Apr 01, 2013 (07:04 AM EDT)
Windows Phone Gains At BlackBerry's Expense

Read the Original Article at InformationWeek

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Microsoft's Windows Phone platform may have gotten off to a shaky start in 2010, but it is slowly beginning to steal market share from its competitors. It saw decent growth in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Germany, Italy and Mexico during the last 12 months, but it remains far behind the market leaders.

Kantar Worldpanel released its findings for the three-month period ending February 13 and compared that data to the year-ago period. Here's what Kantar found.

In the U.S., Windows Phone grew from 2.7% of the market in February 2012 to 4.1% of the market in February 2013. That's a small tick of 1.4%, but enough to put it in third place -- ahead of BlackBerry. According to Kantar, BlackBerry's market share in the U.S. fell from 3.6% in February 2012 to 0.7% in February 2013.

It is important to point out, however, that this does not include sales of the BlackBerry Z10, which went on sale in the U.S. late last month. The Z10 is the first BlackBerry 10 smartphone and will likely impact these numbers in the months to come. Sales of BlackBerry's older smartphones fell significantly as both consumers and enterprise users either jumped to competing platforms or decided to wait for BlackBerry 10.

[ Get a firsthand look at the new BlackBerry smartphone. See BlackBerry Z10: My First Week. ]

Google's Android platform leads the U.S. with 51.2% (up from 45.4%) and has significantly increased its lead over iOS. Apple's iOS platform is in second place with 43.5% (down from 47%), giving Google a 7.7% lead. Google has 12.5 times the market share that Windows Phone does, and Apple has 10.6 times the market share that Windows Phone does. Those are tough odds for Microsoft to beat.

The story is similar in other markets, but Windows Phone made much bigger gains year-over-year outside the U.S.

In Great Britain, for example, Windows Phone more than doubled its market share from 3% to 6.7%. During the same period, Android jumped from 48.3% to 58.3%; iOS notched up from 28.9% to 29%; BlackBerry fell from 16.8% to 5.1% (ouch!); and Symbian fell from 2.4% to 0.6%.

In Germany, Android dominates with authority. Android jumped from 58.8% to 71% (wow!); iOS shrunk from 21.6% to 18.7%; Windows Phone grew from 6.3% to 6.8%; BlackBerry fell from 3.4% to 0.6%; and Symbian fell from 9% to 2%. It looks like not even iOS has a chance against Google's juggernaut platform with the Teutons.

Windows Phone has made the biggest inroads with Italians, where it holds 13.1% of the market. Windows Phone climbed 7.7 percentage points between 2012 and 2013. Android, however, rules in Italy, too, where it holds an impressive 57.1%. Android stole 6.1 percentage points from competing platforms, most likely from Symbian, which plunged from 17.6% in 2012 to 3.7% in 2013. Apple's iOS holds 23.1% of the Italian market, where it actually grew from 20.8%, and BlackBerry dropped from 3.4% to 2.0%.

At the end of day, no matter which market you look at, Android is the winner, and iOS is second. Windows Phone lands in the third position in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Italy and Australia.