Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 7th Aug 2013 17:44 UTC
Windows IDC released its smartphone shipment numbers for the second quarter of 2013, and other than the usual stuff (Android at 80%, iOS down to 13.3% due to lack of a new model), the Windows Phone figures are interesting.

Windows Phone posted the largest year-over-year increase among the top five smartphone platforms, and in the process reinforced its position as the number 3 smartphone operating system. Driving this result was Nokia, which released two new smartphones and grew its presence at multiple mobile operators. But beyond Nokia, Windows Phone remained a secondary option for other vendors, many of which have concentrated on Android. By comparison, Nokia accounted for 81.6% of all Windows Phone smartphone shipments during 2Q13.

Over the past 12 months, Windows Phone went from 3.1% market share to 3.7%. This means that while shipments of Windows Phone devices are growing, they're barely growing any faster than the industry as a whole. Still, it's crazy to see there's less than a 10 percentages points difference between Windows Phone and iOS.

Another potential problem is that Microsoft is effectively entirely dependent on Nokia. If Nokia falters, Windows Phone falters. Other vendors have essentially lost all interest in the platform, and as such, Microsoft has a a very strong impetus in keeping Nokia going. Still, I'm pretty sure that the Surface phone is ready to go at a moment's notice.

They're going to need it.

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Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Wed 7th Aug 2013 18:52 UTC
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Windows Phone's problem that Thom correctly highlights is that it needs more serious OEMs. Nokia is one OEM on one ecosystem trying to pull the entire weight in a Samsung-esque fashion.

For example, when you view an individual breakdown of the OEMs (and excluding the Samsung behemoth) a different picture is painted:

LG controlled 5.1%
Lenovo controlled 4.8%
Huawei and ZTE each controlled 4.2%

Nokia controlled 3.1%, or ~85% of an entire ecosystem.

For Microsoft the crucial problem is growing the ecosystem in a much more robust fashion than Nokia can. They need more OEMs putting in effort like Nokia, or a flood of small time whitebox vendors (not going to happen).

I think the prime candidates for this are HTC, Lenovo, and probably even RIM. Get RIM to dump BB10 and go Windows Phone. Sign HTC away from Android.

Lenovo is already a Windows loyalist who knows how to sell devices. The synergy between their Tablet/Phone lines with a WP device would be compelling.

- Nokia for its European/Middle East relevance and mindshare
- HTC for its US relevance and mindshare
- Lenovo for its Chinese relevance and mindshare
- RIM for its corporate know-how, strong middle east mindshare and African mindshare

ZTE, Huawei, et are sleepers too.

Edited 2013-08-07 19:10 UTC

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