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Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NOK), Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Lumia 920 Propels Windows to 3rd Place in Smartphone Wars

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Kantar Worldpanel released their latest mobile market share report for the three month period ending February 2013. Digging into the data reveals a few notable trends; Windows is winning the battle for third place in the smartphone industry, Android is cutting into iOS’s market share domestically, and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is making big gains in China.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is winning the battle for third place

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)‘s Windows market share cracked 4% in February on strong results from Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK)’s Lumia 920 handset. Kantar reported sales have been driven by customer appeal rather than promotions which is a big support for margins.

Notably, the Windows 8 platform has gained a foothold in other markets during the past year. In Britain Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s market share more than doubled to 6.7%; in Australia Windows’ market share increased 1.7 points to 3.4%; and most incredibly in Italy the company’s market share has gained 7.7 points to 13.1%.

The fastest growing space in the smartphone market is occurring a the mid-price point where Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) is well-positioned. The company has aggressively priced its offerings with the Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) Lumia 520 and Lumia 620 selling for an unsubsidized price of $180 and $249 respectively. The company’s smartphone offerings are also finding success in emerging markets. Nokia Windows devices are out-shipping the iPhone in several important countries including India and Russia.

No apparent signs of a turnaround at Blackberry. The company launched its new Z10 device in the U.K. in January. However, Blackberry’s British market share declined 0.7 points last month to 5.1%. There doesn’t appear to be any pent-up demand for new smart phone devices after the recent release of Apple’s iPhone 5 and the Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (KRX:005930) Galaxy.

So based on the above graphic, I guess we can declare Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has taken third place in the smartphone wars.

Er…not so fast. The race for the bronze medal is still too early to call.

First, this report only includes one month of BlackBerry’s latest Z10 handset launch in the U.K. and misses most of the product launch in the U.S. Second, BlackBerry consumers may be holding off their purchase until the Q10 device comes out in April or May. We won’t be able to call a winner until September.

Android continues to dominate domestically

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Android operating system continues to strengthen its position in the marketplace and now accounts for over half of all sales in the United States. Android U.S. market share increased 1.8 points in February and 5.8 points year-over-year.
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