May 19 AT 11:28 AM Alberto Vildosola 17 Comments

Gartner: Android keeps growing while Windows Phone fails to gain traction

Gartner has just released its quarterly mobile report, and yes just like we hear every week, Android is still growing at a rapid pace. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about its competitors. Symbian will soon ship less units than Apple and Windows Phone is less than a percent away from getting thrown into the “Others” category.

According to Gartner, Android shipped around 36.2 million units last quarter, owning 36.0% of the market. Compare that to a year ago when Android shipped 5.2 million units and had a market share of only 9.6%. If Android keeps growing like it’s doing now, our favorite OS could very well power 50% of all smartphones sold at the beginning of next year.

On the other side of the coin, Symbian isn’t showing any signs of stopping its year-long free fall towards irrelevancy. The mobile OS shipped close to 27.6 million units in Q1, holding 27.4% of the market. In contrast, Symbian was inside 44.2% of all smartphones sold this time last year. RIM’s Blackberry is not doing that much better either. The platform shipped 13 million units last quarter, which was just 12.9% of all smartphone sales — down from 19.7% a year ago.

In third place, iOS kept holding its market share steady for the fourth quarter in a row. The platform — as we’ve seen also in the U.S. market — seems to have hit an imaginary roof. Apple shipped around 16.8 million iPhones last quarter, or approximately 16.8% of all smartphones sold.

Lastly, Microsoft’s Windows Phone/Mobile is still on life support. Microsoft only shipped 3.6 million units in the last quarter, or about 3.6% of all devices sold. That’s around 38,000 less units than what the company sold a year ago. Meaning, even though the whole market doubled in size, Microsoft failed to grow with it. In fact, Windows Phone/Mobile was the only platform that shipped less units than the year before. Symbian — the biggest loser in terms of market share — still managed to ship 3 million units more than 12 months ago.

But the bad news don’t end there for Microsoft. Last quarter, the company only shipped 1.6 million devices running Windows Phone 7. Which means that the outdated Windows Mobile is still outselling Windows Phone by more than 2 million units. Let me repeat that, more than six months after launch, Windows Phone is still shipping on less phones than the OS it is supposed to replace — that’s not good.

What do you guys think? Does Microsoft stand a chance against Android? How big do you think Android will get? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Gartner

Alberto is a college student living somewhere between Miami, Sarasota and the World Wide Web. Although a former iPhone owner, Alberto is now a proud Android enthusiast. You can follow Alberto on Twitter and Google+ for his thoughts unworthy of an article.

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  • http://Website Tom

    Maybe if WP was able to do rudimentary functions such as multi-tasking and copy/paste at launch, Microsoft would be selling a few more units. NON-Multi-tasking is what caused me to return my HD7 back in December.

    • mavricxx

      Not to mention the whole MicroSD card support fiasco. You still need to buy WP7 supported MicroSD cards- that’s retarded! They should have fixed this ASAP via software update. Also, they STILL don’t have front facing cams. Its a shame really how Microsoft comes up with great software/Hadware with great possiblities and they let it slip thru their fingers- just look at what they did with the Zune. Great product but they failed to keep up with Apple, had they pumped out a new updated Zune year after year they’d be up there with Apple. Instead they screwed it up and dropped the product line. Too bad because the Zune was such a great product. Microsoft needs to follow up with their products and INNOVATE! Theyshould copy like Google did and INNOVATE. Just look at Google, and their doing great now.

  • Marijan

    “Windows Phone fails to gain traction”

    Interessting headline. As everyone can see, windows phone 7 stopped another loss of marketshare of the mobile devision of microsoft AND it gained marketshare…

  • http://Website Miguel

    “But the bad news don’t end there for Microsoft. Last quarter, the company only shipped 1.6 million devices running Windows Phone 7. Which means that the outdated Windows Mobile is still outselling Windows Phone by more than 2 million units. ”


    Wasn’t there a report last week from an analyst that said WM7 would overtake Androud by 2014?

  • http://Website peter parker

    Windows phone year 1 is such a beta. The “mango” update looks like a night and day difference. Year 2 will be a lot more meaningful as far as the numbers go. Right now its almost like they’re just building up a decent app catalog before the OS as intended is launched.

    Maybe in q4 my nexus one can finally have a smooth browser!!!1111

  • http://Website fryhole

    To be fair, remember where Android was 6 months after launch? It’s far too early to know how well WP7 will ultimately do.

    • http://Website Daniel Hedblom

      Android was avaliable in two countries at launch in oktober 2008 while WP7 was avaliable in more than 30 countries on more than 10 different handsets. That alone makes a comparison pretty skewed dont you think?

      Still, one single carrier in one single country managed to sell more than a million units in six months. I repeat, in six months T-mobile sold 1 million units in the US alone. In Q2 2009 Canary said Android had 2.8 % of worldwide shipments, despite just a couple of phones on the market in a limited number of countries. In june phones started becoming avaliable in more countries like Canada etc, after Android had 2.8% marketshare.

      Id say the Android launch was a huge success compared to WP7, especially if you take into account how hard it was to be able to buy an Android phone for the first 9 months outside the US (and if you had any other operator than T-mobile in the US).

  • http://mobile_123 Rahul Aggarwal

    The WP7 now having the languishing phase is not even a worth competitor to the androids and the apple smartphones. The market share of the mobile industry is mainly that of the androids and with a future prediction of this being also a reality in the present times is also a threat to the WP7.

    • http://Website Andy

      Google translate called. They want their bad translation back.

  • http://Website Albert

    Microsoft is doomed. The traditional PC will be outdated in less than 5 years, and their OS will fail to dominate in the new era of mobile PCs. Android will displace Windows, and become the king OS in the new era of PCs.

  • http://Website Kevin E.

    I have an Android device and its my personal favorite, I’ve had blackberry’s, nokias, windows mobile devices, etc. And I have to say that for me, Android takes the upper hand. I own an iPad on the side and the ios always makes me feel like I am playing with a child’s toy instead of a device for grown ups. Like macs they do the same for me, nothing. I hate mobile me and the me cloud, too. All those stupid names like time machine and boot camp, get some real names for your software holy bajeezles.

  • http://Website Gianni

    Microsoft has lost the mind. They want to do everything. And they do everything bad.
    They are so lucky that every pc must have windows and office.
    It’s exactly like Ibm In the ’80.
    Soon they will crash

  • http://Website Bacon hat guy

    Screw those numbers, in want actully sold data. They could have shipped 5 billion Android devices last year and won’t mean crap if they “only” sold 20 million devices. I’m a regular guy and my retard math still tells me shipped and sold are two different terms. You can skew numbers all day long to look good or bad.

    • http://Website themanwithsauce

      I just read your comment and I had to inform you that your retard math is spot on retarded.

      Shipped = Shipped to carriers/resellers. Those carriers and resellers won’t buy more stock if they aren’t moving what they have. But the devices they bought need to be sold to consumers in such a way as to generate profit for them so that is where the contracts and contract discounts come in. But for the phone developers, shipped = sold. Doesn’t matter how the carriers sell it, they’ve made their money on the phone. Motorola doesn’t care if my OG Droid was bought under a 1 year or 2 year contract or with a limited or unlimited plan. What they do care about is that I got it over other phones available.

  • http://Website Harry

    What will really matter is what phones are sold in places like China and India.. in terms of market share.. Beyond that… I’m fairly sure that Android has won for now.. The idea that Nokia using MS WP will grow it’s market share as people replace feature phones seems possible. Maybe some markets are happy just having any phone. I think the phone you own says a lot about you, like your cloths, shoes, etc. If people don’t want WP than only the most poor will buy them..


  • http://Website Bengineer

    I work for a LARGE mobile app development company. Two days before the release of three Applications for the WP7 the WP7 development team was told that no new Applications would be ported to the WP7 platform and that the already developed apps would not be released as they did not want to support the platform at all!!

    For me I feel I just wasted 6 months learning Silverlight and will probably never write another app!

    I’m just glad I still have a job, if it wasn’t for the unexpectedly good sales of Android apps I probably would be flipping burgers, I’m lucky to work for a good company that will give me time to get up to speed on android development rather than throw me to the curb when my skills don’t exactly mach what they currently need.