Windows 10 Mobile jumps to 14% of all Windows phone devices

Windows 10 Mobile accounts now for 14 percent of all Windows phone devices on the market according to the latest AdDuplex Report for August. The number is a significant increase from 11 percent in June and doubled its previous monthly growth of 0.5 percent to one percent.

Nonetheless, without a firm number of active devices month to month it's hard to know if the increased rate is due to wider adoption of new Windows 10 Mobile handsets, 8.1 phones being updated to Windows 10 Mobile, or just 8.1 users leaving the market (very likely).

Putting aside the well-known overall low market share of Windows phone compared to Android and iOS the increased ratio of Windows 10 Mobile is useful for developers who want to target devices using the Universal Windows Platform (UWP). Some companies have put off or downplayed the need for a Windows 10 Mobile app e.g. WhatsApp due to the large 8.1 install base. That number is still in favor for 8.1 at 77.3 percent of all devices, but Windows 10 Mobile appears to have the momentum in growth.

Microsoft is not expected to push for Windows 10 Mobile until 2017 with the release of Redstone 2 and presumably new, high-end hardware. For the foreseeable future, however, it will be a slow grind for fans of Windows phone.

Mobile Anniversary Update sees broad adoption

Perhaps more interestingly, over half of all Windows 10 Mobile handsets – 52.4 percent – are already on the Mobile Anniversary Update with 41.3 percent still on the 1511 build from last year.

The Anniversary Update (aka Redstone 1) only came out last week as an official update and just yesterday for carrier-supported devices. That rate of uptake suggests many users are likely on the Insider program and are early-adopters putting the final bits on their phone a few weeks ago.

The alternative analysis (or correlating one) is that Microsoft is more aggressive with the updates letting existing Windows 10 Mobile phones update with little interference. Indeed, it was only a one-week wait between non-carrier phones getting the update and carrier-branded ones receiving it. That ability for OS updates contrasts starkly with Android, who just received Android 7.0 aka Nougat this week. Most carrier-branded and non-Nexus devices may not see that Android update for six months showing how Microsoft falls nicely in between Apple and Google for new OS builds.

Reception of the Anniversary Update for Mobile has mostly been positive from users, especially when compared to the initial 1511 release last year.

About AdDuplex

The numbers from AdDuplex are collected through their in-app advertising that is prevalent in over 5,000 apps in the Windows Store. That data serves as an important metric within the Windows Phone ecosystem. The full AdDuplex report for August will be posted on their blog at on Thursday (August 25).

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the 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 watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. 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.