Alcatel grabbing some Windows phone US market with Fierce XL and Idol 4S

Microsoft retrenchment plans for Mobile centered around the idea of the company backing away from its Lumia line with the hope that OEM partners could fill the space. That plan was always risky as businesses see little advantage in winning that market since the numbers are so small.

Alcatel, however, seems to be finally making inroads. That's impressive if only because the company produces just two Windows 10 Mobile phones restricted to one US carrier (T-Mobile). Nonetheless, the latest numbers from AdDuplex, which focuses only on the US market, shows that the company is having some success.

Alcatel largest Windows 10 Mobile OEM in the US

In breaking down current Windows 10 Mobile market in the US, the Alcatel ONETOUCH Fierce XL has 5.6% of the pie. While not a huge number that is more than the Lumia 1520 (4.7 percent) and comes close to the Lumia 950 XL (6.1 percent).

Keeping in mind, of course, that the number of all active Windows 10 Mobile devices in the US is tiny making that 5.6% just a sliver. Nonetheless, Alcatel clearly had to expect that going into the deal.

The Fierce XL is a low-end handset with a 5.5-inch HD Display, 1.1 GHz Snapdragon 210, and just 16GB of storage (with micro SD expansion). It retailed for $139 fully unlocked but was cheaper with plans. Since the higher-end Idol 4S went on sale, it has since been dropped from T-Mobile's lineup.

Speaking of the Idol 4S, which we gave a very favorable review, that phone is already in the #16 spot of US Windows 10 Mobile market share. Considering that phone only went on sale less than two weeks ago it is already ahead of the more expensive and harder to find HP Elite x3 (#19). It will be interesting to see if that number improves over the following months, or, as AdDuplex notes it is just "a splash from the new phone setup activity."

With so few Lumias on the market and no carrier pushes for Windows 10 Mobile besides T-Mobile this trade-off in market share is expected.

All that activity with the Idol 4S and Fierce XL gives Alcatel a 6.2% share of the manufacturer market for Windows 10 Mobile in the US. That nearly doubles HTC (3.4%) and leaves BLU (0.5%) in the dust. Microsoft and Nokia still account for 89.4%. It's small progress but progress nonetheless. At the very least, if a manufacturer makes the right device with a suitable price and carrier support it can see some traction.

In the top spot for the US is still the Lumia 640 with 20% of the Windows 10 Mobile market followed closely by the Lumia 950 (19.3%) and the Lumia 650 (18.5%). Interestingly, the HTC One M8 has 3.4% on Verizon.

Stepping back from Windows 10 Mobile devices to all Windows phones (Windows Phone 8.1 and 10) and the Lumia 640 is king with 26.2% followed by the Lumia 635, Lumia 640XL in a distant third. The Lumia 650 is now in the #9 rank, which is a new addition.

Regarding carriers in the US, it should not be surprising that AT&T controls 42% of the Windows 10 Mobile market with Cricket at 24.6 percent followed by T-Mobile (15.6%) and Verizon with 9.5 percent. MetroPCS is at just 1.9%, and Sprint and other MVNOs are folded into "other." As AdDuplex notes, however, AT&T owns Cricket resulting in a 66.6 percent combined total for Windows 10 Mobile users in the US.

To put in perspective, however, how small the user base of Windows 10 Mobile is that OS only accounts for 15% of all Windows phones. If you assume the total install user base of Windows phone users in the US is between 1-2%, which is being generous, 15% of that is going to be a small number of people.

Some U.S. Windows 10 PC data

AdDuplex's November numbers also highlight PC usage. Compared to globally HP does better in the US. Even though it is the top Windows 10 PC manufacturer that number goes from 22 percent worldwide to 32 percent in the US. Dell is in a strong second with 25 percent.

Lenovo is a distant third at 8.9 percent with Toshiba, Asus, and Acer rounding out the bottom. Microsoft with its Surface line is in the 7th spot with 4.3 percent of active Windows 10 PC users.

OS Versions

Finally, AdDuplex reveals that 90 percent of those on Windows 10 Mobile are using the Anniversary Update while 83% of PC users are on the same release.

At the very least, you can say that Microsoft is having success with its Windows as a Service (WaaS) system as most consumers who want to be on the latest OS appear to have taken the update.

About AdDuplex

The numbers from AdDuplex are collected through their in-app advertising that is prevalent in over 5,000 apps in the Windows Store. That data serves as an important metric within the Windows Phone ecosystem. The full AdDuplex report for November will be posted on their blog at on Wednesday (November 23). You can view all our previous AdDuplex Monthly Report analyses here.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.