Latest data shows Windows Phone leading the IPv6 race on mobile

As the world slowly moves to IPv6, essentially the next version of IPv4, which mobile platforms are embracing the future? Latest data, published by content delivery network (CDN) Akamai shows that Microsoft is in front with Windows Phone. This could well be down to the increased enterprise usage we're reporting on. So why are we upgrading to version 6 of the protocol? Simply put: the world has ran out of IP addresses. 

"What? I'm so confused!" Fear not. An IP address is an ID for a device, which can be used to connect to it - much like our website. You type in "," but a domain name is just a user-friendly mask of our server's IP address. You'll have an IP for any device connected to the Internet, including smartphones. Example: if you play multiplayer video games and use a string of numbers to connect to a friend's lobby, that's his (or her) computer's IP.

IPv6 is an upgrade to version 4 of the protocol with a larger pool of addresses available for the continued growth of technology. Here are some more advantages over IPv4:

  • No more NAT (Network Address Translation)
  • Auto-configuration
  • No more private address collisions
  • Better multicast routing
  • Simpler header format
  • Simplified, more efficient routing
  • True quality of service (QoS), also called "flow labeling"
  • Built-in authentication and privacy support
  • Flexible options and extensions
  • Easier administration

Why is it important to note how well Windows Phone is doing? IPv6 is the future and since the platform is embracing change better than the competition, it's interesting to note just how Windows Phones are connecting through the Internet. Here's a chart showing the percentage breakdown between platforms:

IPv6 Chart

There's not a massive lead and Android (latest version) isn't far behind in second position with 10.8 percent, but considering how small the Windows Phone share of the market is, it's quite the achievement should the data be accurate. We're not talking about a massive achievement and this report does not make Windows Phone any better than the rest, but it's an intriguing statistic.

Source: GCN, via: WMPU

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • Great news
  • Cool
  • Am I the only one who doesn't see the labels on the bar graph?
  • Nope. I'm annoyed too.
  • i can't see them
  • Without labels, as a novice statistician, I can tell you this isn't graph worth a 1 on the Rum-O-Meter.
  • Just guess that the bar with the longest length is the WP
  • But it does have labels which is why there's no Rum'o'meter ;-)
  • It has labels, it's the font that's black. Will update with a white background (using white background on my WP so didn't spot it).
  • Thanks for updating!!!
  • Technically, Android 4.0-4.2 are similar enough that the average user wouldn't know the difference (aside from speed "improvements" (WP8 is still sooooo much better) and google now), so shouldn't they be grouped together and thus constitute slightly more IPv6 traffic than WP8? In any case, good show Windows Phone.
    -Proud owner of the (yellow) Lumia 1020
  • I used to read labels on graphs, but then I took an arrow to the knee.
  • haha, are you sure it wasn't a catapulted 3210? :P
  • LOL
  • I can see the labels on the bar graph
  • I am guessing it will also due with the networks you are on? So say you at home on WiFi most broadband providers (UK) by the looks of things have not made the move yet.
    But i would say mobile networks have got a better and wquicker way of doing this so i am gfuessing it really depending on how these phones are connented.
  • That chart needs labels...
  • One does not simply add labels to a chart..
  • Coool!! :) :)
  • Chart needs labels!
  • Cool chart bro
  • I think the background is supposed to be cyan like on the tile image for the story. The labels are black on the cyan background.
  • You can see the labels on live tile. LOL it's that the font colour is black xD
  • It has labels
  • I don't study computers (I study International Relations), but I love Windows Phone and know most of the things a heavy user must know.
    One thing that I complain the most is that I can't set a static IP address on my WP, like I did on my last Android, so I can't use the wi-fi in my house, that connects only through a specific IP (internet via radio).
    So, I want to know: when will we be able to set a IP address to a specific connection on our phones? This IPv6 thing will change anything? Or it is already on WP?
    I NEED TO USE MY WI-FI, BECAUSE 3G IN BRAZIL IS LIKE A POTATO (potatoes have an advantage because they are edible)
  • I can set a static IP address on my 920. And no. This ipv6 thing wil not change that on your phone
  • What version of the firmware are you running? I can't set it either (haven't got amber yet) nor can a friend who has GDR2...
  • Gdr2. I got it with 1308 or 1314. Can't remember which one though . Rogers 920
  • No you cant setup a static IP on a Windows Phone.
  • Or you could setup DHCP on your WiFi and be done with it.
  • WP8 has the capability to set Static IP. However, this can be turned off in the configurations offered by the OEM specific variant. That's why you may see options in a phone from one operator/country and not in another one
  • Set up DHCP, use a static reservation for your device. It really is the better solution.
  • Lol, you have to have the "light" background to see the labels.
  • Lol wow xD
  • What it actually shows is that Windows Phone 8 is leading the way. Android has more percentage share than Windows, but it's percentage is split between 3 different operating versions.
  • Windowsphone
  • Potato
  • IPv6 has been the "future" for over 10years. We created the internet (USA) so we kept the majority of the addresses for ourselves while the rest of the world "starved". We are still doing good on IPv4 and will continue using it until we are forced to switch. So I guess this is cool?
  • Yeah, there is certainly no race for supremacy.
  • Still don't know what IPv6 is.
  • the 2nd paragraph above explains it pretty well. just a better protocol
    than the one currently being used.
  • There are only a finite number of unique ip addresses in the format 111.222.333.444  (4.3 billion)
    A decade or so ago not that many computers were connecting the net so it wasnt a problem.  These days lots more people/homes/businesses worldwide connect on many devices so The internet ran out of IP addresses  a year or so ago.  In order to allow more devices to connect in the future, IPv6 allows a massive increase in the possible IP addresses.
    The problem is the two are not interoperable causing issues in switching over as old devices which arent compatible cant use IPv6 and so IPv4 has to keep running
  • Another way to look at it is to think back to the introduction of area codes. This takes the short "address number" of a device and adds extra digits to the front.  there are specific prefixes (area codes) for the ipv4 networks .  Any new network gets to use all the other prefixes (area codes) giving them alot more options.
    Like growing up you used to be able to call your neigbor without dialing all 10 digits just the last 7 (evidently you still can in some places).  All USA numbers technically have a leading 1 on them.  this tells you want continet/area of the world to find the number.  Such as 7 is assigned to russia and its former parts.  3 and 4 are assigned to europe. etc.  So in a nutshell this is making each devices "phone" number longer.  Its a bit more complicated but thats the basic jist of whats going on.
  • Chart Labels: $0.99 in-app purchase.
  • I saw this yesterday when I was trying to fix a WiFi issue. Noticed that my PC said IPv6 "no internet access"
    However IPv4 said "internet" I kinda understand but not really... Lol
    "Go MS!"
  • More likely an issue with your ISP or router than your PC.  The only thing you need to know about IPv6 is how the addressing works, so that when consumer devices (routers & PC's) stop supporting v4 you can still configure your home network. 
    You have no control over anything else.
  • i wonder if windows 7.x is using ipv6?
    there are still people using that too.
  • I am still. Rockin the WP7.
  • +1 ;)
  • Was using IPv6 but HTTP sharing wasn't working in wpTorrent app. Had to switch back to IPv4
  • I didn't think the device gets any say in the address it's allocated, aside from actually being compatable, which every smartphone should be.
    So where's the story? 
    This is like reporting that WP8 is great because it's dropped in the toilet less...
  • I'm with you, useless information.
  • yet still dont have VPN...
  • Grammar police! it's "has run" not "has ran" at end of 1st para - otherwise interesting stats
  • Shut it❕
  • Well, if you need these statistics to see a future for windows phone... "IPv6 is the future", seriously?
    Should i be concerned?
  • WTH?!? That some nasty misinformed FUD you're spreading here. No, IPv6 is not just a simple "upgrade" of the IPv4 protocol -- it's something completely different. In fact it's so different that it is quite common and effortless to run both in parallel. The implementation in GDR1 is so crappy that I cannot even tell which IPv6 address it picked up on the WLAN without starting a trace on on my network; it seems to partially support IPv6 but certainly not even fully like most of my other devices here do -- I can't even load a full webpage from one of my servers. Quite possibily the high IPv6 usage stems from some tunneling protocol usage like Microsoft did with their PC OSes since XP by default. Android and iOS don't do tunelling but support IPv6 out of the box (and quite well so), so if a network is natively IPv6 capable those will definitely pick it up.
    BTW: Before you try writing up articles about IPv6 how about a nice IPv6 address and an AAAA record on
  • +1!
  • No, I disagree with what you're saying.. I don't agree that Samsung hardware is as good as Nokias, and I also think the WP UI is way better than Androids' many versions of a cluster fuck... And, if you could please stay on topic it would greatly be appreciated... The worst thing you said is that WP has no way at all to post to Instagram.. Have you ever heard of 6sec❔... Get your facts strait next time...
  • rodneyej, it appears you are not only off topic but off-article. Don't even know what the hell you're talking about. PEBKAC?
  • Oh, so you're saying that Apple has better stores than MS❔.. Boy, when it's slow, on days like today, some of you guys would complain about the color of the sky.. Geezz❕
  • And, I don't appreciate your user name either.. I find it extremely offensive.. Kill JFK❔Really❔❔❔
  • You sir are insane.
  • Is it insane to eat dead people❔Is it insane to sow your eyelids open so you never will have to go to sleep❔Is it insane for me to be collecting all of these spare smartphone parts to complete my robot that clips ten peoples toe nails, and can fill up your car with gas at the same time❔.. No, no, and no❕... So why would you call me insane after all the rude things you said today, and after you lied about the bug that WP has❔ huh❔
  • You cant read very well can you. Look at his name and read it SLOWLY.
  • You saying that my brother isn't good enough to play with your kids❕.. What, is your family better than mine❔ huh❔
  • What
  • Lets hope the IPv6 stack in WP isn't vulnerable to the ping of death like the one of Win8 was until the last security patch. Which is a lil pathetic because MS already fixed a ping of death issue in their IPv4 stack like 8 years ago. You'd have thought they're doing it better that time ;)
  • While this is positive, it's worth noting that all this means is that Windows Phone 8 devices are used on IPv6 networks much more often than the rest. As you can see, iOS supported it back to v3 and Android back to 2.3 (manufacturer permitting), so it's not about the device support of IPv6 but rather the network support. Evidently most iOS users are on old networks or use WiFi most of the time, whereas newer Android users and WP8 users are on modern networks or IPv6-enabled home connections. It could also be to do with the grade of user -- WP8 and premium Android users that use the internet a lot are likely to be more techy and possibly seek out IPv6 more than mid-range Android users and iPhone users who don't know about it or couldn't care less.
  • The article isn't entirely correct. Yes, we're running out of ipv4 addresses but this applies to addresses of websites not devices used to access the internet. Every device has what's known as a mac address and a private up address( totally different to ipv4 addresses) and are not exhuastable.
  • Are you serious? Do you actually know what are you talking about? Honestly it doesn't seem... IPv4 is a protocol (RFC 791) probably used also in your LAN or WLAN where you have your "private addresses". So private addresses and internet addresses are both IPv4 (or IPv6) but in different networks, they're structurally equal. Mac addresses are used in a different level of "ISO/OSI stack", it's like apples (ip) and oranges (mac), you can't replace one with the other, you have to improve apples (IPv4) with bigger apples (IPv6).
  • What i'm trying to say is, by reading this article you'd think they're talking about ALL IPV4 addresses running out. Private IP addressing that are used in LAN and WLAN is doing just fine, they are not running out as you can define the range and scope of these addresses. It's the public ipv4 addresses that's the issue.
  • This is going to make google a little more crazy in the head than they already are.  I love it.
  • 12 % what? It's silly how WPCentral grabs any figure that seems to show some progress for the OS. How about some serious journalism for a change to really help us push this platform forward. The key to all development is constructive criticism. There's no lack of topics there. When are you gonna finally confront people like Mr Belfiore with some basic issues?
  • Loving it! I love how Verizon auto-incorporates IPv6 already into all their phones, so to see this makes me smile. Go #WP8!
  • I wonder if GDR2 has somethign to do with this. (or whatever it is) showed me a ip4 address pre GDR2, but an ip6 address post GDR2.