Every month, I highlight the state of the Windows Phone hardware ecosystem, using data from AdDuplex to see which handsets are the most widely-used. This month, we see that newer low-end Lumias are racing up the charts. But there’s no news of new devices in the reports, let alone a flagship.
As you may remember, AdDuplex bills itself as the largest cross-promotion network for Windows Phone and Windows 8 apps, empowering developers and publishers to promote their apps for free by helping each other. And each month it provides a tantalizing glimpse at which Windows Phone (and Windows) devices people are actually using.
Newer low-end phones are racing upwards. The Lumia 530 (4.2 percent of usage) has jumped into 5th place on the worldwide usage chart, up from 10th place last month. And the Lumia 635 (8.6 percent of usage) has likewise jumped three positions to 6th place. Still, the best-selling Windows Phone handset ever, the Lumia 520, ranks first with almost 24 percent usage.
Low-end phones rule. No surprises here, but of the top 10 Windows Phone by usage, 8 are low-end phones, and the other two—the Lumia 920 and 925—are both a few years old. Microsoft/Nokia’s newer flagships—the 1020, 1520, Icon and 930—have never cracked the top ten. Which explains the focus on the low-end and the attempts to push flagship features into less expensive devices like the 730/735 and 830.
Microsoft/Nokia rules. As with previous months, there is Microsoft/Nokia and then there is little else: Microsoft/Nokia accounts for 95.6 percent of all Windows Phones in use. Beyond that, we (barely) see HTC (2.56 percent), Samsung (.99 percent), and Huawei (.56 percent).
Windows Phone 8.1 rules. The latest version of Windows Phone OS has been widely deployed, with 62.6 percent of in-use phones using it (and usage up 4.7 percent month-over-month). Windows Phone 8.0 is second with 24.2 percent usage (down 2.9 percent), and Windows Phone 7.x brings up the rear with 13.2 percent (down 1.8 percent).
USA. In the US, the Lumia 521 is number one overall, but when you combine identical phones (with different model numbers), a clearer picture emerges of the top five: Lumia 521/520 is number one with 31.5 percent usage, Lumia 630/635 is number two with 21.8 percent, Lumia 920 is hanging on after almost three years with 5.3 percent, and then Lumia 530 (4.5 percent) and Lumia 822 (another golden oldy, with 4.4 percent). Interestingly, in the US, we do see more flagships than worldwide: The 928 (really old) and 1020 are both in the top 10 too, as is the HTC 8x.
Wireless carriers in the USA. AT&T continues its reign atop the US wireless carriers that are friendly to Windows Phone with 30.8 percent usage (and this is my personal choice, though T-Mobile is a close second). T-Mobile is second with 19.7 percent, followed by Cricket (19.3 percent), Verizon (15 percent), MetroPCS (5.9 percent) and Family Mobile (3.9 percent).
Around the world. A few notable points from other countries. In India, the new Lumia 535 has raced into the top 10 with 9.1 percent usage and a second place finish (and the 730 is in 6th with 5.6 percent). In Germany, the Samsung ATIV S is actually in the top 10, with 4.3 percent usage and a 7th place finish, just ahead of the Lumia 1020 (4.1 percent). And in France, we see the Lumia 1320 in the 6th spot, with 4.9 percent usage (plus the lowly HTC 8S in 10th, with 2.5 percent). I guess the world is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re going to get.