Windows Device Stats for December Looks at Windows 10 Mobile and Surface

Posted on December 20, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Surface, Mobile, Windows Phones with 45 Comments


This month, AdDuplex takes a look at Windows 10 Mobile and Surface usage data. And yes, there are a few surprises.

As you may recall, AdDuplex bills itself as the largest cross-promotion network for Windows phone and Windows apps. AdDuplex empowers developers and publishers to promote their apps for free by helping each other. And each month it provides a glimpse at which Windows phone devices people are actually using. And this month, the data includes Surface PCs too.

For December, the AdDuplex data slice examines two key parts of the Microsoft devices ecosystem: Windows 10 Mobile on phones and Surface on PCs.


Windows 10 Mobile

A few key takeaways from AdDuplex’s look at Windows 10 Mobile device usage share.

HP Elite x3 struggles continue. In October, I reported that the HP Elite x3 was a failure from a phone usage share perspective, and in November, the data showed, again, that I was correct: HP may still make a dent when compared with PCs, but this device is not competitive as a phone. This month? The Elite x3 doesn’t register at all when you look at overall Windows 10 Mobile device usage. And if you look just at those phones that shipped with Windows 10 Mobile, the Elite x3 accounts for just .3 percent (“point three percent,” or one third of one percent) of usage. Again, I’m not trying to hammer on HP or this device, which is in its own way very nicely made. It’s just that the Elite x3 needs to be considered a “3-in-1” PC, not a smartphone.

Low-end Lumias continue to dominate in the Windows 10 Mobile era. It is a curiosity to me that the thing we all complained about—Nokia and then Microsoft spamming the market with low-end Lumias—is apparently, in fact, the correct strategy. Why? Because even among those phones that shipped with this OS version in the past year, the low-end phones dominate. Lumia 550 is first, with 35.4 percent usage share, followed by the Lumia 650 in second place with 28.7 percent. The Lumia 950 (21.3 percent) and Lumia 950 XL (12.1 percent) are the only other devices with appreciable usage share. The Alcatel Fierce XL, in fifth place, has just 0.6 percent usage share, for example.

It’s dead, Jim. As AdDuplex notes, because Microsoft has essentially sold out its Lumia stock and will likely never make another Lumia, this month’s data most likely represents “the very last meaningful snapshot of the Windows 10 Mobile ecosystem as we know it.” Remember: For the past forever number of months, Nokia/Microsoft has been the number one maker of Windows phones by usage (and sales). And they stopped making these things in early 2016.

Windows Device Stats for December Looks at Windows 10 Mobile and Surface


A few key takeaways from AdDuplex’s look at Surface usage share:

Surface Pro 4 is the success story of the current generation products.Surface Pro 4 is now the most-used Surface device, with 37.4 percent of all usage. In June, it was number two, after Surface Pro 3. But this month, Surface Pro 3 is down to number two, and just 27 percent usage share. Point being, Microsoft’s biggest Surface success has been the 2-in-1 tablet form factor. (In fact, if you add up all the Surface Pro versions plus Surface 3, they collective represent 94 percent of all Surface devices in use.)

Surface Book has not sold very well. With just 6 percent of all Surface usage, Surface Book is the poorest-selling Surface portable PC, behind even Surface Pro 2, Surface Pro, and the woeful Surface 3, which was canceled and not upgraded. How to account for this? Surface Book is a premium, aspirational device. And I’m sure v2 will solve its many problems.

Surface Studio makes no dent at all. With just 0.1 percent of all Surface usage, Surface Studio doesn’t register. But that makes sense: It was just released and it’s astronomically expensive. It will never amount to much from a usage/market share perspective, but it’s probably not meant to. Like Surface Book—even more so, really—Surface Studio is a premium, aspirational device. And maybe v2 will even include actual desktop internals.

There’s some math to be done here. I’ll be back with more soon.


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