Microsoft's mobile platform is in terminal decline, that much is known. However, we still rely on market watchers to tell us the extent of Windows phone's fall. IDC has released its latest data on the state of the Windows phone market, including Windows 10 Mobile.
The market watcher says sales of Windows phone devices are inconsequential against iOS and Android. Sales have declined so drastically that they barely register. Only select manufacturers like HP and Alcatel are maintaining the ailing platform. Microsoft's own Lumia handsets are all but gone.
In its latest Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, IDC shows that Microsoft's Windows phone secured just 0.1% of smartphone volume through Q1 2017.
Through the first quarter of the year, 344.3 million smartphones were shipped. This was up 3.4 million units year-on-year, but while the market grew, Windows phone crumbled. During the period, Windows phone sales stood at around 344,300 units.
IDC says sales will continue to slip. Indeed, the company says Windows phone sales will drop 80.9% through the year and will take just 1.1 million total sales in 2017. In the grand scheme, there will likely be around one billion smartphones shipped this year. Microsoft's platform is barely registering.
“Windows Phone shipments continue to fall as the lack of new hardware partners, developer support, and overall enthusiasm for the platform show no immediate signs of recovery,” IDC says.
Currently, the company lists Windows as one of the big three mobile platforms. However, if sales continue to decline, it will place into the “other” category that does not include company-specific data.
IDC also referenced the reported Surface Phone. The handset is rumoured be Microsoft's return to mobile hardware. It will carry a game-changing design and could launch by next year. While the Surface Phone is unlikely to make sales explode, it will probably give Windows phone a general increase in fortunes.
“Microsoft has yet to fully commit to any “Surface”-style attack for smartphones or to push new vendors to embrace the platform, leaving little hope of mounting a full scaled comeback in the years to come,” added the market research company.
Earlier today, Microsoft posted an image on its Azure Facebook page. The photo seemed to show a new unseen device that matches the rumoured Surface Phone.