Report: Nokia Lumia 520 and low cost devices dominating global Windows Phone adoption

Another month, another very informative report from AdDuplex. As the largest cross-promotion network on Windows Phone and Windows 8, AdDuplex has been a solid source of data to get a bird’s eye view of the Windows Phone platform.  

What can we learn from the data from the past month? Globally, Windows Phone 8 is now on over 70% of handhelds running Microsoft’s mobile operating system. Read on for more insights into the world of Windows Phone.

Flagships don’t move platforms

Worldwide Windows Phone 8 Devices

While you and I are always looking for the next high-end Windows Phone device, that device isn’t going to save Window Phone. No, instead the unsung heroes that will propel Windows Phone to victory are devices like the Lumia 520. It’s a device not many people reading our site would have at the top of their list for Christmas, but it’s the device that controls a staggering 32.8% of Windows Phone 8 handsets worldwide. Up next is the Lumia 920 at 12.9% and the Lumia 620 also at 12.9%.

New devices like the Lumia 925 and 1020 don’t really even matter when it comes to Windows Phone handsets worldwide. Instead, it is inexpensive handsets like the Lumia 520 and 620 that will gain marketshare for the platform and in turn attract developers.

Nokia is still King of the Hill


When it comes to OEMs making Windows Phone, it any surprise that Nokia is on top? Their entire future depending on the success of Windows Phone before Microsoft announced plans to buy them. Going forward we don’t expect that outlook to really change. Last month Nokia controlled nearly 90% of the OEM market at 88.4%. That didn’t change this month as Nokia crept toward that 9-0 mark by moving up 89.2%. Maybe next month we’ll see them past that mark.

Lumia 521 surges in the United States

Windows Phone devices US Oct 2013

We’re not surprised that devices like the Lumia 520 are selling like hotcakes globally in emerging markets, but what is surprising is the success it’s seeing here in the United States. Yes, the land of 2-year contracts is seeing explosive growth with prepaid devices like the Lumia 520 and Lumia 521.

T-Mobile recently gained 685,000 new customers for the second quarter of 2013, that was more than AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon combined. Somewhere in those new customers a few much of picked up a Lumia 521. Last month the device controlled 14.2% of the US market and was second to the Lumia 822. Since then, the Lumia 521 has surged ahead to the top with 19.2% of marketshare for Windows Phone in the United States. The Lumia 822 dropped to second, while the Lumia 920 comes in third place. However, the Lumia 520 on AT&T has only 5.2% of the marketshare.

Carriers US

The carriers are also duking it out in the United States. AT&T has clawed back to come on top with 31.8%, while Verizon and T-Mobile bring up the rear with 30.7% and 20.7% respectively. Sprint is nowhere to be see, but MetroPCS does claim 6.8% of Windows Phone users in the United States. They also carry the Lumia 521, which is where the big boost for the device could have also came from.

Windows Phone around the world

Every other phone should just give up and let the Lumia 520 carry Windows Phone into the future. For real, the device controls 32.8% of the Windows Phone marketshare. That dominance comes up when you look at most countries around the globe. Here are some markets to check out:

Windows Phone Canada

In Canada, the Lumia 920 and 520 are basically neck and neck for the top position. The Lumia 920 takes up 17.5% marketshare, while the Lumia 520 sits just half a percent below at 17.0% of marketshare. Bringing up third place is the Samsung ATIV S, something we’re not familiar with seeing towards the top of any marketshare lists with Windows Phone.

In France we see the Lumia 520 at 32.7%, the HTC 8S at 13.1% and the Lumia 920 at 10.6%. What’s interesting here is the surge of the Lumia 520. In the past, the budget friendly HTC 8S was very popular, but has succumbed to the Lumia 520 at last.

Windows Phone India

In India, inexpensive devices are king. The Lumia 520 controls the marketshare there with 40.6%, while the Lumia 720 (mid-range device) comes in at 13. 4%, and finally the Lumia 620 sits beneath the Lumia 720 at 10.8%. It’s really no surprise that the top three Windows Phone handsets in India are affordable. Devices like the Lumia 520 will continue to own emerging markets where price is more of a concern than how many megapixels your sensors has.

For the last bit of data let’s look at Brazil. It’s a super unique country when it comes to Windows Phone. Why? Because Windows Phone has seen massive success there compared to other countries. In fact, the king of the hill down in South American isn’t a Windows Phone 8 device, it’s instead the Lumia 710. As you’ll recall, the Lumia 710 is running Windows Phone 7 and commands 33.1% of the Windows Phone marketshare down there. Up next is the Lumia 520 at 24.7 percent and in third is the Lumia 800 at 11.1%. Two of the top three handsets in Brazil are running Windows Phone 7, that’s crazy.

Looking ahead

What’s the next report going to look like? Well that’s tough to say. The Lumia 520 will probably continue its path towards world domination. But a month from now we’ll be seeing some new devices from Nokia hit the market. Those won’t make a big impact (or any at all) on the next report since there probably won’t be enough time for them to saturate the market. What will be interesting is to see how many users and developers download GDR3 before it’s released to the general public.

As always, these reports are produced using a sample of Windows Phone apps running version 2 of the AdDuplex SDK. The data was collected over the day of October 11, 2013. You'll be able to view the full report once it's published tomorrow over on the AdDuplex website.

Sam Sabri