Windows Phones
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Windows Phone sales dip in the US, but passes 10% in France and growing in Europe

According to Kantar WorldPanel sales of Windows Phone devices continue to grow at a moderate pace across Europe, especially the big five countries (UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain).

However in the United States Samsung’s Galaxy S5 looks to be hurting Windows Phone and the iPhone.

Europe rising

The latest numbers were just released this morning by Kantar, who monitor sales channels of various smartphones. Today’s stats account for sales for the three months to April 2014. The trajectory of sales for Windows Phone looks to be the same with Europe being its strongest market, including France, passing 10% and the UK with 9.5% in sales. Spain also had a big jump to 4.6% (up from 1.7% the year earlier).

Kantar France

The total Windows Phone market share of sales across the big five European markets is at 8.4%, with Android leading with 72.4% and Apple at 17.5%.

Kantar Big5

Those numbers signal what Kantar refers to as “increased handset fragmentation across the European smartphone market”, which in this case is a good thing for Microsoft’s Windows Phone since they are the ones doing most of the fragmenting.

US drops for Windows Phone sales

The course in the United States though is also similar, that is Windows Phone continues to struggle. Sales of Windows Phones have dropped to 4.7%, down from 5.6% one year earlier. Two factors can possibly be attributed to those numbers:

  1. The hype and launch of the Samsung Galaxy S5
  2. One major Windows Phone launch with the Verizon Lumia Icon (Samsung ATIV SE came later in April)

The Galaxy S5 launched at the end of March with preorders, but the hype around its announcement – and later the HTC One (M8) – seems to have impacted sales of all other mobile operating systems. It was no secret that HTC and Samsung had new flagship devices coming out, and it looks like many were taking a ‘wait and see’ approach.

Kantar US

On the flipside, Windows Phone did not have much for new devices in the first part of the year. The Lumia Icon launched on Verizon, but AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint did not see the addition of any new devices. The Nokia Lumia Icon has received solid reviews, but there are no sales numbers to indicate how well it is doing. One thing is obvious, however well it is selling it is not enough to offset the continued strength of Android (and Samsung in particular).

Indeed, Samsung is so strong in the US that its sales rival that of Apple (34.1% versus 34.6%, respectively).

China and Android dominate

Low-cost Android devices are continuing increase in popularity in China with a 7.9% increase in sales year-over-year and a nearly 80% dominance in device sales. That has come at the expense of Windows Phone, which has dropped from a poor 2.2% in 2013 to an even worse 0.8% in early 2014. Ironically, the Android-based Nokia X may be playing into that decline, though, with no solid sales numbers on that device, it’s hard to know for sure.

Cortana

No '8.1effect' just yet

Windows Phone 8.1 was not announced in time for these sales numbers, so there will be little impact to marketshare.

In the US there are no official Windows Phone 8.1 handsets available today, with the 8.1 update likely this summer for existing devices. For AT&T, we are expecting a re-launch of the Nokia Lumia 1520 in Green for a June/July timeframe, but no new major Windows Phone device until November. Likewise, AT&T and T-Mobile are expected to get the Nokia Lumia 630 in July as well.

We don’t have high hopes for any US or worldwide bump for Windows Phone for the next few months as the 8.1 update may not push sales too much higher. It will be interesting to see how adoption of the Lumia 630 and later the Lumia 930 affect sales.

Source: Kantar Worldpanel

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Reader comments

Windows Phone sales dip in the US, but passes 10% in France and growing in Europe

453 Comments

can't help the feeling that there was very little excitement about the last Nokia Lumia announcement. Lumia 930 is nowhere as groundbraking as 1020 or 1520 was... waiting for the next phone before I upgrade my Lumia 925!

"Don't wait for error from others but correct the mistakes and build on your strength." Your policy will only hurt WP

I would like to see the 1020's successor - the 1030.

With Snapdragon 805, LTE, microSD slot, 3GB RAM, 5 inch screen with 2K resolution, and the most important thig: a slightly convex Pelican array of 4x4 20MP PureView cameras, which can take pictures of almost 180 degrees.

Uh, it has Qi as well :)

efektos  I was going to say that's a pretty deep deep thought out spec on your earlier comment, but once I read why on your later response, I can't help but to be on your side and that you got me there, considering your definition of "future proof" is a very realistic smart phone life span.

Thanks for cracking me up. Lol

Suckers couldn't release one good phone for the US market. And plus, they keep the Lumia 1520 under att's evil arms.

But that's exactly the problem.  You know, we all know, when the next iPhone or Galaxy will be released (approximately).  We know these are "hero" phones.  But we have no idea what or which Lumia is truly the next "hero" phone.  It's absolutely stupid.  Make one dang "hero" phone and come out with and updated version every year.  And yes carry it on all carriers (US).  Yes, budget phones are great.  But my main interest are in the high end brands and I wish there was a consistant cycle knowing when they would be released instead of always waiting around guessing when that might happen.

This is where a Surface Phone could fit nicely. Nadella has stated that the Surface line is not meant to compete with MS's manufacturers, but to create new divices to inspire them. We see this perfectly with the Surface 3 Pro. A SP could indeed be made to align with this position. If they've been paying attention, they know what the hero phone market wants. Start with a phone like the one Efectos describes. 

Nokia's release schedule for the 930 has been slow and vague. I'm still not sure if and when it is coming to the US on ATT.

It's been established since it was announced: 930 is not coming to AT&T or any US carrier as Verizon has a lock on the Icon (930).

This is why I got a Note 3 on Tmobile. I didn't have a option to get a nice W8Phone on Tmobile :(
I know there's a 1520.3 version but I got burned on a ROGERS 920. Nokia will not fix it if it breaks. Microsoft needs to kill this exclusive B.S. and get a high end 5 and 6 inch screen phone on all US carriers.

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That's one of the real reasons why Windows Phone isn't seeing stronger growth. They keep releasing exclusives. IDK how little WP market share is,Microsoft needs to do something about it. They are big enough to take it there with the carriers. It's hurting growth. IPhones and Galaxies are on damn near all carriers big and small. Especially the Galaxy. Before someone argues that the carriers will site market share,HTC releases to multiple carriers. There problem is (HTC) is showing that The One is at least on par,if not better than the Galaxy. I could go one with other things,such as Microsoft's marketing and release timetable,but I won't. I have been pleased with my 920 and 1520 and have seen more Windows Phones in the US. I remain optimistic.

Yep, exclusives and the pace has suddenly screeched to a halt. I'm sure a lot of this has to do with the Nokia/MS switchover, but they cant afford a lull like this. They need some fresh 8.1 hardware out for EVERY carrier right now.  Sadly, end of the year is probably optimistic.

And this is exactly why windows phone isn't doing well in the US. How can n new logon breeds possibly compete if they are only presenting themselves to a subset of buyers.

If even that subset were buying them, then they would increase their presence. Obviously that is not happening.

Carrier loyalty can be as powerful as brand loyalty, some people would perhaps love a particular phone but will refuse it on the basis of which carrier it is with. Apple and Samsung don't have to worry about this because they saturate the market with their products, no matter where you go you will see iphone and the galaxy.

If Microsoft want any chance of penetrating further than they have then they need to also take this approach, expecting word of mouth or whatever bizarre marketing approach they are doing simply won't cut it.

Its not so much that I'm loyal to my carrier, but I have 6 family member on a single plan. I cant just jump ship to another carrier because I like a phone they have.

Or there is that, whether it be your friends and family are on the same network, or that you have all your services with one company, both make a shift just as difficult.

"some people would perhaps love a particular phone but will refuse it on the basis of which carrier it is with."

This doesn't describe carrier loyalty; it describes choosing a lesser of evils.

I guess the carrier situation I'd very different here in Australia. People are almost carrier fanboys here, someone on Telstra will never switch to Optus, for good knows what reason, or vice versa.

Not everyone is like that but there are a lot.

The carrier exclusivity in US is the main reason that is killing WP in US.  L930 is wonderful, but so what.  MS/Nokia is making sure that people on AT&T, Spring and T-mobile can't get it no matter how badly they want it.  L1520 and L1020 are great.  But Nokia is making sure that people on Verizon, Spring and T-Mobile can't get those phones no matter how badly they want them.  Now MS has bought Nokia, but Steve Elop is still there.  Don't expect to see any changes to the carrier exclusivity policy anytime soon.  The WP phone sluggish sales will certainly continue.

That's alright. As a 920 owner, the 930 seemed like a compromise. As a fan of the platform, what's missing now is presence. Walk into any store and what do you see? Android, Android, Android, Android, and if you look hard enough you might see a WP, but not on carriers like US Cellular, Boost, cricket, etc.
Hopefully the new policies will motivate OEM to also release a WP to match all the Android devices to slow this problem down.

Cant agree on the 930. My kids have 920 and my wife has a 930. I think the 930 is a solid move forward. The improved screen alone makes it a worthwhile upgrade IMO. Its not monumental though, and I prefer the style of the 920.  

Every new Lumia they release is a great phone, but it always comes with some type of frustrating deficiency, like the lack of Glance on Icon.

I agree. No new devices on att the largest WP carrier. That's not helpful especially since the 1530 was always identified as niche. That leaves 92x as mainstream flagship material and while they were for awhile not anymore. 930 needs to come out of exclusivity soon or other devices brought to market.

Like I said, if AT&T wants a new high end Lumia, they will ask Nokia for it. If you think Nokia would say 'no' to such a request or not bend over backwards to fulfill it, well...remember what happened with Qi (vs PMA), they ripped that out to please ATT.

My mom went into an ATT store to get a 1520. She needs a big phone due to her vision and already has a Surface tablet and likes the live tile thing. The rep kept pulling out other phones - the Samsung, LG and others trying to talk her into an Android phone. We kept having to insist that she wanted a 1520. With friends like that, who needs enemies?

AT&T certainly has issues, but they have been the biggest carrier and supporter of Windows Phone since day one with WP7. They get every single major phone (and even the minor ones) and they will even snatch ones from other carriers (Lumia 925).

Hmm what is the definition of biggest W8Phone carrier? Most phone choices or most W8Phone users? I know Att has the widest phone selection but doesn't Tmobile have the most W8Phone users? I could gave sworn John Lagere said Tmo had the most users. Which is crazy because they don't even have a current high end phone.

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They shouldn't have to though. Nokia should just contact all carriers and say " we have this new model coming out we can provide you with x units will that be enough" or something to that effect. Don't ask, tell; it's called sales.

Agreeing to exclusivity with one carrier on a flagship is financial suicide, plain and simple.

And what do you say when the reply is "no thanks, we dont sell enough of your phones to make it worthwhile. We will only buy some if you can give us an exclusive."

Work for it, mention x advertising campaign, whatever. Carriers want money, they are not going to neglect a huge name in the business, maybe if they were some up and comer, but Nokia is a huge name, they have pull.

Hell, they can still offer sweeteners to anyone willing to pay but don't neuter potential buyers it is terrible. There is a reason why there is a McDonalds/Starbucks/7 eleven on every street corner, saturation.

I wonder whether AT&T have to "ask" Apple or samsung or anyone to make a phone for them........

Why on Earth would At&t "ask" for a non seller? They won't, they wait until MS/Nokia sh**s out a new phone then surround it with a fence. The qi thing, that was MS being thrashed by AT&T. MS needs AT&T more than AT&T needs MS.

And make it a full blown hero phone that rules them all. They can do this while they also work the low end with Nokia phones. 

Rather curious if the ATIV SE is exclusive or if any carrier can get it for themselves. WP doesn't have to make consumer inroads on just Nokias.

They are going to have a tough time making inroads with Nokia considering Nokia doesn't make phones any longer. Windows Phone brought the end of Nokia.

You can only break ground once. Well not quite, but it's harder to come up with something groundbreaking every time, they are just building on their solid foundations. The 930 has 20mp camera, better screen & other stuff I can't be bothered looking up (more memory, better processor, etc). It's a solid if not super exciting upgrade. I am not upgrading either, all the good stuff is being reserved for 8.1 and the MS/Nokia merger, let's see what they come out with now they're finally under one roof.

As for these stats, who cares? There's going to be 17+ manufacturers coming out with Windows Phone over the summer months, the picture for the second half of this year is going to be remarkably different, Q1 & Q2 is just treading water.

Well tell Nokia/Microsoft to make their phones available on more carriers.:) Hope the new OEMs bring some fantastic hardware. Anyhow, this is Windows Phone and we will overcome.

Not the good ones though & its a mishmash across each carrier. They really need to release the 930 already. It's the best WP yet & the only way to get it is through Verizon under the Icon. So its either switch to VZ, or buy it outright for big bucks & then lose LTE.

Both ATT & Tmo dont really have a premier device that people want. The 1520 is nice, but its huge. And I love my 1020, but lets be real. While still a great device, its hardware is pretty long in the tooth. And its more of a niche device showing what a camera like that is capable of, but is large & cumbersome. The 930 would solve all this if they'd get off the pot already.

"The 930 would solve all this if they'd get off the pot already."

Lumia 930/Icon is exclusive to Verizon. That was the deal. It will never come to another carrier, so they simply can't offer it. Mind you, AT&T could ask for it's own custom 930-ish device, but they have not.

If the carriers are not asking for the device to sell, how can Microsoft/Nokia get off the pot to sell it? Unless you really believe ATT is knocking on Nokia's door asking for a high-end phone and Nokia is like 'meh, not today'?

Do we know that AT&T hasn't? Even if they did, would it matter? I mean, if its exclusive then its exclusive. We don't know the exact inner workings of these deals & who asked for what, but exclusivities like these are probably a big problem. How can you make a device like the Icon (which is the definitive next gen Lumia that trumps all) & offer it on one carrier?

 

Does Samsung offer the S5 on one? Apple's iPhone? No, they don't. Because it would be suicide. Not to mention tick off a huge segment of their userbase.

Galaxy S, iPhone, One and G sell like crazy so they have the leverage to get on all the carriers. Windows Phone does not sell well so they are forced to have these exclusive deals as no one is really looking for their devices. 

I would respectfully say that exclusivity must seriously restrict WP sales.

Here in the UK you can walk into any carrier shop and see every iPhone and Galaxy. They even have separate displays with the phones switched on.

Compare this to WP, maybe one top end device in one colour. Seriously, this must have an effect on sales.

Are you kidding me? The size is the only drawback of the 1520 for some people(and ATT stripping Qi charging). It's the ONLY high end Lumia with expandable storage.

I sure hope you are right Daniel cause I get tired of seeing "will be a Verizon, AT&T exclusive" and in the next breath "T-Mobile is set to get the next low budget phone". I would buy unlocked but I can't justify spending upwards of $600 for a phone in one lump payment. That's why I love T-Mobile's new plans. It makes upgrading very easy.

I have to disagree with both sentences.  The only unlocked Windows Phone sold in the US Msft Store is the 520/521 and even then its still carrier specific.  When you look at the competitors, you can easily pick up an unlocked iPhone at the Apple Store or an unlocked Nexus 5 from Google Play store.  Where is the Msft unlocked phone?  The day after the Nokia/Msft deal was finalized Msft should have released an unlocked high end Nokia phone in the Msft Store but they didn't.  In my opinion and as a consumer the carrier locked phone is dead, Thank You Tmobile.  I could never recommend a carrier locked phone to a friend or family member going forward.  Hopefully Msft realizes this sooner or later.

Look at the Nexus sales. They're very, very low. Not saying they shouldn't do the same, I'm just saying don't overplay the importance of it on actual sales.

I would be curious to see where the Nexus 5 as a stand alone compares to Windows Phone (excluding the 520/521) in the US.  If you have numbers please share.  Not looking at sales dollars but volume sold.

Googe still gives you other options with unlocked versions of the S4, HTC One 2013 and M8, Moto G, Sony Z Ultra, and soon to be S5.

Msft gives us nothing.

 

 

They could at least get a high end Surface phone out that is unlocked that they sell through their stores, that way it's available to everyone including here in Canada where WPs are virtually non existent.

Or just sell them unlocked through the Microsoft Store (brick-and-mortar, and online)! No carrier in Canada has picked up the 1520 yet, but I'd gladly buy it factory unlocked directly from Microsoft.

This!! PLEASE!!! We need the option to buy unlocked from the MS store in Canada. It's nearly impossible to get the devices that we need. No 925, no 1520, no 930, and Rogers' exclusivity limited sales of the 920.

I think they don't sell them directly to appease carriers. And maybe they're right to. Until they try it, how do they, or we, know if their reasons are valid or not? I'd try it with a couple of models and see what happens. Apple has success doing it.

I agree! Microsoft makes it difficult to support Windows Phone outside of the US. They need to embrace the rest of the world first if they want to be popular at home.

This is not true, as a matter of fact the US is one of only a hand full of countries that have the carrier exclusive locked bullsh#t. Most countries around the world including here in South Africa do not have that! All our carriers get the complete Lumia line and they are all unlocked and unbranded, the only exclusive between carrier's will be colour (I could only get a black 1020 on mine) and sometimes accessories. If the US used this same model Lumia sales would undoubtedly soar, here in South Africa Lumia windows phones outsell the Iphone 4 to 1 (thanks to the 520)

I asked a Microsoft Rep 2 weeks ago at a Nokia Developer event in front of the Rogers Rep this very same question and the Microsoft guy gave me the corporate BS answer about how happy they are with what Rogers was doing. At that moment I realized that this platform isn't going to go anywhere in Canada because Microsoft doesn't have the balls to make it happen. I love Windows phone, but at this rate I may as well try Android for my next phone and see what all the fuss is about.

Or maybe when they sale them from the MS store they make them affordable by getting some sort of payment plan also.

Looks like WP will never be able to caputure the US market. MS needs to start getting WP8.1 out for all devices and keep pushing for the big apps. Only then we would see a change.

Just having a great OS without decent apps is not going to help at all.

The good thing is that Apple is really, really losing ground. Any time I see a friend post to facebook whether to get an iPhone or Android, almost everyone said Android (and I chime in with windows phone lol)

Maybe in Europe not in the US,and don't forget that next iphone is to be launched in a few months,unfortunately for WP no flagship coming soon,more than that no Nokia phone from 2015 only microsfot lumia phones.Put in the ecuation HTC one,LG G3,I am not so optimistic for the next year

 

All apple fans that's y. Microsoft should now concentrate on those where their goodwill is good and can be good enough. Forget US atleast for now.

Apps is the key, too many rubbish apps like skype and facebook, I know updates are coming but at a slow pace. The only decent windows app I use is the WPCentral app, may be you should advise Microsoft.

I know that a lot of peoples care about apps but other than a faster experience from FB or Skype; I don't know what else to ask.

I won't buy a new phone until next year since I don't see anything appealing from the current line of phones (WP, android, ios).

Actually I see that the Moto G is a great device for money. At 200 bucks and fluid experience and updates.. Don't get me wrong here but I use all Microsoft services have Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1. But that phone from Motorola is a threat. (Nokia vs Motorola days were the best)

It probably doesn't help that outside of the larger carrier owned stores, you can't even find a WP device. In April, I had to go to three Verizon stores to find the Icon here - the first two smaller stores didn't carry it, only the main, large store did. And forget about seeing ANY mall cart of any carrier having a WP, or Best Buy - this is where lots of people go to buy cell phones, and WP has literally zero presence there. Doesn't matter how much they advertise or how many apps the are if there are no phones for sale when people go to buy one.

I live in France, and I can assure you that Microsoft France is doing a nice effort on showing windows phone. In any phone shop, you'll find a WP device. And in any tech shop too.

This is indeed the problem. If you want to sell a product, you have to make it easy for people to buy. WP has bad public perception to begin with and is only furthered by making it virtually impossible to find and purchase. Incentivize retailers/salespeople to sell WP! Money talks. MS should just sell WP's in their stores and thru Amazon!

MS should do 30-50% off for the launch week -deals (off-contract). They'd likely get bigger and bigger lines for each release, and more more and more "free" media coverage, and consumer interest. It would also be a nice gesture to support the ones that are most enthusiastic about your products instead of bleeding them.

Until we see WINPHONE , alongside iPhone & Android icons. Whenever apps are being advertised. It's going to be a challenge to take more market, plain and simple.

I have to confess that I don't understand their strategy in US..

Here in France we have quite the advertisment in the subway, shopping centers etc.. I mean, it's not as visible as iPhone or Galaxy's advertisement, but still; I've seen big 1020, 820 (presented as the "4g affordable device")  and 920 displayed on the walls of the metro.

From what I can see and hear, most of high school students who don't have a lot of money are owning a 520 and a many people are eager to buy the 930 as soon as it is out.

I'm not quite sure what the reasons for the fail in US are, but it looks like perhaps US customers do not like to own a low end device ? Whereas here, people just want an affordable and smooth device which WP provides way better than android throught it's lumia 520 & 525. 

Microsoft is a US based company with 50K employees based in Washington state. Do you really think it's weird that they release and test things here first? Because I sure don't.

Well I do disagree with you. A business could also identify its successful markets and invest more in them. Nothing wrong with that way of thinking.

Europe Windows Phone marketshare is growing. That's a fact. It's doing well there. So you want Microsoft to invest more to do what? Make sure it grows...but it's already growing, which suggests that's what they're doing.

Here's a question: Let's worry less about Europe/India and more about the US where sales are actually lagging. See to me, that's a priority. Not Europe. Not India.

Here's why the US market is more or a priority: the tech media is all here. If something becomes big here, it gets bigger in the rest of the world due to positive and cyclical media coverage.

Yes the market in india and europe for wp is definitely growing no doubt in that..but it still has a long way to go android and apple are still more popular..wouldn't it be nice to get these features outside US so that at least wp can compete with them..

While I  agree that MS shouldnt ignore WP in the US just because they are "lagging" in that market, it doesnt make it a valid reason to give the EU the back seat, just because WP is growing in those markets. 

If anything, the fact that it's growing in the EU/elsewhere, launching features such as Cortana, bing rewards etc. in those markets as well, could potentiatly further increase interest in WP devices as word of mouth spreads, especially since the EU sales are mostly driven by low-cost devices and as we all know with WP 8.1, users are practically getting the full OS experience on those low-cost devices, which is a lot to brag about to family and friends; word of mouth is actually one of the best form of advertising. 

While people do check out what the tech media in the US has to say, they also do follow local  news and tech media's locally as well. The general person who is buying a phone, usually asks a family/friend or salesperson for a recommendation. So while I agree with you @Daniel that MS should obviously continue to invest in the US, I also agree with @crise that they should invest more in the countries where it is actually doing well, as they can build on that momentum to further increase market share.  The US might be where all the tech media is but not everyone spends time reading tech articles and I'm certain the majority actually go for what people are enjoying using and talking about. 

The problem here: US is 1 country (English).

We say "Europe" but we mean 45 countries; 5 if you just want the "big" ones. Which do you think it's easier for MS to prioritize or at least get things out first?

Since when is anything that's not easy, not doable? Making and managing an OS like WP is not easy either. We are talking about one of the biggest companies in the world here. With practicaly unlimited capabillities. On the topic of difficulty, it really is not that difficult. It is the same routine you can repeat in every country to localize services and make things available.

About the topic of the US being the start point in the world from where all the tech hype starts, abduz makes a very good point. Most regular people read local tech sites in their own language.
Also, I think this era is gone. Because of Twitter, Facebook and everything else on the internet, a tech hype can start anywhere on the planet. On the internet everyone is basicly equal and hypes can start anywhere.

@daniel, I dunno bout that, in Miami they speak more spanish than english ;) jk...I agree that the US pretty much has 1 Language but in cortana's case, they could easily release a beta in English for Europe and follow up with other languages, better to put some investment towards that then to leave the OS feeling like it's missing something.  So while cortana does take a bit more work due to languages, I'm sure people would much prefer having it in English as beta than to have nothing, knowing eventually their language will come.  English is pretty univeral accross the world including the EU.

Let's ignore Cortana for a sec. I remember local scout and such being built into Windows Phone and I travel a lot for work between Africa, EU, Middle-East and occasionally to the US but Local Scout was pretty much useless practically everywhere, yet Foursquare would do a brilliant job anywhere I went.  So it would have been nice to be able to use something like Local Scout since it was baked into the phone but resources weren't invested there, which is a shame.

Don't get me wrong, I clearly see your point but I do also believe growing markets deserve similar or atleast a bit more attention. Yes the US is easier for MS to get things out first but there's definitely ways to work around such issues, especially for a company of their size and it would surely do more good for WP than harm.
 

Well, even without ignoring Cortana, I can assure you that here in France, a LOT of people would love to give a shot a Cortana in English without having to set all the damn settings to US... I mean, Cortana is not available in another language than english, fine, but why preventing us to try it ?

I do not believe they should prioritize any countries at all. If only the fact that it makes it sound that you see the other countries as lesser.

The fact that you are doing good in certain areas means you should keep it because it isn't going to last forever.

Also MSFT has the manpower to do so, even more then apple and their stores are everywhere all over the world.

This is where Nokia was much better than Microsoft and other companies, Europe does have many countries with many languages and you need an organisation able to sell into that.

The US should not be ignored, a falling user base is very disappointing, but with WP knocking on 10% user share in Europe there is a chance to get to the point where everyone is looking to support WP because it has the numbers and people buy because of the support.

Some other US companies are pretty crummy at selling into Europe, e.g. with computer games part of WoW's success is how good they were at selling to non-English markets, Sony online entertainment have similar games for example, but due to poor marketting and sales they could not translate the user numbers of the US into Europe while Blizzard could.  I suspect that Apple and Google have the same US focus but are lacking real competitors, using Nokia's local knowledge right could be a key advantage to unseating one of them in this market.

To me that makes perfect sense to then base some of the work (localisation should be treated seriously) in Europe, e.g. Cortina, with a small user base it is hard to get good feedback.  Microsoft have a lot of money and can easily afford to do both markets right, e.g. 8.1 should be in beta in many countries, not just the US with the hope that the translation will work okay...

 

You couldn't be more wrong Daniel. Yes it is growing, but not much, and it could stop growing any moment. It is still light-years away from Android. Why not grab this chance, invest and accelerate growth?

Besides, it is not like MS has limited cash or resources to do both. So I really do not see why there is less invested outside the US.

WhatsApp for example beamed outside the US, and the popularity is catching on in the US now. So it is not a general fact that growth and worldwide success cannot start outside the US.

Yes, I know you are American, and from your point of view it appears you are a typical American who thinks the US is the center of the universe.

 

Yes, I know you are American, and from your point of view it appears you are a typical American who thinks the US is the center of the universe.

I know, right?

 

I mean, why would he think that, considering that Android (American), iOS (American) and Windows Phone (American) are the only three significant mobile OSes, while the non-US choices like Symbian, Sailfish, Meego/Maemo and BlackBerry are largely defunct?

 

For all the complaining about the "typical Americans," it seems the world wants American technology and doesn't have much of an appetite for "the rest of the world's" efforts. 

iOS took what's existing and just polished it up, Android is a blatant rip-off of Symbian, WP needed Nokia to succeed and don't forget Nokia's input to improve the OS ...at the end of the day, always remember that everytime you press call or hang up on your mobile, that is finnish/Nokia tech, all that hardware tech is made in china and alot of the mind behind these products are a mix of everyone ;) 

Anyways that's besides the point what @crise is practically  saying is that the rest of the world shouldn't be given the backseat when it comes to WP, especially since it is doing better outside the US and I couldn't agree more. While whatsapp is an app, that's still a good example of how it's been popular around the world for years and only just started catching on in the US, so much that FB ate them up for $20 billion ;) 

There's lots more examples but i think the message was pretty clear.  It wasn't bashing on Americans, it was just saying the ball needs to be rolling everywhere... just cuz it's lagging in tthe US doesnt make it alright for the rest of the world (where WP is succeeding) to take the back seat.

WP is not used/sold in the US only. It a used/sold in various other countries. Apple doesn't release features for the US only, I see no reason why WP can't be the same.

As part of Microsoft's entire business, how much do you think Windows Phone currently accounts for? Serious question.

I think when WP and RT merge and mobile grows to be more significant for MS, we will see more focus on this product. For now, they're not putting all their money there because frankly, they have budgets too.

For now, they're not putting all their money there because frankly, they have budgets too

Yeah, trust me it shows. Especially here in Canada. Problem is Microsoft doesn't talk as if WP is a 2nd class citizen at Microsoft. But it clearly is and I can honestly say for the first time since I switched from the iPhone 3g to a Samsung Focus (now a 1020), I'm thinking about trying a different OS. With the renewed focus on services working on other platforms, In some ways Microsoft is making it much easier to switch away from WP than to stay.

Really? So WP is just a backseat product? Then you have led us on a wild goose chase, Daniel. Maybe we should all forget about WP and switch to other platforms till we "see more focus on this product". This confirms what others have been saying the past few days that Whatsapp has been missing from the store that Microsoft doesn't give a damn about non-US WP users. Not to have WA in the store for over 9 days is the most terrible thing that can happen to WP in places like India, Phillipines, Indonesia, EU, Brazil, South Africa, etc. Most people will not buy the Lumia 630 in these places until WA is back in the store, assuming WP's reputation is not in tatters by then. SMH.

' For now, they're not putting all their money there ...'

Well, that's been pretty evident so far.   For all the WP rah-rah, Micosoft themselves very obviously give mobile a back seat priority.

"Of course not, because you don't have to actually worry about doing the work "

Isn't that exactly what a business is for...doing the work? If you don't do the work, your competitor certainly will!

And that's why windows phone is losing in countries where it finally got things going like Italy, China and the Philippines.. :D
I've been waiting for that Bing rewards for since forever. :)

Over Here in Ecuador its sales are rising, I see more and more people with Windows phones, the bad thing is its services arent all available here :(

Siri and Google Now are available to anyone in the world... But its not multilingual (Google Now has some languages BTW) but still everyone in the world is learning English so...

Yep ! And that's the major difference, MS assumes that if the main language of your country ISNT english, then you shouldn't access the feature... It's almost insulting.

Well, it still is a shame to what extend Microsoft does it. It takes ages for features to come to outside US markets ...

You may not consider it to be weird, but you must surely consider it to be foolish...?
Microsoft have a real chance to actually catch iOS in other markets. They are sacrificing that chance by focussing so much of their R&D and marketing on the American consumer.
Nokia was so loved by Europeans because they actually supported our markets. They weren't some distant company.
MS really should be more 'Google' in the way they do international business....i.e., releasing products into multiple markets at the same time (Cortana & Bing Rewards - I'm looking at you!)

That's one good reason why WP development is so sluggishness. Testing the OS in region's where market share is so minor and give priority to it is never a good policy. It does not manner where your company is based but you should look, test, innovate and invest where your product has stronger sales. All companies act like that, where do you think Ferrari looks first, Italy?

Dotcompt is right, MS is a global, not local company, same as 3M. 3M always pays attention to the world. Dust and pollution kicks up in China, 3M starts making more masks to meet demand. Wife works there, meetings express this type is analytics all the time.

Or they could do like Samsung and sell their crap everywhere, advertise the heck of it everywhere (did anyone NOT see the new galaxy S5 publicity with Ronaldo, Messi and others, or the airport terminal in London???) Or maybe Samsung should follow Microsoft logic and "test" first in Korea...

Samsung is very, very good at regionalization. No argument there. Samsung is also the worlds largest information technology company and employs nearly 400K people worldwide. I'm just saying, they have a lot of resources :)

Yeah I don't think people realize the resources Samsung have, especially when it comes to manufacturing. Their decision to only halfheartedly support WP is a problem too.

Samesung is also 1 of the largest shipbuilders in the world and one of the "Big Three" shipbuilders of South Korea.

It's not weird at all, but it's frustrating that many of those cool things never get to other countries. Let's take the colourful Lumias as an example... I live in Brazil and I only have a yellow 920 because I was in Australia at its release, all ohter Brazilians have to go for black or white handsets. Brazilians love to look different from each other, so it's HUGE lack of awareness from MS Brazil not to realise this. Another very cool thing that only you guys have is those promotional times that you can take an old rival device to a MS store and you get a discount on a new Windows based one... The majority of Brazilians, six months after buying a device, they think it's old already! The day MS Brazil realise this, they will start making huge money!!! And what about advertising? Apart from one or two very poor translated TV commercials, we have had neraly nothing! It really seems that MS Brazil is full of dumb and blind people working at it! Their only luck is that the 520 is one of the cheapest devices on store shelves... But, as soon as people have money to buy a new one, they get rid of it cause thanks to MS Brazil, having a Windows based device doesn't look cool :( I hope it gets better one day :)

Geographical location has nothing to do with markets; plenty of companies have their best sales in foreign markets and, correctly, focus on them.
WP biggest marks was Italy, now Apple regained the second place there while WP keep declining.

If Google and Apple can then so can Microsoft. Stop being an apologist. How long did it take Apple to roll out basic Siri functionality globally? Microsoft has no plans for Cortana till at least 2015. How many Google Android features do you know of have remained US exclusive for 3-4 years? How long have Bing rewards or the Local Scout feature in WP remained exclusive to a handful of countries?

Well in the Philippines I haven't seen even a single WP commercial ever since I bought my 720 last year. People here only buy WP because of the Nokia name on it. Sadly sales might go down when the Nokia name is not on the phone anymore.

"630 is plain bad".
Couldn't agree more.
In my view the explanation is very simple. It's called Nokia failure. Despite millions invested by MS.
Simple fact is that there isn't flagship phone having all musts: 5' screen, SD support, slim and light with minimum bezel, stylish colors. Instead Lumia line is complete mess. Nothing to shout about (excluding niche devices). NONE!!!
That's way many customers don't even look at Nokia phones. Hence, US operators are not interested.
Hope for Surface phone with SP3 design soon. Until then WP market share will go down.

Yes, and why do you think that is, besides MS being a US based company? Promos are there to push sales not reward people for something they are already buying.

Well,I don't think you can call the European market a strong market when it comes to windows phone. It may sell best here but compared to android and IOS it's still quite weak ...
Some sort of promo would be great and it would also give you a feeling of Microsoft caring for their outside US customers

Haven't seen any WP promo in Norway for the last year...
Even though 1020 and 1520 got really good reviews. Still getting asked if my yellow 1020 is an iPhone, yak. When not even the 1020 is recognized as a Nokia/WP, someone is doing a "not to good" job marketing...
Even got an answer from MS Norway (e-mail) that I had to contact Nokia about a question I asked about WP 8.1 since Nokia was the one handling Windows phone... Really impressive ;)

Yes, that's working great for Windows phone, isn't it?! Just wait until the Nokia branding is removed from the Lumia line and then you will see how many phones Microsoft is gonna sell in Europe... Give it another year..

^^ 100% Correct. In Serbia people have grown to respect Nokia for quality and support. In the recent years Android has reached about 99% of smartphone market, however. This is mostly because there are lots of free apps and games. Social apps are important too. There is sort of a cult following of Windows Phones among IT & technology students, but carriers ask for an arm & a leg for a decent Windows Phone under contract and this is not helping. Nokia is a respected brand, Microsoft not so much. I'm not saying MS products are bad, but the majority of desktop Windows users are using pirated and/or outdated software, such as XP, loaded with adware and viruses. So constant crashes, slowdowns and erratic behavior has created an unfavorable aura around the MS brand. My guess is, when the Nokia name is replaced with Microsoft, this will not at all help boost sales in Serbia. I love my Lumia 820, and I especially love that it is a Nokia.

And yet how many 'perks' did those in the EU get with the Xbox One that US customers didn't... You push perks and incentives into weak markets - not markets that appear to be buying your product regardless

In the places it has released... People got what - 2 free games at launch for buying the One? Some in Europe got plenty of perks to encourage a purchase that others around the world did not.

Lol yes.. They don't seem to mind the numbers... Bah! If they are releasing a new phone in Nov then they're hoping sales will carry over to Dec.. Holidays holidays holidays lol

Get major apps ...stop this us exclusivity and make everything for everyone and let US come behind WP...not to go behind them....

Microsoft needs to get carriers to promote Windows Phone in their adds, and in stores.

When I walk into a carrier's store, I see way more Blackberry devices than Windows Phone. WP is often way in the back corner of the store behind every other platform. This needs to change or no one will ever know that Windows Phone is even an option when they are ready for a new phone.

If Microsoft has bought Blackberry when they had the chance, they could leverage the deals already in place with the carriers to promote Windows Phone as strongly as Blackberry promoted their devices. Not to mention be on the fast track to make Windows Phone the default platform for the enterprise.

"Microsoft needs to get carriers to promote Windows Phone in their adds, and in stores."

They want to. They try. Remember when Nokia trained AT&T reps on the 920/1020? But ultimately the guy who sells you the phone in the store has his own opinions and pushes what he/she thinks is the best. Until Windows Phone is perceived as hip/cool/must have, that will never change.

Microsoft can't force carriers to do anything. They can ask (they do), they can sweeten the deal (the do), but they can't just "get them" to do anything. Even when AT&T features Windows Phone (see our previous coverage of the 1020 launch), if the device still doesn't sell, it doesn't matter.

So you're saying that Microsoft has no way of convincing carriers to stock and promote Windows Phone.
I think it's more that they simply don't want to pay that kind of money.
Microsoft could subsidize Windows Phone to the point that the carrier would forget what an iPhone even is. Or buy companies like Blackberry and use the carrier deal already I place.
I'm sure if Microsoft really wanted too, they could get carriers to support Windows Phone as strongly as they support iPhone.

I'm on Sprint, which has two WP choices. I opted for the Samsung. Its quite a nice phone actually.

Anyways, I go into the store, and ask the rep about Windows phones. He confusedly searched the store, and finally had to ask someone else. They were located in the display case with basic phones. Basic freakin phones. I get them to let me play with the Samsung, and the guy starts rattling on about how Windows phones are crap, nobody likes them, he's only sold 3 and two were returned, and maybe I might be more interested in the S5 (which was still a few days from release at the time) or an iPhone.

So, I bought the phone new in box on eBay.

Until things like that change, we won't see much growth.

I was an early adopter of android, and was excited to see its growth. I feel the same with WP. And actually, I'm working on apps now, something I was never inclined to do on android for some reason.

Lol. I had the same experience in a mobile shop. I asked for a Lumia. The guy said Windows Mobile (!) was crap, which I agree to, but that was not what I was asking. Anyway, as I pulled out my 820, he immediately changed his stance and said something like "... they are improving recently, but they are still complicated to use". Obviously sales reps need to be educated. I had decided on Lumia when I entered the store and yet felt as if I was doing something wrong, because my question was brushed off harshly. Now imagine what an average Joe might decide when he asks for a Windows Phone and receives the same treatment? He'll go for Samsung.

Could Nokia/Microsoft can the idiocy of exclusive phones on specific carriers. Logically, this doesn't make sense and one could surmise the awful sales numbers in the US. Acquiring a Lumia phone in Canada is brutal. No wonder sales suck. Drop exclusive carrier agreements and start inventing sales to push Phone 8.1 when it arrives

Not going to happen and I think you misunderstand market dynamics here.

For one, Microsoft and Nokia don't like carrier exclusives anymore than you do. But it's a reality. When you have 4-5% marketshare, you can't go to all four carriers and say "all of you, take this same awesome phone and promote the hell out of it". They will all turn it down and no one will get the phone. Carriers either want (a) a phone that everyone wants and is selling so much they can't say no or (b) an awesome phone that only they can sell. They much prefer (b), by the way.

It's called the iPhone effect. Once there is a hit Windows Phone that everyone wants, things will change.

I can also say things will be better this November with 'Goldfinger', because that phone is redonk.

The difference between the iPhone effect and the current world is there is plenty of great choices for phones. I understand market dynamics very well. When a products isn't available (Canada) its not going to sell very well. I have to go out of my way, and spend plenty of money doing it, to get the Windows Phone I want. I stopped trying to convince others to get a Windows Phone because a) the carrier doesn't offer any windows phones or b) you can't get the phone you want. Still waiting for the 930 and 1520 in Canada.

Rogers passed on the 1520 because they got screwed by Samsung on some phablets. That's a fact. If you want to blame someone for not having that device, blame the gatekeepers: your carrier. Nokia offered it to them and they said 'no'.

Why aren't carriers held to any level of responsibility here? They're the ones who ask for devices, they're the ones who says 'yes' when Nokia comes around and offers them their portfolio. It's not like Nokia forgot to stop by Rogers with their new devices. They're sales people, that's what they do.

Therein lies the rub Daniel. I am not, and never will be a Rogers customer. So if Rogers didn't want the phone did Microsoft try to deal with TELUS or Bell? Bell, who carry NO Nokia phones. At the very least Microsoft has the ability to offer the 1520 from its own store for those of us who buy our phones.

Oh I'm sure they have. Look, that's what happens on MWC, those deals. Nokia sits down and takes meetings with all of those carriers and go 'here's what we got' and tries to sell them to the carrier. Then the carriers say yay or nay, or , they ask for a custom device and talks go from there.

It's the carriers though who are the gatekeepers. I have never heard of Nokia forgetting to try to sell to a carrier, that's what they do.

But ultimately, Nokia sells phones to carriers, not to customers. People here tend to think carries are just 'stores' to sell your goods. They are certainly not.

I have a strong aversion towards brand stores. I would rather walk into a "Lumia store" or "iPhone store" that a "Microsoft store" or an "Apple store". Companies need to put products and services above company identity. People want Lumias, not Microsoft.

You should write an article about how it is the carriers fault if they don't have the phone that one wants.

Here's a thought. Start selling current Windows Phones from the Windows Store in Canada. Don't tell me, based on these sales numbers, manufacturing can't keep up. Somehow Samsung managed to overcome being #4 or lower. I'm sure Microsoft can do it. Just stop with the excuses.

That's certainly a valid idea and I don't know why they haven't done as much. Do a significant number of people buy off-contract/unlocked phones in Canada? Because I'm wondering if there's a value input/output disparity here (e.g. they may "only" sell a few hundred $600 phones versus the amount of money taken to get that all going).

Everyone I know with a windows phone does because that's the easiest way to get the phone we want on our carrier of choice. I had to buy the 1020 from TELUS, wait 3 months for the unlock code, to get it onto my BELL account. As for the market in general I know I'm an outlier but I also know many more people that would switch to Windows Phone if they could just get the device they want, contract or not. I prefer to buy my phones because I want a new one every year. Offer devices on the Microsoft store, sell additional support and upgrade options like Surface, and they will come

I would say most people probably don't buy their phones out right. Problem is if you want the latest and greatest Windows Phone here in Canada, don't hold your breath for any of the local carriers to have it and heaven forbid that give us the same color choices if they do carry it. Apparently Canadian carriers think Canadians are color blind when it comes to Windows Phones!

I've purchased all my phones outright and I even had to go across the border to purchase my 1020 because nobody at Rogers could even tell me if they were going to carry it once it came out in the states.

Windows Phone in Canada has been a joke. I check the local flyers every weekend and I see more feature phones advertised in the Best Buy and Future Shop flyers than Windows Phones.

 

Then why doesn’t Nokia (under MS’s fat pockets now) start going around the carriers like Google does (with Nexus & Motos) & offer phones off contract through their site & in their corporate stores (which Google doesn’t have) at an affordable price? Sure, they wouldn’t get rich off of phones selling them just over cost, but they’d at least get more market penetration & break down the walls of carrier locks & exclusives (which is killing them). Consumers don’t really tolerate exclusives anymore & its an old practice thats dying (thank God).

 

They simply don’t have the luxury of waiting for the “iPhone effect” because they’d be waiting for something that isn’t going to happen. Those times have come & gone. It was an era when smartphones were just getting good & Apple could afford to do that. In 2014, MS cannot. And they can’t play the “Apple card” & catchup like they always seem to do (like they did with the iPod & Zune, iPad & Surface, etc). You see how that’s worked out for them so far. MS is always that one dude showing up late to the party trying to hook up when everyone’s already drunk/getting laid. It ain’t gonna happen.

@Daniel Rubino

I can also say things will be better this November with 'Goldfinger', because that phone is redonk.

you seem to know something about the 'Goldfinger' that we don't. Spill it man ;)

 

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