Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 7th Aug 2013 17:44 UTC
Windows IDC released its smartphone shipment numbers for the second quarter of 2013, and other than the usual stuff (Android at 80%, iOS down to 13.3% due to lack of a new model), the Windows Phone figures are interesting.

Windows Phone posted the largest year-over-year increase among the top five smartphone platforms, and in the process reinforced its position as the number 3 smartphone operating system. Driving this result was Nokia, which released two new smartphones and grew its presence at multiple mobile operators. But beyond Nokia, Windows Phone remained a secondary option for other vendors, many of which have concentrated on Android. By comparison, Nokia accounted for 81.6% of all Windows Phone smartphone shipments during 2Q13.

Over the past 12 months, Windows Phone went from 3.1% market share to 3.7%. This means that while shipments of Windows Phone devices are growing, they're barely growing any faster than the industry as a whole. Still, it's crazy to see there's less than a 10 percentages points difference between Windows Phone and iOS.

Another potential problem is that Microsoft is effectively entirely dependent on Nokia. If Nokia falters, Windows Phone falters. Other vendors have essentially lost all interest in the platform, and as such, Microsoft has a a very strong impetus in keeping Nokia going. Still, I'm pretty sure that the Surface phone is ready to go at a moment's notice.

They're going to need it.

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Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

The Android at 80% and iOS at 13.3% measure worldwide phone sales.

When you look at other data at places like this one things change a bit: http://techland.time.com/2013/04/16/ios-vs-android/


In terms of US smartphone sales Andoid is 51% and iOS is 43%. When you look at things like App downloads and web browser statistics it is again pretty close.

Apple still leads in app store sales by a healthy amount. I think the 6:1 sales ratio is a little misleading because clearly many of those devices (more than half) are ending up in the hands of people not using them as smart phones.

Most of the Android sales numbers are to people using them as a replacement for Symbian as a cheap feature phones so the comparison is a little apples to oranges.


I agree. The problem with platform market share in the mobile device markets is it's not a good proxy for anything. Saying X% of devices run a particular OS carries as much meaning as saying X% of devices are coloured black unless market share directly connects to, and therefore is a good proxy measure of, other important characteristics of platform performance.

One of the interesting things about the way Jobs changed the way Apple did things after 1997 was to change the focus inside Apple from competing with Windows to competing with PC OEMs (note how the alternative character in the Mac Vs PC ads was a PC and not Windows). Apple couldn't dent Windows market share (and market share was a reasonably good proxy for important platform metrics in the PC market) and instead to think much more about competing with PC OEMs. What's interesting about the phone market is not so much the disparity between iOS and Android as the disparity between Apple and Samsung on one side (both big profitable and engaged in intense competition with each other) and all the other Android OEMs scraping by on razor thin margins. And also lurking is the great unknown of the 'white box' Chinese handset makers who make up a huge chunk of the handset market, will they continue to grow, at whose costs, how does their sales success effect Google services etc. The next five years are going to be incredibly interesting.

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