Windows Phone 7 was released almost a year ago and since January of this year, the market share for the Microsoft Mobile OS seems to be heading downward this year and is not showing any signs that it is going to be able to reverse that situation. Even RIM with their Blackberry phones has a larger market share than what Microsoft holds with their Windows Mobile OS. It really does look like it is becoming too late for Microsoft to make a difference in the market with their Windows Phone 7.
In the most recent Nielson ratings for the 3 month period of May through July, the path for Windows Phone 7 continues to head downward to the point that it is now showing as holding 10 percent of the US market and that number is going to push them into the “other” category if they slip an further than they already have. Even RIM is holding 19% of the US market with their Blackberry phones. If you consider all the problems that they have been having, one might have expected that Microsoft would have capitalized on the problems that RIM is having and been able to increase their market share.
Even worse for Microsoft, is that fact that their now retired Windows Mobile is holding on to 7% of the US market share. How is it that Windows Phone 7 has not even been able to remain ahead of the now defunct Windows Mobile? That does not look good for Microsoft and their Windows Phone 7. It is starting to look like Windows Phone 7 has come too late to the market and is not going to be able to turn things around the way that many have talked about for many months. Some analysts are still taking about Windows Phone 7 taking the number two spot by 2015. That is current looking like a long shot.
Part of the problems are sales. It seems that many retail stores are steering people to phones other than those running the Microsoft OS. With that being done, it makes it very difficult for Microsoft to be able to sell phones. There is no one phone that is associated with the mobile OS, making it difficult to market for Microsoft. Microsoft cannot market a few phones that are then being carried by various wireless carriers in the US. Take Verizon for example who was not carrying any Windows Phone 7 until several months ago, making it a difficult task to promoted something that is not available by all the major US carriers.
The bigger problem for Microsoft is that they are working against Android which has a solid market and continuing to grow it larger each month that goes by. Their Android OS is being used on phones being sold by wireless carriers in the US and is doing very well. Wireless carriers are not going to promote a mobile OS where the market share is going down hill for 2011.
Another problem for Microsoft is the uncertainty that they have created with their relationship with Nokia. Currently they are being sold on handsets from the likes of HTC, Samsung and others. With Nokia, there is a direct competition against those carriers and is going to cause them to not want to have a future with Microsoft because Nokia is a competitor with them. Microsoft’s relationship creates competition against the manufacturers that they have relied on to get their product to market. Microsoft has now threatened that by creating competition with Nokia. Google may be facing the same situation with Motorola, but at the moment, the Android has such a large market share, it is not a consideration.
With the coming lower costing iPhone 4S that has been rumored, it may have a significant impact on the future of the Nokia and Microsoft partnership to put Windows Phone 7 exclusively on the Nokia handsets. Apple is going to be increasing their market share, probably at the expense of RIM and Microsoft. It does look like it is too late for Microsoft to make a difference with their Windows Phone 7.