Here’s a line you may have read before: Windows Phone had a pretty rough time of it last quarter. While the underdog smartphone OS has always struggled to maintain significant market share, it looks like Microsoft's mobile platform may now be struggling to stay on the market at all. In the first quarter of 2016, Windows Phone’s market share dropped to 0.7%, down from 2.5% in the same quarter of last year, according to Gartner.
The same report from Gartner says that as a whole, the smartphone market growth spurt seems to be coming to an end. In the first quarter of 2015, global smartphone sales grew 19.3% year-over-year. In the first quarter of 2016, they grew by just 3.9%. Still, Windows Phone has fared the worst of the major smartphones in this slowing growth, possibly due to delays in device releases and poor third-party manufacturer interest.
Microsoft purchased Nokia’s troubled Devices and Services business back in 2014 for $7.17 billion, allowing the two companies to work together closely on the Lumia line. However, that partnership has never yielded the hit that Microsoft needed to jump-start its mobile platform. The company eventually eliminated 7,800 jobs from its mobile business and took a write-down of $7.6 billion on assets related to the Nokia acquisition. It remains to be seen whether Microsoft will ever introduce its long-rumored Surface phone, but another nail in the coffin like this one can't help.