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iPhone Passes Windows Mobile in Smartphone OS Market Share

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Windows Mobile, Microsoft’s (s msft) increasingly embarrassing single entrant in the smartphone OS field, can’t seem to hold onto the attention of the world’s consumers. A new survey by market research firm comScore sees Windows Mobile dropping one place in the overall rankings, and Apple’s (s aapl) iPhone gaining one, which puts it ahead of Microsoft.

The iPhone climbs to No. 2 in terms of general smartphone OS market share in the U.S., while Windows Mobile drops to third. Research In Motion’s (s rimm) BlackBerry OS still tops the list, and in fact does so with an impressive gain in customers over the course of 2009, according to a breakdown of the report by DailyTech.

comScore compiles its results for the smartphone survey every three months, collecting data from thousands of U.S. consumers. The latest three-month period, the one which is detailed in this latest report, ended in October of this year.

RIM, as mentioned, saw pretty significant growth throughout the year. At the beginning of 2009, it had just under 10 million customers, and according to the comScore report, it now boasts 14.96 million in the U.S. RIM has been employing aggressive pricing strategies to compete with the iPhone’s success, including handset giveaways and deep discounts, and it looks like the BlackBerry maker’s efforts have paid off nicely.

Windows Mobile actually showed negative growth — it’s the only smartphone company that can make this unfortunate claim, and now has around 7.13 million users. Buyers could be shy of committing to a device that runs Windows Mobile 6.5 when version 7 is set to launch sometime early in 2010. Everyone else, including Palm’s (s palm) WebOS, Google’s (s goog) Android, and Symbian all experienced modest gains. Android still tails all others, but during the most recent period it broke the 1 million mark, and I’d expect to see it surge even further on the strength of the Droid in upcoming surveys.

As for the iPhone, it grew to 8.97 million users over the period ending in October. That’s a pretty impressive lead over Windows Mobile, though it means Apple still has a lot of ground to make up before it can snatch the crown from powerhouse RIM. It’s even more impressive when you consider that at the beginning of the year, the iPhone only had around 5 million users, meaning it experienced about 70 percent growth over the course of 2009, a performance that likely has a lot to do with the release of the 3GS and the significant price drop and continued sales of the 3G model.

Overall, the smartphone market continues to do well. Roughly 11.8 percent of the American population claims to now own one, according to this most recent poll.

13 Responses to “iPhone Passes Windows Mobile in Smartphone OS Market Share”

  1. I’m no expert, but judging by the number of new phones running Android, comparing back-to-back timelines of O.S. version and enhancement releases, it won’t be long before Android makes it to the other side of that graph. Look out iPhone. :)

  2. I had a windows mobile device sometime ago before the iPhone came out. It would either reset itself or just freeze every other week and I had to re-install all my apps. MS tried to just throw windows on a 3rd party phone and expected people to buy the device. No thought into UI or userability and of course it’s windows so you expect the device to freeze. Go Apple Go!

  3. Doppelganger

    Are you sure about the ‘WebOS’ marketshare?

    I cant believe that the Pre and Pixi have outsold Android.
    Also i believe in other charts, it simply says ‘Palm’ referring to pre(before) WebOS as there are so few Web OS units to make a difference.

    Just wondering where the chart came from.

  4. Thanks for the interesting article! I think Blackberry is in first place because they’re giving away Blackberries for free in their ongoing “2 for 1” promotion. And just because more people own Blackberries doesn’t mean that they love them like people love their iPhones. Everybody KNOWS the iPhone is better, it’s just a matter of WHEN they’re going to get one. For many people, they can’t switch to AT&T due to poor coverage in their homes or offices.

    • whoa, whoa, hold on! Are you saying that the iphone just recently got more market share than windows mobile? Theres a shocker. I thought it was dead last. Even Android! You learn something new everyday.
      P.S- Im not baggin on wm, i have an omnia, but this is really surprising. Ive never seen another wm device ever, other than in a store. And im always seeing iphones.