Microsoft Windows Phones Pass BlackBerry in Global Shipments

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Microsoft ( MSFT) picked up some good news by moving up in worldwide smartphone rankings while BlackBerry ( BBRY) suffered a wrenching disappointment.

According to first quarter results from IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker when viewed by installed operating systems Google's ( GOOG) Android-based smartphones lead the industry with Apple ( AAPL) iOS devices back in second place.

But the third and fourth place finishers were the real news in the latest rankings. For the first time, Microsoft and its Windows Phone operating system are now in third place inching ahead of BlackBerry OS products.

BlackBerry was dropping 1.6% to $14.76 in mid-day trading while Microsoft was up 0.7% to $34.09.

In the first quarter, Android increased its market share by nearly 80% compared to the same period a year ago. More than 162 million Android phones were shipped in the first quarter giving the operating system a whopping market share of 75%.

Apple also increase its market share over 2012 numbers by 6.6%. The maker of the iPad and iPhone shipped a reported 37.4 million iOS-based phones for a 17.3% market share.

Combining the first and second place results show that Google and Apple now control an overwhelming 92.3% share of the total market having shipped nearly 200 million units - an overall increase of more than 59%.

The real eye-opener of the survey was Microsoft and its 133.3% increase, year over year. According to IDC's numbers, Windows Phones accounted for 3.2% of global shipments with 7 million units in the first quarter of this year. The survey finds that most of the increase was due to a boost from Nokia ( NOK) shipments worldwide.

As for BlackBerry, these results were not so encouraging. Products based on the Blackberry operating system posted a double-digit decline over last year's results. Blackberry shipments were off more than 35% year-to-year. That means just 6.3 million units went out the door for a 2.9% industry share. On the plus side, BlackBerry didn't announce or begin selling their new OS 10-based model until the middle of the quarter. It will be interesting to see full quarter results from the current April-through-June time period.

Linux-based smartphones were in fifth place with a 1% market share and 2.1 million units shipped.

And, for Symbian, the once global leader now abandoned by Nokia, some very sad numbers. Symbian devices accounted for only 1.2 million units or a 0.6% market share. In terms of year-over-year, Symbian shipments dropped 88.5% with most adherents preferring Android and Windows phone.

--Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

Gary Krakow is TheStreet's senior technology correspondent.

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