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Steve Ballmer got the twittersphere buzzing by pronouncing that Windows Phone is selling four times faster than it was a year ago.He was speaking at Microsoft’s annual shareholder meeting today.
That certainly sounds impressive.
But a dive into the numbers shows that total volume is still pretty low. Microsoft sold 2.8 million Windows phones in the year-ago fourth quarter, as reported market research firm Gartner at the time.
By the third quarter of this year, it was doing better, having sold 4 million phones.
But Apple sold 35 million phones in the same quarter that Microsoft sold 2.8 million. Apple also sold 23 million phones in the quarter that Microsoft sold 4 million. And if you really want to get some perspective, think about the roughly 123 million Android phones that were sold, compared to Microsoft’s 4 million.
Microsoft’s smartphone market share inched up from 1.5% to 2.4% in a year, which is going in the right direction, but given the overall market, that’s still not saying much.
Here’s the latest market share chart just released by Gartner.
Worldwide Mobile Device Sales to End Users by Operating System in 3Q12 (Thousands of Units)
3Q12 Market Share (%)
3Q11 Market Share (%)
Research In Motion
UPDATE: A reader asked why Gartner’s numbers differ from the 3Q numbers reported by Apple. Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi explained that Gartner doesn’t include the phones sent to resellers but not yet sold to actual users. In her words: “We measure sell through not sell in so basically Apple built inventory in the channel.”
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