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Gartner: Windows Phone sales plummet while Android sales triple

Windows Phone 7 is losing ground, new market share research shows.

Microsoft is losing what little ground it had in the smartphone market, according to the latest stats from Gartner. Ever hear of Bada? And yet that smartphone OS from Samsung sold more units and owns more of the overall worldwide market than Windows Phone. This despite massive advertising by Microsoft, the Mango update, and all the other expenditures that Microsoft has invested in its smartphone platform.

Microsoft sold a mere 1.7 million phones in 3Q 2011, giving it a meager 1.5 market share, compared to about 2.2 million units in the year-ago quarter, which amounted to 2.7% share. But it's not that people weren't buying. People bought more phones in 3Q '2011 than they did in 3Q 2010. Android experienced massive growth, overtaking No. 2 Symbian (Yes, still Nokia's Symbian ...) and now claiming 50% of the market. Apple's iOS also saw healthy growth, too.

Microsoft might not be sweating it out too badly yet. Despite a lot of turmoil, turns out that Nokia continues to be the manufacturer selling the most phones at 23% market share although its lead is slipping away. Samsung and LG were the next two biggest, and Microsoft has managed to strong-arm fees from each of these on every Android phone they sell.

So unless Barnes & Noble can convince the DOJ to investigate Microsoft over possible antitrust allegations over its use of patents to get Android license fees, a healthy Android market is good for Redmond.

As for Windows Phone, so far, not so good.

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