AdDuplex report: Low-end is the driving force behind Windows Phone success

We’ve seen a lot of good news for Windows Phone lately, with many reports claiming the OS has not only entrenched itself as the third ecosystem, but has also gained a substantial number of users during this past year.

But how has each new Windows Phone device impacted the ecosystem? For that we turn to November’s AdDuplex report.

One data point has been very consistent in AdDuplex reports ever since this summer, and that’s the fact that the Lumia 520 reigns supreme. The least expensive Windows Phone on the market is also the best-selling one, accounting for almost 30% of WP devices out there. And “the little phone that could” isn’t done yet, with the device seeing important monthly gains in virtually every market.

Another device that’s been gaining ground in Microsoft’s ecosystem is the Lumia 625, another low-end Windows Phone. This device from Nokia is a bit more expensive than the Lumia 520 and offers a very large display and a few upgraded specs compared to its best-selling cousin. Launched much more recently, it’s very important that this phone has started being successful, it validates once again Nokia’s strategy of focusing on the low-end.

Arguably all of Windows Phone’s growth that we’ve seen this past year can be attributed to low-end devices like these two, which have increased Microsoft’s user numbers. This in turn has brought in more developer interest and some very important momentum for the Windows Phone Store. And while the “app gap” between Windows Phone and its competitors is still widely open, these are the platform’s first real steps in the right direction.

On the high-end front not much has changed when it comes to the Windows Phone ecosystem. Nokia’s Lumia 920 is still the most popular high-end device and there’s no sign of that changing anytime soon.

The Lumia 1020, arguably the company’s new flagship device and the best Windows Phone on the market, barely registered on the AdDuplex radar. It has yet to break into the top 10 in any major market, sorry Aussies, and with its niche appeal and hefty price tag things are likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future.

Finally the Lumia 1520, Nokia’s first “phablet” is in 19th place in the Windows Phone device race just days after it launched. That may be an early indicator of success, but as Alan Mendelevich from AdDuplex notes, they are only tracking 21 devices. Time will tell if such a device will be successful and for now we’re cautiously optimistic about its prospect.

It’s very telling that low-end devices are pushing the Windows Phone platform forward, and that more expensive phones are barely registering. A high-end option is very important to have, but Nokia and Microsoft must be acutely aware that they’re only having success in the low-end spectrum. Hopefully today’s Lumia 525 launch continues this success streak and Windows Phone walks into 2014 with its best foot forward.

Check out the full report on the AdDuplex Blog later on today!

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The Lumia 1020, arguably the company's new flagship device and the best Windows Phone on the market, hasn't even registered on the AdDuplex radar. It has yet to break into the top 10 in any market and with its niche appeal and hefty price tag things are likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future.

It is in fact in top ten in Australia with 4.6% share, as per the said report.

My only concern is MS continuing to push the price point down. Nokia understood this and cranked out devices well ahead of the OS. Will MS continue this trend and at this pace?

I wish that MS would leave Nokia to do it thing on the hardware side. But Honestly MS is going to pair new hardware with the new OS release ala Surface.

For the record I have a yellow Lumia 920 (day one)

The Lumia 520 is a good all round performer, and better than quite a few (not all) Android phones at the same price. I'm not surprised to see that it's the most popular Lumia. "Low cost" (and great hardware/software) is probably the major factor to market dominance, and Microsoft/Nokia can deliver this.

I think the 1320 should do quite well also. It's not so much "low-end" as mid-end with the $380 price but it's the cheapest phablet out on the market I think, specially at it's 6" size.

Well this is a shocking revelation... if people want high end they'll go iPhone or Galaxy. It'll grow in popularity the same way Android did. Can't see it over taking either of the big two though.

Uplift said,
Well this is a shocking revelation... if people want high end they'll go iPhone or Galaxy. It'll grow in popularity the same way Android did. Can't see it over taking either of the big two though.

not for a while at least. OS needs work.

Uplift said,
Well this is a shocking revelation... if people want high end they'll go iPhone or Galaxy. It'll grow in popularity the same way Android did. Can't see it over taking either of the big two though.
Well... no. Lumia's are as good as Galaxies or iPhones, no need to go to another OS, a Lumia 920 is as much a high end smartphone as those 2.

Studio384 said,
Well... no. Lumia's are as good as Galaxies or iPhones, no need to go to another OS, a Lumia 920 is as much a high end smartphone as those 2.

Whats spec on paper got to do with anything? I'm not disputing how good they are, but at the end of the day people want iPhones or other high end phones like the Galaxy, the Lumia hasn't gained enough traction in the consumer world... There is a massive need to go to another OS because people want apps, at the other end of the spectrum it's the low end market where people want the free phones on cheap contracts or not bothered about bells and whistles and thats where Android got it's dominance, now it's Microsofts turn but they have a lot of catching up to do...

Spicoli said,
I think the only reason people buy those ridiculously expensive phones is hiding the cost in the contract. Cost wise it's like buying a new refrigerator every couple years.

Not even close.

Spicoli said,
I think the only reason people buy those ridiculously expensive phones is hiding the cost in the contract. Cost wise it's like buying a new refrigerator every couple years.

Besides the fact that in many Countries where the markets are not locked by the carriers racket as in the US plenty of people buy unsubsidized, not crippled devices I see nothing wrong with replacing my refrigerator if a newer one with features that my current one does not have and are useful to me hit the market.
I have a 920 and I will replace it when a new model, that offers something I personally find useful and appealing, I will replace it; the 925,the 1020 and the 1520 did not. If a 5", 1080, SD card and at this point 8.1 will arrive I will probably replace my 920.

I thought this was common knowledge. Having seen my wife go from a low end Android to a low end WP the WP is easily the better device.

If MS want to improve in the higher end of the market they really need to work on WP. Nokia are churning out some amazing hardware but each time the only unattractive thing about them is the lacking OS. If they make it amazing then people will notice and in turn developers will have to consider the OS for their apps.

Lots of things... there is a website with list of features been requested since the launch of WP8. I personally feel a Notification center, better API for Video & Audio, . e.g. WhatsApp cannot send video/Audio stored on the phone, nor can it save incoming media except photos to the library; This is due to the OS restriction.
Allow adding media to library from email/message. Better first party Apps. Even MS apps lack features compared to ios/Android, look at skype, its a mess on WP.

Spicoli said,
What would you change in the OS?

as a ex-user there is a list that goes on and on and on. I bought at launch wp7, updated to 7.5 but have watched progress and kept getting disappointed, hence why I just went with Android. Here are some of my biggest needs:

-better organization
-notification centre
-customization options
-better home screen

I want to be able to group certain tiles, not cluster everything. I want to be able to have a background. I want to have better looks, like who decided when I choose green and some tiles still end up blue or orange... I want to be able to quickly respond to people/things... I want to be able to access apps within apps more fluidly (having a swipe up to have your favorite apps show up or w/e)...

I mean the list is huge, WP is really just pathetic, im sorry... I just know personally that It could be heeaaaappss better, but for some reason MS cant move fast... Its questionable to if blue will even fix much.

I guess I'm more interested in function and value rather than if a square is green or not. I ditched Android because I didn't want to use Google and them cramming ads at me in every direction. Apple is a joke with proprietary everything and you can't even swap the battery.

I could definitely go for a notification center. I really liked how Blackberry designed it on the z10.

Edited by Screw this Nazi Site, Nov 27 2013, 11:06am :

auziez said,

as a ex-user there is a list that goes on and on and on. I bought at launch wp7, updated to 7.5 but have watched progress and kept getting disappointed, hence why I just went with Android. Here are some of my biggest needs:

-better organization
-notification centre
-customization options
-better home screen

I want to be able to group certain tiles, not cluster everything. I want to be able to have a background. I want to have better looks, like who decided when I choose green and some tiles still end up blue or orange... I want to be able to quickly respond to people/things... I want to be able to access apps within apps more fluidly (having a swipe up to have your favorite apps show up or w/e)...

I mean the list is huge, WP is really just pathetic, im sorry... I just know personally that It could be heeaaaappss better, but for some reason MS cant move fast... Its questionable to if blue will even fix much.


^^ This man speaks the truth. + volume profile.

Spicoli said,
Apple is a joke with proprietary everything and you can't even swap the battery.

I know man, they have that proprietary charger and...and...and that's about it...

Spicoli said,
What would you change in the OS?

A better email client, a decent calendar, being able to enter my PW to unlock the phone without highlighting the number I pressed, which is something that happened with the original XP Tablet OS but MS fixed in few weeks while in WP has not been fixed in three years, would be good start.... for me.
Plus MS could just check its own website, plenty of ignored suggestion there.

ACTIONpack said,
No Nokia Lumia 1020?

um its right there in the article.....
"The Lumia 1020, arguably the company's new flagship device and the best Windows Phone on the market, hasn't even registered on the AdDuplex radar. It has yet to break into the top 10 in any market and with its niche appeal and hefty price tag things are likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future."

Actualy, I would say the 920 is the flagship, yes, the 1020 is more epensive, but does that make it a flagship? I would rather call it a variant with focus on camera.

the better twin said,

um its right there in the article.....
"The Lumia 1020, arguably the company's new flagship device and the best Windows Phone on the market, hasn't even registered on the AdDuplex radar. It has yet to break into the top 10 in any market and with its niche appeal and hefty price tag things are likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future."

The 1020 is still in carrier honeymoon phase, which means it is not universally available.

Even the 920 had to get away from carrier lock in to start showing up in any significant way, and even by then it was polluted with the 928 and 925 not being counted collectively in the 920 group.

Technically the 1020 is essentially a 928/925 with a 41mp camera, and is not currently the 'flaghsip' phone, but is the 'flagship' camera phone.

If you look at just the US alone, ATT is big, yet only has around 30% of the customers. So all the potential sales of the 1020 in the US is limited to that 30% demographic.

Take even the 928. Verizon has been doing well with the Nokia 928, but it is still tiny numbers as a whole, even though it is significant numbers for Verizon itself.

I dont see this as anything other than a positive. Androids growth was based on flooding the low end of the market and Windows Phone could do the same with a much better performing OS at that level.

I don't think you understand the concept of the progress in technology. Yes, high end phones are very expensive right now. In a year the same specs will be mid-range, and in two years it'll be low-end. What we call low end now will be popular among many people but there are still others much more invested in technology (like myself) who will spend a couple hundred more to get more RAM, larger high-res screens, faster processors and so on. We understand that they won't be the best phones around in ~8 months, but to say "There's just no reasons to spend $600+ on a phone anymore." seems a bit ridiculous.

I think you're misunderstanding what he's saying.
What you're saying is correct, but high end smart phones these days do what most people need them to. And by most people, I mean those without any specific interest in technology or any deep knowledge of it -- the people that just want a phone that does Facebook and Instagram. When today's high-end technology completely makes its way down to low-end technology in a few more years, the market is going to be less inclined to chase after the latest-and-greatest device and defer towards the cheaper models.

AeonicVision said,
I think you're misunderstanding what he's saying.
What you're saying is correct, but high end smart phones these days do what most people need them to. And by most people, I mean those without any specific interest in technology or any deep knowledge of it -- the people that just want a phone that does Facebook and Instagram. When today's high-end technology completely makes its way down to low-end technology in a few more years, the market is going to be less inclined to chase after the latest-and-greatest device and defer towards the cheaper models.

Seems to me like he's saying the same thing Spicoli did, in an alternative way.

According to my calculations, Mr. Spicoli, you wasted a total of eight hours of my time this year. And rest assured that is a kind estimate.

Spicoli said,
What we call low end is what will be the standard smart phone soon. There's just no reasons to spend $600+ on a phone anymore.

Thats very good news for Android then.

Outside of camera and display quality there is no functional difference of a high end and low end Windows Phone. Maybe the term low end doesn't even apply to this ecosystem.

Avatar Roku said,
Outside of camera and display quality there is no functional difference of a high end and low end Windows Phone. Maybe the term low end doesn't even apply to this ecosystem.

That is not entirely true. Thirdparty apps load for 1-2 second on WP8's with low RAM and 0 seconds on a high-end WP8. As stupid as it sounds but if you're a heavy whatsapp user you will notice the difference. The 520 is still has the best quality/price relation on the market though.

Ronnet said,

That is not entirely true. Thirdparty apps load for 1-2 second on WP8's with low RAM and 0 seconds on a high-end WP8. As stupid as it sounds but if you're a heavy whatsapp user you will notice the difference. The 520 is still has the best quality/price relation on the market though.

Strange. I was under the impression windows phone ran equally well on all devices with a single core and 128MB of RAM.

recursive said,

Strange. I was under the impression windows phone ran equally well on all devices with a single core and 128MB of RAM.

With additional RAM more apps can run in the background. Meaning they wont have loading times when you reopen them. The more RAM the more apps in the background. The service is entirely automated so when the Phone requires more RAM apps are being closed in the background. As you can imagine this happens more often with low RAM devices.

Technically the speed of opening apps is the same on all phones (with the exception of some heavy games). And its definatly faster then on Android however with enough RAM you have 0 loading times. Its this design that makes WP a better OS for phones (and low-end devices in general).