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Microsoft has fought back from the dead in smartphones, with Windows Phone 7 having a “stronger start” than Google’s Android did, according to analyst firm IDC Australia.
IDC, which tracks mobile phone sales on a quarterly basis, today released its results for Q4 of last year. Windows Phone 7, which went on sale on October 20, snagged a 4.4 per cent share for the quarter.
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Nokia’s Symbian maintained first place with a 32.2 per cent share, followed by Apple’s iOS (30.3 per cent) and Android (25 per cent).
The above figures are for smartphones only, which now make up almost two thirds of mobile phone shipments.
“I would say WP7 has had a strong start, given the short time it’s been in the market and the strong growth from Android, Apple and large increase by Symbian in Q4,” said IDC telecommunications analyst Mark Novosel.
“Given all that to see a 4.4 per cent share in the launch quarter is a very promising start.”
Novosel noted that Google’s Android platform took 18 months to make a serious impact on the market.
“So WP7 has certainly had a stronger start than Android did, although it’s coming into the market with a lot more competition than when Android launched,” he said.
But Novosel still mainains that Android will be the number one smartphone platform before the middle of this, possibly as early as the end of this month.
The latest WP7 handset, HTC’s HD7, was launched yesterday and will be available from March 29 exclusively on Telstra’s network.
The device, which will sell for $768 outright, includes a large 4.3-inch screen and a flipout kickstand for convenient video viewing.
Novosel said he believed the HD7 was a “very capable device” and he particlarly fancied the large screen.
“The biggest drawback at the moment for me is the lack of multitasking; after being on Android for the best part of the past year, it’s very hard to now use an OS where you can’t do many things at once,” he said.
“When they release the update and bring multitasking to the platform, it will take on a whole new dimension.
“One thing I particularly like about WP7 is the email experience – it’s very intuitive, for exampe to select multiple messages you just touch at the left of the email and it brings up the multi-select option; emails are displayed beautifully.”