Windows Phone is now the third-largest mobile platform worldwide, gaining more than triple its market share year-over-year and leapfrogging the recovering BlackBerry in the midst.
According to the latest numbers from IDC, a leading market research firm, 7 million Windows Phone units were shipped in the first quarter for 3.2 percent market share. BlackBerry moved 6.3 million units, but dropped to 2.9 percent market share.
While the Windows Phone piece of the pie remains significantly smaller than Android or iOS, which are first and second among mobile operating system usage respectively, the traction that Microsoft’s mobile platform is gaining cannot be ignored. Windows Phone is emerging as a true competitor alongside the big guys in Apple and Samsung, and that’s great news for innovation within the mobile space.
“Windows Phone claiming the third spot is a first and helps validate the direction taken by Microsoft and key partner Nokia,” IDC’s Kevin Restivo said in a statement. “Given the relatively low volume generated, the Windows Phone camp will need to show further gains to solidify its status as an alterative to Android or iOS.”
The increasing presence of Windows Phone is likely just beginning to ramp up, as Nokia slowly transitions its feature phones to Windows Phone devices. Nokia moved a respectable 55 million feature phones in the past quarter, mostly to emerging markets, and that presents a huge opportunity for both the Finnish handset maker and Microsoft. Apple had better keep one eye open at all times.