Let’s not fool ourselves. When it comes to the smartphone market in the United States and around the world, there are effectively two major players: we have Apple’s iOS and we have Google’s Android. That being said, third place isn’t being much of a contest either as Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform actually continues to grow.
In fact, when you compare the three month period ending in April 2013 to the three month period ending in February 2013, Windows Phone actually grew over 36% in terms of market share in the United States. To be fair, even with that growth, Windows Phone still only occupies a mere 5.6% share in the American smartphone market, but that’s a pretty sizable improvement over the 4.1% it had previously. To put that in perspective, RIM stayed steady at 0.7% and Symbian, oddly enough, increased from 0.1% to 0.3%. The growth of Windows Phone can largely be attributed to Nokia and its launch of the Nokia Lumia 620, as well as its wider availability of the Lumia 820 and Lumia 920. And then there is low-cost Lumia 520/521.
As far as Android and iOS are concerned, Apple fell from 43.5% to 41.4% and that’s probably because we’re still waiting on a new iPhone refresh later this year. By contrast, Android grew slightly from 51.2% to 51.7% and this trend may continue when the numbers for the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S 4 come through. In any case, even though Windows Phone is a distant third, it has clearly established itself as the obvious third.