Windows Mobile falls behind iPhone in latest mobile-market numbers

Windows Mobile falls behind iPhone in latest mobile-market numbers

Summary: Microsoft needs to do something to boost its Windows Mobile market share -- and sooner rather than later. If you combine all of the cell carriers who offer Windows Mobile, Microsoft still fell behind Apple, in terms of cell-phone share in the fourth quarter of 2007, according to market researcher Canalys.


Windows Mobile 7 can come none too soon for Microsoft, based on the latest mobile market-share data.

Microsoft doesn't make a cell phone. Like it does in the PC market, it relies on OEMs to preload its operating system. If you combine all of the cell carriers who offer Windows Mobile, Microsoft still fell behind Apple, in terms of cell-phone share in the fourth quarter of 2007. That's according to the market watchers at Canalys.

In the fourth calendar quarter of 2007, with 6.5 percent share, Apple pulled into third place (behind Nokia and RIM) in the worldwide "smart mobile device" market, Canalys said. In the U.S., Apple also hit the big-time, according to Canalys:

"Canalys estimates that Apple took 28% share of the fast growing US converged device market in Q4 2007, behind RIM’s 41%, but a long way ahead of third placed Palm on 9%. This was also enough to put Apple ahead of all Windows Mobile device vendors combined, whose share was 21% in the quarter according to Canalys figures."

Windows Mobile 7, according to the latest information out there, doesn't sound like it will be done until 2009. It typically takes Microsoft's handset partners six-plus months to start preloading the latest version of the mobile OS on new phones, which depending on when in 2009 Windows Mobile 7 is released to manufacturing, could mean late 2009 or even 2010 availability.

Will Windows Mobile 6.1, expected this year, along with new Windows Live Mobile services in the pipeline, be enough to help Microsoft hold its own here? I'm skeptical.

Topics: Software, Apple, Hardware, iPhone, Microsoft, Mobile OS, Mobility, Operating Systems, Windows


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Microsoft is TOAST

    and CRISPY TASTLESS toast at that. Throw them away and get what YOU want out of interactive phone tech. by purchasing Blackberry, iPhone or any other NON-MS OS phone system.

    Take control and remove MS from the equation!
  • Not surprised

    Not surprised. Apple has been very successful with mobile devices.
    • Really?

      Like the Newton?
      • ever hear of this thing called the iPod...? nt.

      • Yes really!

        Have you heard about a little device called an iPod?
      • Well ahead of it's time...

        ...and Apple-Sans-Jobs showed everyone else how to do these devices correctly, with handwriting recognition any a lot of the other features we take for granted in PDAs and PDAphones.

        If Jobs wouldn't have been forced out by the geniuses running Apple at the time, maybe the Newton would still be around. Remember, he does have a way to sell lots of stuff that even Apple fans think is over-priced...
  • People Love Their iPhones

    I have met one person with an iPhone, and he really loves it. MS needs to scramble and out-design the iPhone OS with Windows Mobile. Quite frankly MS needs to build up a reputation where people say that MS has the best software designers in the industry. (Also I hope Windows 7 will have better aesthetic and overall design than the current version of Mac OS.)

    The good news in all of this is that Apple has proved that software + services can be a big hit on portable devices. iTunes has long proved that software + services are a big hit on PCs, and Apple seems ironically to be the torch bearer for software + services.

    MS probably already knows this, when it comes to software driven devices, as Jobs might put it, "It is the experience, stupid. Not merely the features."
    P. Douglas
    • Hit the nail on the head... right into the MS coffin

      *** MS needs to scramble and out-design the iPhone OS with Windows Mobile.***


      Yeah.. like that will ever happen.

      *** "It is the experience, stupid. Not merely the features." ***

      Indeed, Hit the nail on the head... right into the MS coffin... :)

      One more thing.. Apple's iPhone is running OS X... As in a real OS... As in all the potential of a real computer... As in unlimited potential with a single software update...

      Will we ever see an iPhone killer??? Answer: No... not any time in the next 10 years at least.
      • I garantee you will see

        an iPhone killer in the next two years. That is the maximum the general public allows for devices of this nature.

        • You need to remember...

          ...that this is Apple, and not Nokia, Motorola, SonyEriccson (sp?), Samsung, or LG. If Apple has the power to push people who HATE AT&T onto "the network with more bars in more places", and keep iPod as the perennial favorite MP3 player pretty much since it was introduced, they'll probably keep pushing iPhones for a while.
    • It is not the Apple software that people want

      When someone purchases a device with Windows on it, usually it is becuase they want the Windows software, as many retailers carry devices without it,

      In the case of the iphone, people want the pretty iphone/iPod, they don't give the OS a ssecond thought, it what the phone is "stuck" with.
      • It's not Windows that people want either.

        People buy their devices to accomplish certain tasks. What OS lies behind the ability to accomplish those tasks is irrelevant to the vast majority.

        If you don't believe me, here's a simple test you can perform. Ask any 100 people what OS is running on their phone. If two or more actually know, then you're doing pretty well.
  • Where is my friend Xunil!?!

    I's just gots too hear him on this one...heh heh heh

    Pagan jim
    James Quinn
    • We also need...

      ...a real Mike Cox and Loverock Davidson post here as well, and not just Lovey saying "I AM loved."
    • Hey Jim.

      You were looking for me? What's up?
      • Just wanted you to see be aware that even a fairly

        PRO MS writer like Mary Jo made the same conclusion as IDC (Not famous for being
        PRO Apple) So what does it all mean? Honestly I have no idea I won't do the research
        cause frankly it sounds good too me...:P However now there are multiple sources
        claiming the same conclusion I wonder what their data is?

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
        • Oh, thanks.

          I'm glad you look out for me. That's really nice. <br>
          I suspect that MJ has proven she's anything but Pro-MS for quite some time now, in fact she's resorted. like other bloggers here, to take stories and inflate them a bit against Microsoft.
          Just because one reports on something, doesn't mean they are "Pro" on it. <br>
          Someone probably reports on Charles Manson's doings in prison now and then but it's likely they are not pro-Manson. ;)
  • This story is drivel.

    After all, Steve Balmer laughed his head off at the iphone. How can someone with such an astute grasp of the market be in error. I think you should recheck your facts and then issue us an apology.
    • 8.8

      Combined a Coxian attitude with a Loverrock twist.

      • LOOK EVERYONE!@#*&#@#! HE MENTIONS ME!!!

        I am loved >:)<
        Loverock Davidson