Windows Phone overtakes BlackBerry for third most shipped OS

Alex Walls
May 22, 2013

Windows Phone has crept past BlackBerry in world wide smartphone shipments for the first time, laying claim to the ‘third ecosystem’.

The Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker by the International Data Corporation (IDC) found that Microsoft’s Windows Phone was the third ranked smartphone operating system world wide, shipping seven million units in the first quarter of this year, compared with three million in the first quarter of 2012, which gave the mobile operating system (OS) a market share of 3.2 per cent.

This compared to BlackBerry’s 6.3 million units shipped,  a market share of 2.9 per cent, down from last year’s first quarter result of 9.7 million unit.

Windows Phone claiming the third sport was a first and helped to validate Microsoft and Nokia’s direction, IDC senior research analyst Kevin Restivo said.

“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.”

Android still on top

Google’s Android was still king of the mobile OS market, shipping a whopping 162.1 million units in the first quarter of this year, up from 90.3 million last year, giving it a huge slice of the market at 75 per cent.

Samsung was the clear leader among Android smartphone vendors, with a massive 41.1 per cent of the market share, followed by many vendors with single digit and less than one per cent market share, IDC said.

“The intra-Android competition has not stifled companies from keeping Android as the cornerstone of their respective smartphone strategies, but has upped the ante to innovate proprietary experiences.”

Apple’s iOS had its largest every first quarter number of shipments at 37.4 million , IDC said, which was 17.3 per cent of the market share and up on last year’s 35.1 million units. However the OS showed a year on year decline in market share, down from 23 per cent to 17.3 per cent.  IDC said although demand was still strong globally, the operating system has remained basically the same since the first iPhone was unveiled in 2007.

“That appears ready to change as online rumors and speculation predict a massive overhaul of the user interface when iOS 7 debuts.”

Android and iOS together made up 92.3 per cent of all smartphone shipments during the first quarter of this year, shipping a total of 199.5 million units worldwide.

The constantly shifting operating system landscape underpinned the smartphone market, IDC mobile phone team research manager Ramon Llamas said.

“Android and iOS accounted for more than the lion’s share of smartphones in the first quarter, but a closer examination of the other platforms reveals turnaround and demand for alternatives. Windows Phone has benefited from Nokia’s participation, and BlackBerry’s new BB10 devices have already hit a million units shipped in its first quarter of availability.”

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