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Which countries is Windows Phone outselling the iPhone?

The other day the web went a little wild over news that Windows Phone was outselling iPhones in seven countries. Crazy right? Whether or not the iPhone is king in terms of marketshare is irrelevant, it’s the bar that any OEM or OS wants to beat. So where did Windows Phone beat out the iPhone?

The following countries are just the places you’d expect Windows Phone to beat out Apple.

  • Argentina
  • India
  • Poland
  • Russia
  • South Africa
  • Ukraine
  • Croatia and other central/eastern European countries (all listed together)

As usual, this information comes courtesy of research firm IDC. Reporting for The New York Times, Nick Wingfield was able to get Kevin Restivo at IDC to share the list of countries Windows Phone was beating Apple. Adding some more salt in the wound, these aren’t exactly big markets. In each country less than 100,000 Windows Phone units were shipped. Not exactly huge numbers, but I guess still a win for Windows Phone.

Source: NY Times, Via: The Verge

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Reader comments

Which countries is Windows Phone outselling the iPhone?

163 Comments

Well lets be honest, to be in front in India is actually impressive, that market is exploding and such a huge population.

Proud windows phone user from India here (2 phones actually - 510 and 820). Among my friends network, at least 3 are rocking WP. Heck, one just bought a 820 over S3 and iPhone two days ago. The times are changing...

I got 7 converts in India .. If only we had Temple run , Subway surfers , Instagram the converts would have been in double digits for me

See man .. It's only for WP8 that too for 1GB RAM phones . I personally own a Lumia 710 and my mom own Lumia 800 ..
It is as good as nothing for us

India is one of the bigest markets for Nokia which is leading the windows phone OS charge with its Lumia line. So it doesn't surprise me that India is on there. In fact, when I clicked the article, I expected India to be on there.

Especially considering how expensive mobile devices are there. From what i understand you pretty much have to love what you buy 'cuz you're likely to have it for a while.

yes India and russia and not small markets or eastern europe, this is actually good news for ms and nokia, they are doing pretty good in the rest of europe too. the only place really is north america where they are stagnant.

How are these calculated? By sales in that region or by internet usage? If sales in that region then I think India being here is irrelevant. Most of the people in India buy iPhones illegaly through resellers or but it abroad.

No, Indian here, the only reason India is on the list is because an iPhone will cost an arm and a leg, most of them prefer android because most of the apps and gamed are free, we cannot afford to spend money on it, android handsets are pretty cheap,too, most of the windowsphone presence is because of nokia, we worship them here, frankly I'm surprised it managed to overtake Symbian.

Absolutely correct. Most of the Indians either go for an Android phone, because of it's large collection of apps and free games, or Nokia for they are loyal customers. Further the cheapest iPhone is still like 40-45k INR (I guess) which is way too expensive for an average customer.
In rural areas mostly, people just want basic facilities like calling, which is offered for as low as 1-2k INR by Nokia. And again, youngsters love to have lots of games on their phone, which is offered by Android. So, finding India in this list is pretty much expected.
India is a big market for Nokia!

Apple has a wierd policy of inflating the iPhone prices here.. agreed. The Android rationale dosen't quite work as to why people buy WP In India.WP devices are not bought only because they are cheap (while cheaper that iPhone, they are not cheap per se). The Lumia 920 sale in India is quite high and its costs an arm and a leg as well. The brand loyalty and recognition of Nokia is very high and has a big bearing on sales here.

apple inflates prices period. considering their products are good but not revolutionary youd think they would mark the price down a bit lol.

I am.. With the 920's camera capabilities, homemade porn quality is going to be fantastic. I can't wait till people start leaking them.. :)

How can you make a bigger deal besides the fact that 40-50% of wpcentral users are Indian? Just write Go India and see how many replies you get.

It's not small, per se, add to that the loyalty for Nokia brand, but you have to agree that the market is not as big as Indian. Quite a lot of iPhones here in Russia as well.

Well allot of these are in Nokia's playground. And you can get some cheap WP instead of the iPhone 5 or their cheaper moble which is just the old 4s.

Does it count if they can't afford an iPhone? Really, can we consider that a win? This IS a smartphone OS. Smartphones are, ya know, traditionally a luxury/premium device...

Going by that, both iPhones and windows phones are smart phones? Granted there are some cheaper WP handsets, but doesn't go with your logic..

A sale is a sale. Just like a win is a win. It doesn't matter if you won by 20 points or 1 point.

shoulda went with:
"Winning is winning whether by an inch or by a mile"
a movie called fast and furious taught me that one.

Finishing faster isn't a win in my book. Just ask any girl.. I've won way too many times in this category.. :P

My point is that in markets where there is parity, especially in price, iPhone still wins. Low price = higher volume almost every time. I'm not a troll, just an adult. Look to android for proof. Low price = high volume

Exactly and that's the problem that both Apple and Blackberry have. It's not about handset vs handset, it's about overall sales. It doesn't matter that people are choosing WP cos of price, that's still a win for Microsoft. Android has done well cos of cheap handsets, so now is WP.

My point is that the iPhone IS PROBABLY NOT AN ACTUAL OPTION FOR MOST OF THESE CONSUMERS. I had a Choice between my Honda and a Maserati. The Masarati is WAY out of the realm of affordable, so I chose the Honda. Is the Honda more desirable because it sells more? No. It is not. But it is affordable. It's about mindshare more than numbers.

Yeah, I understood you point, I even agree with you. Sure most would rather the Maserati/iPhone, but who gets their money? The win is the sale, not the "mindshare". As you say yourself, that's how Android become so successful. It wasn't for having a better OS, it was just a cheap copy of iOS and so people bought into it thinking it's close enough and costs less.
So maybe WP can't be perceived by everyone as "the better phone". MS have the sale in these markets, people are using them and will soon enough be going "hell this cost me less than the iPhone and it's actually better" - talk about mindshare, that follows the sale.
It's more "I want a Mercedez-Benz, but I could only afford a BMW" and then realising that BMW is actually better than a Merc and cost them half as much. All Merc has over BMW is prestige. Apple is Merc, Microsoft is BMW and Android are the cheap French, Italian and Spanish cars that rust, break down and are totally unreliable.
 

Wow, really? Is that a gay joke? If that is the case, you have just earned yourself the dumbass of the day award. Good for you. We should be proud to have someone like you as part our the Windows Phone community. smh

Actually, there is such a thing as troll pride and many other communities besides the one you have chosen to focus on...as if to say all other movements are irrelevant? You're not wrong, but perhaps a bit unnecessary as you cannot ask logic of mythical creatures. =[

Pardon me sir, but did you really think he meant anything else except gay pride? Why don't you go read the 1st comment he joined to make a few days ago. Maybe then you can understand "the community" I "chose" to "focus" on over other communities I so shamefully disregarded. Better still, let me post it here for you to see.
 
"Those gays are always discriminating against us. What did we ever do to them? :)"
 

I can afford any phone out there (skip vertu and other bling sh**). And I chose Lumia 920 over GSIII or iPhone5, and would do it again and again if I had to choose. Paid around 720 USD for it (incl. taxes - which i can deduct later on making it around 500 USD in the end). Of course there is a reason behind people buying cheaper phones, that actually can do the same like iPhone (functionally, I don't compare screens etc.). So why should we fork out even more to buy hugely overpriced device like iPhone. This ain't no America, we don't throw money out for fashionable/popular (in US that is) toys.

Very true. This is the fact. Normal US citizen don't have thebrain to understand which is good or bad. They are brainwashed by the government.

Correction: "Three of the markets" had less than 100k units shipped. This means the other 4 had over.

Right you are...India couldn't possibly have less than 100,000 phones sold when Nokia is selling them...

Proud to be an Indian :)
This report is for Q4 2012.
iphone 5 launched in India in November. In october iphone 4s/4 prices are slashed.
Nokia lumia WP8 phones*920 and 820) are launched in Jan 10th 2012. Lumia 620 launched on March 8th.
Lumia 520 (early april), 720 (mid april) yet to come.
So WP widens the gap more and more in Q1 and Q2.
Its all because of Nokia. HTC never promoted WP phones in India but they already started promoting HTC ONE long before the release.

I'm from Croatia, but living in the states. Too bad my friends can't buy Lumia 920 in Croatia, I love this phone!!

am I the only one who thinks it's inappropriate to place Samsung Ativ S as the picture for the article? Nokia is the reason Windows phone is outselling iphones in these said countries, it's only appropriate that the Lumia line should be there. 

four words - hyperglaze faux-metal plastics --looks so sexy right up till when you hold it. 

Anywho, I've never really understood how people love Samsung's hyperglazed plastics.  It makes the phone feel cheap compared to the polycarbonate and aluminum builds from Nokia/HTC.  I understand the weight issue with other builds...but plastics?  horrible just horrible. 

Note to future readers of my comment:  I am not responsible for your own anger from my opinion in this comment. 
 

People... I was mainly referring to the screen because it looks nice in person. Not rlly it's design. So please calm yourselves cuz I saw this up close and I thought it was even slightly more attractive than my 8X cuz of how nice the screen is when its turned on.

He probably took the picture with his Lumia 920. The picture would have looked like shit if he used the Ativ... :P

The Samsung ATIV S is an awesome smartphone! I own one over any other WP8 smartphone!

Can't wait to see the ATIV S2 this year! A Galaxy S4 rebranded as WP9?

India is for sure Nokia playground. iPhone there are quite high priced, and a big factor all the other phones still sell better than iPhone is ..price. Hope Nokia and WP will do better in market with 620, 520 and 720.

nup its not ..i live in indai and apples iphone share in indian smartphones is 34%...samsung is 49% nokia is 22%  but according to this it have over taken apple...well this came in my INDIAN news paper on feb ...but in feb 820 and 620 were launched ...
 
anyways i got l920 in launch thats 27thjan loving it but i changed my location from india to us so i get some apps which are not avaialble in india

Sam, "rubbing salt in the wound" and "taking it with a grain of salt" do not mean remotely the same thing.

That sentence threw me for a loop also. We need not look any further than the title of this article to see that the author does not have full command of the English language. To be sure, we don't come here to be dazzled by writing skills, but it would be nice if they could get the basics correct for fuck's sake.

That picture. I guess someone got payed by a certain company. Been seeing too much Samsung on this website these days.

why does it mean they are paid by samsung? they use nokias lumias and htcs windows phones in almost every other photo. let the ativ breathe a little lol

India is a big market in my opinion. They should run the #switch campaign in India. I will work really well. Coz when I told my friends about windows phone they didn't know what it was. But now most of my friends are switching to windows phone and they are all android users. :)

Can someone PLEASE tell Sam Sabri to READ the source article with more care next time?
The source says three of those markets had less than 100000 devices sold each. Just three of them! The others sold more than 100000 devices.
 
Not sure why a WPCEntral writer is putting a false negative spin on things

The credit should go to Nokia which is a long time established brand in many of those markets. So its more like Nokia Lumia outselling the iPhone. If Nokia went with other OS it would be a very different story. But nonetheless its good to see WP moving forward.
 
 

India has 1.2 bn population while 250 mln are middle-class can afford expensive handsets. I can't consider MS/Nokia success there as mediocre.

The title has an error, but it's not where you suggested. It should have read:
"In" which countries is Windows Phone outselling the iPhone?

Come on now... Don't hate the guy for using Ebonics. It's popular these days among the cool kids. :P

Why does everyone hate on WPC for spelling or grammar mistakes. This isn't the Wall street Journal for Christ's sake. It's a help forum for an Operating System. I'm sure you can make out what he meant. These guy's try to bring stories to this forum to help you and keep you informed and all you can do is be an ass and criticize them. If it's that important to you, write your own damn forum and call it "Gramer alwaze corect forum".

WP is definitely taking off in the UK, as well. My girlfriend, two housemates, and myself all own 920's. My mum owns a 620 and many friends are now asking me about WP. It was also really cool to see a dedicated WP rep in our local O2 store. Things are shaping up quite nicely. :)

Lies!!! I need evidence.. Pictures of your girlfriend with a 920, preferably in a bikini...NOW!! :P

microsoft should have taken their bing campaign and features to india also....MS should appreciate this market and atleast give one promotional WP ad and start giving bing rewards and local scout etc etc etc

It is not just cheaper WP nokia phones outselling Iphones, Actually, The lumia 920/820 were released in the second half of January. And 620 was released much later. The one who could afford 920 can easily spend 5000 bucks (INR) to get an iphone, if they wanted to buy that. So, that is an baseless argument. Myself, bought a L920 just on the release date, had i wanted i could've gone for Iphone. But simply, Iphone is not for Indians. It Can never beat Nokia and its partners in India. Microsoft Should be blessed to have Nokia on their ship..

Well said...iphone is never for India. In fact untill Steve Jobs died it was not officially available and yet people use grey channels to possess it instead of having it :P After Tim Cook took over, he started expanding their presence. However, Nokia has been in India for a long time now. They have very good reliability and people love Nokia phones. They offer phones in all ranges and basically their phones work and survive the rugged usage. WP8 hasn't become completely stable yet. On ther other hand Nokia Lumia 620, 720 and 520 are pushing the new OS to compete with Android. Whereas, Android is de facto OS for any other smartphone sold in India. Most of the recent entrants with Android OS are cheap imports from China. But I strongly believe that people who care for reliability still prefer Nokia as a brand which is pulling WP8 ahead in India.

Weeee, Croatia here. Tough that statistic is bizarre, L920 is coming soon for months now, last they said mid March, now it's middle of April i guess. 820 is on one carrier i think, 620 started showing up in shops, no carriers. HTC 8X/S came pretty much right away, so maybe we are the one market where HTC outsells Nokia. I got my 920 from Slovenia.

The real impact of middle and lower end Lumias can only be determined after Q1 & Q2 2013. It is gaining lot of momentum. I am from Pakistan but living in UK. According to my information people are getting crazy for Lumia specially girls due to the variety of colors. Pakistan is also very big market for Nokia.

I refuse to believe that only 100,000 WP phones were sold in India. India has a population of well over 1 billion. Let's assume only 1% of Indians bought WP phones that means 10 million WP phones were sold. I know Nokia is very very popular in India especially the Asha series. When I watch Channel V, every ad is for a Nokia phone.t That channel is practically purchased by Nokia. And not forgetting India's biggest stars Shah Rukh Khan and Priyanka Chopra are brand ambassadors for Nokia. Nokia is also a big sponsor for the IPL matches. Point being I believe Nokia sold more in India then what's reported here.

It's hard to believe those numbers. "In each country less than 100,000 Windows Phone units were shipped." My small little town in India alone has 100,000 people. We are talking about INDIA, the population of which stands at 1.3 billion.

Sam posted wrong info, only 3 markets from that list sold less than 100,000, Read the source news.
 
Sam, Read the source and Edit the article. 

In Serbia you can't even legaly buy an iPhone. So if even one WP was sold it's still more than Apples. But I know more people have an iPhone than WP anyway. Still, there's a steady grow of WP users. Lumia 920 is available just couple of weeks now, but the 8X is here from last november.

Thanks to Lumia devices "Windows Phone was outselling iPhones in seven countries". Hell, why you are posting this ugly Samsung device in every article for Windows Phones?!!!

Sam Sabri, please correct: "...Three of the markets — Ukraine, South Africa and “rest of central and eastern Europe” — are small enough that there were fewer than 100,000 Windows Phone unit shipments in the fourth quarter in each of them..."

Some points about Russia, Ukraine and Poland. Retail price for iPhone is significantly higher than "gray" one, so there are a lot of people who buys those, adding up iPhone sales to some other country. A lot of Windows Phones sold in Poland end up in Belarus (same reason retail vs "gray" price).
BTW, search for Belarus in HERE Maps you'll be amazed how little roads we have. Nokia why you hate us so much?

Dear Oleg. Probably not you, just your crazy government ;)
And I can tell You, that every country has gery import/export, maybe apart from Belarus (ok, not counting cigarettes ;) ), and Poland would be there anyways - lot's of people around me use WP and Nokia especially.
Add to this new WP8 phones selling in 2013, and numbers will go only up.
Regards ;)

Talking about Russia I doubt this is true. Or.. well, in few words its all about grey channels. For historical reasons carriers do not sell phones with contracts here, so there are plenty of sellers and most of them will use grey supply channel when possible. iPhones are damn popular, but few of them are shipped to Russia officially (customs!).
So this is a statistical gimmick. Its true, but it is not true :)

im from slovenia (country near croatia), and i doubt wp phones are selling better then iphones. i've seen only 3 windows phones so far (in person), and iphone users are everywhere

As a lumia owner I say to this....so what? The WP will never outsell the iPhone worldwide. Its borderline insanity to compare. I enjoy my WP and will keep enjoying it but I am a realist and we ain't got a prayer. Now that it's on tmobile its a wrap. You think of Nokia opened a store there would be crowds? Nope. Lets just enjoy our phones and stop comparing....

only because in eastern europe, especially Ukraine, Russia, it's impossible to count true statistic numbers... grey market is much bigger then official. every 3rd person in Ukraine has an iphone, and WP devices is very rare

If iPhone wasn't so heavily subsidized in the US, I think you'd see some market share changes here as well.

I dont agree. Lumia 620 or old 800 are super cheap (almost here in Italy) . Maybe Android could be preferred by dishonest people who want to download pirated apps.
As a developer, I prefer to invest on a smaller (for now) market of honest users.

Funny thing is... Android is heavily fragmented and its only worth getting one if you get a high end phone.
Whereas WinPhone keeps delivering a consistant experience across the board.
It would be a no brainer if it was heavily marketed in Brazil... People would be buying it like crazy.
But I still can't find any carriers selling the Lumia 920... Although it's already available on retain nobody will get one for 1000$ US..
FYI you can get the 820 and 620 on Claro and the 620 on Vivo, no words on TIM or Oi... So the top 4 carriers are lagging behind the rest of the world? Or is it a Nokia supply issue?

Also the report mentions windows phone outsold blackberry in 26 countries and the market share is climbing to this is great news for Windows Phone i haven't read all the comments yet hope no one has mentioned this yet

Argentina is FULL of Android and feature phones. The only WP available are the 900 and the 710 (no WP8) and the iPhone is banned. It can only be bought abroad or from some people who sell them (not from carriers).That's because the laws in Argentina prohibits things that are not made or assembled in Argentina. If you want to buy it, it costs (unlocked) from 1200 to 1500 USD for the 5 or 800 to 1100 dollars for the 4s.

Except that he didn't read the source article which states that only three markets of the above listed countries sold less than 100,000. Rest all sold above that.

In Ukraine, as well as in Poland and Russia Nokia WP has a great chance of eating a lot of Android's market share due to loyalty of Nokia's customers

The WP haters of the world are making a big deal about this particular list of countries. From the tone of their rants, I doubt they know the populations of India or Russia. There is a strong wiff of jingoism in some of their comments. Yet, I just smile and  check back on blogs that track the minute Mac sales, or how the WIndows Store has 4 times the number of apps as the Mac Store in less than 6 months because apparently in those cases, numbers don't really matter in demonstrating some supposed superiority of the platform.

I am a little disappointed that the author wrote that up as a bad news type of story... India? That is awesome! Any country is actually quite impressive.

The New York Times Apple fanboy staff reporters were quick to downplay this report. It was extremely biased and unprofessional reporting. And the Apple cattle slopped it up.

Hello All! Iam from Russia. Its big lie about Russia! Public statistics retailers said on minimum sales. On the streets do not see people with Lumia. IPhone is at each schoolboy, legal or gray market. Sorry.

Personally I think a lot of the reason people are not jumping from iPhone or even android to windows phone is because of badge snobery, especially giving up an apple product: the Gucci of gadgets for a microsoft product, or giving up a device such as android with masses of popularity. In India and the other countries that are listed i get the impretion that these marekts are not badge contiouse, which is how it should be. In the automotive industry I guess you could compare it to someone giving up a Mercedes (the iphone) for a Lexus. Both the Lexus and windows phone are phenominally great products which amognst thier customers they are considered the best, but because they are not wearing the right badge or hold the right street credit, they are being brushed under the carpets. It is wrong.

There are two facts that can explain good sales of Windows Phone in Serbia (East - European country),
1) Operators do not offer iPhone so you have to pay full price on other hand Windows Phone is available on 2 year contracts ( I paid for my HTC 8X 10$).
2) Nokia has vary good reputation in Serbia and HTC is popular as well.
It's interesting that owners of Android or iPhone ask me to comment about my Windows Phone much more then they did when I had 7.5 or HTC HD2.
In Serbia iPhone is considered by most people as bad value for money.
Then again I have to say that, as far as I have noticed, more people own iPhones then Windows Phones in Serbia

This is recent data from a store in hyderabad India.
In a single month units sold
iphone - 16 
galaxy - 25 - 28
lumia 920 - 25 - 30
lumia 520 - 62 
So u see the change!!!
 

I have switched from an 4s to L920 :) I have switched my sister and nephew to Windows Phone too (HTC 8s and huawei w1) !!
:)