Microsoft seems to have succeeded in getting a higher rate of current Windows 10 Mobile devices as updated 8.1 devices instead of new sales, at least according to this month's AdDuplex report.
Alternatively, only 22.82% of current Windows 10 Mobile Lumias are of the x50 series (Lumia 550, 650, 950, 950 XL), suggesting that people are not actively buying these phones either. That leaves 77.18% of all Windows 10 Lumias as in-situ upgrades from Windows Phone 8.1. Considering the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL are priced quite high, and the Lumia 550 and Lumia 650 did not see widescale release, none of that should a shock.
While that bodes well for people clinging to their old hardware, it does nothing for Microsoft or the small handful of other Windows Phone manufacturers.
Windows 10 Mobile up 1.2%
In related news, the share of all Windows Phones running Windows 10 Mobile is up 1.2% over last month for a total of 10.4% of the Microsoft pie. That number, however, seems to have slowed slightly from previous months as the number of available phones who have not received the upgrade and the rate of new Windows Phone purchases both decrease.
The vast majority of existing Windows Phone – 78.8% - are still running Windows Phone 8.1. That number could substantially drop once people trade in their phone. Current market forces tell us those people likely won't be staying within the Microsoft ecosystem.
Insider versus non-Insider?
For the first time, we are also getting a first glimpse at the breakdown between Insiders builds and non-Insider "production" releases.
Looking at all current Windows 10 Mobile phones that are active and AdDuplex was able to discern that 14.41 percent of those devices are Insider status with 85.59 percent opting for production builds.
While the overall number of people running Windows 10 Mobile is small compared to iOS and Android, the number within the community running Insider builds (aka beta releases) is relatively high, likely reflecting the enthusiast user base that is left with a Windows Phone.
Around the World
AdDuplex also focused on a few countries in the report due to be published tomorrow. Here are the highlights.
No significant changes from last month with the Lumia 640 remaining the most popular with 27.8 percent representing all current Windows Phones.
The Lumia 635 is number two with 25.4 percent.
There is no mention of the Lumia 950 or Lumia 950 XL as their numbers are likely too small and are folded into the 23.3 percent of the "other" category.
The Lumia 635 (18.4%) is still number one, but the Lumia 640 (12.1%) is now the second most popular Windows Phone in that country.
The Lumia 930 and Lumia 925 have dropped off the top ten with no other high-end phones to replace them suggesting sharp declines in that country.
Perhaps the one fascinating country in the report is Germany. The Lumia 950 there is at 3.1 percent of all active Windows Phones and is close to cracking the top ten there. At least proportionally speaking that is the best we have seen yet for that phone, although the relative number of real users is unknown and likely small like the overall Windows Phone market share.
The number one spot is still held by the Lumia 630 (13%) with the Lumia 640 close behind in number two with 12.8 percent.
AdDuplex calls Poland one of the Lumia strongholds, but unfortunately that too is fading with the new Lumia 550 placing number 21 out of all Windows Phone and no other x50 models cracking the top ten.
Apparently, Microsoft and the Lumia brand have fallen out of favor in that country.
Like other regions, the Lumia 640 is number one (14.6%) with the Lumia 535 (14.5%) close behind.
Similar to Poland India is on a downward trend with the latest Lumia devices. AdDuplex notes that India is one of the first countries to have new Lumias crack the top ten, but not this time. The Lumia 550 is shockingly placed at number 27 making that phone a complete disaster concerning winning over entry-level consumers.
The Lumia 535 still holds the top spot with 22.4 percent with the ancient Lumia 520 holding 12.5 percent for second place.
With Microsoft's mobile strategy being one of retrenchment the numbers here should not be too surprising.
The Lumia 650 is the last of the Lumias, and Microsoft is putting any new mobile hardware on hold until 2017 when the OS will be on stronger footing than it is today. In the meantime, we may see some new OEMs come on board, but nothing substantial until post-Windows 10 Anniversary Update later this summer.
While devices like the Lumia 550 and Lumia 650 have failed to resonate it is likely a reflection of low-cost Chinese Android devices eating up that once valuable market. Indeed, it is likely a smart move for Microsoft to get out of that market as competition there is going to be fierce when you consider all the corners some Chinese firms are cutting putting pressure on Samsung, LG, and HTC.
The one other interesting note is that Acer has already jumped to the number 6 spot next to BLU as a Windows Phone manufacturer. Acer's Jade Primo is only in select markets at this time, but their name recognition and mid-range specs seem to be making some impact suggesting big name OEMs may yet have a shot at winning some of the Windows Phone market now that Microsoft is pulling back.
The question is, of course, will other companies see value in investing in the ecosystem. That is something we likely won't see until later in the year. Later this summer, we will also see the launch of the Elite x3 "superphone" from HP. That device will be aimed at enterprise, but it will be interesting to see how well it resonates.
The numbers from AdDuplex are collected through their in-app advertising that is prevalent in over 5,000 apps in the Windows Phone Store. That data serve as an important metric within the Windows Phone ecosystem. The full AdDuplex report for May will be posted on their blog at https://blog.adduplex.com/ on Thursday (May 19).
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, 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 for some reason, watches. 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.