comScore shows Windows Phone still in 4th place in the US, but making small gains

A new report published by comScore shows steady growth in the US for Windows Phone, a significant contrast to what we saw earlier in the year. While Android remains the number one platform in the region with Apple sat in second, Microsoft is pretty much level with BlackBerry, who has been struggling to halt the downhill fall the company has experienced.

According to the comScore report, Android was ranked as the top smartphone platform in the month of September with a market share of 51.8 percent (down 0.2 percentage points). As noted above, Apple followed in second with iOS taking 40.6 percent (up 0.7 percentage points). BlackBerry sat in third with 3.8 percent (down 0.6 percentage points), while Microsoft was closing the gap on 3.3 percent (up 0.2 percentage points).

comScore Sept 2013 Platforms

What about OEMs? Unfortunately, Nokia didn't make the top 5. Apple came in first with 40.6 percent of US smartphone subscribers (up 0.7 percentage points in June). Samsung came in second with 24.9 percent (up 1.2 percentage points), with HTC on 7.1 percent, Motorola with 6.8 percent and LG in fifth place on 6.6 percent.

comScore Sept 2013 OEMs

While these numbers differ from what we've seen in Kantar reports (detailing sales in multiple markets instead of subscribers), the overall picture is more or less the same. Microsoft is certainly making grounds with its mobile platform - sales are on the rise and so is the company's share of the smartphone pie. We've been monitoring the success of Europe and beyond, but there appears to be a change in the wind in North America.

Here's a snippet from a recent Kantar report:

"Other numbers in the United States are revealing as Android has dipped 2.5% in sales in 2013, along with an expected decrease for BlackBerry. Only iOS and Windows Phone has shown growth in sales, conceivably signaling a changing tide in the States."

I'd also recommend you check out the Canalys report from Yesterday for numbers in other markets. Nokia will be venturing into the phablet market with the Lumia 1520 and Lumia 1320 to push into markets. How these two Windows Phones perform is yet to be seen, but with the rise in popularity of larger-than 5-inch displays, we could well witness an accelerated growth.

Source: comScore

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.

  • Growth is growth
  • Especially in the US where it has been rather difficult to get the right level of exposure to grow.
  • True... things seem steady now...
  • True, difficult to penetrate the US market. It's not just a market, it's a culture. But doable.
  • Yes it is doable I love windows phone.
  • I still say that Marketing is not strong enough, and never has been so.. If WP is so important to Microkia then why can't I walk out my house and see advertisements for it everywhere❔ I shouldn't be able to watch 10min of TV without seeing a WP ad.. But, instead here in Dallas there are huge iPhone 5s, and 5cs, completely covering the sides of skyscrapers.. I've never seen anything that "big" from Microkia.. Marketing, awareness, and popularity... That's the only thing that WP is lacking that's keeping the AVERAGE consumer from choosing it.. Not apps, not hardware, not features..
    I believe that MS needs to bombard the airwaves, streets, venues, malls, and billboards of the top ten largest populated areas in America with everything WP related, and never let up.. I don't care if it cost 4 billion,, if that's what it takes then so be it❗
  • I think they need right kind of marketing as well. They seem to do a lot of product placement and not much else. Cheesy CW teen shows like Vampire Diaries and Arrow might be my secret guilty pleasure and they all have a ton of WP8 prodcut placement. It borders on ridiculous like everything else in those stupid shows. You could actually have a drinking game playing spot the Windows Phone on for Vampire Diaries. Of course, that's probably not a great thing. Product placement is more of a distracting joke than anything else (at least to me). They really should concentrate on the kind of advertising you described. You can't deny that Apple marketing is super slick and effective. Why can't they do that for Windows Phone?
  • I don't understand why they won't do it.. Its not like the funds aren't available..
  • That is pretty much spot on. Here in England we are seeing more and more Windows Phone advertisements especially for Lumia. I never thought it would happen but I have actually grown bored with the TV advert for the 1020 which seems to be on every channel during every commercial break. I've also started to see billboard ads for the 1020 too.
    This has had a positive effect here with people asking me "is that the new Lumia 1020?". Rather than, "what's that?" which is what I used to get asked.
  • I think that Nokia and Microsoft should work a little harder in markets that are usually favorable to them; instead they are trying to get into USA and neglect other markets. It might not be what they want but they should focus where they can leap forward and then go for complicated markets like USA. So far I haven't seen a lot of Lumia commercials in Mexico (if any) and the phone could do a lot better using the same kind of marketing that is using in USA.
  • Don't worry.. The marketing here in the US is never enough either..
  • Well, we need that amount of advertising here in the US..
  • Totally agree...people always ask 'is that the new Lumia?'...strange though that they mention Nokia in the same breath..
  • You're so right Rodney. Haven't seen ANY commercials involving ANY Nokia or other Windows Phone the past six months here in Norway. It's sad, even the local gadget pusher have removed the Nokia poster and there isn't ANY Lumias on display. Ain't going to get more sales from total lack of advertising...
  • Yeah, and if us WP fans who look for advertisements can't find them the do you think that the average consumer is being exposed❔ Not likely..
  • Why does MS need to do the heavy lifting? I am not saying that they shouldn't do it, but it is honestly not their place to do it. How many google adds are out in the wild to promote Android? I am pretty good about avoiding adds, but I am fairly sure that device makers pony up the cash for advertising rather than the OS provider. Nokia has not exactly been in a good financial place to advertise... And HTC... well, we all know what is going on there these days. Samsung is much more interested in pushing their SGS series devices than to throw money at their WP lines. Meanwhile MS has put out some advertising for the OS, but it shows the OS rather than showing off the devices, and that can only go so far. The real impact on WP sales at the end of the day are the salesmen and women in the stores. If you are joe-consumer and you do not know what you want then they will try and sell you an iPhone device because it is a premium item and they will not be stuck supporting you on it, or else they will point you to an Android device because it is what they know about. The sales people don't know much about WP, and so it becomes very difficult sell. Even when I went to the shiny new MS store when it opened less than a year ago, I asked about the Lumia 920 and some basic functionality questions about BT device support, and some other things I was simply unsure about because I had not owned a smartphone yet. The fact of the matter is that none of the sales reps in the MS store knew any of the answers, because none of them had actually used the WP devices outside of their basic training materials. They were all packing iPhones and SGS3 devices in their pockets and I had to go online to find answers.
    Point being: Most customers are not like myself, and will not bother to do their own homework before choosing a device or a platform. They walk in the door, want something shiny, and get something shiny rather than asking themselves if it will work for what they might want to do over the next 2-3 years. Adds will only get them to ask a sales person about a device, but at the end of the day there are far more sales people who are going to guide those who are interested towards a product that they know about themselves.
  • Guess all us WP fans has to do our share... retweet/FB-share everything WP and show off our lovely phones. It's easier than ever with a yellow 1020, everyone is curious about it :P
    Up to now I have bought 7 Lumias, 920's for me, wife and our two teenagers. Two 620's to my mother and mother in law. And, woops, a 1020 for me... :P
    Also talked two colleges into getting 1020, they love it :) Even one colleges mother bought one just for the camera :D
    Guess I'm entitled to a discharge soon ❓❔:P
  • Edit! 8 Lumias... bought a 820 to replace sons 920 with shattered screen after a fall :(
    Luckily just $120 off contract :)
  • Well, I agree with you.. But, we're talking about MS/Nokia as partners for some time now, so that's why I say it's Microkia's job to increase awareness.. And, you are right about these sorry sales associates, but if more, and more people are going into the stores and asking for a specific product then more attention will shift towards that product because associates don't care what they sell they just look for the next biggest thing, so they can "take the money and run"... The best thing that can happen to WP is hordes of people coming in stores asking about it because store associates are sheep as well.. Think about it❕.. Lol
  • I see ads in every Train car and every station in Chicago
  • Wow❕ That's cool.
  • That's what she said
  • Lol
  • Penetrate... Really❔
  • Nice to see
  • Whooo!!!!
  • 0.2% growth is pretty ineffectual, considering how many marketing dollars are invested for Windows Phone. I would be interested to know the raw number growth though, as percentages rarely tell the whole story.
  • But even without the raw numbers, these percentages are telling, since they're all based on the same subscriber pool. Essentially, Windows Phone gained as many people in Q3 as Android lost, which I think is absolutely substantial.
  • Thing is, they've (especially Nokia) had to invest all this money into brand awareness alone. Step one was to get everyone to understand that Windows Phone exists and Lumia smartphones are just as (if not more - biased, of course) powerful than the iPhone and Android hardware. Step two is now to really drive up custom and ship some units. Step three will be when we all retire, look back on today in a heated pool and laugh about how I imagined everyone in a pool thinking about smartphones. Wait... where am I again? :-)
  • Go on, go a heated pool....laughing....
  • lol
  • No, it was more about selling the 521 really cheaply. :-)
  • Slowly but surely WP will gain popularity.
  • WP badly needs a big update, Any idea when WP8.1 will revealed?
  • Mid 2014
  • I heard early 2014 Jan something like that.
  • Early than mid 2014, later than january... probably like march or april released. 
  • This⬆⬆... Maybe around June..
  • That's GD3+Black
  • Its coming and it has already received a couple of updates.
  • When people now comment on my red 920, they actually say, "is that a Windows Phone?" instead of "is that an iPhone?" .. Progress!!
  • This is one of the things I LOVE about Nokia! I have been an android user for a couple of years, and it always burned me that people asked about my iPhone. Now, I am a WP convert and LOVE the OS, but I also love that people can tell that I am using something different!
  • Me too...actually they specifically as about that 1020. Makes me want to get one. If I said yes it is, they certainly would ask to check it out.
  • True, folks no longer look at me funny when they see me with my WP. Plus I've converted 3 Android users. The 3rd actually on AT&T and is excited about the 1520.
  • Take away carrier subsidy and we would be at 35% right now.
  • Absolutely a large factor. The US market is so screwed up due to subsidies and exclusives and long contracts that it's hard to make heads or tails of it.
    For example, iPhone always seem to have the most favorable upgrade arrangements - when I was on AT&T, I was allowed an upgrade to iPhone much sooner than I was any other phone! That said, Nokia has been saturating the airwaves with ads for a couple of months now. If that investment, which must be substantial for just the World Series campaign alone, doesn't pay off, WP might be in trouble. But it's hard to tell yet, as these numbers don't include that period and it's hard to tell where people are in their upgrade cycle.
  • Hmm, that's odd.  I actually had to wait an extra month or two if I wanted to upgrade to a new iPhone.  Where as I was eligible to upgrade to a non-iPhone earlier.  I am on a corporate plan, and I already had an iPhone, so I am not sure if that affected my upgrade status compared to yours.
  • Pretty sure that's a big exaggeration... if you weren't then I hate to break it to you but that's not quite the truth. We might be + a few percentages, like 6-9% or so. But I imagine it would still lag behind Europe (which is about 10% right now correct?) because Apple is still an American company. But I would agree; the carrier model certainly doesn't help. It takes 2 years before any bit of marketing ads and such really can be evaluated.
  • Apple being an American company has virtually nothing to do with it.
  • um...weird...haven't we been at like 3% for years now??? where is the REAL increase??? Granted I will say I've run into more windows phones in the past 6 months than the year before that.
  • ~~where is the REAL increase??? In Europe!!!  
  • And Latin América. I've ran into quite a few WP here in Mexico lately.
  • (quote from"the sixth/3rd sense/smartphone rank) "i see more WP's on a fortnightly basis than ever before/dead people"
  • I've yet to run into WP in the wild
  • I've run into three just in my church. They're gaining traction, and I honestly think a lot of Android users only use Android just to not be an apple fanboy. Windows phone works well for those people.
  • I actually am starting to see windows phones at least twice a week. Pretty sweet.
  • Most people in my area use sprint so that might why
  • More proof that MS needs to work on getting more Sammy & HTC devices and get LG back. I know some around here want MS to go Nokia only, but if they did it would over in the US. It's going to be a while, if ever, before Nokia is a big name here again.
  • All because of NOKIA LUMIA 520
  • Everyone one in the US is app dependent. Until the major players release apps, you will see slow growth. I know the app argument is old, but its true. Candy crush?
    There also needs to be a big push with kids. They are the future of the platform.
  • This is true. Kids need to be the ones begging parents for the platform, and the kids will likely remain using it.
  • 0.2% android users goes to windows phone ;D
  • I highly doubt that the phablets will be the ones responsible for any substantial growth. The L525 is more likely to do that.
    That said...meh. I keep thinking Nokia wastes too much money and time with the US market. They should follow Sony's lead and focus on markets where they are strong first. But of course, that's difficult with the US-Centred MS always pushing them around.
  • ill agree and disagree with you.. They definitely need to throw huge amounts of cash to market in the US. Marketing tech here is like a culture -_- seriously lol Apple has people brainwashed here in the states they think they are in some sort of cult. Any time Nokia or MS miss a single day of marketing, it is a jab to the momentum and awareness uphill battle they are facing. Now to agree with you, Yes Nokias name itself (around the world) is very well known you can argue that they should also throw in the same amounts of cash to those markets because once the OS gains mindshare in the big five European countries, that will surely lead to sales here in the States. Whereas you saw Apple go the opposite route, they brainwashed here in the States first and later that mindshare spread globally, but you can see how long its taken them to get to just 10% martketshare in some European countries, Italy for example, I think WP sales just surpassed iOS in that country. So I guess the real argument would be, what route works best? well from what I just stated, I think focusing on Latin America, India, China, and Europe goes along way, much longer way than just focusing on the US.. BUT they CANNOT stop focusing on the US at all, that will hurt them day by day.
  • This looks like old data compared to some of the other numbers coming through given its only up to the end of September and its now the start of October. Pretty sure the Kantar information which shows the big jump from the 520 series includes data up to the end of October
  • Kantar numbers are % of sales and these numbers are % of subscribers.
  • It's november. :)
  • Yeah, whoops I got it right in one sentence saying data was to end of Oct and wrong in the first sentence I blame alcohol
  • Drinking my month away. :)
  • Bloody better be as no other country gets the first class treatment by Nokia in a market that has never cared for Nokia phones, making one off phones for one Telco eg L928/L929 is a massive cost and definitely not profitable so the stats better show growth. I think apples stale product and sheeple image has helped and androids malware ridden, slower and slower performance over time and WP os staying fast and secure and being the freshest os are also factors. I believe the growth is from the L520 and middle spec phones. Done my part with 2x 920s, 925 &1020. Debating if I can put up with a huge 1520 atm. 2520 a def no go as rt is on board and my 8" Acer wp8.1 runs full windows and is a fraction of the speculated cost of 2520. Anyway very happy for MS, Nokia and the whole WP community esp all who contribute to this site. Onya ppl
  • I kinda like that it isn't as popular as Android and iOS. I've had both and to know that I got the best one and only a small percentage of the population has Wp, kind amakes me feel like I know something the others don't. It is better no matter what way you look at it. I got all the apps I could want and this just just overall superior. Let the sheep be sheep. 
  • Same here. The main thing I have found is that WP is distraction-free compared to Apples and Androids, I was always tinkering with those devices and because WP is so efficient, I have no need for that anymore and my life has become less about mobile phones and more about enjoying it. I do believe Blac