The latest data from Comscore regarding the United States smartphone market isn’t great for Microsoft. The company’s Windows Phone platform managed no growth, ending the May period with a 3 month market share average of 3.4%, the same level that Comscore reported for the platform in February.
Android was flat, Apple picked up 0.6%, and Blackberry lost 0.6%. Android and Apple, however, control nearly the entire United States market, so to see little motion from them is hardly surprising. For Microsoft, which has invested billions into its mobile strategy, maintaining market share isn’t enough — it needs to grow.
Microsoft has seen some international success with Windows Phone, but given the importance of the United States market in terms of developer density, the company can’t afford to neglect its backyard. Microsoft recently announced an OEM kit that may increase support for its mobile platform.
Windows Phone or bust, you could say. Redmond recently deployed more than $7 billion to buy Nokia’s hardware business, in hopes of spurring its mobile efforts. It’s certainly true that as it has aged, Windows Phone has improved.
What Microsoft can do to breakthrough in the United States isn’t clear. The company’s recently announced Windows Phone 8.1 software update contains a number of new features, including Cortana, a voice-activated digital assistant most often compared to Apple’s Siri.
Now that the Nokia deal has closed, Microsoft can execute whatever strategy it’s had on tap. We’ll see the impact of that effort in the next set of data.