Microsoft's Windows Phone may not be popular, but it is persistent even in 2015

Microsoft's summer of 2015 is nothing too exciting considering the software company is "in between" OS releases and trying just to maintain their sliver of the mobile market. Still, if there is one bit of silver lining, it is that their Lumia 640 appears to be filling in the gaps until later this fall.

The latest numbers from AdDuplex reflect a 2.4 percent increase in the Lumia 640's U.S. Windows Phone market share over last month. In the States, this brings the Lumia 640 to a surprising 11.2 percent of all active Windows Phones. Considering that IDC's latest numbers show that Microsoft is still hanging on to their low 2.6 percent in the overall smartphone market (including iOS, Android, and BlackBerry), it is safe to say the Lumia 640 is the phone is responsible for that.

I am, perhaps, taking a rosy view of the market here. With Windows Phones hovering just below 3 percent of the smartphone pie, it is hard to see any good news. However, when you take into account all the negative press, the app-gap controversy and the lack of any substantial flagship story for well over a year now, it is rather remarkable that the bottom has not yet fallen out for Microsoft.

What to expect from Microsoft's Windows 10 devices event in NYC

As a counterpoint, take a look at BlackBerry. The struggling smartphone OS and phone maker has dropped every single quarter from 4.9 percent in Q2 2012 to just a dismal 0.3 percent in Q2 2015. In the same timeframe, Microsoft has changed from 3.1 percent to 2.6, a number that is almost unchanging when you take into account margins of error.

While Windows Phone cannot be described as popular I think resilient is an appropriate term.

The good news is devices like the Lumia 640, and Lumia 640 XL are keeping Microsoft afloat. This extension may be just long enough for them to get their Windows 10 Mobile OS to market with two high-profile devices – the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL. How Microsoft proceeds from November on is surely going to be very interesting.

Canada likes the Lumia 830

The September report from AdDuplex also mentions intra-Windows Phones market share for Canada. These numbers are the first look at Canada's Windows Phone story in ten months and with it comes some interesting bits.

The Lumia 830 is up 8.9 percent to account for 12.4 percent of all Windows Phones there. Likewise, the Lumia 635 – also a popular budget phone – is up 7.3 percent making up a sizable 17.7 percent of all Canadian Windows Phones. These increases, of course, come at the expense of their higher-end phones like the Lumia 1020, Lumia 920 and Samsung's ATIV S.

Microsoft's Windows Phone story in Canada has always been a tough sell. Like the U.S., many consumers are reliant upon carriers supplying the devices and in the regard, Microsoft has struggled for significant pickup. How that all changes with Windows 10 Mobile and the new Lumia flagships remain to be seen.

Conversely, it is expected that Microsoft will be in a better position to direct-sell to customers their new hardware, which should have universal LTE radios for all users.

About AdDuplex

The numbers from AdDuplex are collected through their in-app advertising that is prevalent in over 5,000 apps in the Windows Phone Store. That data serve as an important metric within the Windows Phone ecosystem. The full AdDuplex report for September will be posted tomorrow, September 25 on blog.adduplex.com.

Daniel Rubino
Editor-in-chief

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

263 Comments
  • What includes 'Other'... Symbian? Fire? what else?
  • "Other" OSs? Yeah. Symbian, Fire, MeeGo, Ubuntu, Tizen, Sailfish, Nokia X platform etc. The only thing I'm not sure is if Cyanogen is counted as part of Android or part of "Others".
  • Cyanogen is counted in Android coz it is an Android OS. Also reports claims that Cyanogen has already more users than Windows and Blackberry combined.
  • .....and report is wrong because Cyanogen has about 50 million users while windows phone has more than 80 million users. Last five quarters alone Microsoft has sold about 42.5 million windows phone device
  • But someone could flash Cyanogen on any Android with an unlocked bootloader. The phone wouldn't have to be sold running Cyanogen. Also, how many of those Windows Phones are still in use and not in a drawer? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Most are still in use look at adduplex as they sample phones in use... look at all the ?20 phones still in the top ten and they are 2 years old.  
  • Looking at the table data, it looks like Android has no competition. It's MSFT's ego to drain money in windows 10 for mobile. 
  • Those 80% Android phones are paying Microsoft money to exist ... So I doubt it hurts Microsoft too much.
  • exactly ... when android is paying ... why burn the cash by keeping windows 10 for mobile running. just get the cash and enjoy
  • It's not ego, it's necessity. They need devices in all categories for their strategy to work. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Three screens are still important for Microsoft and will continue to be until the hedge fund guys find a way to take over. Then its bye bye to WP and Xbox.
  • Windows Phone Yeah Xbox Nah.
  • @ASPDEV For universal apps and the continuum.  It's like Android is funding window phone. No harm in that.
  • The money that Microsoft makes off of Android patents has no relevance to Windows Phones success or profits.
  • Can you explain... I'm missing something. Why does android pay Microsoft money?
  • In every Android phone, MS takes 1$ as a MS patents profit
  • When i got my Lumia 920 end of 2012, i remember reading here that WP will be more 10% of the market in couple of years. Now we are talking about how "resilient" it's been. I'm pretty sure Microsoft did the same miscalculation.
  • Thanks bro! I didn't know that there are these many mobile OSs exists!!! 
  • Nokia X was just a really heavy Android skin, wasn't it?
  • Yes. It is Android and included in Android Not another operating system
  • webOS! :D
  • Blackberry is often lumped in as other these days.
  • Any link for India?
  • There's more to the world than just India. Shorter answer: no change.
  • Yeah I know that...but seeing this data, L730 was popular when I have data last time. Thanks anyway. I will find it.
  • Please post the link when you find it. It would be good to see numbers in India. I hear and also noticed that quite good number of people use windows phone. It would good to see what's India's contiribution to the whole world!
  • And in italy Too...altough it was because of the nokia brand. Microsoft means nothing to the same very old lol lady that got a Nokia smartphone (wp7/8) and now needs to buy a new one and can't find a new Nokia. She will end on a samsung lagdroid because that is some brand she heard of, or better an iPhone....
  • That's a dangerous thing to say on this website.
  • Why Daniel why ? He just asked a question and surely is not a troller. Certainly someone is frustrated here 
  • He's clearly just being sarcastic about the fact that everyone here complains about the US-only contests and articles by saying "there's more to the world than just the US". I complained about that once, so to Daniel: I see what you did there LOL
  • Here is the India in his last report, I just wanted to know how India is helping wp's growth! http://www.windowscentral.com/june-adduplex-expose--cityman-quadhd-micro...
  • Soon you will find out.
    How India can change the fate of MS :)
  • I doubt that selling a bunch of 535's can change the fate of MS.
  • You wouldn't be saying that if a "bunch" was actually 80 million. Or even half that. Or even a quarter of that.
  • Keep dreaming... or smoking... or whatever it is you do over there.
  • I don't know why you become so much angry! I was just curious to know that what India is doing here when it comes to windows phones, and I also remember that last time you posted data about windows phones market shares, India's report was there. Canada was not in contest that time. So be cool Daniel.
     
  • Seems like he's having a relapse.
  • on a separate note... the IDC show the QoQ drops for others APPL 20% MS 4% but thats leading up to new releases for both and IDC are reporting "sales" in the market.
  • If you go to the slideshow, there is one there...check their site. =[
  • Bottom of the article is the info you are looking for.
  • Persistence pays!
  • Agree!
  • Steve jobs was persistent so he could position himself for the next big thing
  • Im curious about Brazil
  • It is a nice country, you should visit some time! ;-P On a serious note, it is, according to Kantar, at about 5.9% - at least its higher than iOS. http://www.mobileburn.com/24866/news/windows-phone-topples-apple-and-ios...
  • I like Brazil nuts especially when covered in chocolate.
  • PERSISTENCE!!! =D
  • If 950 and 950 will be as ugly as their renders I doubt wp will grow
  • You need to let this go.
  • Perhaps if you focussed on other areas of the world, then the news wouldn't have to be so gloomy.
    European market share is much better...and we also aren't constrained by the poor support that US mobile carriers demonstrate
  • Well companies don't make money off of market share. They make money from actual units sold. Microsoft more Windows phone/Mobile devices in the US, than any other country. Posted from this here device.
  • I agree Daniel, it must be tiring always hearing the people you write amazing articles for incessantly complain about a render that was never supposed to be awe-inspiring. Keep up the quality work, some of us appreciate it!
  • Agreed. On that note, have you seen the leaks for the upcoming Google Nexus 5x? I'm curious to see how the press feels about the design, as it looks quite similar to the Lumia 950.
  • Surprisingly the Nexus 5x does indeed look similar to the Lumia 950. Only difference is that it will be praised while everyone bashes the Lumia 950.
  • Beat me to it haha
  • No one has ever thought the Nexus phones looked high end. They were always budget flagships. I don't see that changing with this new line up.  Looking like a Nexus or having a Nexus look like your flagship is nothing to brag about.
  • Except for the whole fact that the Nexus line tends to run better since they are usually running base Android. And also are generally praised by the media. Not to mention that they are considered by Google to be the flagship Android device, but nah nevermind all of that.  
  • It won't stop until we see them. And maybe even after :( ugh.
  • Microsoft could make a phone with lasers and people would complain.
  • Lol
  • I believe in You SIR
  • Yes renders and leaks are not always true. Have patience!
  • I don't think the look of the phones is going to be the primary determinant of WP growth.
  • Beg to differ. Sadly, this seems to be the #1 criteria these days.
  • Put a pretty cover on it. Look at the front of the phone, not the back. When you are with other peopole, look at them and talk to them. Even they will not be looking at the back of your phone.
  • I rather have a phone (950XL) that has newest biometric technology (retina scanner), supports Continuum, has USB-Type C on a fast OS, supports Pureview camera tech, and supports a Surface Pro 3 Pen. Than a iPhone 6S or an iPhone 6S +, here is why: 1) Your iPhone is using tech from Nokia, which Microsoft purchased for $7 billion. These workers which joined Apple betrayed and have very poor professional ethic, they should have kept working for Microsoft 2) Your iPhone does not support a Pen, your Apple Pencil is only supported on a iPad pro which is a copy of Surface Pro 3. Call me when the Pen is supported on Apple iPhone, I doubt it will be in less than 1 year. 3) Your iPhone does not support Continuum, all it has is Apple Air Play, a limited tech which does not mirror all your phone, only selected apps. Microsoft is going to show specially with the 950XL why it is the best phone in the market, even better than a Galaxy Note 5, which will show that build materials and design are not as important as the device itself.
  • LOL + dreamer
  • 2) And Lumia has a Pen/Pencil?
  • Lumia 950 won't, but 950XL will support a Pen.
  • Willing to bet (and certainly hope so) seeing as MS bought ntrig for this exact reason.
  • Hahaha this made my day. 1) Apple is probably paying these people more to work for them. You would take more money if you were in that situation too. People should NEVER stay loyal to a company. The moment they are in trouble, they kick you to the curve. 2) No Microsoft phones support stylus input either. 3) All those features are for techy people. The regular Joe doesn't care about that. You don't gain market share by selling to techy people. 4) The regular Joe does not buy a phone solely based on features. They primarily buy it based on looks.  It's OK to like Microsoft. I like them too. But there is no reason to set the bar low. After all, you are paying them with your hard earned money to buy a premium product that should be comparable to other premium products. And if the renders of 950XL are true, then it leaves a lot to be desired. When it comes to PC, Microsoft is the best. But not for phones.
  • A lot of Nokia employees didn't abandon Microsoft, they were fired after the acquisition. Strange thing is how they didn't have a non compete clause or legal agreement saying that Nokia owned their inventions and they couldn't take them to a competitor, such as Living Images. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • It wouldn't be fair to hold them to a non-compete clause if they were laid off, and didn't quit voluntarily. They deserve to work someplace where they can use their talents. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • If that came to MS under the lumia specific patents then its a MS patent.... So apple could use and under their negoitiated agreement work it out later without a court case or being blocked. convenient for apple
  • Well, I like your can-do attitude!
  • Airplay only supports certain apps yes. IOS can us screen mirroring though to display any screen, I use it regularly. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Although I'm really hoping for a Surface Phone, the renders look similar to the 640 and 640xl in style. Both of those phones don't look impressive in renders but have a very nice feel and look in the hand. It shouldn't be long before you can judge in person. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • They're fine. I want a Surface phone as much as the next person but honestly, the phones look fine and even better, they have some smokin' hardware. Most WP users aren't as vain as iPhone users. If the argument over what is best is looks then it's a pointless and shallow argument.
     
  • A nice slimmer render of the 920 would be very nice
  • Hell yes!
  • It is my understanding that the Windows Phone is doing much better overall in non North American countries, percentage wise? I understand all the doom and gloom stories, as it is not taking off here in the US as one would hope. But Microsoft is a global company, and if it is successful in other countries, to the point of profit, they will not stop. Any chance you could do a detailed report and analysis on global success. I am interested in the results, but I want you to do all the work! :)
  • Windows phone's *global* market share is 3% as well.   In China, one of the most important markets for growth, it dropped from 2% to less than half of 1%.
  • Helped out by the Chinese Government demonizing Microsoft at every turn. One might conclude Microsoft doesn't know who to bribe in China.
  • I hope windows 10 mobile make a change!☺
  • Why would W10 make any difference ? No compelling features on typical phones and still Apps not arriving. So no change to the long slow Windows Phone decline.
  • Well the hope is that apps WILL arrive.
  • You should maybe catch up on coming features on both hardware and software
  • I think the low market share is justified considering the options people have nowadays in the smartphone market. However, the negative press that windows phones get is just absurd. Most reviews start off by stating that the phone's have great build quality and amazing cameras and end up by telling people not to buy the phone because of the app gap.
  • Well, apps are hugely important...
    For example, I was going to buy a Xiaomi Yi camera. However, there is no Windows Phone app!
    There are countless other examples where the app gap hurts! I was going to get a Freedom Pop sim - however, there is no FP app for making calls/texts using their service...
    I still love WP...but it would be foolish to say the app gap isn't a HUGE issue.
  • It is a huge issue, no doubt, but different people have different needs. For me, I'm happy with windows phone. For me, the camera and the display is important along with good performance. I get that with my Lumia. I don't think it's right to completely bash windows phone based on that.
  • Well good for you, but to the other 99% of the population Apps are critical to their Smartphone experience, and hence why Windows Phone failed.
  • A smartphone without apps is.....a feature phone, pretty much.
  • But that's the reality. I can't tell anyone to buy WP, because I KNOW they will be irritated and frustrated with the lack of apps. I am a WP fan and don't mind, but even I get annoyed at that. How would someone that was always used to having any app available coming from Android react? I feel like I'd do them a disservice by telling them to get a WP, at least now when Android 5.1 is out and is actually excellent.
  • Please think beyond India. Most of the time these days, Popularity of a product in India is directly proportional to popularity of the same product in US/Europe. So think beyond it. 
  • Daniel, it's not that Canada likes 830, it's the only thing close to a flagship that we've seen since the 1020. We didn't get the 930 or the 1520
  • ^ This is most likely why the 640 is the most popular Windows phone at the moment. It's the highest caliber WP available so far this year with no other options.
  • Its also the only windows phone you see anywhere nowadays in Canada. I literally don't see any other windows phone in stores
  • Thats true even bell/rogers has dropped their low end nokia's but kept this besides telus carrying it
  • Bingo.
  • I shipped my L1520 from Hong Kong to Canada because I loved it soo much. Deeply miss the LTE speeds tho on my Bell network :/
  • Should have picked the 938 variant. I got mine from a place in Alberta and am enjoying all that LTE goodness.
  • Well it is cheaper now after all
  • Hang on to your L1020. Microsoft has apparently given to on their commitment to make a worthy successor to it.
  • If they would release their Windows Phones to every single carrier instead of having one carrier get this phone, this carrier gets that other phone, etc. They could grow their fan base greatly. Not all of us can afford to switch to an expensive carrier, so by offering the same phone across the board, Windows Phones will have a bigger impact in the market....Just my thoughts anyway
  • I agree with your thoughts.
  • It isn't MS's fault that they cannot get their phones on every carrier.
  • In the end WP problem in US and Canada is all about carriers. It really is unbelivable that you have become so carrier dependant. Look at how much phone diversity we have in Europe where WE choose what we like, not the carriers. Not meant to provoke, but it is really sad to see WP not having success in its own country and its neighbour country :(
  • Canada carrier situation is way worse than US. It's a damn cartel!
  • Totally agree...it really sucks over here...if you are lucky maybe...maybe you will find one WP among the three hundred models...and to make things worst at the windows store only a few are unlock
  • And how is that any different than the situation in the States? Here there cartel has been given carte blanche to bribe any politician or judge they like, so guess what, the cartels rule.
  • We have fewer players with a tighter grip on the market. We pay more for plans our carriers are less innovative.
  • it is their fault. they are accepting that carrier behavior. we in europe have much more freedom when it comes to phones, contracts, quality services and so on
  • Yep, the average american would have a stroke if they had to buy a phone outright so they are more than happy to bow and scrape to the carrier for their phones.
  • I'm willing to put up with a little BS to keep the carrier subsidies, admittedly. It might cost a few $ more, in the end, but oh well. I probably wouldn't be buying Flagships right now if I had to drop the $ upfront. Posted via the Note 4/Nexus 7 (2013)/Lumia 1020/Lumia 2520
  • And this is why we have horrible carriers. If people would stop putting up with the BS here in the US then it would force the carriers to actually innovate and change pricing. It's already kind of starting with the rise of the MVNOs (sounds like a bad movie...), such as Cricket. Same AT&T service for $35/month - unlimited calling, unlimited texting, and unlimited data (2.5gb of LTE and then drops to slower speeds which just so happens to be the fastest speed that I ever got on Sprint). You just have to purchase your phone outright. So picked up the phone I always wanted, the Lumia 1020 AT&T unlocked, from eBay for $180 and I save hundreds if not thousands a year (depending on plan and phone if I went with AT&T).
  • A lot of the US carrier issues stemmed from competition and the various carriers not adhering to a single standard (GSM, CDMA) or frequency so you haven't been able to just buy any phone and take it where you want.  you need a phone that works on specific networks, hence giving them power.  With global LTE that is starting to change and thankfully people are getting tired of this very issue as well so it's starting to shift.  How far we'll see.
  • Except in order to use volte or lte-a it or their chosen flavor of tap2pay seems like its the same BS UMA requires a carrier branded rom with the requisite certificates
  • It's not always up to the consumer. Europe tighter knit which allowed for more carrier presence. Plus regulation is better. Not the case in Canada and not really up to the consumer
  • There are still phone subsidies in europe, but they call them financing plans. The end result is the same, you pay off your phone over time. Those millions of Europeans lining up to buy iPhones aren't paying up