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Analyst: Nokia Achieves 'Baby Step' of Top Spot Among Windows Phone Vendors

In the land of limited smartphone market share, 1 million units is king.

Market researchers at Strategy Analytics on Friday released a report quantifying what became intuitively apparent when Nokia shared its earnings last month: Nokia is now the leading Windows Phone smartphone vendor.

In the culmination of a controversial strategic shift from Symbian to Windows Phone, Nokia started selling its first Windows Phone devices in November. During a late January earnings call, Nokia executives said they had sold more than 1 million of the Lumia 800 and 710 phones to that point.

Strategy Analytics counted 900,000 of those sales in Q4, and estimated total quarterly Windows Phone device shipments for all manufacturers at 2.7 million units. For Nokia, it's good for 33 percent of Windows Phone market share and more than enough to supplant HTC as the top Windows Phone vendor for the quarter.

For Windows Phone, Nokia's sales drove 36 percent sequential unit growth from the third quarter to the fourth -- an impressive boost and promising for Microsoft given that Nokia is just getting started and hadn't started selling units in the critical U.S. market at that point.

Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, put the milestone in perspective: "Nokia is by no means out of the woods yet, and it is still on a long road to recovery, but capturing top spot in the Microsoft ecosystem is an encouraging baby-step forward for the company."

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Posted by Scott Bekker on February 25, 2012 at 11:58 AM