Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) got a lot of question marks and a lot of criticism a couple of years ago when CEO Stephen Elop – formerly of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) – made the decision to not only dump the native Symbian operating system for the company’s handsets, but to also latch onto a single OS for all of its devices when it allied with Windows.
Many handset makers do not like to take a do-or-die, all-in approach. Several handset manufacturers produce devices that run on different operating systems so as to provide cover for themselves if one of them tanks with consumers. Elop went in with a lot of faith in Windows and Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) to work together, and so far the returns are looking more positive for both Nokia and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), though the market in the smartphone arena seems to be getting smaller for those not named Android by Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) or iOS by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). But it does seem that of that smaller pond, Nokia and Microsoft seem to be the big fish in the race for the almost inconsequential No. 3 spot among smartphones.
According to the latest market survey by Kantar WorldPanel ComTech, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS both gained market share in the last three months that ended in April, but Microsoft Windows Phone saw the biggest percentage gain overall in the market.
According to Kantar, Android and iOS own about 93 percent of the smartphone market at this point, with Android at 51.7 percent (up from 50.3 a year ago) and iOs at 41.4 percent (up from 39.1 percent). In the No. 3 spot – for what it is worth – in the market, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone has risen over the last year to take up 5.6 percent of the overall market, up from 3.8 percent a year earlier. But what is noteworthy is that the 5.6 percent share consists of 81 percent of the non-Big Two market, which indicates that consumers who want another choice besides Android and iOS are turning to Windows Phone in dominant numbers.
So what are the alternatives?