Gartner: Windows Phone sales eclipse BlackBerry for first time in Q2

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Sales of smartphones running Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone operating system outpaced BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) device sales for the first time ever during the second quarter of 2013, research firm Gartner reports.

Consumers across the globe purchased 7.4 million Windows Phone devices in the second quarter, up from 4 million in the year-ago period and corresponding to 3.3 percent smartphone market share, Gartner said. BlackBerry sales slipped from 8 million in the second quarter of 2012 to 6.2 million in the most recent quarter, and its market share plummeted from 5.2 percent a year ago to just 2.7 percent.

Earlier this week, embattled BlackBerry announced its board of directors has formed a special committee to explore strategic alternatives, including a possible sale.

Worldwide mobile phone sales topped 435 million units in the second quarter, a year-over-year jump of 3.6 percent. Smartphone sales reached 225 million units, up 46.5 percent from a year ago and eclipsing feature phone sales for the first time. The Asia/Pacific market led the surge with smartphone sales growth of 74.1 percent, followed by Latin America (55.7 percent) and Eastern Europe (31.6 percent).

Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android continues to dominate the smartphone landscape with second-quarter 2013 sales of 178 million units, up from 98.6 million a year ago and translating to 79 percent worldwide market share, increasing from 64.2 percent. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) sold 32 million iPhones between April 1 and June 30, increasing from 29 million in the year-earlier period. The iOS platform nevertheless slipped to 14.2 percent global market share, down from 18.8 percent in the second quarter of 2012.

Samsung Electronics' Bada operating system fell from second quarter 2012 sales of 4.2 million to just 838,000 in the most recent quarter, and its market share slid from 2.7 percent to 0.3 percent. Symbian suffered an even greater decline as sales plummeted from 9 million a year ago to 631,000, and its market share dropped from 5.9 percent to just 0.2 percent. Nokia (NYSE:NOK) is halting shipments of Symbian-powered smartphones this summer.

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