Windows Phone scored a very impressive 156% “Leap . . . Year Over Year . . . ” in the third quarter 2013 new smart phone shipment report from IDC.
Windows Phone Naysayers are likely to wake up when they read this report. Ditto for market analysts who counted Microsoft out of the smart phone market a while ago. So the net result for Apple, when smart phones built on the Android O/S finally captured over 80% of the entire worldwide smart phone market, should be a somewhat significant deflation in its stock price. I’m cautious on this point as market analysts have stubbornly held onto “the forbidden fruit” quarter after quarter, turning a blind eye to the plans of Apple management to restrict their sales expansion efforts to the very high end of the market, only.
Ignoring the mass market will likely be increasingly difficult for Apple management as changes in the position of iPhone products, inevitably, have some impact on financial performance over coming quarters.
IDC estimates Windows Phone market share of new product shipments “is still less than 5%”. But the leap from no more than “. . . 3.7 million units a year ago . . . ” to somewhere south of 10 million units shipped, in the last quarter, is enormous. When one considers the contribution this business will make to Microsoft’s overall financial performance, once Nokia’s handset business is rolled into the company, congratulations should be in order for Messrs Balmer and crew.
I see few impediments to Microsoft continuing this pace of expansion over the next quarter, or two. I personally use a Nokia Lumia 925, as does my wife. I can attest, first hand to the friendliness of the user interface for this phone. Certainly the high end Lumia is not a solution for emerging markets, but it is certainly a device likely to take even more market share from Apple on the high end.
I would not be surprised, at all, to see some announcement from Redmond over then next few months of an intention to build a lower cost solution for emerging markets. Stay tuned to this one.
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