The Lumia 535 dominates Windows Phone usage and Windows 10 Mobile grabs more new users in May

As always, the AdDuplex numbers are collected from 5,339 Windows Phone apps running on thousands of phones and reveal statistics within Windows Phone market share.

The most significant remarks about May's numbers center around the continued trajectory of the Lumia 535 and the increased growth of Windows 10 Mobile, as early-adopters try out Microsoft's forthcoming OS.

Global OS and brands

Starting out on the global level and a few notable trends can be observed in Windows Phone users.

  • 75% of Windows Phones are now Windows Phone 8.1 or higher
  • Windows Phone 7.x and 8.0 usages are dropping (2.3% and 1% respectively)
  • Windows 10 Mobile increased 1.6 percent from last month, making up a total of 2.3 percent of Windows Phone users today

Out of that data, the decrease in 7.x and 8.0 users is the least interesting. As people give up their old hardware in 2015, it makes sense to see those older systems depreciate. It is doubtful that many users are still upgrading to 8.1 this late in the game, so we are likely just looking at churn rates for hardware.

The increase in number of Windows 10 Mobile users from last month is more fascinating. Considering that the preview OS is still rough in many areas, it is surprising to see over 2 percent of users utilizing it. This number bodes well for the Windows Insider program, which will only grow stronger as Windows 10 Mobile becomes more refined and polished in the coming months.

At Microsoft's current rate, we give the Insider program at least another two builds before Windows 10 Mobile is stable enough for more mass adoption.

Finally, in terms of manufacturers, Nokia/Microsoft are now at a massive 96.75 percent of all Windows Phones, a 0.21 percent increases from last month. The "Other" category is also growing, albeit subtle at just 0.04 percent for a 0.46 percent total (and finally passing Huawei).

HTC is still second with 1.69 percent and Samsung is in third with 0.74 percent of total Windows Phone share.

United States

The U.S. has not seen much in the way of new releases. However, the Lumia 635 continues to be a very popular phone with a 3 percent increase from last month. This surge brings the Lumia 635 to a fairly substantial 30 percent of all Windows Phones in the States , taking share away from the aging Lumia 520 and Lumia 521 (who dropped by 1.4 percent).

Indeed, for May 2015, the Lumia 635 is officially the most popular Windows Phone in the United States by some massive margins.

Will LG's new Verizon Lancet phone make a dent next month? We highly doubt it as neither Verizon, LG nor Microsoft are actively promoting that device.

Finally, AT&T is still the largest US carriers for Windows Phone users with 33.8 percent. However, Cricket is not too far behind with 21.5 percent of the Windows Phone market in the US, beating out T-Mobile and Verizon. This fact reinforces the budget-friendly/pre-paid market that Microsoft has been angling for in the last year.

India and the Lumia 535

This month, the Lumia 535 has finally outpaced the Lumia 520 as the most popular Windows Phone in India. The Lumia 535 gets a lot right in terms of pricing and specification, and it seems to be resonating very well in India's challenging market.

UK dips in Lumia 530 and Lumia 630 users

Although the Lumia 535 is also seeing some growth in the UK, it looks to be coming at the expense of the less impressive Lumia 530 and Lumia 630. Those devices have both seen some minor drops in usage since last month, which bucks the trend of most countries.

The Lumia 635 and Lumia 520 models make up nearly 30 percent of all Windows Phones in the UK with only 5.4 percent usage for the high-end Lumia 930.

Early conclusions

May's numbers for Microsoft's Windows Phone do not reveal any earth-shattering trends. The Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL are still rolling out to various countries, including a delayed release in the US. As such, it is much too early to know if those phones will resonate with mass audiences.

On the low, low end, we have the Lumia 435 (now on T-Mobile), but this device also seems like a slow burner for now. LG's Incite on Verizon is seemingly senseless as a re-entry point for the Korean firm, as no one is interested in promoting or even talking about it.

Windows 10 Mobile will not pick up steam until later this summer and especially in the fall when new flagship phones begin to emerge from their development. Until then, focusing on emerging markets, budget phones appears to be the continuing trends for summer 2015.

Check out the AdDuplex blog tomorrow when all their numbers are released publicly.

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.