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Windows Phone is dying on the vine

Published Aug 14th, 2014 4:16PM EDT
Windows Phone Market Share Shipments

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There’s a reasonable argument to be made on both sides about whether Microsoft should just dump Windows Phone and move to Android or whether it should stick things out and try to gradually improve its market share. However there is no argument that from a sales standpoint, Windows Phone has been a complete failure so far — and its shipments have actually gotten worse over the last year.

IDC’s latest report on global smartphone shipments found that not only did Windows Phone’s market share shrink from Q2 2013 to Q2 2014 but its overall shipment numbers shrank as well. In total, only 7.4 million Windows Phones shipped in Q2 this year, a 9.4% decline from the 8.2 million Windows Phones that shipped during the same period last year.

This means that Windows Phone, despite being made by the same company responsible for producing the world’s No. 1 desktop operating system, is headed down the same dead-end street as BlackBerry, which similarly saw its shipments crash by 78% year-over-year and its market share plummet all the way down to 0.5% in Q2 2014.

How is it possible that a company with so much talent, money and enterprise clout has so completely failed to build up its own mobile OS that is vital to the future of Windows as a whole? It seems pretty baffling and what the company decides to do with Windows Phone figures to be one of the most intriguing stories of new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s still-young tenure.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.