Ten years ago the smartphone market was tiny compared to what we have today, globally just 64m devices were sold, against the more than one billion that will find new owners even in today’s tightening sales climate.
With the smartphone being a device barely recognised outside of certain enterprise and geeky communities it was little wonder that the devices that were selling wouldn’t really count as smartphones today.
In the consumer market Nokia’s Symbian handsets had a clear lead, whilst in enterprise RIM’s upgraded pager dominated the market. Microsoft’s Windows Mobile managed a reasonable 8.95m sales, for 14% of the market. On the basis of its sales in the first half of 2016, Microsoft is going to fail to ship that many Windows 10 Mobiles even with the massive increase in overall market size.
Sales for the year to date of all Windows Mobiles (not just Microsoft branded devices) are just over 4m, with the trend being decidedly down. Which will come as no surprise to anybody at Microsoft I’m sure. Has it made the right move in crippling its mobile platform and what will the long-term impact?
Whatever the answers to those questions, the result today is that Windows on mobile devices has had ten years of growth wiped away in less than eighteen months.