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Microsoft sells 1.6 million Windows Phone 7 devices in Q1

Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 devices sold 1.6 million units to end users in the first quarter, according to Gartner. That tally isn't nearly enough to blunt Android's momentum.

Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 devices sold 1.6 million units to end users in the first quarter, according to Gartner. That tally isn't nearly enough to blunt Android's momentum. Android had 36 percent of the global market in the first quarter.

Gartner's smartphone OS standings look like this:

Under the surface there are a few items worth noting. To wit:

  • Android and iOS have all the momentum.
  • Given Microsoft's alliance with Nokia---and a rough 2011 before production Windows Phone devices are ready---rivals are aiming to swipe Symbian's global market share.
  • Nokia will accelerate Windows Phone adoption, but it's unclear what the market share baseline will be by the end of the year.
  • Gartner is conservative about mobile device sales because channel inventory is up to 13.3 million units. Gartner cut its 2011 sales estimate to 1.79 billion and 1.795 billion units.

On the device side of the equation, smartphones were 23.6 percent of total mobile device sales in the first quarter. Overall, 428 million mobile devices were sold in the first quarter, up 19 percent from a year ago.

Strongest performers included Apple, Samsung and HTC. Nokia lost 5.5 percent of market share in the first quarter compared to a year ago. Apple and HTC gained share and RIM held its own.