At a time when Android phone sales have nearly tripled from a year ago, iPhone sales continue to climb, and overall smartphone sales jumped 42 percent, the Windows Phone platform (formerly Windows Mobile) has done the seemingly impossible -- sold fewer phones in this quarter compared to a year ago. And the platform's potential savior, Nokia, has seen a decline in sales as well.
The numbers come from a survey by Gartner, looking at the third quarter of 2011, and comparing it to the same quarter a year ago. Overall, it found that smartphone sales worldwide were up 42 percent compared to a year ago, which makes the Windows Phone sales decline particularly alarming for Microsoft. Windows Phone sales dropped from 2.2 million a year ago to 1.7 million this quarter. Its market share declined from 2.7 percent to 1.5 percent. Android, meanwhile, had 60.5 million in sales for the quarter, up from 20.5 million a year ago. Its market share leaped from 25.3 percent to 52.5 percent. The iPhone sold 17.3 million in the quarter, versus 13.5 million a year ago. Its market share was 15 percent, down from 16.6 percent a year ago.
As for Nokia, the news was bad as well. It sold 105.4 million phones in the quarter compared to 117.5 million a year previous.
These numbers show just how much Microsoft has riding on new Nokia phones. Just yesterday, a joint Appcelerator/IDC survey found that 38 percent of developers are "very interested" in developing for Windows Phone 7, a leap of 8 percent compared to the last quarter. That interest was in large part because of the Nokia deal and because of the quality of Nokia's Lumia 800 Windows Phone 7 device.
Generally, where developers go, consumers follow. But given these new numbers that show how badly Windows Phone is doing, that may not eventually be the case here.
This story, "Windows Phone 7 Sales Drop Precipitously" was originally published by Computerworld.