It's not a secret that Windows Phone is far behind Android and iOS in terms of global market share, but it turns out that things are getting worse for Microsoft's smartphone platform these days.
Data provided by Gartner for 2014 shows that Windows Phone dropped from 3.2 percent in 2013 to 2.8 percent in 2014, even though Microsoft actually sold more devices.
Last year, Microsoft shipped more than 35 million devices, up from 30.7 million units in 2013, but the Redmond-based giant is still far behind Android, which shipped no less than 1 billion devices in 2014 and owns 80.7 percent of the market. Apple is the runner-up with 15.4 percent, or about 191 million sold units.
According to Gartner, the impressive Android growth was actually possible thanks to Chinese manufacturers, who created affordable devices that were sold in high numbers all over the world.
At the same time, Windows Phone experienced strong performance in a number of European markets, again with affordable devices, as Microsoft is yet to debut a new high-end device.
“Chinese and other smaller players drove Android's performance in 2014, while more established players at the higher end of the market continued to struggle to increase stickiness to their brands and ecosystems. Windows Phone's performance was flat but it recorded strong results in some markets in Europe, and in the business segment,” Gartner said.
Microsoft has high expectations of Windows 10, the next operating system that will also bring major updates on Windows Phone and which is expected to debut in the fall of 2015.
Redmond says that Windows 10 would bring together PCs and smartphones and will represent a big opportunity to gain market share, not only because most of its low-end devices would run it but also thanks to the arrival of new flagships that would see the light of day at about the same time as the OS.
Successors to Lumia 930 and 1520 are expected to launch later this year, alongside several other affordable models supposed to slow down the impressive growth of Android and help gain market share.