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Windows Phone 7 continues to hold its ground, while aggressive pricing helps Lumia 520 in the US

AdDuplex has released data showing the Lumia 520 becoming ever more popular within the Windows Phone ecosystem, low-end hardware progressing strongly in the US and a stubborn Windows Phone 7.

Windows Phone is an interesting platform to analyse when you're looking at hardware. Cross-platform advertising network, AdDuplex has published a report for the month of December to provide us with a small insight as to how Windows Phone is looking at the end of 2013. The year has been an eventful one to say the least, so head on past the break for all the details.

Lumia 520 goes for gold

Just like in previous reports we've covered from AdDuplex, the Lumia 520 continues to dominate the Windows Phone ecosystem, grabbing yet larger shares of the pie. Again, this is further proof that it's not down to just high-end, expensive hardware to push a mobile platform in the right direction.

AdDuplex Dec 13

Other than the continued growth of the Lumia 520, the chart remains almost the same when compared to November. According to AdDuplex, the low-end Nokia Windows Phone has grown 5 percent, essentially absorbing numbers from other Nokia Lumias in the list - did we mention that only Nokia Windows Phones are present in the top list still?

AdDuplex Dec 13 WP8

It's interesting to see that the Lumia 1520 and Lumia 1020 do not even appear in the top "Windows Phone 8 devices" list, though it's still early days for the flagship phablet. And just in case you required reminding whether or not Nokia has taken the market by storm since 2011, check out the chart below.

AdDuplex Dec 13

Greetings, rather dominate Microsoft.

Windows Phone 7 still hanging in there

As we noted last month, Windows Phone 7.x is a stubborn mobile platform, with consumers holding on to their previous generation hardware. There's some good news in today's report as AdDuplex notes how we've firmly passed the 3/4 mark with Windows Phone 8 continuing to close the gap. 

AdDuplex Dec 13

Aggressive pricing helps Lumia 520 in the US

We've seen some real price cuts over this year's festive period, with Black Friday and other aggressive marketing deals, but these campaigns have managed to help the Lumia 520 out in the region as the device is now number two, just behind its sibling.

AdDuplex Dec 13

The Lumia 520 was down in 5th position last month (on 7.2 percent), making its progress in December rather impressive (grabbing 12.2 percent). Its sibling, the Lumia 521 remains in first place on 30.2 percent. It's interesting to note that the Nokia Lumia 1020 is featured in this chart on 2.3 percent.

Finland, an odd child

AdDuplex Dec 13

Finland is an odd country to cover. The Lumia 800 is on 17.4 percent in first place, showing just how resilient Windows Phone 7 is, especially in the home of Nokia. The Lumia 920 closely follows in second (on 15 percent) with the Lumia 520 in third (12.9 percent). What's more is the entire list of top Windows Phones in Finland contains Lumia hardware only.

A new Brazil

AdDuplex Dec 13

This market has always been an important region for Microsoft and its OEM partners, just over 2 months ago the Lumia 710 was still a strong contender in the Windows Phone race, but now the Lumia 520 has flipped the table and now leads by almost 10 percent. It's a positive move since we're looking at a Windows Phone 8 handset replacing an older generation device.

Looking forward

The Lumia 1520 is landing in multiple markets, and we're going to see some more devices hit the shelves in the coming months, including the Lumia 525. We're also eager to see what will come out of 2014 and how the Microsoft and Nokia deal will go down with new hardware being released.

What are your thoughts at the end of 2013? Let us know in the comments.

You'll be able to check out the full report over on AdDuplex tomorrow. It's worth stating that this report was compiled using data collected from 2,499 Windows Phone apps running the Adduplex SDK v2. The raw data was collected on December 27th.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is 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 over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

102 Comments
  • In terms of sheer number, in which many has turned to Windows ecosystem, Lumia 520 (521) might be the most important Windows phone of all.
  • Definitely agree there.
  • Rich, how can we get statistics to represent the entire marketplace? 2,499 apps is a poor representative sample of the marketplace and is only for ad-supported apps. People are acting like this is gospel, when it's just a very small sample population.
  • Guys ...common see the graph. Around 70% device r 512 ram,still games r not optimize to run on it
  • Its the dev's duty to try and achieve that, not MS's or the OEM's.   In any case, I think I am missing the point of your reply...
  • Yeah ik...dat's y I m telling dis so that developers hav 2 focus on 70% market
  • Though these markets also don't usually pay for the apps. Compared to Europe and US where most of the plus 400 euro WP's are sold. China and India are pretty horrible at pirating everything. There was a quite horrible graph by a large iOS and Android developer whos app where pirtayed 70% of the time in India and China. In US that was 10% and 11% in major 5 EU markets. 
  • Many people like to buy apps but most of us dont have credit cards like the first world countries!
  • In INDIA mobile is every thing gaming device,telephone,mobile ,we want everything paying less as in as in android even cheaper mobiles have every thing playable like candycrush,templerun,subwaysurfer.its gaming device not smartphone,thats what we are looking in phones people are less concerned about apps they are concerned about games they want popular things of android in windows thats all
  • And because of that it is ok to pirate? Because people play games? Not really getting that argument. 
  • I disagree. People that buy a low-end device shouldn't expect top-end apps & games to run on it. If you want great games, get a better device. The 520 demographics are aimed at budget conscious users who don't require much from their device - hence lower memory and small storage capacity. I would also suggest that budget-conscious users are less likely to pay for many apps.
  • That's a good point but if WP does try to stand out of Android showing that all phones are capable of doing almost everything; Microsoft should be working in making easier to target budget devices. That's more important in markets of 3rd world in which Apple doesn't have a foothold and Android gets it's volume.
  • Lumia sales in 3rd world will boom after the Dual-SIM device launch. I live in Brazil and it's safe to say the 520 sales numbers here would be at least the double if it had Dual-SIM support. I'm excited to see these charts after Nokia/MS launches at least two Dual-SIM devices.
  • I agree with you schlubadub.
  • It also has to do with OS limitation
  • WP is still growing. Wait until these L520/21/25s grow in more numbers so devs will be forced to optimise it and not being busy with other OSs.
  • Forget about games - the worse problem is that IE flushes websites in other tabs once you open a second tab and you have to reload the page every time you want to go back to a previous tab. It's ridiculous. Then there's the apps force-closing to the start screen, because they run out of ram. It's worse on WP8 than on older WP7 devices with only 512MB - they would at least hold a couple of websites in their tabs and not flush them unless necessary, in WP8 almost every website gets flushed unless it's a very simple text-based one. Ridiculous x5.
  • That's my biggest gripe about the 521...the low ram cause just about every app to either restart or force close once you switch from it....other than that im happy with it for now can't wait to upgrade to something better next year
  • Try a different browser. UC, Maxthon or Baidu.
  • Haha, no thanks. All of those are Chinese browsers that most probably have a default proxy hardcoded in, so all traffic gets routed through Chinese servers. They're all just a slower and bloated chrome shell for IE anyway, and I doubt that it would make any difference in the memory issue, since those browsers won't add more RAM to a device which's OS needs so much that only a tiny amount stays free to be used by apps.   It is criminal that they even made WP8 phones with less than 1GB of RAM, just like it's criminal that they made WP7 devices with 256MB.   This is just typical old-old Nokia, skimping on a few dollars because some beancounter multiplied the couple of dollars they save and the projected number of sold devices, and concluded that that's a lot of money and that the amount of it is worth more to them than the higher user satisfaction if they had built it more expensive and better equipped, plus this shortens the time span until the customer feels that he wants to upgrade or replace it because it shortens the time until frustration.   Only thing that beancounter forgot was that that person might upgrade to a phone from another company, because he was frustrated by his Nokia, and probably doesn't even know the reason why the phone frustrates him, he just knows it's bad and not what he wants from his phone, so he will, correctly or incorrectly, assume that all Nokia phones are like that and won't want one any more. He will probably also tell his friends not to get one. I know it's absolutely the case with me and several people I know. Now, suddenly those 5 dollars you saved on the phone you sold me are peanuts compared to the money you lost from my repeat business, possible recommendations and sales that are not happening because of dissuasion. Nokia really needs to get some smarter beancounters, because they all were failed by their business school.
  • Nurse, Ramrac forget his pills.
  • Sorry to say that, but it isn't easy to read your comments. Could you try to write a little more clear? English it is not my first language and comments written like this makes everything somewhat harder.
  • It's actually 70% of people using any of the 2,499 ad-supported apps in this sample. NOT 70% of all WP owners
  • It's a great little phone.
  • The 520(1) is certainly kicking ass, my daughter and sister in law uses it. My brother, My girl & myself will never be caught dead with a 520(1).
    I'm waiting for the release of the 1525 on T-Mobile, now that's a phone.
  • Won't happen, even when AT&T's exclusivity deal expires, T-Mobile has expressed no interest in acquiring the L1520. Your best bet us to switch to AT&T or buy it & get it unlocked or buy an unlocked model.
  • ^^^Kill joy! I'm never buying a unlocked phone ever again. My Rogers ATIV S cost me $550 and I can't use WiFi calling or the hotspot feature on T-Mobile network. So I'll wait, and switching to at&t is not an option with 5 lines and no unlimited data.
  • http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/Nokia-Lumia-1520-for-AT-T/productID.289421700    
  • I am wish I could have choosen a Windows Phone 7.x device as my frist smartphone rather than choosing android
  • Why? What android phone was your first ?
  • Trust me, many of us stuck to WP7.x only due to some unconditional love, change of pace on mobile OS and a promise of an amazing future on this platform. Of course, all this was validated well.
    But..but..the platform was still a pain with a lot of uncooked parts and it was slower in a general sense. Apps weren't so optimized since it was a minority market. It was pure love that kept us attached to such pain :D
    Now on WP8, everything is a pleasure. Plus it keeps improving by the day at an escalated pace. Can't wait for WP8.1 :)
  • Ohh that means I chosen Lumia 620 my 2nd main device decision was good. Also the Phone I use LG Optimis Pro was furstating after 10 month I buyed Lumia 620
  • I made the exact same mistake. So happy I now have a lumia 520!
  • Hopefully those that get the 520/521 don't get perturbed with its shortcomings and dump WP as a platform because of it. I gave a 521 to each of my in-laws; after having a gen1 Titan they weren't impressed. Luckily they were very impressed with the 1020 they got three months later when we left TMo for ATT...as long as you know ahead of time what you're getting (and not getting), they could be suitable starter phones...
  • The key is to hammer into their heads the price. 520/521 do 99% what the latest $700 android/iphone flagship does, but for almost 1/10th the price. Whenever my father in law complains about the 521 I got him I say "feel free to pay $700 for an iPhone". That shuts him up.
  • ^^Nice!!! Well said!!!
  • No stats on India this time ??
  • No stats needed. L520 is leading indian WP market.
  • I guess I'm a stubborn Windows Phone 7.x user, haha. I'm currently still using the Lumia 800 and 900.
  • Nothing wrong with that. I still keep my HTC HD7 as my backup phone. I really thought my L521 was going to be a backup phone but it has blown my mind how great & user-friendly it is that it's a great daily driver.
  • Join the club!  My 1 yr warranty just expired on my Lumia 900, which I bought brand new off contract.  I'm still enjoying it, but I will be getting a Lumia 1020 very soon for myself and I just bought a Lumia 520 as a gift for a relative.   When the right WP8 device comes along for you, you'll know it and will upgrade then.  Until then, keep using those gorgeous, iconic Lumia devices (800 and 900) that brought WP to the forefront!
  • WP7 USERS!
  • Without wp7 there will not exist a wp8. I'm a 620 owner but I also keep my l710 :D.
  • I'm with ya there. Still using my L900 until a phone comes along that peaks my interest to upgrade. I guess getting stuck in a L900 contract shortly before WP8 came out has made me extra cautious about upgrading and missing future features (for instance, the rumored gesture controls with 8.1 that will require hardware supporting it). Frustrating as hell though with all the new apps not working on 7.8 (xfinity, instagram, not to mention the games).
  • Still using L900-no upgrade till September but looking for a used 920 on eBay to use till then. By September the 1520 could be $0!
  • Yup still rockin a white L900 and looking forward to the end of Feb when I'll be eligible for a upgrade and if AT&T is stocking the 32GB version of the L1520 I'm golden. Anybody hear when the 32GB version for AT&T will be available and the on 2yr upgrade price?
  • Add me to the list :-) I am rocking a Lumia 900 for the past 15 months :-D thought of getting a L920... But I wanted a little bigger phone than mine. Something with 5" display, quad core processor and at least 1 GB RAM :-D
  • Im still using omnia w
  • Proud to see my Lumia 920 next to the 520. Also guys, with the Lumia 520 on top, HELL is gonna break loose if a critical OS update does not reach that device. Will be a remaking of WP7 not recieveing WP8. Alongside my L920, I still use my HTC HD7 WP7.8....that makes me another stuborn WP7.8 user :)
  • Windows Phone lacks a true midrange fighter, i.e something comparable to Moto G. Microsoft should release a 7xx device with the same specs as the Moto G (quad core S400, 1GB RAM, HD screen) but with LTE and PureView. If pushed for $300 (16GB) and $350 (32GB) off-contract, it may help balance out the dependence on L520...as well as widen WP's competitive appeal.
  • I agree but isn't Moto G for $180? MS has to beat that price with their midrange offering. And if it helps im perfectly okay with a 4/8GB model as long as they update the OS to let you install apps to SD card.
  • Yep, agree with you. I am waiting for the successor of L720 to upgrade my current L720. Probably L725. Hope it come soon.
  • They can make device like moto g but there r lot more problems after that bcoz if they launch device like moto g specs with low price ...all other Lumia stops selling so they hav to think ant demand n specs , price,effect on other model etc.
  • That would be the Lumia 525, with the 1gb of ram, that fills in the gab of app ;) But sure, you won't get pureview and 4G :/
  • Of course. If you could get all those things on cheap phones, there wouldn't be a reason to buy a flagship =P
  • Google did that because they needed a fast android phone. To compete Microsoft just need to release a 1gb ram handset with Hd screen with the 720 price and that's all.
  • To get a fast Android phone Google released 4.4 KitKat. The speed of Android on low end devices is an OS problem more than anything else. Moto G is a combination of low specs with a lighter OS manufactured by te company producing the OS, which means, with no fees attached.
  • I've tried to get my brother to upgrade from his Focus, but he is stubborn. I can't blame him, its still a great phone and he doesn't bother with apps so he won't care if WP7 isn't getting the latest apps.
  • Always good to see growth.
  • 7.x will be around for a long time I imagine. Gave my father my old 900 and he'll probably use that for at least two more years.
  • It won't last that long, bra.
  • I am a happy 920 owner. But I still have my OG Focus. This has served as the backup for several members of my family, including my mother. who's 820 was out of commission for a few weeks with a broken digitizer.
  • On a completely unrelated subject, Microsoft was smart to purchase the Nokia brand simply from what these numbers show (IMO). The Lumia brand really pushes forth the WP ecosystem rather nicely. Now, as long as Microsoft doesn't abhorrently changes that model, it will continue to grow. :)
  • And as for Windows Phone 7? Upgrade. End of story or debate. Windows Phone 8 runs so much better with many more options for apps and functionality :)
  • And yet, still no devices with a keyboard. Therefore, the debate rages on. Only the killer zoom functionality of the 1020 brought me away from my Quantum and its keyboard. I do miss the keyboard and especially the arrow keys. Editing text on WP8 sucks ass big time.
  • Actually Microsoft can't use Nokia brand in smartphones, only in dumb S40 phones. Nokia owns its own brand, but it can start using it on mobile phones again in 2016. 
  • Yep. And I think Nokia will be working on designs and prototypes for the next two years, fully keeping the date 01/01/2016 circled on company calendars. And who knows what OS they'll be running...
  • Think Finland shows there's a demand for smaller high end phones. Make a 520 Pro or something, lol.
  • Finland is kind of special. Lumia 800 had absolutely huge marketing push going on its own home market. The whole phone was seen as the savior of Nokia. After Lumia 800 more and more people have moved towards iPhone and lesser to Android.
  • It will be interesting to see how the Microsoft ownership might affect pricing - it is likely Google is making little if any profit from Moto G/X, and making up for it with their services, maybe we'll see the same thing eventually with MS/Nokia.  - Woody
  • Sweet deals all around
  • Surprised the 925 figures are so low.
  • From a U.S. standpoint, I think it may reflect a T-Mobile base consumer that is more price sensitive than your average AT&T consumer, as well as a much higher level of marketing and promotion for the 920 because it was with AT&T and was the flagship launch device for WP8.  The 925 also seems to have had a VERY quiet life since coming to AT&T, with little marketing or support (especially since the 1020 had just come out, and the 1520 was waiting in the wings).     Worldwide, I wonder if the 925 wasn't hurt by it's 16GB storage capacity (except for the 32GB exclusive to Vodafone), the availability of the 928 (with 32GB and built-in Qi charging) and the fact that there were already rumors about the Lumia EOS (the 1020).    
  • We have no 928 here in the UK and before the 1020 arrived, the 925 was the flagship WinPhone8 device in every high street and on every ad break. True the 16Gb internal storage maybe did it no favours but then it wasn't a deal breaker for me. I've seen more 925s in people's hands than any other device and that's not saying a lot in a sea of Apples.
  • 925 owners can afford to buy apps, so they won't appear in the AdDuplex stats
  • Do we have a class divide amongst phone owners now? My phone's on contract, I never paid for it. Plus there's hundreds of free apps with no purchase options. A ridiculously ill-informed comment.
  • It's simple demographics. For example, a lot of Indian users don't have credit cards so they have to stick with non-paid apps. Those same users tend to have 520's and 620's and so you will see those represented more in the stats for ad-supported apps & games.   And really dude "My phone's on contract, I never paid for it"?? So your contract is free then? Of course not. You are repaying the cost of the phone in your contract. If you pay more than $20/month then you're essentially repaying a loan for the phone. That usually requires a job, credit checks, and a higher overall wealth. My point was to say that people with top-end phones can afford to buy apps, while people with budget phones are likely to be more budget-conscious. If you want to see that as a class divide or some sort of insult towards the poor then you're completely wrong.
  • Your comment was essentially "925 owners are wealthy therefore will buy apps and not be picked up by AdDuplex" which is bollocks. Of course I'm repaying it monthly, thanks for the education. You can still be poor and have a contract. That's why the world is in debt.
    But like I said, what of the apps that are ad supported with no purchase option, that remain free? And just because I can afford a 925 in your model, why would I want paid apps? We all like free stuff.
  • What you think I said and what I actually said are two different things. But anyway, you're missing the point and I can't be bothered explaining it again. New Years is long over for me so it's time for bed.
  • Still holding on to my 7.5 Titan. Just waiting for the Lumia 929/Icon/Whatever to be released.
  • I had a L900 for a long time and the only reason I switched to a L920 is because the app market is just a lot better for WP8 hands down. 7 was fine but after a while I felt stranded.
  • OEMs will be hitting the market hard with their own innovations coming 2014. Nokia and MS better have something up their sleeves and gear up for battle.
  • My roomie still uses a Lumia 710 and refuses to give it up...says he will only upgrade if there is a 725 with 1gb ram...also...being from India....yes there is piracy but buying apps here required you to have a credit card as no other card will support purchase and well...not everyone can have a credit card...i bought wpcentral app and rayman as soon as my bank gave me mine...so yeah...theres that
  • I'm using PayPal without a credit card for app purchases, but not sure if that works in India.
  • still have my 7.5 arrive from sprint. Can't upgrade OS and can't upgrade phone in general for 6 months. Also not to excited about what they offer right now. Maybe in 6 months they will have some newer phones to offer me.
  • I'm never gonna let go of my HTC Radar 7.8 :)