Windows Phone shipments surge 77 percent in second quarter
Global shipments of smartphones running Microsoft's mobile OS jumped more than 77 percent, says research firm IDC.
Windows Phone saw the biggest leap in global shipments among all mobile platforms last quarter.
For the second quarter, Windows Phone handset shipments shot up by 77.6 percent from the prior year's quarter, according to a report out Wednesday from IDC. The number of shipments reached 8.7 million from 4.9 million.
The increase helped win Microsoft a 3.7 percent chunk of the worldwide smartphone market, solidifying its spot as the third largest mobile platform ahead of BlackBerry and behind Android and iOS. Microsoft's spot, however, is a very distant third.
Nokia provided most of the boost by releasing two new smartphones and grabbing more carriers during the quarter. The Finnish phone maker accounted for 81.9 percent of all second-quarter Windows Phone shipments, IDC said.
"Last quarter we witnessed Windows Phone shipments surpassing BlackBerry and the trend has continued into the second quarter," Ryan Reith, program manager with IDC's Mobility Tracker programs, said in a statement. "Nokia has clearly been the driving force behind the Windows Phone platform and we expect that to continue. However, as more and more vendors enter the smartphone market using the Android platform, we expect Windows Phone to become a more attractive differentiator in this very competitive market segment."
Android shipments rose by 73.5 percent to 187.4 million for the quarter, keeping Google's mobile OS in the lead by a wide margin with a market share of 79.3 percent. Samsung contributed heavily to that growth with the launch of its Galaxy S4. But LG and Chinese vendors such as Huawei, Lenovo, and ZTE also helped with hefty increases in both shipments and market share.
iPhone shipments rose by 20 percent last quarter. But Apple's cut of the smartphone market dropped to 13.2 percent from 16.6 percent a year ago in the absence of a new model iPhone.
"The iOS decline in the second quarter aligns with the cyclicality of iPhone," Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC's Mobile Phone team, said in a statement. "Without a new product launch since the debut of the iPhone 5 nearly a year ago, Apple's market share was vulnerable to product launches from the competition. But with a new iPhone and revamped iOS coming out later this year, Apple is well-positioned to re-capture market share."
Overall, the mobile industry shipped 236.4 million smartphones last quarter, up 51.3 percent from the 156.2 million shipped in last year's second quarter.