Congratulations, Microsoft

After launching Windows Phone, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) has been very vocal about its ambitions of becoming the No. 3 operating system platform behind Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) and Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) . The iOS and Android duopoly strengthened further in the first quarter, gobbling up 92.3% of smartphone market share, according to the most recent estimates out of IDC.

That stated goal would inevitably entail overtaking BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY  ) . The Canadian company's market share has been sliding for years at the hands of iOS and Android, making Microsoft's job a little easier. Well, the software giant has done exactly what it set out to do.

Congratulations, Microsoft.

Source: IDC.

Microsoft has overtaken BlackBerry by a hair, with its 3.2% market share sliding ahead of BlackBerry's 2.9%. That's a testament to Nokia (NYSE: NOK  ) gaining traction with its Lumia lineup, even though increasing Lumia shipments haven't been enough to impress investors.

Nokia shipped 5.6 million Lumias in the first quarter, which represents a whopping 80% of the total 7 million Windows Phones that were shipped. The remaining 1.4 million is split between other OEMs HTC and Samsung. Huawei recently unveiled a Windows Phone 8 targeting prepaid consumers, but that was after the first quarter. All three of those manufacturers have a heavy focus on Android, so they have less to gain from Windows Phone's rise. Google's Android is very much the reason why Samsung is the top vendor in the world.

It's not surprising that Symbian posted the biggest decline of all platforms, down 89% from a year ago. Nokia has effectively abandoned the platform, but the silver lining is that Lumia sales are strong.

The figures also underscore the ceiling that Apple is running into. Its 7% growth severely underperformed the 42% growth in total smartphone shipments. This isn't news, as IDC released its vendor estimates in April that conveyed the same comparison. The platform estimates are just a gloomy reminder.

BlackBerry continues to mounts it turnaround on the backs of its Z10, Q10, and freshly unveiled Q5. With Microsoft only leading by a hair, it wouldn't take much for BlackBerry to reclaim its No. 3 title.

It's been a frustrating path for Microsoft investors, who've watched the company fail to capitalize on the incredible growth in mobile over the past decade. However, with the release of its own tablet, along with the widely anticipated Windows 8 operating system, the company is looking to make a splash in this booming market. In a new premium report on Microsoft, a Motley Fool analyst explains that while the opportunity is huge, so are the challenges. The report includes regular updates as key events occur, so make sure to claim a copy of this report now by clicking here.


Read/Post Comments (12) | Recommend This Article (7)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On May 17, 2013, at 1:05 AM, techy46 wrote:

    Yea, that's outstanding given it took 2 years MS and Nokia will have 10% by 2020.

  • Report this Comment On May 17, 2013, at 4:31 AM, justausier wrote:

    Oh Microsoft, how far have the mighty fallen? You sat on your hands when Apple came out with the iPhone, and you answer was what? Windows CE? The, when the iPad started growing in popularity, you came out with what? Oh yeah, nothing. And now, Android and iOS are fighting out the mobile market and Android and OSX are topping the tablet market and what do you answer with? Windows 8 and the Surface line?? Come on, that's not even trying!! You have 90% of the PC/Laptop OS market. Lord knows how much of the Server and Enterprise systems are yours. You freakin' OWN Office!! And you bring out Windows 8 and the Surface RT? Sorry, I'm not angry, I am just very disappointed in you.

  • Report this Comment On May 17, 2013, at 9:45 AM, eidsonb wrote:

    This whole article and underlying premise is garbage. Lip service is paid to the roll out and release of BB10 and the new handsets but no mention of the fact that BB7 sold so many units when all knew it was a legacy system. The people who have the BB stock shorted jumped on this news like it was the second coming when its really no news at all. BB7 was known to be a legacy system for a very long time and the pending release of BB10 impacted sells of handsets. The real test will be the other three quarters of 2013 when the Z10 and Q10 are in the US for a full quarter, the release of the Q5 in emerging markerts and IF BB can beat Apple in hte release of a 5 inch unit for the Holidays with the U10,,,,,,

    Back in Black Baby

  • Report this Comment On May 17, 2013, at 10:26 AM, Oril wrote:

    Every article this fool writes about blackberry belongs in the garbage. All one has to do is read the disclosures to realize how desperate he and the rest of the fools are to put blackberry down at every opportunity.

  • Report this Comment On May 17, 2013, at 11:03 AM, Beerfloat wrote:

    Lumia sales strong? I think the word you're looking for is 'tepid'.

  • Report this Comment On May 17, 2013, at 11:06 AM, mottom19 wrote:

    For years microsoft has designed great software, but now they are not only competing against other companies,they are competing against a world of programmers in the app stores.

    Maybe they should look at enticing programmers to program apps for windows phones. It seems that Programmers + Money + Apps = Success

  • Report this Comment On May 17, 2013, at 11:09 AM, HelpIsHere wrote:

    Thanks for the laugh, will you be on holidays when BlackBerry blows the doors off MS next quarter?

  • Report this Comment On May 17, 2013, at 12:44 PM, 64bitBrain wrote:

    girls use ipads for downloading recipes and sometimes the pads helpful during their periods.

    Boys use samsungs for playing games and music.

    Windows phones and tablets are used by real intellectuals, Engineers and scientists for solving real life problems like quantitative analysis, forecasting, nuclear modelling, etc.

  • Report this Comment On May 17, 2013, at 1:38 PM, NoWindows8LockIn wrote:

    Nokia would have been better off choosing ReactOs as their OS instead of Windows Phone 8. They could have had the best of both worlds:

    1. A Windows-compatible OS.

    2. A free and open source (FOSS) OS.

    3. Differentiation from the competition.

  • Report this Comment On May 17, 2013, at 4:43 PM, eidsonb wrote:

    @64....what does that make us Blackberry Users....

    This should be interesting,,,,,

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2013, at 3:46 AM, 64bitBrain wrote:

    @eidsonb....blackberries, the ultimate communication device saves the trip to the fruit shop

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2013, at 9:56 AM, ctyank99 wrote:

    You should congratulate Nokia, too! Without Nokia WP 8 would be nowhere! Nokia is making some fantastic phones and that is helping greatly to sell WP 8 OS. Hats off to Nokia!!!!

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