Windows Phone claims third place in the smartphone wars

Microsoft’s Windows Phone may be struggling to gain a foothold in and around the world even here in Africa., but the software giant and Nokia are starting to see results on a global scale: Windows Phone was the third-most popular mobile smartphone operating system worldwide between January and March.

That doesn’t mean it’s on the brink of mainstream success, however. Microsoft’s two and a half year old mobile effort claimed 3.2 percent of the worldwide smartphone market, jumping ahead of BlackBerry at 2.9 percent, according to market research firm IDC. ( PCWorld and IDC are both owned by International Data Group.)

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Although Windows Phone may have an edge over BlackBerry worldwide, the battle for the U.S. is still being won by BlackBerry.

Nokia in April said it had shipped 5.6 million Lumia phones worldwide  between January and March, but only 200,000 ended up in North America. Previous quarters weren’t much better for Nokia’s stateside successes. Windows Phone currently accounts for just 3 percent of the American smartphone market well behind BlackBerry at 5.2 percent, based on the latest market share numbers from metrics firm comScore.