Android is the world’s most popular smartphone operating system, followed by iOS. Windows comes in a distant third, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon… unless Windows movies further down the ladder.
According to a new report from Gartner, about 3 percent of all smartphones sold during the third quarter of 2014 ran Windows software. During the same period this year that number was just 1.7 percent.
In hard numbers, Gartner says about 9 million Windows handsets were sold in Q3, 2014. A year later the number was closer to 5.9 million.
According to a recent report from Ericsson, part of the problem is that Windows phone users aren’t as loyal to their platform as Android and iOS users.
This year about 82 percent of Android users who bought a new phone bought one running Android, while 73 percent of iPhone users who switched phones bought a new iPhone. But Ericsson says only about 20 percent of Windows phone users who bought a new phone purchased a model running Windows software. About 60 percent of users switched to Android phones, while about 15 percent switch to iOS.
Microsoft is clearly hoping to reverse the trend soon… the company’s Windows 10 software for mobile phone has new features including support for Universal Windows Apps and high-end phones like the Lumia 950 and 950 XL can support Continuum for phone features, allowing you to connect an external display and use your phone for some desktop-like activities.
The company is also encouraging developers to convert iOS, web, and classic Windows apps to Universal apps that can run on phones, tablets, and desktops… although plans to offer tools for migrating Android apps seem to be on hold.
But clearly Microsoft is facing an uphill battle in the smartphone space.
What about other operating systems? BlackBerry OS comes in a distance fourth place in the market-share wars, and BlackBerry has recently started offering phones that run Android. Meanwhile other operating systems including Tizen, Sailfish, Firefox OS and Ubuntu grabbing a small enough market share that they tend to be grouped together as “other” in most reports.