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Windows Mobile continues to slip, though it remains the third biggest player on the market

The iPhone is one of the hottest smartphones on the market.  These days the smartphone market is largely delineated is driven by businesses which generally pick a Research in Motion Blackberry smartphone, or regular consumers who are looking for a media-toy (most seem to choose the iPhone).

Now, Windows Mobile has been passed by the iPhone in smartphone OS marketshare for the first time according to market research firm comScore.  The comScore data is collected from monthly surveys of thousands of customers in the U.S., asking them what phone they own.  The results are averaged over a three month period.

Analysis on the latest three month average, which ended in October, just wrapped up and the results have been aired.  They show RIM advancing its lead with about 14.96 million customers in the U.S.  Considering that RIM started the year with less than 10 million customers, this is an enormous success story and a testament, among other things, to the success of Verizon Wireless's buy-one-get-one promotion on Blackberry smartphones.  In total, the numbers indicate that from the start of the year to October RIM grew almost 55 percent in terms of units on the market.

The iPhone, likewise, has earned some bragging rights by stepping up to second place with approximately 8.97 million users.  Apple's growth is equally impressive when you consider that the first average of this year, which ended in February, showed the iPhone with only 5 million users -- that's a growth of approximately 70 percent.  This indicates that while both RIM and Apple are enjoying terrific growth, the iPhone's market share is growing slightly faster.

The news isn't so pretty for Microsoft, which fell to third place.  The Windows Mobile maker actually saw a slight contraction, with numbers slipping to around 7.13 million users. Microsoft was hurt by the fact that many customers don't want to get a Windows Mobile 6.5 phone when Windows Mobile 7 will be arriving in 2010, bringing with it significant improvements.  Microsoft also is having a tougher time finding its role amidst the emerging iPhone (fun) and Blackberry (business) duopoly.  It is significant to note that Microsoft was the only major phone OS maker of the six in the study to have lost marketshare in the period ending in October.

As for Android, Palm, and Symbian, all showed modest growth.  Android finally cracked the million mark, weighing in with 1.02 million users.  Palm, boosted by the Pre and new Pixi, showed about 2.484 million customers in the final period of the year and Symbian had 1.3 million users.

Overall, the smartphone market continues to grow.  According to the survey, an estimated 36 million Americans (11.8 percent of the total population) own a smartphone, while 196 million Americans (64.4 percent) own a traditional phone.

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RE: You really can't sell s**t on a stick
By MrX8503 on 12/17/2009 11:56:19 AM , Rating: 3
I agree for the most part, except the part about MS giving up on smartphones. I hate Apple as much as the next guy because of their closed system, but why in the world does it take so long for competitors to catch up is beyond me.

MS was probably slackin off twiddlin their thumbs while Steve Ballmer stating that "There's no way the iPhone will gain significant marketshare". Now that the iPhone is destroying the competition, MS went back to the think tank and are probably saying "Crap, we should of been workin on win mobile 7"

With the delay of winmobile 7, MS is a good 3 years behind. I've used the Droid, most HTC phones, the Palm Pre, and the Blackberry curve. I hate to say it, but all of them failed compared to the iPhone in terms of OS responsiveness. Ontop of that most smartphone OS's are ugly as sin, I think HTC needs to be contracted out by MS.

By mckinney on 12/17/2009 12:27:13 PM , Rating: 3
I've used the Droid, most HTC phones, the Palm Pre, and the Blackberry curve. I hate to say it, but all of them failed compared to the iPhone in terms of OS responsiveness.

I agree. I have used my Moto Droid side by side with my wifes Iphone 3Gs and would say the same. It isn't as responsive. The droids browser is nice, but jerky, whereas the the iphones is very smooth. I also get a lot of OS messages on failed processes on my droid. I dont know why. It would be nice if MS got back in the game.

RE: You really can't sell s**t on a stick
By michael2k on 12/17/2009 8:06:12 PM , Rating: 2
You answer your own question. Why does it take MS so long to catch up? Because they aren't closed. They need to support every manufacturer, device, chipset, and vendor.

Apple only has to support two radios (GSM+EDGE), two CPUs (both ARM), two GPUs (both PowerVR), and two chipsets (both Samsung).

You will have to accept either waiting for people to catch up, or a closed system.

RE: You really can't sell s**t on a stick
By MrX8503 on 12/18/2009 12:26:02 AM , Rating: 2
An open system does slow things down, but for some reason I still think MS didn't start development on WinMobile 7 until the iPhone started kickin butt and taking names. Almost the same reason as AMD being too comfortable with the X2, then they were caught with their pants down with Conroe.

Because if that wasn't the case, we wouldn't be stuck on the same old WinMo OS for how many years now? We would have WinMo7 now.

Ontop of that, whats holding back WinMo phones from having a powerful CPU/GPU? The iPhone is 3 years old and the only phone out there that is more powerful is the unreleased HTC HD2. Outpaced in OS, Hardware, and Applications by 3 years. I don't see an iPhone killer for quite some time.

By michael2k on 12/18/2009 1:21:10 PM , Rating: 2
Well, then you're asking why MS is incompetent. They saw the iPhone six months before release, January of 2007. Their response, WinMo7, won't be out until late 2010, or over 3 years later.

I don't have an answer for that conundrum.

I do have an answer for your other question; what's holding back WinMo phones from having a powerful CPU/GPU? No OS, SDK, or API that can take advantage of the powerful CPU or GPU.

Windows Mobile 6.5 rests upon Windows CE5, which to my understanding is stuck at DX8, technology from the year 2002. The iPhone, in comparison, has OpenGL ES 1.1 and 2.0 (2004 and 2007 respectively).

OpenGL ES == PlayStation 3, PSP, DirectX 8 == original XBox, if that helps define the capabilities.

"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner

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