Cape Town - Mobile phones running the Microsoft Windows Phones operating system have overtaken BlackBerry as the third most popular platform, research showed.
On Wednesday, Gartner announced that smartphones powered by the Windows Phone OS had captured 3.3% of the market, up from 2.6% over the same three months in 2012.
BlackBerry's global share fell to 2.7% from 5.2% over the same period.
"Smartphones accounted for 51.8% of mobile phone sales in the second quarter of 2013, resulting in smartphone sales surpassing feature phone sales for the first time," said Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner.
As expected, Android continued to top world smartphones sales at 79%, extending its market share from 64.2% in 2012. The iOS OS that powers iPhones came in second at 14.2%, down from 18.8% a year ago.
Gartner warned that despite Microsoft's increasing share, it should focus on application development.
"While Microsoft has managed to increase share and volume in the quarter, Microsoft should continue to focus on growing interest from app developers to help grow its appeal among users," said Gupta.
Samsung leads mobile phone manufacturers with a 31.7% share, increasing from 29.7% a year ago, while Apple was at 14.2% closely matching its OS market share, though there were strong sales of the now discounted iPhone 4.
In third place is LG which has been trying to catch up with South Korean rival Samsung at 5.1%, but it represents a significant increase from 3.8% last year.
Former mobile giant Nokia features at second place (14%) in terms of all mobile phones sold, but Gartner said that the company should do well as it builds traction for its range of Lumia devices.
"With the recent announcement of the Lumia 1020, Nokia has built a wide portfolio of devices at multiple price points, which should boost Lumia sales in the second half of 2013," Gupta said.
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