While Windows Phone OS appears to be gaining a little traction in the smartphone market, BlackBerry OS usage is taking a nosedive, and has been for some time. A report by WMPoweruser, an independent Windows Phone enthusiast community, this weekend estimated that Windows Phone will overtake BlackBerry OS usage by the end of November. This conclusion is based on StatCounter data from the beginning of 2012 that was extrapolated.
RIM's fascinating and ongoing struggles are mostly to blame for this shift at the bottom of the smartphone market. Still, Microsoft shouldn't be overlooked for the small, yet steady, growth Windows Phone has seen throughout 2012.
While RIM has been delaying its new BlackBerry 10 product launch, Microsoft has been iteratively improving the Windows Phones OS. With the help of Nokia's Lumia 900, reviews of a Windows Phone finally rivaled those of an iPhone or high-end Android device. A report this summer stated that Microsoft's upcoming Windows Phone 8 could be the most developer-friendly smartphone OS on the market.
Unfortunately for RIM and Microsoft, the quality or timeliness of either BlackBerry 10 or Windows Phone 8 aren't likely to matter much this fall. The schadenfreude people feel toward RIM and the "little smartphone OS that could" story beginning to surround Windows Phone will be drowned out by the oncoming rush of iPhone 5 fever. Just today, Apple became the most valuable publicly-traded stock in U.S. history. Just it's iPhone-related sales now eclipse the entirety of Microsoft.
Samsung is making progress at consolidating Android fans and customers who haven't jumped on the Apple hype bandwagon, but still can't match the sales that Apple is seeing. The fact remains Windows Phone, no matter how well designed, has years of steady growth to go before it could hope to be a real force in the smartphone market. Sadly for RIM, it doesn't appear that BlackBerry 10 will come in time to make any impact at all.