Windows Phone market share contracted, things are more certain now, but carriers are part of the problem
Up to now, Windows Phone, while a sliver of the market, had been posting huge percentage gains the past several quarters. The second quarter of 2014 showed a decline in units shipped as well as market share. So, what gives with this most recent development?
Fans of any given platform will provide the normal run of arguments when it comes to Windows Phone. However, the past six months in particular were different for the platform because of the transition of Nokia Devices and Services changing ownership under Microsoft. There was arguably a sense of uncertainty, on a macro level at least.
The manufacturers are on board
At the same time those moves were being made, Microsoft also eliminated license fees for Windows Phone and loosened the hardware requirements for manufacturers, enabling them to use design principles they may already have in place for existing Android powered devices. The result is that a whole new crop of manufacturers that signed on as Windows Phone partners. In fact, one manufacturer alone introduced five models for the Vietnam market.
That is just one small piece of the puzzle. HTC is using this new freedom to bring the wonderfully crafted M8 body to a Windows Phone form factor. That will be the company’s first notable Windows Phone since the 8X two years ago. Samsung did the same with the ATIV SE in what is a clear recycling of the Galaxy S4 (which is fine, keep them coming). Even Microsoft’s newly acquired mobile unit took liberty with the new rules and trimmed production costs with devices like the Lumia 630 and Lumia 530, each featuring on-screen navigation buttons and no dedicated camera shutter key on the side.
Windows Phone Store passed the 300,000 app mark recently, and all but a few of the “must have” apps are available, and where first party apps are missing, either Microsoft has it covered, or there are some very high-quality third party apps available. Granted, if you are heavily vested in Google services, the experience is going to be second hand, but the apps are there to provide a workable Google+ experience, and who needs Google Docs when you have Office?
The carriers are not
There is one other obstacle the Microsoft needs to attack relentlessly, and that is the retail experience, not only in the carrier retail stores and dealers, but in the eCommerce segment too. The guys over at Neowin took a gander at the online chat options with AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon (T-Mobile does not have that option).
Posing as prospective customers interested in Windows Phones, the AT&T and Verizon reps made active efforts to steer the order towards the iPhone. The Sprint rep made a valid point when it came to the selection of devices the carrier offers. That, and while it wasn't directly addressed in the dialogue, the Windows Phone line-up on Sprint is about as exciting as a loaf of bread.
Will a beautiful form factor like the HTC One (M8) running Windows Phone make for a more enticing sale?
Despite being presented with a customer that had a semi-informed interest in Windows Phones, the reps chose to push the sale in a whole different direction rather than let it take its course. Is it possible that the sales reps see an increased return rate with some types of devices? Yes, however that can be equally attributed to the sales experience from the customer’s perspective too. The confidence of the sales person plays a role, and any Windows Phone discomfort can be overcome with smart training (not death by PowerPoint).
The screenshots from the online chats with the carriers are not isolated incidents. Online and in-store reps will often use their personal or company device experience to guide their pitch to close the sale with confidence. Hopefully Microsoft will keep much of the Nokia Devices and Services sales teams intact during the upcoming layoffs, and leverage them to engage with the carrier and dealer partners. We will just have to wait and see how that shakes out.
One thing is for sure, it is hard for Microsoft to sell something when the people tasked with selling it through partner channels aren’t selling it.
I'd like to buy a Windows Phone please...
references: WinSuperSite.com and Neowin
1. gigaraga (Posts: 921; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)
Still not a perfect OS, but it's getting there...
2. ArtSim98 (limited) (Posts: 2738; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)
There is nothing perfect in this world.
5. juandante (Posts: 301; Member since: 23 Apr 2013)
And this article is paid by M$ ?
Seing how this article is written. Bizzarely there is no special article for Blackberry or Firefox OS.
Poor MS, after "Reputation Managers" what will they do next.
40. Johnnokia (Posts: 516; Member since: 27 May 2012)
Actually, I don't see this article paid by Microsoft. I contacted Verizon customer service via the same chat service and tried to ask similar questions to the representative when I asked him to buy either BlackBerry or WP, he immediately asked me to consider iPhone or Galaxy S4.
I supported WP since 2011, the time it was totally imperfect, and bought 4 Lumias. Moreover, I was able to conveience nine of my friends to buy Lumia. I did that just to support Nokia. I wanted Nokia to revive again.
After September 3rd (the shocking acquiring announcement), I gave up WP and started to hate it.
WE ARE NOT TROLLS.
we only hate the criminals in Redmond and the bastard one in Espoo who killed our best company.
Call us what you want .. This is the clear truth. WindowsPhone does not deserve to success at all.
54. Liveitup (Posts: 1206; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)
Dude you guys are trolls, i strongly doubt that you had any WP devices but that aside, many companies have been bought out and individuals upset or not have moved on, coming and bashing the OS time and time again is simply trolling, you need help, also keep in mind that if you go back in the past a year or more you would more than likely see these same individuals saying the same ish, its their way of Life.
Old Nokia died due to the rapid rise of Android and iOS combined with the slow transition off Symbian, If you wanna be mad be mad at Ollie not Elop,MS was not even in the picture as yet, when you truly examine the facts you'd realise that MS helped Nokia survived longer than it would otherwise, but that's another story.
Even with recent restructuring layoffs many of Nokias Employees remain at working on Lumias out of Espoo Finland, they simply have more money at their disposal.
Quit trolling trolls and get a damn life. Its pathetic.
WP redefined design language it deserves success just as much as anyone else.
58. Arte-8800 (Posts: 4281; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)
Garbage weak Cpu and Ram was used on Nokia
74. Johnnokia (Posts: 516; Member since: 27 May 2012)
If you are an old user here, you will clearly know that I was the first defender on WP.
I just realized that Elop intended to destroy Nokia then sell it as junk to Microsoft.
Just open your eyes because millions think like me.
By the way, till December 2011, Nokia was the world largest phone manufacturer and it was very easy to them to adopt Android and remain number one at that time.
So strange that you are defending Eflop and blaming Ollee
100. Liveitup (Posts: 1206; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)
I am not an old user here, i don't see you defending WP. I know for certain those other trolls here are not defenders of WP.
Again you say that Nokia intended to destroy Nokia without comprehending the situation. If Nokia was doing so then MS must have held a gun to their head to run WP right, Nokia was going through difficult times MS offered to help them out financially.
Nokia was a pioneer in the smartphone market, literally introducing consumers to the smartphone with its initial Symbian Series 60 devices in 2002. For the next five years, Symbian phones had little trouble maintaining a leadership position in the smartphone pack.
In 2007, Apple introduced its iPhone. With its full touchscreen and app-based operating system, the iPhone changed the very definition of what a smartphone should be.
Yet Nokia failed to respond to the iPhone and the shifting consumer demand that came with it. As the years passed, the Symbian platform aged, and that age really showed when compared to iOS and, later, Android. Simultaneously, the smartphone market exploded, more and more consumers opted for pocket-sized mini-computers instead of “FEATURE” phones with tedious WAP browsers.
When Apple came out with the iPhone, it showed the industry how the smartphone could be done right. Nokia should have responded to the iPhone and Android more quickly. They didn’t make the leap of faith onto Windows Phone until 2011. Nokia continued to sell lots of features phones but smartphones were the future. Nokia was a major feature phone manufacture, i could go on and on but you get the point.
In regards to Nokia going Android you guys only see what you want to not what the struggles of Nokia doing that would be.
Elop himself stated this :
When we made the decision to focus on Windows Phone back in 2011, we were very concerned that a decision to pursue Android would put us on a collision course with Samsung, who already had established a head of steam around Android. That was the right decision, as we have seen virtually all other OEMs from those days pushed to the side.
Even the once-dominant HTC is able to overcome Samsung’s stranglehold on the Android smartphone market. The HTC One from yesteryear and this year’s follow-up are great smartphones, but HTC is still finding it difficult to sell enough units to stay in the black. Sony, LG, Motorola and more are finding it difficult to find solid footing in these races despite coming forth with their strongest products lately, the ones who are hitting Samsung are Chinese OEM's.
Point is you don't really grasp what is happening so please don't spout ignorance
103. Arte-8800 (Posts: 4281; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)
Choosing Windows Phone was of course not the only option open to Nokia: There is one more lost opportunity to add to Nokia’s case file. With the benefit of hindsight, Nokia believes it’s possible to say that Nokia should have adopted Android — and that by not doing so it missed the opportunity to be the company Samsung is now. Ironically that is also the company Nokia used to be: the dominant force in the mobile industry.
Also ironic: Google’s Android could have saved Nokia, instead of helping to bleed the company of its blue blood. Nokia was mobile royalty – now it’s just Microsoft’s foot soldier.
“Samsung has been the victor over Nokia more than Apple has,”. “Success for Nokia now would be being Samsung – if, at that key point in 2008, 2009, they’d made that step to adopt Android. It wasn’t really clear at the time that was the right thing for them to do — at that time they really needed to be on their next-gen platform; that was clear. They needed to have MeeGo ready and in the market. But, if we put on our hindsight vision, we could say that rather than MeeGo, probably the best thing to have done would have been Android… With hindsight it’s a lot clearer.”
104. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2003; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)
Let's not bother or reply to such fake Nokia fans who pretend to be lovers of the company. I'm a Nokia fan and a true one at that. And I supported and will support my favorite company no matter what they do, whether they adopted WP or not, or even now if they ditch WP and adopt Android. I love WP. It's a great OS. Who care's if Elop was a trojan or not, in the end his decision to use WP on beautiful Nokia hardware was the best. Millions of TRUE Nokia fans like me have adopted WP and grown to love it and respect our favorite company's new owner, Microsoft, the best software company in this world. If you don't like WP, MS or Elop, its fine. You don't have to. But just don't go about cribbing about Elop and pretending to be a Nokia lover. Sound good?
111. nasznjoka (Posts: 339; Member since: 05 Oct 2012)
But if it wasn't for elop Nokia could have opted for. Android and trust me things wouldn't be the same today. Elop was there with a mission "hand us Nokia flop" Steve ordered
114. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2003; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)
There's no brains with you FAKE Nokia fans. And I'm not even gonna bother responding to that idiot joeysfb below me. Bark on fakers and trolls!
125. nasznjoka (Posts: 339; Member since: 05 Oct 2012)
I'm not a Nokia fan I never was! I'm just helping defend John Nokia 's point about how Ms intentionally killed Nokia to become their saviour later. Im just a fan of anything open source hence android.
113. Arte-8800 (Posts: 4281; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)
What killed Nokia? During OPK's leadership it was indecisive management that failed to take bold calls internally or externally. During Elop's leadership, it was vested .
118. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2003; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)
What you mentioned is somewhat true, though I disagree with what Elop did. Nokia's demise started in 2009 when a wave of Android smartphones took over and the iPhone gained even more popularity. Nokia failed to realize the smartphone boom and by late 2010, it was too late. Rather than adopting at that time, a cartoony, ugly and laggy OS like Android, which wasn't too different from Symbian, would not have been feasible. Nokia wanted something fresh and modern. And WP was just that. It didn't do well because of the lack of devices and a proper flagship. And then it became too late for Nokia to revive itself. Perhaps a 2010 release of the Nokia Lumia 800 would've changed things around. In any case, you stupids won't understand $hit. So troll on!
126. Arte-8800 (Posts: 4281; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)
I agreed to everything you said accept that last ending part.
142. panacea224 (Posts: 18; Member since: 20 Dec 2008)
Everything you say is true. However, Nokia did make attempts, albiet poor ones, to respond to the iPhone. The Nokia xpress music 5800 and later the n97. They were pretty poor in comparison to the iPhone and android though.
185. sgodsell (Posts: 1222; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)
Its you who is ignorant of actual facts. Sony, LG, and Motorola all did well last quarter. In fact Motorola doubled its smartphone sales just in the last quarter alone. LG has been doing great for a number of quarters. Even Sony who was finding hard in the smartphones even was up, because all of them lately have not only made great flagship devices, but excellent mid and even great low end devices. All of which are selling.
194. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2003; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)
On what account did Sony and Motorola do well last quarter? Sony's smartphone division posted another loss, and even though Motorola saw record sales, they couldn't replicate this success earlier with the "saviour" Android OS and found themselves a Google product and now a Lenovo company. HTC also recorded a loss and Samsung's profit and sales both went down last quarter. LG is the only major Android OEM which recorded an increase in sales, although their smartphone division still isn't able to turn a profit. Selling 15 million phones a quarter, even after running the "saviour" and the "best" Android OS isn't really impressive. Android increase in market share is the direct and ONLY result of the increase of Chinese brands like Xiaomi, Meizu and so on, OEMs who sell full speced Android phones for super low prices. Apple is clearly winning the flagship phone race, with no Android flagship coming close to in terms of sales.
110. joey_sfb (Posts: 2903; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)
Yup! The knife in Nokia back do have a Windows logo.
I just wish the Nokia board were strong enough to avoid a hostile take over back in 2011. They still have 70 billions cash reserve.
Stephen Elop came along and singing I am your saviour tune and has Nokia best interest at heart.
How dumb can people get? Now Finland Finance minister openly came out to acknowledge Microsoft betrayal.
143. panacea224 (Posts: 18; Member since: 20 Dec 2008)
I'm a very old user here, but usually don't participate in the discussions so I can't back you up.
193. Cicero (Posts: 358; Member since: 22 Jan 2014)
Saying your taught doesn't mean you are a troll. Some you like it or not. Grew up and welcome to the true life.
64. Manti123 (Posts: 112; Member since: 10 Apr 2014)
Big respect to you John.
People purchased Lumia because they love Nokia. WP market share is declining since MS acquisition of Nokia devices and services, and it will continue to decline because Lumia is not Finnish Nokians anymore.
Microsoft will phase out that department soon, and Nokia must be smart and reproduce smart phones running Android again
71. brrunopt (Posts: 504; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)
The BS is strong with you... It started declining before que Nokia aquisition.
It started declining 2Q after the big release of devices , like with any other company
97. akki20892 (Posts: 3438; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)
Bravo....we all nokians agree with u....
106. Liveitup (Posts: 1206; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)
Here John this is BBC article is just a snapshot of the rise and subsequent fall of the old Nokia,at least the D&S divison.
Its the weekend i really don't have the time to try and reason with ignorance, i have a life, please read maybe you and the others who truly don't understand what happening can see more than what appears to be on the surface.
Nokia: The rise and fall of a mobile giant.
140. clodderes (Posts: 27; Member since: 11 Feb 2014)
Don't care what is your reason. I want WP to success, as those is my choice of platform
130. profperez1 (Posts: 49; Member since: 08 May 2012)
This conversation is useless people! I had 2 windows phones and they were ok. You hit the button and check email and SMS and the tiles were cute. So the differences are not grand from OS to OS.
They don't have an American Express APP! How is this possible? It shows lack of vision not to have APPS from the top 100 in each field. Microsoft has billions to do this----but they don't understand how the world works.
131. sgodsell (Posts: 1222; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)
What kills me, not only did WP decline in Q2. It also sold less Q1 and in Q4 2013. Yes it made some slight gains when it was first released, and even grew slightly for a few quarters. During the Holiday season last year it should have grown then with sales as low as $49 for a 520. But it sold even less then its previous quarter.
145. TimePass (Posts: 19; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)
Personally It is more exciting to get Windows 8.1 OS phone then any other OS.
28. Locutus (unregistered)
150. na7noo7 (Posts: 224; Member since: 29 Mar 2014)
Not you, how the heck are you everywhere? Nokia 3310 can beat any Lumia phone including the Lumia 1820.
198. zhiae (Posts: 174; Member since: 26 Aug 2012)
tell me one thing not perfect about android .high end
if u buy g3 or s5 or m8 u get far better than u get from windows phone
through im android use i prefer iphone for some people because its easy
but once u get little deep better switch to android
with android every thing is possible from paper light simplistic to a heavy complex device ANDROID FTW.
200. ArtSim98 (limited) (Posts: 2738; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)
Ok nice to know that Android is absolutely 250% PERFECT! Thanks for the info!
7. Arte-8800 (Posts: 4281; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)
It never was a perfect OS.
Here in iTaly it is seen around. But these are cheap low end Nokias, used by poor people who can't afford Apple, Samsung, HTC, Sony, LG high end devices.
68. GalaxyS5 (Posts: 202; Member since: 05 Aug 2014)
I've seen him trolling many articles, but really this is true, if you have the money you'd go either Apple or Samsung, if you don't want to be part of the pack you'd chose sony, lg or maybe htc (with the big risks that come with it surely). the only good-selling phones from nokia right now are the low end 520/620 (they account for more than 70% maybe 72% of nokia sales I read once in an article several months ago) so it's maybe harsh to say the expression poor people but it is what it is and market share proves it and numbers are here.
186. elitewolverine (Posts: 1569; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)
Cheap low end nokias used by poor people?
You do know that android owes its existence to the poor people you have just so slammed. So much so, Galaxy line is now diluted by cheap phones. SO much so that Walmart has bucket loads of low end droids. Droids I have to tell parents they bought for nothing. Where I can pull out a 521 or 635 and run the gamut against similar priced phones. Show them how to install all apps to the sd card and not just a few. Show them how an OS is supposed to run and not have worry about bricking a phone.
Then again, when someone comes in with a s4, and I ask them to manually adjust the shutter speed, iso, and manual focus, I forgot they can't.
The list goes on and on and on. Of course some look at me like I am crazy, and I probably am, then again I tell them I am crazy cause I have to baby sit my Note 3 or find an app to baby sit it for me.
Most poor people go with the subsidized phones on contract, I deal with it every single day, day in and out. If you think people with money are the only ones to sell Samsung and Apple too, you are more of a troll than previously thought, and continue to think.
27. Locutus (unregistered)
3. Mozarrt (Posts: 295; Member since: 08 Oct 2011)
I enjoy my Windows Phone, it has its faults, but I guess every OS have them.
127. joey_sfb (Posts: 2903; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)
Well. WP8 is definitely not the best a user could have.
It's the worst if you are just comparing with Android and iOS.
iOS has exclusive apps and Android has everything else. With cheap high spec Android phone such as the Xiaomi RedMi Note around selling out in term of seconds. WP8 market share will slide down further.
Let see WP8 market share in the next quarter.
6. Reality_Check (Posts: 269; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)
They need to release a successor to the Nokia Lumia 1020 and fast.
10. pokharkarsaga (Posts: 361; Member since: 23 Feb 2012)
MS should start building Mid & low end Lumia phones with operating profit margin less than 1-2% .MS already has a royalty of 10$ per Android phone.So cash reserves is not a problem.This will help MS to attract developers & consumers & regain their 30% market share.This will also help to flood the market with lumias right from $100 lumia to $400 with a difference of $100 between each lumia.MS has already screwed up OEMs by buying Nokia.so they have do all the heavy lifting & not depend on OEMs.
11. Classique (Posts: 18; Member since: 10 Jan 2014)
WP is my favorite OS after the 8.1 update and this is after having a an iPhone 4 and HTC One X and playing around with the new OS updates once they come really hope carriers will start picking them because the biggest problem people seem to have is people don't want something the size of a 1520 and they don't need a "crazy camera" but would get something like an icon or a 635 but no carriers want them. It would sadden me if WP were to fail because I'be considered several friends to get Windows Phones and they love them.
14. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3202; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)
LMFAO@The US carrier opinions xD
15. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2003; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)
Brilliant article here. Steps MS should take to increase sales and market share:
1). Market the HELL out of features like Cortana and see thru live tiles with wallpapers. Market all the new phones released, whether low or high end.
2). Release MORE phones. Do a Samsung MS, and flood the market with Lumias.
3). Release a super high end
53. sip1995 (Posts: 810; Member since: 07 Feb 2014)
Agreed, they should advertising them more than ever....remember how Nokia was promoting phones, like the party with DJ Deadmau5 about the Nokia Lumia 800.
87. Arte-8800 (Posts: 4281; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)
They did with wp7 and Wp8, consumers were laughing stock
17. hurrycanger (Posts: 1099; Member since: 01 Dec 2013)
The Verizon guy didn't even explain why he thinks it wouldn't be a wise choice to get a Windows phone.
The AT&T guy wanted to confuse a new smartphone user with all kinda of craps about size, "phablet", "half phone half tablet", and he acted like iTunes was the easiest way to put your music onto your phone. Seriously, I think that guy doesn't know about drag and drop.
26. kindlefireowner (Posts: 349; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)
There are no CDMA prepaid windows phones. I would buy the Nokia 1320 if Verizon Prepaid released it. The Nokia 520/521 was a hit, but it was no CDMA version.
187. elitewolverine (Posts: 1569; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)
CDMA is for non LTE, all Verizon LTE phones use sim cards.
ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DE PA=0&Order=BESTMATCH&Descripti on=Nokia+1320&N=-1&isNodeId=1
32. realjjj (Posts: 89; Member since: 28 Jan 2014)
OEMs are not on board at all.
Look at HTC , they have been the biggest Windows based phones OEM since forever and only recently Nokia overtook them. Yet, they don't care enough to invest into making a WP phone and they are just using an existing model. That shows how little they believe in the platform.
You talk abiut a few new devices, like that is significant number. how about you actually check stores around the globe.I did just that y-day so lets see a few examples.
Flipkart (india) - there are 975 Android listings vs 71 Windows Phone (64 of those are lots of colors Nokias).
CDiscount (France) - 930 vs 92 but 75 are Nokia.
JD (China) - 1040 Android listings vs 22 Windows and all are Nokia.
eMag (Romania) - 337 vs 27 and all 27 are Nokia
So given that Nokia has lots of colors the actual different models are more like 20 to 1 in Android's favor, WP has very few offers in some price ranges and not very price competitive in some segments.
And then you got China, that is 35 to 40% of the total smartphone market, depending on qaurter, where WP doesn't even have 1% share.
In EU they got some share but that's pretty much on the Nokia brand, if they get rid of the brand they'll kill sales too.
Nobody is on board , M$ keeps trying to buy it's way in but nobody is on board, not the device makers, not the app makers, not the carriers. And that's because the customers are not on board and because Android offers them a lot more flexibility. From parts they can use to services and apps they can add to make a buck, to customization.So not only Android has the market but open source has huge advantages for everybody in the chain.
So maybe the only way for M$ would be to open source it and to one up Android, even keep the development open so folks can be ready for a new version from day one.
But who cares anyway, it's important to have options but it would be better to have more open options than what M$ is offering. The PC got stuck with Windows, maybe we should try to avoid repeating the same mistakes and look forward to open source OSes instead of proprietary.
45. Locutus (unregistered)
51. timezone (Posts: 80; Member since: 16 Jun 2013)
Definitely agree and would add to it problems also at the retail stores. Much of the public will walk in barely knowing what OS is on the phone. I asked a retail clerk about the windows phone and he talked about how buggy and how they are not smooth operating. Of course I have a windows phone and proceeded to correct him. I know he is not selling windows phones.