No matter what new smartphones or cool features Microsoft throws at consumers, it seems that Windows Phone isn’t sticking. Windows Phone’s market share dropped from 3 percent last year to 1.7 percent in the third quarter of 2015, according to data from the research analytics company Gartner.
“Despite the announcement of Windows 10, we expect Windows smartphone market share will continue to be a small portion of the overall smartphone OS market as consumers remain attracted by competing ecosystems,” Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner, said in the announcement. “Microsoft smartphones will mainly focus on driving value for enterprise users.”
Only 5.8 million Windows units were sold worldwide in the third quarter this year, which is a big drop down from the 9 million sold in the third quarter of 2014. Microsoft is launching two flagship Windows Phone devices on November 20: the Lumia 950 and 950 XL. The new Lumias are the first phones shipping with Windows 10, which could also give the company’s phone platform the boost it needs.
However, the 950 and 950XL are pricey and hard to buy. Only the Lumia 950 has carrier support in the United States, and only one carrier will sell the phone: AT&T. Customers on other networks have to buy the phones outright from Microsoft for $600 and $650, respectively. Limited availability and the high price tags may deter some customers, which isn’t a good thing for Windows Phone. There’s also no word on when the new OS will reach older Windows Phones.
Android and iOS, on the other hand, fared better in the third quarter. Gartner’s data shows iOS rose its market share from 12.5 percent last year to 13.1 percent, and Android gained 1.4 percentage points, with its market share rising to 84.7 percent in the third quarter. Blackberry fell 0.5 percent to a measly 0.3 percent market share from last year.
Also read: Hands on: Microsoft Lumia 950 and 950XL
For manufacturers, Samsung still reigns as king, selling 83.6 million phones, which is much higher than last year’s 72.9 million sold. However, its market share did drop 0.2 percent to 23.7 percent. Huawei came in at number 3, right after Apple, enjoying a 2.5 percent market share growth in the third quarter, selling 27.2 million units — a big jump from last year’s 15.9 million.
“Huawei continued its growth momentum, driven by smartphone sales in both its home market and global markets, particularly Europe, where sales were driven by its ever-growing brand visibility,” according to the report.
Continued growth in emerging markets helped bolster smartphone sales, Gartner added, with Chinese brands such as Xiaomi and Oppo becoming more aggressive in those markets.