Shipments of Windows Phones more than doubled in the third quarter of this year, according to IDC, which put the boom mainly down to Nokia, whose devices accounted for most of the extra shipments.
According to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, in Q3, some 9.5 million Windows Phones were shipped globally – up 156 per cent year on year. The growth spurt took its market share figure to 3.6 per cent, overtaking ailing phone maker BlackBerry whose share more than halved to 1.7 per cent over the same period.
This year, Microsoft has been eager to rebrand itself as a devices and services company but its initial forays into the hardware market have endured a shaky start. Its Surface tablet left a $900m (£591m) dent in its income statement for its full fiscal 2013 and despite its strong growth this quarter, its share of the market remains modest.
IDC said that Windows Phones' growth was driven by recently acquired Nokia, whose devices accounted for the majority of shipments.
"By itself, Nokia accounted for 93.2 per cent of all the Windows Phone-powered smartphones shipped during the quarter, marking a new milestone in the company's short history on the Microsoft platform," said IDC.
"Participation from other vendors, meanwhile, still seemed a mixed bag, with more vendors participating from a year ago, but volumes still far behind Nokia's own."
Market leader Android's market share reached a record high – 81 per cent – in Q3 on the back of 211.6 million shipments, up 51.3 per cent annually.
Apple shipped 33.8 million iPhones in the quarter, up 25.6 per cent annually. This handed it a 12.9 per cent market share, down from 14.4 per cent this time last year.
Despite its shrinking share, IDC said history had taught it not to underestimate Apple's operating system.
"[iOS] saw its market share decline during [Q3], most likely due to soft demand in the weeks leading up to the launch of iOS 7 smartphones," it said.
"Still, if the nine million units sold during the last week of September is any indication of future adoption, iOS stands to reap another record quarter in terms of volumes, market share, and year-over-year growth."
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