Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): This Company is Gaining Smartphone Market Share

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Microsoft CorporationWhen Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) announced its Lumia running Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone on Nov. 28, 2011, no one really knew whether the phone would be a success or not. Now, slowly but surely, the phone is gaining meaningful market share in the fast-growing smartphone market. Two recent reports, in particular, uncover surprisingly bullish data for Nokia’s Lumia.

An Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) world
During the first 12 months of the phone’s existence, Lumia sales were pretty insubstantial. This changed, however, when Nokia announced 4.4 million units sold in the fourth quarter. That figure was an increase of 51% from the prior quarter.

When we consider the sales volume of its competitors, however, these numbers seem less impressive. Apple, for instance, sold 47.8 million iPhones during the corresponding quarter. Samsung sold a whopping 63 million smartphones. Most of the latter devices, of course, use Google‘s Android for their mobile OS. When it comes to monster sales, Apple and Samsung are on top.

Together, Google and Apple make up about 90% of top smartphone platforms in the U.S., according to a study published last week by COMSCORE, Inc. (NASDAQ:SCOR) that measures installed user base of smartphone platforms. So far, the smartphone market is still an Apple and Google world. So Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s place in the highly competitive market may seem small, but the company is vying for third place.

Two surprising reports
comScore revealed that Microsoft earned the No. 4 spot among smartphone operating systems in the U.S., with a 3.2% share in February compared to 3% in November. Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)‘s market share, on the other hand, fell substantially — from 7.3% in November to 5.4% in February. The change in sales is likely even more drastic. As MacRumors notes, “comScore’s data tracks installed user base rather than new handset sales, which means it is more reflective of real-world usage but slower to respond to shifting market trends than some other studies.”

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