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MS smartphone share falls despite WinPho 7

Android takes top spot from RIM

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The arrival of Windows Phone 7 has not reversed Microsoft's declining smartphone market share in the US.

Microsoft had eight per cent of the US smartphone market in the three months through January - a drop of 1.7 per centage points, according to comScore.

Google's Android took the number-one spot for the first time, growing 7.7 percentage points to 31.2 per cent, while Research in Motion (RIM) fell 5.4 percentage points to 30.4 per cent.

Windows Phone 7 was launched by Microsoft in October, but handsets loaded with the mobile operating system went on sale in the US in November, making comScore's stats the first to cover sales of the platform.

Microsoft has not provided its own sales numbers for Windows Phone 7.

Significantly for a mobile operating system getting a big consumer focus from Microsoft, comScore's numbers also cover the Christmas shopping season. The numbers indicate that Windows Phone 7 was not a big hit among the phone-buying public, but Microsoft can argue that a relatively small number of handsets were available in the period compared to the competition. The company is working with only five phone makers, and those makers are putting a limited number of handsets out there.

Just HTC, Samsung, LG, Asus, and Dell have been allowed to ship Windows Phone 7 handsets. That said, Samsung and LG were the number one and number two smartphone providers during the three months to January 2011, according to comScore, with 24 per cent and 20 per cent of mobile subscribers using their handsets - relatively unchanged.

But both Samsung and LG have been getting Android-happy on phones and slates.

It's likely Windows Phone 7 had the odds stacked against it, given that the Microsoft rot has been in full effect for at least two years. Windows Phone 7 started with zero per cent market share, when you consider it's a completely new development and runtime platform compared to the version of Windows for mobile it supersedes. ®

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