Windows Phone 7 Isn't Halting Microsoft's Smartphone Slide

The latest figures from comScore show that Microsoft's share of the smartphone market is still dropping.

The release of Windows Phone 7 hasn't diminished the downward spiral for Microsoft in the smartphone market, according to figures released by comScore. Despite generally good reviews for Windows 7, Microsoft's U.S. smartphone market share has dropped by 35 percent since Windows Phone 7 went on sale last November.

For the three months ended May 2011, Windows Phone fell 1.9 percentage points to 5.8 percent market share. Research in Motion lost an even bigger chunk of share, down 4.2 percentage points 24.7 percent. It's now third in the market behind Google Android and Apple iOS.

Google was the big winner, widening its lead over Apple despite Apple picking up Verizon as a carrier. It gained 5.1 percentage points to 38.1 percent, while Apple grew 1.4 percent to 26.6 percent.

When Windows Phone 7 shipped in November 2010, Microsoft had 9 percent of the market, and Microsoft's new hardware partner Nokia had 7.2 percent of the handset market. Since then, Apple has supplanted Nokia on comScore's Top 5 smartphone handset vendors.

Given that Nokia doesn't show up in either of comScore's charts for top handset makers or operating systems, it's pretty hard to see how these two can turn around each other's fates, never mind the prediction made by IDC that Windows Phone 7 will account for more than 20 percent market share by 2015. But a lot can happen in four years.

At least the developer situation is a little brighter. The blog Windows Phone Applist says Windows Phone 7 has almost 26,000 apps. Just last March at the MIX show Microsoft said it had 11,500 apps. It pales next to 425,000 iOS apps and Android Market’s 200,000 apps but when you start from zero, that's good momentum.

Microsoft is currently working on "Mango," the next version of Windows Phone, due later this year. So far, developers seem to like what they see in Mango. It will be demonstrated next week at the Worldwide Partner Conference in Los Angeles, which I will attend. Expect a report next week.

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

IT Salary Survey: The results are in