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BlackBerry Losing Significant Market Share in U.S.

Two and a half years ago, Microsoft set out a goal. The company wanted to become the No. 3 operating system platform in the mobile universe.  This, in no uncertain terms, meant overtaking BlackBerry (TSX:BB).

On a worldwide basis, Microsoft accomplished exactly that in the first quarter. IDC’s estimates pegged Microsoft’s global market share a hair above BlackBerry’s for the first time ever. Most of Windows Phone’s gains are attributable directly to Nokia and its Lumia lineup, which now comprises four out of every five Windows Phones sold throughout the world.

Well, Kantar Worldpanel ComTech has just released its latest digits on the important U.S. smartphone market, and the estimates show that Microsoft is crushing BlackBerry.

U.S. Smartphone Share

3   Mths Ending Apr 2012

3   Mths Ending Apr 2013

BlackBerry

5.3%

0.7%

Windows

3.8%

5.6%

Source: Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

Over the course of a year, Microsoft has grown its domestic market share while BlackBerry continues to slide, now claiming less than 1%.

BlackBerry modestly increased its position at No. 2 carrier AT&T, but lost a lot of traction at the No. 1 carrier Verizon Wireless. Verizon is giving Windows Phone another shot, as the company likes to root for the underdogs with hopes that the ensuing competition will bring down subsidy costs.

The next quarter’s figures will be more telling of which direction BlackBerry is headed, as it will include a full quarter’s worth of Z10 sales. The Q10 is also about to launch, which may tap into the niche segment of hardware keyboard enthusiasts.

Can Microsoft cement itself as the No. 3 contender, or will BlackBerry retake the bronze?

Foolish Takeaway

Blackberry is a polarizing stock and until more time passes with its new product line-up in the market, it’s impossible to know with any degree of certainty what the future might hold for this company.

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The original version of this post, authored by Evan Niu, appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Evan Niu owns shares of Verizon Communications.  The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft.    

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