable divisions for years to come? The cow sure seems to be milking good these days as they just came off their best quarter ever so may want to check your facts and the cow, cause she is still gushing my friend. Yeah its not Apple profits, but no ones else is and as an investment Microsoft is actually a really good one. They have had positive cash flow for god knows how long and they have paid out over $68 billion in dividends over its life so seems shareholders are getting a nice kick back.

        I know your emotion likes the cow analogy and such, but its just facts you cooked up in your head and are false. May want to go talk to an investor. Not all investments are successful based on a higher price point, dividends are a great investment that many overlook, but I much rather have their dividend than any bond right now!
  • comScore: RIM, Microsoft face mobile market share crisis

    Crisis? Dramatize much? Microsoft's share dropped because people are waiting for the Lumia 900's release this month as well as the Windows Phone 8 being released in the summer. There is no crisis, not for Microsoft anyway. RIM on the other hand, full out panic.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • Heard it before

      Last year they were waiting for the Lumia 800, now it's the 900. Next will be Windows Phone 8. Meanwhile Netmarketshare shows Windows phones jumping from an 0.41% share in February to 0.42% in March. How many Windows Phones is Microsoft claiming have been activated so far? Oh, wait...
    • yeah

      "Microsoft face mobile market share crisis"

      What market share ?
  • You're mixing things up...

    Like your analysis, the data does not discriminate "Windows Mobile" from "Windows Phone".
    Considering the "retired" nature of Windows Mobile, it is normal that the platform constantly loses market share and likely, at an increasing rate.

    Now, it is more than plausible that this decrease is faster that the Windows Phone growth. Also, the Windows Phone gains, in percentage points, are obviously ridiculized by the Android and iPhone sharp progressions.

    Unfortunately, the data presented is not discrete enough.
    • why discriminate ?

      WP7 is the SAME as WinMo, they both use the ancient CE Kernel from last millenium.

      Well to be more precise, WP7 is WinMo in drag with all useful features removed.

      It ain't fooling anyone.
      • You are dead wrong

        Just because it uses the same kernel, doesn't make it the same OS. The OS is 100% brand new, just built on an older kernel since their latest and greatest wasn't completed at the time of WP7's release.

        The UI and overall programming structure is completely new. Anybody with a clue could recognize that looking at the two. I NEVER in my life would buy a Windows Mobile device, but I LOVE my Windows Phone.

        You can't fool anyone with your ignorant comment
  • What crisis?

    RIM is in a crisis due to its enterprise business model. It specifically chose a practice of market segmentation that is leading to its demise. Good did the same thing and now Good is nothing more than a Services company.

    Microsoft does not have that market segmentation strategy. And, as we have seen with Android and iOS, the barriers to market entry are minimal. 5 years ago neither existed. now both are market leaders. 5 years from now, market shares could be completely flipped.
    Your Non Advocate
    • I agree they could be flipped, but...

      5 years ago, apps in their current form didn't exist to lock users in, that's becoming more of a reality more and more each day. This battle will be won, in large part, by the app developer community. Not all app developers have the luxury of resources to develop for all platforms, so they'll eventually settle on 1, maybe 2. Plus, users having to repurchase paid apps if they switch platforms may eventually slow the rate of switching. Apple has an advantage here, as iOS users tend to buy more apps. You may think apps that usually cost a couple of bucks aren't going to lock a user in, but multiply that by 10 or 20, and throw in a few pricier apps, and all of a sudden you're faced with either repurchasing $50-100 worth of apps by jumping ship. Then there's the tablet factor where apps purchased for tablets can be loaded to a phone on the same platform as well at no additional charge. Don't discount the content factor either. How many people have accumulated huge iTunes libraries over the years, which would be cumbersome to switch, not to mention Apple circling the wagons with their "side project" of AppleTV.

      Not saying it's Apple's to win, but they're certainly putting all their ducks in a row to increase their chances.
  • Relevant?

    Do these reports even have value at this point? RIM has not had a new device since last August thus they have no devices for anyone looking to upgrade. Considering the consumer focus is on touch screens, RIM is likely not an option.

    Everything is up to how BB10 device(s) look later this year. The funny thing is everyone has a major upgrade this year due. iPhone 5, Android ICS etc. Google better fix their nasty fragmentation issue as it does them no good having 75% of their user base on a 2yr old OS.
  • Significance is limited, but Microsoft needs apps

    This survey is for the US. Windows Phone activity outside the US has been a lot heavier in the last 6 months than in the US, where Nokia phones are just hitting and Verizon still has nothing but the year-old Trophy (which I carry). AT&T is supposedly going to heavily promote the Nokia Lumia 900, and after WP8, Verizon should add phones. It is well documented in the US that employees in phone stores steer people away from Windows Phone (and can you really blame them at this point?).

    Windows Phone desperately needs apps. There was just an article in Sunday's Parade Magazine about financial apps for your phone. Of the 10 apps, I think all 10 were on iPhone and 8 of 10 were on Android. And Windows Phone? Is that crickets I hear? 0 out of 10. Microsoft is going to have to start doling out serious cash to app developers to get them to start making Windows Phone versions of their apps, or it's not going to matter that the phones are very cool (which I happen to think they are).

    • Agree. Not just more apps, but the RIGHT apps...

      I've been waiting for an app for Chase bank... or Bank Of America... or AmEx... for months now. These seem like obvious must-haves (along with others).

      It's great that WP7 now has 80,000 apps... but they don't really need 100,000 junk apps, they just need the 100 apps that 99% of people want. Microsoft needs to make this happen. They're running out of time. These numbers don't look good. *sigh*
      • BoA has an app...

        Search the marketplace, Bank of America has a WP7 app. Its really nice.
  • Microsoft is running out of chances with Windows Phone...

    I love Windows Phone & I'm rooting for it, but... these numbers don't look good. I really only see two chances left--the Nokia 900 & Windows Phone 8.

    The Nokia 900 has to at least be a modest hit--meaning, market share needs to increase by at least a couple of points. And then Windows Phone 8 needs to complete the circle and wake people up to all the possibilities of Apollo.

    If these two things don't happen, then Windows Phone is in trouble. I mean, if Windows Phone doesn't have 10% market share a year from now (or, at least, some kind of momentum)... then a lot of people are going to think that it's a lost cause. At that point, Microsoft may need to consider buying Nokia & manufacturing the phones itself (although I don't really see how even that would solve the problem).

    I really love Windows Phone, and I want it to succeed. The clock is ticking though...