The number of phones made by Microsoft sold in the first quarter of 2016 came to 2.4 million, giving it a percentage of 0.7. In the corresponding quarter in 2015, Microsoft had sales of 8.27 million units giving it a 2.5% share.
Overall, smartphone sales worldwide grew by 3.9% to 349 million units compared to the corresponding quarter in 2015, according to Gartner. Predictably, Android sales were the highest (84.1%).
Apple saw its share fall with 51.6 million units sold compared to 60 million in the corresponding quarter in 2015.
Apple also saw its first double=digit drop year-on-year, with iPhone sales down by 14%, according to Gartner.
Another notable feature was the fact that Chinese vendors in the top five gained 17% of the total sales.
Garther's research director Anshul Gupta was quoted as saying: "In a slowing smartphone market where large vendors are experiencing growth saturation, emerging brands are disrupting existing brands' long-standing business models to increase their share.
"With such changing smartphone market dynamics, Chinese brands are emerging as the new top global brands. Two Chinese brands ranked within the top five worldwide smartphone vendors in the first quarter of 2015, and represented 11% of the market. In the first quarter of 2016, there were three Chinese brands – Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi – and they achieved 17% of the market."
According to Gartner, Oppo had the best performance, moving into the fourth position with unit sales growth of 145%. Like Huawei and Xiaomi, Oppo grew strongly in China, taking share from Lenovo, Samsung and Yulong.
Huawei saw strong smartphone demand in Europe, the Americas and Africa, while Xiaomi and Oppo saw their smartphone sales in the Asia-Pacific region rise by 20% and 199%, respectively.