Microsoft Keeps Gaining Smartphone Momentum

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Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) Windows Phone is finally making a dent in the market. After initially launching in 2010 with an innovative new tile interface, replacing the legacy Windows Mobile platform, the software giant has now grown to become the No. 3 smartphone player.

There have been numerous reasons why Windows Phone is gaining relevance and momentum, but none are more important than strengthening relationships with OEMs and carriers. After all, for a software maker to sell its operating system, it needs someone to make the hardware and someone else to deliver the actual service.

Microsoft is getting second chances at numerous domestic carriers. Windows Phone 7 didn't fare very well on Verizon Wireless initially, but Big Red just recently launched a slew of Windows Phone 8 devices. Microsoft's history with Sprint is similar, with the HTC Arrive running Windows Phone 7 being quietly discontinued last year. Sprint is now about to launch the HTC 8XT, its first Windows Phone 8 device, in a week.

On the OEM front, Nokia (NYSE: NOK  ) is easily Microsoft's most important hardware partner. The Finnish company ships the majority of all Windows Phones in the world today, but that hasn't stopped Microsoft from expanding its OEM partnerships. Thus far, Microsoft's most prominent hardware partners are Nokia, Samsung, and HTC. Let's add another major vendor: LG Electronics.

LG's director of India Soon H. Kwon recently told Light Reading India that the South Korean company has a Windows Phone 8 device in the works. The smartphone is still in development at LG's South Korean headquarters. LG continues to gauge the market opportunity and hasn't specified any launch plans quite yet. Kwon reiterated LG's commitment to Google Android -- even though a separate LG exec said the company has no interest in building a new Nexus for Google -- but is confident that Windows Phone will keep gaining momentum as Microsoft continues to put more weight behind it.

LG recently ranked as the No. 3 smartphone vendor in the world behind Samsung and Apple. It more than doubled unit shipments in the first quarter relative to the prior year, and is preparing to launch a new Android flagship, the Optimus G2. LG is a vendor that Microsoft definitely wants in its corner as it continues to strengthen its position with carriers and OEMs alike.

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Read/Post Comments (9) | Recommend This Article (3)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On July 12, 2013, at 9:29 PM, wc259327 wrote:

    Isn't MS gain mostly due to Blackberry falling on its face? Is there really any momentum? I await the comments from WP8 users about how great there WP8 is and how android is junk.

  • Report this Comment On July 12, 2013, at 11:40 PM, mylove4life455 wrote:

    wc259327 ... you clearly know WP8 is better or you would not have said a thing....

  • Report this Comment On July 12, 2013, at 11:47 PM, engguy wrote:

    WP8 is already more popular in some countries than the iphone!

    As for " I await the comments from WP8 users about how great there WP8 is and how android is junk", I am a user of android from 1.5 days, owning two myself and using a dozen more all the way to 4.04. WP8 is hands down a better experience, and while there aren't a billion apps on it, there's no need for them either. Not to mention you can remove any and all carrier pre-installed apps with the touch of a button, something android does not let you do without voiding your warranty and possibly opening your phone to hackers. There are of course some issues, but none as bad as the garbage that's called android 2.3 (still most widely used OS after 2.4)

  • Report this Comment On July 13, 2013, at 5:30 AM, Kibernetik wrote:

    That's it!

    I'm reading the n-th Motley Idiot's and every single one amazes me as it is so idiotic it blows my mind.

    At first I though it was a parody news site like the Onion, but it actually tries to be serious.

    And it is so stupid it's amazing.

    I have no idea how this idiotic site still exists, but I really hope it won't be long.

    No, Microsoft will not get any smartphone share.

    It just won't, as long as Apple and Google stands.

    I realize that Microsoft payed you to write this, but it still blows my mind how can you write this utter garbage and not kill yourself from all this blatant lying.

  • Report this Comment On July 13, 2013, at 8:30 AM, Hjin wrote:

    @Kibernetik, numbers don't lie. MSFT had been gaining global shares of the mobile market. They are not necessarily making Android or iOS bleed customers. Instead, customers who formerly owned Symbian and Blackberry phones, as well as those switching up from old Nokia feature phones are the ones adopting windows phone 8 because they are not committed to either Android or iOS's ecosystem.

    There is a world beyond the United States.

  • Report this Comment On July 13, 2013, at 9:21 AM, tigerndawoodz wrote:

    My company just switched to WP8 phones. I like the tile interface, basically an icon. The actions on the phone are smooth, and it synchs with Office when I connect it to my computer.

    Nokia Lumia 928 on Verizon, 4G LTE. It's a quick phone also.

  • Report this Comment On July 13, 2013, at 2:31 PM, eldernorm wrote:

    WOW such haters and haters of haters.!!!!

    "There have been numerous reasons why Windows Phone is gaining relevance and momentum, "

    Yes Windows phone is gaining share. But number three is more like : #1, #2...............................

    ........................................ not yet .....................#3, #4.

    So, I would not hold my breath. Remember Kin 1 and Kin 2 and Zune and Vista.... etc.

  • Report this Comment On July 13, 2013, at 3:04 PM, JD80 wrote:

    The problem is the brick and mortar stores for the carriers. You walk in and they immediately take you to the Android phones. If you ask about Windows Phone they start bashing it with the typical "well if you don't use apps then Windows Phone is ok". My wife just bought a Lumia 928 and she loves it. The OS is extremely fast, there are tons of apps available and the camera is amazing.

  • Report this Comment On July 14, 2013, at 12:11 PM, darlenekaye wrote:

    Nokia lumia offers windows 8 on there cell phone products. Face Book is offered with windows 8.

    However, when entering to the Facebook account Facebook game apps are missing.

    Devise not compatible to windows for Facebook game apps. windows Store app does not provide access to Facebook games neither.

    Someone please fix this problem.

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