Sorry BlackBerry: based on shipments, Windows Phone is running ahead

In a reversal from the second quarter a year ago, more Microsoft(s msft) Windows Phone handsets are shipping than BlackBerry(s bbry) phones. Android(s goog) and iOS(s aapl) are surely running away in the smartphone market, but the race for no. 3 appears to be tilting in Microsoft’s favor of late.
The shipment data comes from research firm IDC, which released the numbers on Wednesday. IDC’s information says that Windows Phone shipments grew 77.6 percent from the year ago period while BlackBerry shipments actually dropped 11.7 percent around the world. In a growing market, BlackBerry should be shipping more phones than it did a year ago, not less, especially when the quarter included sales of both the Z10 and Q10 handset although the latter launched late in the time period.
Using the shipment data for market share numbers, both are still far behind the Android and iOS platforms, which earned 79.3 percent and 13.2 percent in worldwide shipments during the second quarter of 2013. Last year, however, Blackberry had a market share lead over Windows Phone, which vanished last quarter. According to IDC, the 8.7 million Windows Phone shipments accounted for 3.7 percent of the overall market. BlackBerry’s 6.8 million only earned 2.9 percent of the smartphone market.

This is Z10, the first BlackBerry 10 handset Thumbnail

It’s worth noting that there could be some sales disparity in IDC’s numbers, because shipments includes devices sent from the handset maker to retailers and carriers. Given that some phones are on store shelves or in warehouses, not every shipped phone is a sold phone.
Regardless, my own observations line up with what the IDC data is telling us: Windows Phone currently has more momentum than BlackBerry 10. Neither is ready to displace Android or iOS, but at this point, Windows Phone has the better chance to become a solid third place thanks to more hardware choices arriving often and a potential halo effect from those happy with Windows 8 computers and tablets.
On the same day as IDC’s numbers, CBCNews is reporting that three senior BlackBerry executives are leaving the company. This follows reports of 250 employee layoffs just two weeks ago. The executives are:

  • Doug Kozak, vice-president, corporate information technology operations.
  • Carmine Arabia, senior vice-president, global manufacturing and supply chain.
  • Graeme Whittington, vice-president, service operations.

While BlackBerry says it is the middle of its second transitional phase to examine the organization, letting go of key executives is another sign that there’s still much work to be done in Waterloo. I’ll be curious to see next quarter’s numbers as the Q10 will have a full quarter under its belt.