According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, Windows Phone operating systems from Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) will capture 4% of the US smartphone market in 2012. While still trailing far behind market leaders Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), the 2012 figure marks a share gain of 1% for Microsoft when compared with 2011.
Microsoft’s hardware partners Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), HTC Corp., and Samsung Electronics will be the main drivers of sales growth. In terms of units sold, Microsoft is forecast to sell 5 million of 123 million total smartphones sold in the US this year.
Strategy Analytics’ executive director noted:
To grow further, we believe future versions of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 platform will need to dramatically improve support for advanced technologies like multi-core chipsets, enhance the Marketplace app store, expand the number of phone models available from major partners like Nokia or Samsung, and consider reducing the license fees it charges per unit to smartphone makers.
That’s a tall order, even for Microsoft.