Windows Phone RIP? Android, iOS account for 96.4 percent of global smartphone sales


Despite positive growth in recent quarters for the Windows Phone, it appears the effort to enter the smartphone sector in full force has proved difficult.

New statistics reveal that growth has stalled, with the second quarter for 2014 showing Windows Phone sales have dropped by 9.4 percent compared with sales the same time last year. That's not good news for Microsoft, which acquired mobile phone maker Nokia to bolster its efforts in the market.

The new revelations show Microsoft is lagging behind, well behind, the other smartphone makers on the market, garnering only 2.5 percent of the sector in second-quarter sales. Android accounts for 84.7 percent and Apple's iOS has around 11.7 percent of market share. The remainder of the market, according to IDC's quarterly analysis, goes to BlackBerry with 0.5 percent and other manufacturers with 0.6 percent.

That's not good news as Microsoft says it is looking to challenge the top phonemakers with a new device, although no timetable has been given for a release of a new smartphone from the Redmond, Wash.-based company.

Sales of Lumia phones, which run the Windows Phone operating system, were at around 5.8 million during the quarter, a 21 percent decrease from the previous year.

However, there are some positives. Microsoft has not rolled out a large number of Windows Phones this year as the company is reportedly developing a phone with new, innovative technology.

Overall, the company is putting much pressure on the Windows Phone 8.1 to drive interest in phone makers to take on their software. After some wrangling, it appears HTC is back in line with Microsoft and a new HTC One M8 mobile device running Windows is expected to hit the market next week.

The company is also expected to continue to push into the midrange market with the launch on Sept. 4 of two handsets, the Lumia 730 and Lumia 830. Although Microsoft has done well in the midrange smartphone market until now, with Android also pushing into the competition, the company faces an uphill battle.

"With many of its OEM partners focusing on the sub-$200 segments, Android has been reaping huge gains within emerging markets," IDC researcher Ramon Llamas said in a statement.

"During the second quarter, 58.6 percent of all Android smartphone shipments worldwide cost less than $200 off contract, making them very attractive compared to other devices. With the recent introduction of Android One, in which Google offers reference designs below $100 to Android OEMs, the proportion of sub-$200 volumes will climb even higher," he added.

The numbers also come after Microsoft announced it was shelving what was expected to be its flagship device, the McClaren. The phone would have had a number of features that the Amazon Fire Phone showed in its recent launch, Tech Times reports, which may have been part of why it was shelved.

The move to shelve it was reportedly made months ago, even as much interest and optimism for the new phone sparked before Nokia was acquired by Microsoft late in 2013, with the deal finalized April 25 of this year.

For now, Microsoft appears to be back at the drawing board as it looks for new ways to get Windows phones popular.

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