If you’re on a site like this, you’re probably also the type of person that notices what kind of devices the people around you are using. Probably seems like like, despite a big push from Microsoft, Windows Phones are decidedly rare. Almost as if 96% of the people around you weren’t using them. Well my friend, your powers of observation are prodigious, because that is exactly correct, and doesn’t seem likely to change anytime soon.
In 2012, Microsoft’s Windows Phone will account for only four percent of the 123 million smartphones that will be sold in the U.S. in the year. That’s a rise, but of only one percentage point compared to 2011. In terms of actual unit numbers, this works out to 5 million devices sold in 2012, compared to 3.5 million in 2011.
Of course, 4% of a market locked down by powerful, familiar offerings like iOS and Android is certainly nothing to be sneezed at. However, the low numbers are compounded by the fact that the year-to-year change will be so slight — just 1.5 million more devices.
The trouble is that Microsoft and its hardware partners — particularly Nokia — are investing a lot of time and effort into this project. If it continues to do poorly, the value of the Windows phone platform may be called into question. For Nokia, which is staking a lot on the success of the Windows mobile platform, a continued slump could quickly become an existential crisis.
All this despite a glowing endorsement from Siri.
Of course, it’s entirely possible that the next offering from Microsoft — Windows Phone 8 — will be able to make up lost ground. But unless the company is able to generate some positive momentum with a new product, things will surely stay grim.
- Microsoft swears up and down it’s not going to make its own phones
- But they did make their own tablet
- Nokia’s dubstep ringtone probably isn’t helping