Microsoft Corporation (MSFT), Research In Motion Ltd (BBRY): Race for 3rd in 2-Horse Race?

You have to feel for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY). The poor saps have gotten themselves caught in the undertow of the smartphone market wave that has been ridden by Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Android by Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG). That is kinda what happens hen you’re late to the wave. At that point you have to be careful that other surfers or surfboards don’t clock you in the head.

Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)In the spirit of the Triple Crown, we’ll throw another bad metaphor out there. It became clear that when Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) finally produced Windows Phone 8 and Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) followed suit a short time later with BlackBerry 10, it was as if a couple of 50-to-1 long shots got into the gate 15 seconds after the start of the race, when the favorites are already half-way down the opening stretch. One of those long shots will have to be Seabiscuit to get into the race again.

IDC came out with its regular quarterly report on the smartphone market, and Seabiscuit is nowhere to be found at this point. But for what it’s worth, Windows Phone has finally overtaken Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) BlackBerry as the top out-side-of-duopoly choice in the smartphone market.

While Android and iOS make up more than 92 percent of the market (up from 82 percent a year ago), Windows Phone by Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has moved into third place with 3.2 percent of the overall market and 42 percent of the market not owned by iOS or Android. That actually compares pretty favorably to iOS by Apple, which has only about 19 percent of the Android-iOS combined market. Meanwhile, BlackBerry by Research in Motion has fallen back to 2.9 percent after having 6.4 percent of the market a year ago.

Overall, Android by Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) grew in numbers by nearly 80 percent, from about 90 million devices in the first quarter of 2012 to more than 162 million this year. Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) grew in number by 6.5 percent but lost market share from 23 percent to 17 percent. Windows Phone shipments rose by 133 percent to 3.2 million from 2 million, while Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) BlackBerry fell back 35 percent from 9.7 million to 6.3 million units.

What are your thoughts? Is Apple Inc (NADAQ:AAPL) at risk of losing more market share as Android expands and now Windows Phone is being offered on a wider line of handsets by Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK)? Can either Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) or Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) ever challenge either of the two big boys? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.