Gartner reported on the continuing slow, painful death of Windows Phone and Blackberry yesterday, with its view of 2016 Q4 sales. With Android and iOS together holding 99.6% of smartphone sales over the Christmas period we have really reached the point where there are only three categories to consider: Android, iOS and Other.
Nonetheless, Gartner estimated sales numbers for both Windows Phone and Blackberry. With Blackberry falling to just 200, 000 sales and Windows just breaking the million barrier.
These numbers all but match those for the same quarter in 2003, showing just how far things have wound back for the two companies. The difference being that in 2003 the total market in Q4 was 7m devices, in 2016 it was more than 350m.
Market leader in 2003 was Symbian, with Nokia selling more devices than anyone else. Second place was Palm. In fact of the top five vendors in 2003 only one (HP) has survived the arrival of the modern smartphone in anything resembling its original form.
With Blackberry phone sales heading towards zero in the very near future, only Microsoft will have survived through the first two epochs of smartphone history. The cost of this survival - if it ever gets accurately tallied up - would be beyond eye watering and even then only ever bought Microsoft a toehold in the market.
Future reporting of smartphone market performance promises to be quite boring, on the platform side anyway, and I'd like to see Gartner, Canalsys and Kantor switch to reporting Google Mobile Services and AOSP versions of Android as two seperate platforms.