While Microsoft is struggling to survive in the smartphone market its feature phone sales surmount those running on Windows Phone.
Figures shared with International Business Times by research company IDC unveil that in the quarter ending in September 2015, Microsoft’s Lumia line of smartphones brought in $754 million, while its feature phone business brought in $765 million. Sales of its feature phone also jumped over $600 million in the previous quarter.
Windows Phone never generated astronomical sales, but for a period it saw some small growth in market share. Now, in just over a year it has seen a decline by almost two-thirds.
Declining sales in feature phone as well
Feature phones are also seeing a decline in sales. IDC analyst Francisco Jeronimo believes that with the decline of up to 40% per year, Microsoft’s feature phones will disappear completely in the next couple of years – at least in the developed markets.
“The feature phone segment will continue to exist, even if it represents a very small percentage of the market, but it will only be an opportunity for very small companies focusing on niche segments,” says Jeronimo.
Microsoft hasn’t been able to do what Sony and LG have done with its smartphone business by offsetting the decline in one with growth in the other. Its promise to reach a market share of 15% by 2018 seems far-fetched. The company is losing market share with its new Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL smartphones.
“Clearly Microsoft will have a major challenge to sell the Lumia 950 and the 950 XL at $500-plus when they have no traction in the high-end,” Jeronimo said. “The new strategy of focusing in the high-end only will be very risky and jeopardize the entire Windows Phone eco-system, unless they give enough support to their partners to launch low-end Windows 10 handsets.”
Biggest challenge in the smartphone market
Microsoft is struggling to get any major manufacturers to build smartphones running its latest software.
The biggest challenge for Microsoft right now is to convince manufacturers to produce Windows 10-based smartphones at price ranges that will help all sectors of the market. Some very small manufacturers may sign up, but it will need the support of major manufacturers such as, Samsung, LG, Sony or Huawei to keep going, but still, it is going to be a big challenge.
Source: International Business Times