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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RE[6]: Who are the 'Others'
by Nelson on Thu 8th Aug 2013 21:07 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Who are the 'Others'"
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There is no information as to the capabilities of the phones listed in the other category. I now realize that I have no idea what your definition of smart phone could possibly be. I don't think any definition that would exclude a HTC G1 is a valid one.

It isn't what they're technically capable of, but what they're practically used for that counts. Who is buying these phones, what kind of consumer uses them, for how long, and what characteristics do their usage habits lend themselves to?

Are these ultra low cost budget smartphones being used like smartphones? Are they downloading dozens of apps, browsing the web for extended periods of times? Are they playing games or even having an enjoyable experience to drive engagement?

When you drill down into these low prices something has to give because these manufacturers are already selling at close to cost. The experience on a single core 1GHz Android device with 256MB of RAM isn't very desirable.

What are the data usage characteristics? Are they gobbing up loads of data a month or are they perfectly fine with a 3G radio and WhatsApp preinstalled? If they pay a feature phone price and use it like a feature phone, does it matter or benefit the smart phone ecosystem? Is it still fair to count these when comparing it to an ecosystem like iOS?

At what point does it become iOS (A high end smartphone) vs. every other permutation of phone out there? Then you have the self congratulation going on because they've been successfully able to redefine the jungle to mean the entire world, and make the 800lb gorilla look like an ant in comparison.

Its a hard question because there's no clear and dry definition of a smartphone, but something does not feel right calling these devices smartphones. Especially when using it to give a sober analysis of which ecosystem is currently on top.

Are Nokia Asha phones (especially the full touch variants) also smartphones? Some here would argue no and I'd be inclined to agree. There's definitely a gray area though.

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