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.

  • As usual - for those who hate - FIRST lol
    On a serious note - if Lumia 620 were to have a better battery life, it would have been on the top i guess
  • 620 would be the top seller if it were cheaper than the 520... Has nothing to do with battery. By that logic, my cell phone from 2001, with 1+ week battery life would still be on top.
  • I really hope you're not responsible in any way for Windows Phone manufacturing, design or marketing. Lol.
  • All of these percentages are nice, but it would be really great to have some actual numbers.. Some real numbers, like how many 520/521 have actually been sold worldwide❔ 3Mill, 50Mill, 678 million❔❔
  • Agreed. And why are there always ❔ symbols in your posts?
  • That's his thing. We all have our thing. Dont hate on his thing because its bigger than your thing ❕
  • You haven't even seen my thing, so how do you know if it's bigger?
  • ⬆⬆⬆ This ⬆⬆⬆
  • Mainly because it's habit now, and I'm a leader not a follower.. But, the real question is who gives a shit❓
  • At first it really pissed me off so much that I hit my mom, but after that I cooled down and accepted you for the man you are.
  • Psssst...he's not really a man.
  • Shhhhh❕❕❗❗
  • "Emoji"
    Click in the smile button while typing in your WP.
  • AdDuplex is treating it like an opinion poll. Not every Windows Phone is running apps that use AdDuplex, so they're just hoping those that are running apps that use AdDuplex are a representative sample. I don't believe I ran any AdDuplex apps on October 11th, so my Lumia 1020 probably wasn't counted, for example, but if the sample is representative then it doesn't need to be. In fact, if the sample is representative, it's better that I didn't! ;-)
  • We only hate "first" posts when it contributes nothing to the conversation. You made a point, so you're safe... For now ;)
  • I held a 520, it's much smoother than lower end androids within that price range and higher
  • first? :o
  • cookie plz ?
  • I baked one for you but my dog ate it......
  • Nope, you're third, now you have to give cookies to everyone else
  • More ATIV's than 8X's? Ok now I'm sure I will never buy an HTC device ever again.
  • You base the quality of a phone off of how many are sold?  Shouldn't we all be buying iPhones then? 
  • I would've happily bought an 8X if it had microSD. No way I'm going to buy another 16 GB device. Both HTC & Nokia refuse to put them in their flagship models.... I just don't understand why
  • Uh, my Lumia 820 has a microSD slot. Don't know what you're talking about. And very few HTC phones have microSD slots, Android included. Doesn't matter to me as long as the phone has at least 32GB internal storage. HTC One here I come!
  • That's not a flagship model. The HTC 8S and 8XT have microSD too.
  • "Flagship" refers to the top models for each manufacturer: 920, 8X and ATIV were the flagship models at launch. ATIV was the only one with microSD. The 920 had 32 GB, but I still don't feel like it's enough. I want 32 GB + microSD, or 64 GB minimum. .
    The 820 is considered mid-range. The 925 & 1020 are also considered "flagship", and once again don't have microSD.
  • In Canada, the Ativ S outsold the HTC 8X because three of the four biggest carriers (Rogers, Bell, and Telus) carried it, whereas fewer carried the HTC 8X. A shame because the 8X showed more innovation than the Ativ S. Not that I'm slagging the Ativ S, since it has the biggest screen and best battery life of any of the WP8 flagship. I went with the Lumia 920 myself, which is pentaband in Canada BTW.
  • They dropped the ball only putting 16 GB onboard. I didn't see any reason to switch from my 16 GB HD7.
  • I guess 1020 is not that popular since on all the graphs it's not listed aka others. From all Windows Phones I've tested only 2 models were awesome - 920 and 1020. 
  • Makes me even more proud to own a 1020! I hate having the same phone as everyone, it's the best phone I've ever owned!
  • +925
  • 3 things about the 1020
    1) Up until recently it has been on a very limited release on a single carrier in the US, and even then it has only been out a month while many other devices listed here are coming up on a year. Most of the rest of the world has not had access to the 1020 until this week.
    2) As awesome as the 1020 is, it is a borderline gimmick device. An awesome device to be sure, but outside of the nice camera you are looking at a lumia 925 at a higher price point. Camera enthusiests will go for it for the camera upgrade, but for most people a 900 series device is a better choice.
    3) The 1020 is a bit slow on the camera due to the duel core CPU and older GPU. The 41MP camera was just about literally hacked in to make it work. I think that a lot of people are waiting for a GDR3 device with a newer CPU and GPU which will run a large camera a bit better. Also it is difficult to appreciate such amazing pictures without a 1080p display, so again it is another reason to wait. A true 41MP successor to the 1020 will probably not be out for a while yet, but I think that most people will be happy with better specs and a smaller 12-20MP camera, and that is what they are waiting on.
  • +1320!
  • Once you got used to the 41MP camera, it is difficult to settle with anything less.  My next phone upgrade would have to be a Snapdragon 800 version of L1020.  There is simply no other choice.  :)
  • I agree with all your points except the 1080p part. On a sub 5" device, those picture will look the same. The only benefit is that video will play in it's native resolution. However, even then you won't be able to tell the difference.
  • The Lumia 1020 has twice the RAM of the 925 also, it's not just the better camera. And I think future software updates will significantly improve the time it takes to process photos.
  • The few carriers in Canada that carry Lumia products heavily push the 520 for their prepaid line-up, and rightfully so. Most user reviews rate the device quite favourably. I know my mom really likes Nokia devices, having used their flip phones in the past, so for her, if she wants to own another Nokia device in the future (keeping in mind that she only uses her cell phone really for texting), then the 520 is a perfect low-cost option for her.
  • Most carriers in Canada push the Lumia 520 as a $0 on contract smartphone, not a prepaid device. Telus, Rogers, Cityfone, etc., all primarily offer it for post-paid.
  • Wow that's amazing just like low cost Android devices drove adoption of Android. Excellent news.
  • oo, AT&T overtook VZW as the top wp8 carrier.
  • That's because Verizon's selection of WP8 phones is piddly.  25 Android phones and only 3 Windows Phones.  To top it off only 1 Nokia phone now.  They no longer show the L822 on their web site.
  • Verizon loves Android, so what else is new? They have the exclusive Droid/Motorola brand, and it works for them.
  • I don't know about the Lumia 620 battery, but my Lumia 520 lasts all day on 3g and when I get home, WiFi.
  • Hey that's interesting, if i use 3g especially it will last hardly half a day...!!
  • Nokia all the way baby
  • One in every three windows phones sold are Lumia 520's.
  • One in every 3 *used* are 520s. That means *more* than 1 in 3 sold are 520s, since these are cumulative numbers (note the WP7 handsets that still show up, though in declining numbers).
  • This also means devs should now consider 512mb ram as standard.