Windows Phone reportedly grabs 104% Year-over-Year increase for 2013

There’s no question about it really, Windows Phone is the mobile operating system in third place. Ahead of it are Android and iOS. Android is at the top, with most analysts agreeing that it holds north of 70% of the global mobile market share.

A new report from ABI Research reaffirms market share research from the past few quarters and gives us insight into how Windows Phone is doing globally.

What’s the latest for mobile smartphone operating systems? In Q4 of 2013 it’s no surprise that Android dominated, in both number of handsets shipped and market share percentage. Android also saw tremendous growth, but not how you’d expect.

It wasn’t pure Android that saw 137% year-over-year growth in Q4 2013. Instead, it was AOSP devices that went up from 30.0 million units shipped in Q4 2012 to 71.1 million in Q4 2013. That’s the version of Android that manufacturer’s 'fork' for their own purpose, like the Android that runs on Amazon’s Kindle. That means it’s not running Google core services and El Goog isn’t getting the advertising dollars it could be getting. Death of Android? Far from it, but it serves to give Google an incentive to reel Android back in a bit and gain more control.

Smartphone Market Share Q4 2013

According to the report from ABI Research, Windows Phone actually fared pretty well. It grew 104% year-over-year for Q4, which means a year ago it shipped just 5.3 million devices and this past year it did 10.9 million in the same quarter. Not bad, but still not close to the 51.0 million iOS devices shipped by Apple in the same quarter or Android’s 221.5 million (150.4 million for Android and 71.1 million for AOSP devices).

Still, the research does back up the claim from Microsoft that they sold twice as many phones in this past holiday period. Most current estimates put the total number of Windows Phone handsets at around 50 million. That breaks down to 12 million running Windows Phone 7.x and 38 million running Windows Phone 8. Those are for devices in actual use, not sold to retail channels.

Growth is still growth and we’re glad to see Windows Phone pick up steam this past year. Here’s to hoping that the merger of Nokia’s hardware team with the Windows Phone team produces more progress for the platform. That shouldn’t be too surprising since Lumia devices amounted to nearly 90% of all Windows Phone devices in Q4.

Source: ABI Research

206 Comments
  • Woohoo! Were 4% now! Time to pop the champagne.
  • Haha
  • Lets take this one step at a time. First Symbian/Bada, then BlackBerry, then iOS. iPhone is now selling about 35-40M a quarter and Windows Phone is selling about 10M and growing fast. The iPhone-WinPhone gap is closing more and more each year.  
  • So what? The iPhone is a $600+ device, and you comparing this to the sales of $100 devices. WP will only be serious threat to once its market share rivals Android's.
  • Actually having the market share of the iPhone will be more than enough to get developer attention,which would definitely transalate to a surge in sales
  •   No, it won't.  The surge in sales is focused in Europe and Asia, but the majority of developers are in the US. This is why we get apps behind other platforms, or they're region locked to the US.  Either US sales need fo pick up, or international developers need to hit the scene.      
  • Agree.  But as we get closer to iOS and global development grows more and more, this US-centric app world will get smaller and smaller.
  • I agree.  Take off the rose colored glasses folks.   Sure this is good news in and of itself.  It even shows we are gaining ground on Android if we exclude all the devices like Kindle Fire, etc.   But it also drives home the fact that WinPhone is a third player in theory only.   They are are distant third and of no threat to the top two right now.   They are more a threat to Blackberry, and will probably be so for many years to come.    God love em, but MS has just not been able to move fast enough to make the product a true third choice for most people from a feature perspective.   Without Nokia these last 18 months the product would possibly even have lost users from 2013 Q1.   And that's the real sad truth.    Maybe new leadership this year will show a change.  
  • Most every metric shows that despite the Android surge,iOS users still spend more on apps, on a per user basis. Similarly, every metric I've seen posted shows that WP users are about as willing to part with money for apps as iOS, far more than with Android. Cross platform developers who depend on app revenue would be wise to consider WP as an option.
  • Well I think winphone people and IOS with the way the ecosystem is spend more. Android has black markets and many people hack.
  • this is exactly how android started. selling cheap devices and building marketshare. Apps are the most important thing on a platform. once ther is enough users, the makor developers will port their apps to wp. once you have this, you can sell high end phones and consumers will buy them knowing that they can get any app they want.
  • Agree! I am like you. I believe in this also.
  • If by 35-40 million iPhones being sold per quarter you mean 51 million ( http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/28/technology/apple-reports-record-iphone...) then yes. 
  • That is a release quarter, everyone rushed to get the 5s. the other three quarters will be much lower and marketshare will slump until a new release next q4 and will surge again getting all that share back. What will be interesting is if larger screened iDevices will grab android users as the market has spoken.....
  • I think the focus should be reaching the userbase of Symbian before any talk of iOS or Android.
  • Yes! We can all rest now. The war is finally over :)
  • LOL
  • Lol. Nice Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • Ha!
  • Microsoft should be focused on making deals with these forked AOSP device manufacturers. Try to get Bing, IE, MS Office, Outlook, Skydrive, Skype, Xbox Music/Video, SmartGlass pre-installed on as many of these AOSP devices as possible. I know that Bing is the default search engine on Amazon's Kindle Fire and those are the types of deals MS could use to win consumers over to their platform.  
  • That's brilliant, actually!
  • Would never happen though,because most of these manufacturers unlike Amazon don`t have the money to afford such deals(why would they fork android?) unless of course MS suddenly decides to give software for free which i do not see happening in the near future
  • you don't pay Microsoft to add SkyDrive or bing your asop
  • Very good idea.
  • Sure enough... first commenter gets it wrong and griefs publicly. (EDIT: I was wrong. He's pointing to current market share.) Read carefully: 104% increase means more than double year-over-year.
    Unless it was sarcasm--in that case, hehe. :)
    Really this is not bad news.
  • Sure enough... Isingbass completely misunderstands what I wrote. I meant 4% market share not a 4% increase.... Duh.
  • Actually, he means total market share.
  • Got it. Sorry about that. It just seems like there's so much negativity/cynicism around here lately. Well, actually it's been worse. Anyway, I had that beat-down coming to me.
  • Lol, you took it very well. Bravo!
  • I feel you. I wish our growth would come a little faster...
  • Uphill battle, but moving in right direction.
  • It's gonna get even steeper if they keep selling devices like the 1520, and all it's bugs... What's up with all the random resets??
  • You must have a faulty 1520, I've had zero random resets on that phone.
  • Yeah, there's a lot of faulty 1520's out there, apparently.
  • I was getting them on my 929 after the app folder was installed. Removed and problem went away
  • Really❔❔.. I had like 3 within a hour today...
  • Do you have the folder app still installed?
  • I have new 1520 and do not have random resets even with app folder.
  • I've had no random resets on my 1520 and I do have App Folder installed.
  • Mine is fine, have not heard anyone having problems with theirs too, but I'm in Malaysia anyway so... Lol.
  • My volume sometimes locks up on videos, can't change the volume even though the volume controls seem to be fine. I have to reset it to resolve the issue. Also my screen just slides to Bing Search and the screen becomes erratic and nonresponsive. Still love my 1520 though just wish it would stop.
  • Long way to go, but props to MS for not giving up. I love my WP and will keep buying until they stop producing. I've converted my wife and both in-laws into WP users....mwahaha!
  • Me too! I converted my parents, coming next are my friends and cousins, next the world!!! Hahahaha!!!
  • Im trying to convert my dad, but he's a tough sell lol!
  • My wife got converted too! Titan to 1020 has been an even more enjoyable experience...not having instagram was messing with her.
  • wife would have had a 1020 already, but it's at&t only. lost sale, plain and simple
  •   You need to convert the businesses, the corps that buy 1000 phones at a time. And without VPN and a file manager, purchasing officers won't consider the Windows phone. Not surprisingly,  that's why those features are next on the upgrade path. The US DOD is responsible for better than half of those blackberry numbers.   They're all were authorized to use on DoD networks.  But the native outlook and office are an attractive feature,  after they add VPN and certificates. The DOD has nearly 100000 smartphones in service. All blackberry or Android.   That's a huge potential for WP.  If they meet the DODs demands.  And they will. Thats why Microsoft is going the way that they are with both WP and Windows.  Businesses killed  Vista, and theyre threatening to do the same to Windows 8.  Businesses arent interested in spending time training employees on new software, that eats into profits.   And Microsoft has survived because of them - volume purchasers of enterprise software.   They tell Microsoft what features they will put in.  Consumers will get what they get.          
  • You are right to a point, but with more and more businesses and even government departments going BYOD it is less relevant than it used to be. 
  • Nice, I've converted my father, brother, girlfriend, brothers girlfriend and a couple of other people in the family.
  • Developers Developers Developers
  • +1520
    POSTED BY WPC APP FOR WINDOWS PHONE 8 :D
  • Apple sold, in one quarter, more phones than all of WP. That's pretty incredible.
  • IPhone overrated
  • Overrated is a subjective concept but you can't doubt its amazing that apple alone could sell that many smartphones Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • There is nothing amazing about what apple does nowadays. Back in 2007 yes, but not for a log time. All they do is keep stringing along a huge user base of iDiots that font realize they are basically buying the same phone every year. The rest of the people that buy iPhone are those that just buy whatever they think is popular and don't actually think or research before buys. I dispose people like that
  • IPhone is pretty much good phone overall, but yes, it is overrated and overpriced.
  • There are many using the puny little overpriced iphone here in Malaysia, yes they are selling well but I hope to see a change in the future. It's just not worth it to pay so much for so little, the OS is good though, don't really dig the hardware.
  • Overpriced,yes..overrated,nope
  • uninformed buyers.  I'd like to see the trend of how iOS buyers in the US even contemplated another platform year over year.  i.e. zombie-meter
  • For most people they will be happy with any phone, iPhone, Android or WP. Once you are comfortable with iOS, why bother changing? Now that WP has managed to make the app gap less of an issue, Nokia/MS need to keep pushing innovative hardware like the Pureview to make people switch. I know a couple of iPhone users who got a 1020 just for the camera. They have found it lacking in apps a bit and a bit fiddly to get used to, but enjoy the camera enough to keep it. It's things like that when the OS's are all very similar and have the same apps that will make the difference long term. Oh, and price.
  • At a certain point one has to assume you simply underrate it.  It does its job very well for a huge number of people.  The iPhone is not junk.  It is not overpriced.  It is popular.  It works well and is reliable.  It is a very good smartphone and a person could do a LOT worse.   Is it for me?  Hell no.  But I can't look at something that functions great for many people I know and say its "overrated".  Obviously its not.  Its not overpriced either, as the price something is worth is the price the market will bear.  And the market clearly bears the price of the iPhone.
  • Finally someone speaks some sense!
  • You simply killed the overrated and overpriced words. Just because people pay what a company wants doesnt mean the product isnt overpriced.  Now if you have another product with the same quality for a lower price then obviously the first one becomes overpriced. Same goes for overrated. And sadly, Iphone is overrated AND overpriced. Doesnt mean its junk, just mean you can do the same stuff and have the same quality for a lower price with another phone.
  • I could not have said it better myself.
  • In your opinion it is overpriced.  According to 50 million people last quarter, it is not.  Again, the iPhone is not for me, but pricing is determined by what the market will bear, not by arbitrary notions of what is overpriced or not.  The market finds the iPhone to be priced very well, as a result it sells very well.  By definition, it is not overpriced.   As for overrated, again, you are welcome to your opinion.  It may be overrated to you.  But to the tens of millions buying it every quarter, it is not overrated at all, in fact it is exactly what they want, or closer to what they want than any competing device.  Furthermore, if you say 'overrated' you need to quantify how.  Does it perform its tasks as a smartphone less accurately or completely than competing platforms?  If not, how is it overrated?   I worked for Microsoft for many years.  I am very wedded to Windows Phone, Windows 8, Windows Server, OneDrive and everything else in thier ecosystem.  I once spent a lot of time bashing on all things Apple.  But I grew up, I realized that clearly Apple sells something that a subset of the market feels is more important, or better than what Microsoft or Google sell.  Just because it does not work for me does not mean those it works for are foolish or overrating the platform.  It just means thier needs are different than mine.   The iPhone is a fantastic little device.  It does not meet my needs.  But it meets the needs of many people I know and work with.
  • It may be overrated, but it sells, and that gets developers. That is what matters, and is one of the differing factors between iPhone steep growth and WP slower growth.
  • This is a wp related article, sir. iPhone can stay on that other forum that I don't know the name of. Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • Ha, the irony of that comment ...
  • Gtfo with your Android, man :D
  • Don't forget that all iOS devics are in this calculations including iPads and iPods. Still impressive.
  • Yeah, totally missed that one actually. That being said, WP was able to sell ~1/3 of iPhone sales in a quarter that included the release of a new device. That's very positive.
  • Yes I just hope they keep up the speed.
  • Ipad is junk in front of surface
  • Apple sold, in one WEEK, as many as WP did the entire quarter 4th. The cult of iPhone is strong.
  • Does the forked version of Windows (CE) out sell the forked version of Android?
  • WP 7.x is CE
  • Or Windows embedded. Every Point of Sale device, menu board at any fast food drive through, atm machine any register at Target, Home Depot.. etc runs a forked version of Windows. It's got to be bigger than all forked versions of android.
  • Good to see Nokia increased market share in a YoY basis. What a pity Microsoft decided to destroy that momentum. I'm very curious to see the scenario 1 year from now (or maybe 1 year from the moment Nokia phones disappear from the shelves).
  • Destroyed how?
  • Because they bought Nokia and the word "NOKIA" won't appear on handsets anymore. DJCBS is extremely butt hurt that Nokia was bought by MS.
  • And you're so up your arse that you still say something as stupid as "Nokia was bought by MS".
  • You know damn well what meant cry baby.
  • I know I shouldn't expect rational comments from you. And I don't.
  • Nokia D&S has only a few more weeks of life left so I don't know what you are still doing here and why. You are getting to be too pouty and whiney. You should move on to Android and/or iOS already and get outta here!
  • By releasing shit to Android n iOS b4 WP! It is almost like a schizophrenic is running MS, they haven't got the faintest clue wot they're doing! Sometimes they get it right but most times WRONG
  • Nokia is the one giving the face and with the brand power. Outside the US, people are starting to return to Nokia. And then Microsoft comes and puts an end to Nokia phones by buying their employees.
    No matter how hard you paint it, OSs don't sell phones. The brands sell phones. "Samsung" is what sells Android. "iPhone"/"Apple" is what sells iOS. In the same way "Nokia" is what sells phones. If "Windows Phone" was selling phones by itself and it wasn't Nokia's brand power to push it, then Samsung and HTC WP devices would sell as well. They don't.
    Nokia was forming a nice wave in favour of WP and Microsoft just ruined that. And I won't even go into how Microsoft doesn't really care about WP. Just look at their priority in launching their apps.
  • HTC and Samsung's WP8 couldn't sell cause they couldn't care less to make good WP8 devices. Nokia made uniquely beautiful phone designs that stands out from the rest of the competition. Nokia made good camera phones. HERE Maps and drive is working great. Nokia apps make the WP8 experience a lot better by filling the holes that the WP8 team is taking their time to fix and improve on. So of course Nokia can sell better than Samsung and HTC's WP8. But i do agree that brand name sells. But still I'm not giving up on Windows phone anytime soon. Microsoft and Nokia are my favorite companies as I've grew up with them and they have never let me down. This merger is like a dream come true to me.
  • Sure. But if the phones were selling on the merits of WP and not on the merits of Nokia, then HTC and Samsung would sell as well, even not caring about it. That's the point I was making. One has to be blind to not recognize that Nokia is a far more committed OEM. But that's Nokia. If they had gone with Android they would have done exactly the same thing. There's no merger though. Please understand that. The deal consists basicaly in Microsoft buying employees from Nokia. Nothing else. Nokia remains an independent company and will step down from phone making at least until 2016.
  • Lets say 30% of the people that buy a WP do it because of the Nokia brand. That would be 1.2% of market share, an insignificant contribution. The Nokia brand is irrelevant for the success of WP.
  • Except that percentage is way way way higher. Specially outside the US.
    If you think the Nokia brand is irrelevant for the success of WP so far...well, you'r