Gartner: Windows Phone sales flat in Q3 2011

By Tom Warren, on 15th Nov 11 2:14 pm with 46 Comments

Research analysts Gartner published their latest quarterly smartphone sales report on Tuesday.

Microsoft’s Windows Phone sales remained flat during Q3 2011 according to Gartner. Android’s growth saw the operating hit 52% market share worldwide with Symbian at 16.9% in second place, shortly followed by Apple’s iOS in third with 15%. Microsoft managed to secure just 1.5% market share in Q3 2011, down from a 2.7% market share in the same period during 2010. Android benefited from a number of mass-market offerings according to Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner. The operating system reached 52% market share thanks to “a weaker competitive environment and the lack of exciting new products on alternative operating systems such as Windows Phone 7 and RIM,” Cozza said.

Gartner predicts that Microsoft’s Windows Phone turnaround won’t take place until the second half of 2012, mainly due to Nokia’s products. “Heavy marketing from both Nokia and Microsoft to push the new Lumia devices should bring more improvement in the fourth quarter of 2011,” said Gartner.

Gartner has previously predicted that worldwide smartphone sales will reach 468 million units in 2011, a 57% increase from 2010. Android is expected to further hold its lead and account for 49% market shareby 2012. Microsoft’s Windows Phone is expected to increase to 10.8% by 2012, up from 4.2% in 2010. Gartner has also previously predicted that Microsoft will cement a strong second place market share by 2015. The research analysts believe Microsoft’s Windows Phone will account for 19.5% market share by 2015, above Apple’s 17.2%. Windows Phone will also account for 215 million worldwide shipments by 2015.

Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Operating System in 3Q11
  • Anonymous

    these are the same guys that predicted win 7 would be late and that it wouldn’t sell better than vista because nobody was interested in another PC os.

    • Larry

      Gartner might have said all of that about Win7 but they did not make up those sales data. 

      Those numbers just suck and Microsoft better hope the Nokia deal, plus crazy amounts of marketing can turn the ship around or its going to hit a sandy bottom on its current course.

      If WP fizzels Microsofts mobile days are over.  I would hate to see a two horse race but maybe that is all the market can handle? 

    • Anonymous

      I’ve been saying it a long time, it’s the UI!!! It’s absolutely terrible.

      If they don’t change the UI completely they’ll start going down even further soon. Nokia is not going to help them, Nokia can’t help themselves.

    • Andrew

      The UI is the best thing about WP7 actually… WP7 was just badly advertised and strongly limited. Let’s see how things change with WP7.5

    • Anonymous

      You’ll see how unappealing the Tiles UI is  when Windows 8 sells bad.

    • Anonymous

      I respect your opinion but ALOT of people strongly disagree Metro UI is simply amazing its a fresh new UI crisp, fast, reliable, informative its great. Metro UI brings Windows to Windows you can actually see whats going on within the program before launching it

    • Anonymous

      I can see by your icon you are a hater but aren’t there enough fake glass crap OSes already?

    • Guest

      You’ve been saying a lot of stupid sh*t for a long time. It’s who you are.

    • Anonymous

      bahahahahaha !

  • Jubbin Grewal

    Well we all knew Q4 was the one that was going to matter with Mango and Nokia, and Gen2 phones too. I’m going to ignore this stat till the next set.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah Q3 doesn’t matter much with no new hardware or updates.  Hopefully Q4 will see a nice uptick.  However I have to admit I’m a little depressed about the prospects for WP7.  Initial Nokia hardware was late and underwhelming.  Mango is a great update but we need to see more hero devices to bring mind share to the OS.  MS needs to knock it out of the ballpark with WP8.  Start by using the W8 NT Kernel and maybe re-evaluate the ban on using native code.  This may not be relevant to the average user, but personally I have a lot of trouble convincing my friends to go with Windows Phone when the big game developers are releasing engines for iOS and Android.

  • Anonymous

    duh…… everyone was waiting for new phones

    • AlienSix

      We are learning there is more then one way to spell KIN… WP7

  • Anon

    You wont see me buying a WP7 thanks to verizon’s numerous offerings

  • Anonymous

    I am curious to know where you fanboys will place the blame if Windows Phone 7 did not do well in Q4. 

    • phil jay

      I don’t care for the marketshare.. Knowing I’m running the best OS out there is statisfying enough. I don’t think WP will die, its a nicely growing ecosystem and all developers that tried the sdk, love it. It has all apps I need, some people have wishes for a specific app, that might not be there, but thinking about it, they probably don’t even need and don’t even want those apps.

    • Larry

      Lol you better care, because if the market share does not increase Microsoft is going “Zune/Play for Sure” your support in a hurry.

      As a shareholder I would DEMAND they ditch WP if it does not take off.

    • Anonymous

      Microsoft will not get rid of the WP brand its part of the 3 screen ecosystem. It is only going to get better year by year. How can you have Windows on PC, laptops, tablets, Xbox and not phones doesn’t make sense.

    • Guest

      MS stuck by Zune and Playsforsure for years and years, so your analogy is flawed. They’re also too deeply invested in WP and mobile is too strategic for them to walk away now. Plus the reviews and customer satisfaction from buyers are too good. They’ll just keep grinding it out. And of course they’re hoping that Nokia’s size, retail presence, and commitment to the platform gives them their first real shot at gaining some share now that this is finally coming on line.

      Ditching WP would be stupid at this point. And there is no forum for shareholders to make a demand like you suggest anyway, which you’d know if you knew anything about how public companies operate.

      By the way, where are your sidekicks Curly and Moe?

    • Anonymous

      Everybody knows what happened to Vista, then W7 came and changed the game…blasting speed and changed all that Vista couldnt…WP7 is the Vista of smartphones…WP8 is gonna kill the game…patience is a virtue…have it and that too for free..

    • Anonymous

      Vista was utter sh*t WP7 is a magneficent OS.

    • Morgan Wisbey

      See my post below…

  • KF

    Its not pure WP, there still some WM in the markets and both of them are behind what??? BADA!!!!! Micrisoft, Nokia, hurry up!!!!!!!!

  • Abc

    even BADA OS sold more units than WP7!!!!

    • luke516

      Bada is is a scaled down touchwiz, a proprietary OS for Samsung devices. It is designed for low cost or free devices (with subsidy of course). Samsungs real smartphones run Android or WP7.
      Bada is not a relevant OS. It was not designed to compete with Android or iOS or WP7.

    • Ef Jay

      Still pathetic that it outsold WP7, but what do you expect when you dont advertise for months?

    • Anonymous

      Actually, if anything, it’s a scaled UP Touchwiz. Since touchwiz is mostly a UI, this is an extension of that with actual functionality built in. Bada + developping countries = sales.. it’s quite a success.
      I own a Samsung Wave and it’s top-notch hardware, but I can’t say the same for the rest of the bada phones. The main problem I find with bada is that it’s developped only by Samsung so it takes them a while to push out releases, otherwise, the OS is smooth and with 2.0 around the corner, it’s certainly not lacking many features

  • Simplycani


  • Anonymous

    I’m not sure about these numbers, but one thing that I’m sure of is:
                           ((((((((((((“Gartner is a joke”))))))))

  • Matt Adams

    well in the UK there have been hardly any WP7 handsets to on offer with some networks not having any on sale, or just one buried at the back of the website. Hopefully with the new offerings from HTC, Samsung and the Nokia media bombardment, and noticably more in store promotions we’ll actually see some available to buy.

  • GP007

    Guys there was nothing new on sale in Q3! Android does well because there is a new device out almost every month while WP has a batch release once a year in Q4.

    Now that Nokia has started its run we should see a more steady release of new phones and this should get HTC and Samsung going as well with more advertising and newer devices more often.

  • OddPattern

    Tom, you forgot the word “system” in the second sentence after the word “operating”, just so you know.

  • Anonymous

    To me that seems right. Windows Phone is developing at a very good rate but it still has some work ahead of it. Microsoft said that year 1 was about getting a device out there to build off of, year 2 making it feature competitive and year three leapfrogging the competition.

    So far that seems accurate, I might even say ahead of schedule. Last year I had trouble recommending Windows Phone, this year after Mango I feel better but still with warnings. By next year I think it will be the OS that everyone will recommend to each other.

    I feel that it is already a better phone OS than IOS or Android but it is still missing the killer hardware and exclusive applications. If Nokia can deliver this summer and Microsoft can come up with that “Halo/Angry Birds impact wise” type of exclusive app “especially if it is cross platform with Windows 8 and Xbox” they will be soaring high next winter.

    • Anonymous

      It seems like MS has been keeping in contact with all the big AAA iOS developers. What is stopping AAA games is the fact they cannot run Native Code apparently WP8 is when they can. I say bring Master Cheif to WP and also market WP in Halo. For example Master Cheif can use an inteface with Metro UI etc similar to WP in the game which could turn heads

    • Anonymous

      I am not talking abot IOS games, I am talking about the next new and big game. I don’t actually mean Halo or Angry Birds, I mean a new game that can have that kind of impact for the platform in a similar way. Windows Phone has plenty of games and even some great exclusives but they don’t yet have that title that everyone is talking about.

      That would be a huge boon for the platform if there was a new game on the platform everyone was talking about that could only be played on Windows Phone.

    • Anonymous

      word yeah MS has pretty creative devs they will get something buzzing soon.

  • Anonymous

    No new phones released in Q3 its all about Q4 earnings I can see big things happening if carriers push the Samsung Focus Flash which IMO is the best phone for its price point.

  • Morgan Wisbey

    Why would anyone be shocked about this? Ho-hum plastic hardware coupled with commercials that do very little to show the real power of this OS to those who have never used it is very much the blame. Compare a plastic Focus S to an iPhone4s and Android Razr and who wins that beauty contest? Add to this Nokia keeping their launch plans for the US a secret and it’s no wonder this platform is flat. I love MS products but they cannot market or launch a new product to save their lives. Apple products and commercials are like their stores. Simple and to the point. You watch one ad and you know immediately what Siri and iPhone 4 can do. Watch a MS ad and get ready to feast on a big bag of confusiuon. The only thing they get right is the Xbox ads but only as a game machine. Nobody on the outside would understand that it’s also an entertainment hub for your home. Until MS and Nokia can figure this out, expect more of the same. I am ready to trade my Focus in for something from Nokia but I have too many questions that apparently won’t be answered until CES next year?! Even then I have little hope as I thought Nokia would tell us something at the launch event a couple of weeks ago. They only showed two good looking but lackluster phones and gave no information about the US. When is Tango Launching. How about Apollo? Do I buy now? Do I wait? Buying a phone is at least a one year deal with AT&T. I do no want to get burned and not be able to jump on Apollo when it hits. Help us MS for the LOVE OF GOD!

    • Anonymous

      If MS gave information about Apollo and Nokia devices it might hurt the Focus S, Titan, Focus Flash sales. Its better not to give out all information at once. Might be great for the 1% of us hardcore techies but not for the other 99%. I agree MS marketing is pretty bad but they are getting better look at all the live events etc marking the phone hard in Q4 I expect these numbers to jump.

    • Morgan Wisbey

      It’s just frustrating. It’s like knowing a secret and not being able to share it with people. Zune Pass and over air sync is far superior to anything offered on iTunes. Cloud storage? Don’t get me started.Xbox Live, Facebook, and Twitter integration is insanely good. Tiles that tell you something other than the name of the app. The voice recognition is quite powerful and I blew my iPhone friends away when they sent me a text using Siri. When my phone announced who the text was from, I simply said “read it” and then responded to it without ever touching my phone. All of their jaws dropped. Not one person who has not used this phone has any clue what the true power of this platform happens to be.

    • Anonymous

      Tell me about it trust me I want to know the timeline and whats in store for years to come but thats talking from the consumer side on the business side its not smart to overshadow devices that are being released in Q4. I am sure the Mango devices will be able to run Apollo I expect nothing but big things. A compact Windows 8 OS with Skype and Lync integration :)

    • Sirruss

      The numbers have more to do with the lack of marketing than with any hardware considerations. Other than that, I’m in full agreement with the majority of your post, which is dead on. The average consumer is mostly unaware of Windows Phone, and for those that Microsoft has reached with a commercial, the commercial has failed to articulate why one would want to buy a Windows Phone instead of iPhone or Android. The lack of the “simple and to the point” Windows Phone commercial that you mentioned is hurting  seriously hurting both Windows Phone brand recognition and awareness of what capabilities Windows Phone offers. A few weeks ago, I seriously considered contacting one of MS’ board members to complain about the failed marketing. I stopped myself when I realized that I already sold all my MS shares a few years back. However, I’m simply floored that MS management either doesn’t realize or doesn’t care about the huge gap in their marketing plan for the platform. And no, an ad with two guys sitting on a sofa showing off Facebook and Twitter integration does nothing to articulate the value of Windows Phone to the many average non-tech consumer who doesn’t care one whit for Facebook/Twitter.

  • Scooter224

    I want WP7 sooooo bad. Give me a good device with at least 32gb, 8-12MP cam and a 4-4.3 inch screen. I want buy a phone thats worse than my i8910 just to have a windows phone.

    • helpful anonymous person

      Smaller screens are better for interaction. With less apps but better quality ones you don’t need as much storage (it’s certainly nice to have! :)) but it’s a phone so you can carry a Zune or other mp3 player for media/storage. Nokia’s cameras will be nice, but I’m not sure if the ones on the market are bad. It’s really the lenses that matter i.e. an iPhone with 2MP but a good lens is better than an Android with 5MP and crappy lens.

      You could wait for a Nokia phone, but everything I’ve said is to help you realize what you really want and help you feel satisfied in what you have (or give you other options so you don’t feel so limited).

  • Nf01

    To all of you who said let’s just wait for Nokia, how about the fact that all Android isn’t standing still either. Nokia can churn out a few models a year at most. We see new Android phone every months.

  • Scott Barnes

    Real question of the day is who funded the research :)