As iPhone Comes to Verizon and Android Spreads Others Shift and Stir

Microsoft announced that it "shipped more than 2 million copies of the Windows Phone 7 operating system last quarter." But this doesn't represent consumer sales figures so we don't really know how the handsets are doing. The data can be spun as a positive start or a lackluster one for the new smartphone OS. For example, Gartner says that Microsoft's smartphone share stands at 2.8% in the US market.

The "battle" between the iPhone and Andoid is crowding out other handsets. At left (and here), eMarketer rounds up third party estimates of US smartphone share, though the figures don't explicitly show Microsoft's numbers. 

There's some evidence that the iPhone's presence at Verizon -- pre-orders begin next week -- will weigh on Android sales, as well as RIM. Anticipation of the device had a negative impact on Motorola's Q4 DROID sales. According to CNET's coverage of Motorola's earnings call yesterday:

During the fourth-quarter conference call with analysts and investors on Wednesday, Sanjay Jha, the CEO of Motorola Mobility, said the company saw a slowdown in sales during the fourth quarter due to anticipation of the iPhone at Verizon. He said he expects sales to be slightly down as the company will now compete head to head with the iPhone at its strongest carrier partner, Verizon Wireless.

In its final exclusive quarter with the iPhone AT&T reported strong revenues for Q4, including 2.8 million new subscribers and 4.1 million iPhone activations. AT&T and Verizon are set for a "cage match" as they compete for iPhone customers. One example Verizon is offering a trade-in program to try and get recent handset purchasers (read: AT&T iPhone owners) from other carriers.

Meanwhile Nokia lost more smartphone share and saw profit fall 21%. CEO Stephen Elop hinted that it's open to Android -- indeed it will be all-but-compelled to adopt Android for some handsets even though it angrily rejected such suggestions in the past. RIM may be considering something similar, or at least allowing its handsets and forthcoming Playbook tablet to run Android apps.

See related: Verizon iPhone Demand Could Hit Nearly 25 Million, Theoretically