Steve Ballmer: Windows Phone sales up 300 percent

We're still not sure just how many Windows Phone 8 devices both Nokia and HTC have sold thus far, but Steve Ballmer has informed shareholders in a meeting on Wednesday that Windows Phone handsets in the month since launch were 300 percent higher than the same period last year - we have growth.

Should what the executive revealed in the meeting be accurate, Windows Phone sales are increasing with the launch of new hardware. But until we see official numbers it'll remain speculation as to just how much the platform has grown by. Unfortunately, Ballmer failed to announce how many devices have been sold.

Ballmer said the following to shareholders in the meeting on Wednesday:

"Focusing on devices and services will impact how we run the company, how we develop new experiences and how we take products to market for both consumers and businesses. The work we have accomplished in the past year and the road map in front of us brings this to life."

The previous year we saw Nokia launch its Lumia line of Windows Phones, while HTC released the TITAN and Radar handsets. Sales weren't particularly fantastic, but if a 300 percent increase is indeed the case we could well be seeing a massive jump in consumer conversion to the Windows Phone platform.

Carriers and retailers across the globe have reported unexpected demand for the Lumia 920 and how the Windows Phone has surpassed all expectations - at one point it was almost impossible to locate one for purchase. 

Microsoft has released its own tablet running Windows RT, which has been met with a positive reception from consumers. We have also previously looked at Microsoft developing a Surface Phone, but this has yet to turn into reality. What Microsoft has planned for 2013 is nothing short of exciting for those who own a PC, Windows Phone or Xbox console.

Source: ZDNet; thanks, Marco, for the tip!

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a 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 on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • On an unrelated note: Surface Pro will be $899 for 64GB without any cover.
  • If accurate, that's too high; free space will be what: 20-30gb?
  • thats not even funny
  • no it will not the only reason RT only has half storage is because of office the pro will be a full blown legacy compatible machine so i doubt the programs will take that much space. plus with the expandable memory your music and photos can be managed there and on the cloud so it should be plenty of memory
  • Don't forget the partition for the full system restore. You can probably delete it but that's risky business.
  • true that
  • No its not. Make a USB recovery stick and then remove it. Boot of USB stick if you even run into trouble. Easy as pie to do.
  • THE MORE YOU KNOW!! *star effect*
  • Good idea. Average users couldn't pull that off though.
  • Sotrage problems definitly,  unless you bought the 64gb MIcros SD from Amazon when it was on Sale like I did :) 
    of course it was done in anticipation the Surface Pro :) 
  • Got mine sitting around waiting for the pro as well ;-) I have 128ssd in my desktop. Its plenty. Rest of time, WiFi, cloud, storage spaces home server
  • um... can i chime in? i took a look at my surface rt when i first got it and it was 20GB free and if u calculate 32GB in electronic world it's 29.8GB so in real world u only gave up 8~9GB for Windows+Office
    it's a bit overblown...
  • 39 GB. Check out the Surface page.
  • And the Surface Pro with 128GB without any cover will cost $999 and they both come with a Pen.
  • That's actually less than I had thought it would be. I was assuming it'd cost the same as one of the Ultrabooks. Though $799 or $750 would be a better price point for me I think...
  • maybe they have it priced there to avoid kneecapping other oems i see the surface as more of a status symbol but i'm pretty sure microsoft doesnt want to burn anyone else, whether the surface sells extremely well or modestly microsoft makes money on all fronts. Speaking in that regard i would assume it makes sense.
  • correct...there was an educated rumor going around that claimed that the OEMs threatened MS if they released the Surface at the much lower price point that they originally wanted. Makes sense because MS doesnt have to pay itself licensing fees and thus will have lower overhead and can sell at a lower price. But alas, the darn OEMs feel threatened.
  • well i mean i would think its good business. Im quite glad microsoft doesnt want to hurt partnerships and doesnt want to send away oems. i for one am glad they did it this way.
  • I agree with you on the price point. if it was set up between 699-799 for 64gb and 100+ for 128 gb, with the smart cover and the taxes still be under $1000 which makes a lot of sense than anything else.. 
    I am not sure what the hell samsung is smooking, their product would havecontributed a better boost to the w8p sales. I am set for lumia, just waiting for my service provider to get them on board. Hate how they gave some exclusives to certain service providers. 
  • If that is true, I am going to get one. My 16'4 Vaio has just started its life cycle but with such a price for a super tablet, I am will get one. Yeah, I said it Surface is a super tablet.
  • 300% is definately a nice number to hear. However, I still remain skeptical since it's only the first month. I'm sure part of those who make up that increase were people who wanted a Windows phone but refrained from purchasing one because they were waiting for WP8 to release rather than buy a WP7. There were also probably a lot of WP7 users who were anxious for the upgrade as well. I'm anxious to see how well the phone fares over the next few months.
  • That's what I'm thinking, a large chunk of the 300% were probably legacy upgrades, and less converts. I do know that Europe and Asia are accepting the platform better than the US right now though.
  • Percentages don't mean much if we don't know the actual number. It's a good sign that there's a 300% increase in sales, but it means little without having a point of reference. Also, like you said, are these repeat customers or new customers? They need new customers to keep the momentum. Guess we'll just have to wait and see!
  • Just so you know, I work at one of the busiest wireless retail stores in the country and the 920 is selling!. We have sold out of about 10 shipments now and we continue getting more. I've never seen a windows phone sell as much as this phone has.  Regular people and converts are buying which is weird.  We've sold more 920s than any other in the last two years.  I believe when he says there's  300% increase.
  • I asked for a 920 at Wal-Mart. The guy asks his supervisor and I can hear "Is that the Windows Phone? We don't have it." After I said thanks and walked away, I could hear the supervisor saying "Man, people have been asking about that phone all week!"
  • Just think how much better the sales would be if their wasn't so much exclusivity and all phones were released right away (I'm looking at you, 8S and ATIV S).
  • Forget exclusivity. Just bring in the stock for at least one carrier!!
  • good for MS...
  • Holy crud. Can't wait to see the numbers.
  • well that count is going to be a -1.  I have replaced two 8x's because of screen being slightly detached from the body.  Dont even let me get started on the loose camera lens, the huge hump in the polycarbonate by the volume rocker, the cracking sound when screezed on the side (only the lower portion where the screen is detaching), the poor battery life, random reboots (even though its gonna be fixed and probably not htcs fault), all of this combined has tarnished by experiece with windows phone 8.  i had my very first windows phone in march 2011 with the HD7 and that phone was built better, and ran smoother, especially after the windows phone 7 updates.  Anyone who has an 8x plz look at those very same things i mentioned to see if yours was overlooked.
  • So get a Nokia. This is HTC's first attempt at unibody design, so there are bound to be defects.
  • well to be honest im getting some creaking with my 920 as well. though it is very modest only by the sim tray door.
  • I'm curious as to how common that vibrate rattle is with the 920, compared to the 900...that's the only thing that seriously bothers me about my Lumia 900.
  • i dont have a rattle just slight creaking
  • Found that to be so annoying I got mine replaced. Well, waiting for replacement more like. Dang they are slow around here.
  • what colour is your Lumia?
  • Not true. The Radar was also a unibody phone.
  • Polycarbonate<< first time
  • Radar, ONE X, ONE X+, perhaps some others I am missing?
  • The onex wasn't perfect either
  • None of this has anything to do with the WP8 OS. Your experience is with the HTC 8X. Although I'll admit that the hardware experience tarnishes the WP8 experience. That's why I think MS is dabbling on the Surface phone.
  • This is probably the fact that the factory in China is overworked and not meeting quality standards.  Nokia had to close up shop in some places.  So less factories working faster, longer, and harder to keep up with demand.  Going to have a lot of defects.
  • i dont have alot of defects just slight creaking lol he was talking about htc
  • Guess you aren't a Microsoftjunkie after all with that attitude
  • LOL thought the same thing!
  • Both of my 8Xs work like a dream. Both are Verizon models so maybe that's the difference.
  • Can't wait
  • Thats the problem wit MS's information.  They give you information without really giving you information.  Very fustrating, but this is the way MS always is.  Never really giving out hard numbers.
  • Not true. Like all companies MS gives you number if they are good or impresive. We got a "number" on the Xboxes that sold in the US over Black Friday because it was an impressive number for a 7 year old console. Consequently Sony never gives out PS3 sales number in the US because they don't sell the most here.
    With Android and iOS doing close to 500k activations daily (Is that the right number?) Reveling the actual number for WP will just give haters fodder for writing even more blog posts about how WP is toast. And the only way that won't happen is if the number meets or exceeds Android/iOS, but how could it at this point? Their lead is too big...
  • dont restores count as activations as well? i read somewhere that some of that 500k is duplicate activations on the same phones.
  • I couldn't find anything that elaborated on the nature of the activations, so it could very well include re-activations. Either way, even assuming half of them are re-activations, 250K new activations a day is very impressive.
  • Well according to what I've read there are alot of people who have yet to buy there first smartphone 500,000 is alot of people a day that would be the worlds pop so it makes me feel safe to assume that its alot of activations of the same phones or the same accounts on new phones assuming that I would think its logical since google releases like a zillion phones a week
  • Worlds pop in a few days lol*
  • Of course he's not going to reveil actual numbers. Doing so would undermine Nokia and HTC. The real hard numbers have to come from them as they are the ones making and selling these devices.
  • Not necessarily. Google openly talks about how many new activations they have everyday. Microsoft should be able to produce these numbers, and I bet they would if the numbers met or exceeded their expectations.
  • Exactly, folks often resort to % speak when the #'s are less than inspiring.
  • 300% ... BURN hayters! :)
  • Making me laugh, Supes....
  • whether its alot of phones sold 300% increase is still an increase at least its a positive notion.
  • Kneel before Zod...I mean, Ballmer!
  • LOL!
  • this is probably an understatement because everywhere that I am looking for a HTC 8x and the lumia 810, i can't find one. at least the T-mobile one. Best buy, wirefly, target, walmart and tmobile are shipping when available. I refuse to buy it until it is and i have no doubt there are planty out there doing the same.
  • Wait... Do you guys have an 8S review unit, or is that an old photo?
  • Sales are up... but that won't affect Market Share that much since most are upgrades.
  • I would not be ready to call MOST upgrades. Many users who got the Lumia 900 that helped up the market share of WP7 cannot upgrade yet, while you could counter that many who bought into Android right before WP7 released have been waiting to convert. Personally, I chose a free Android device with unlimited data on Verizon over a limited-data, $200 Focus on AT&T in 3010. I have spent the past 6+ months waiting for my Lumia 920 (went back to AT&T), so WP8 brought me in, as well as my sister.
  • Mine was an upgrade, from a Casio GZ'One Boulder (still love that phone though).
  • This will DEFINITELY affect market share. I don't think you grasp the magnitude of 300% if you argue that the boost is attributable to legacy upgrades. Do iPhone sales triple upon a new launch? Windows Phone users aren't even half as loyal as iPhone users. I would expect WP market share to double or triple in the coming months.
  • Kinda reminds me of how Apple makes cruddy numbers look good. "Mac sales are up 20% from last year, Windows only grew 2%". When have such a small market share 20% of next to nothing is, well, nothing.
  • Pretty much.
  • Either way 300% is good no matter how you spin it.
  • What we sort-of know is that pre-Apollo, WP was around 3.5% of the marketshare. 300% includes upgrades, so it isn't going to go up to 14% (what 400% would be), but it would be reasonable to say that WP now sits in the 8-10% range, which is a decent launch.
  • Which gives us a solid 3rd place.
  • Windows phone is certainly more popular in India and European countries like Italy and France than in the USA so the 300% increase is possible. I have to say I really look forward to what Microsoft and Nokia will bring us in 2013.
  • Cold water time.
    Balmer is comparing the first month of WP8 to the 13th month of WP7. It's not quite a fair comparison.
  • Troll harder
  • I bought a 920. The WP8 release is essentially brand new. Last year 7.5 was a patch for a year old platform. It's not trolling, it's just the truth. 300% isn't bad, but it lacks enough context to call it good.
  • If they compared the 2010 launch numbers with the WP8 launch numbers wouldn't the number be higher than 300%? Are you saying that it would be more fair to compare the numbers from 2 years ago?
  • yes, I think it would be more fair to compare the launch month of wp7 to the launch month of wp8
  • Year-to-year comparisons are typically standard. In this case, it just so happens that last year we were well into WP7 (and 7.5), and interest may have plateaued. But, a three fold increase in interest is still a good thing. It would certainly be interesting to see how the first month of WP8 compared to the first months of WP7 and WP7.5.
  • Sales can't be that mind-blowing or we would have a number of units rather than a percentage which is largely meaningless.
  • I agree with you somewhat but selling 3 times more than you did a year ago is still something to be proud of.
  • I don't remember the source but i read somwhere that  in q4 2011 WP sales were about 3 million, so that would make 9 milion for this year. Given the broader availability and more models from nokia these rumours for 2.5 million 920's sold are becoming more and more credible! Woohoo
  • XBOX
  • Yup I believe windows phone will be a big sell out and predict it sold over 8 million counting the other countries. Blackberry for sure has been buried in the grave hahaahha also glad no more Symbian which will be next buried
  • WP8 has not been released in other countries yet so the 300% probably accounts for U.S. and Canada, part of Europe, Australia and New Zealand only. WP8 has yet to be released in the rest of Europe, South America, Africa, most of Asia particularly the big markets of China and India. It seems like it's looking good for WP8 so far.
  • And yet, I still can't get a white 920 in Australia, even though I've had a preorder for over a month.
  • It just like compare buying a China/Korean made car vs Benz.
  • There have only probably been about a thousand units shipped in australia. No availability. Apparently on release day stores got 10 phoness each. That number would be much higher if there was reasonable availability. At the very least sales will stay strong for a few months.Not to mention the world wide rll out is stuill underway. the 8x still hasn't been released here.
  • Out of topic, but the cover picture shows a black and white phone, may I know what phone is that? Thanks. Edit: OH ITS THE 8S. IM SOOOOO GETTING ONE.
  • 300% is a relative value and therefore meaningless without something to compare it with. No reason to get excited - yet. If we take the 600,000 units of Lumia 900 as an approximate base value, 300% is not that much. And its 300% for all devices, not just one.
  • 300% from a year ago, so not counting Lumias...not great really....maybe 3 million tops.
  • We want actual numbers for each device, and specifically numbers from sales in the US.  
  • Patience people. Come back in 2017 and read the comments here. You'll be surprised.
  • Since 2008 I have traveled weekly though major US airports. In the wild I have seen ONE Windows Phone, the only Lumia 900 I have ever seen in person (I see more iPhone/iPads than countable). Of my 100 or so coworkers, one other has a Windows Phone (he plans to upgrade to WP8). Of 300 FB friends, one has liked WP and I have seen two others post with Windows Phone (I guerilla market for Windows Phone by wishing every happy birthday and happy anniversary though the People hub to get the posted "via Windows Phone" tag line - yep I really like my WP). I imagine the percentage of upgrades from WP7/7.5 phones to WP8 phones is higher than those abandoning Android/Apple or feature phones. Looking foward to 4thQ sales, and hoping for traction and real growth.
  • For the first time, I didn't have to explain Windows Phone to a group of people when sitting around discussing getting new phones.  It seems to be gaining market awareness if not market share.  The lady cutting my hair called all Windows Phones Lumias, kind of like Droid became the de facto name for any Android handset because of Verizon's ad campaigns.
    My 920 gets here Monday. Wife has had hers four days. The instant gratification geek in me is going mad.