Thanks to non-smartphones, Microsoft sold more phones than Apple last quarter

Let's get this out of the way first, Apple made a lot, and we mean a LOT more money on smartphone sales than Microsoft did but, if you count all the handsets that Microsoft sold during the last quarter, they actually sold more devices than Apple.

During the last calendar quarter, Microsoft sold 30.3 million non-Lumia phones (Asha handsets, 'feature phones' and Nokia X Android devices), along with 5.8 million Lumia Windows Phones for a total of 36.1 million devices, whereas Apple sold 35.2 million iPhones.

We should point out too - before you head to the comments and proclaim that Lumia sales fell off of a cliff - that the figures that Microsoft quoted today are from April 25th onward. Why April 25th? That's the day the acquisition closed and Microsoft became responsible for the handset division.

The numbers are interesting in that Microsoft now sells more devices per quarter than Apple, and while not all of them run a version of Windows Phone (yet), Microsoft does have a massive market to, if nothing else, introduce its brand name and potentially bundle a few low-end versions of its applications on these devices.

We know that we are not comparing like-devices, of course, and no-one is pretending that a Nokia 108 is the same as an iPhone. Still, as far as mobile handsets go - in the broadest definition - Microsoft did out-ship Apple but they only did so because of ultra-low-cost dumb-phones. In terms of smartphones, Apple absolutely crushed Lumia shipments, even if you extrapolate out the data to include the entire month of April for Lumia sales, Microsoft still trailed by a wide margin.

Image Credit: Microsoft

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derekaw said,

OK thanks, as I thought, I may have communicated it wrong.

The question is - will a lack of NOKIA 'dumb' phones translate to sales of (Microsoft) Lumia phones?

Microsoft will still make low cost phones. They will be windows phones instead of Android and such.

hagjohn said,

Microsoft will still make low cost phones. They will be windows phones instead of Android and such.

So a business built on making and selling cheap low end phones. It is really only the low end phones that sell in any volumes. I can't imagine this is what MS had in mind when they launched Windows Phone, and I don't think its a Marketing issue, I think that people just don't like Windows Phone much.

Obry said,
Nokia did, not Microsoft. Microsoft just killed that part of their newly acquired business...

Nokia sold 0 phones. Nokia didn't own that division during that time period.

derekaw said,
I don't think its a Marketing issue, I think that people just don't like Windows Phone much.

I think there's a lot more to that then people not liking windows phones. A lot of people (even those that aren't microsoft fanboys) speak highly of the mobile interface. Unfortunately microsoft was late to the party in developing a finger-touch friendly phone. By the time they came out with Windows Phone 7, Android and ios was well engraved into the market, meaning they have much more developers and apps dedicated to their systems. It will take time before microsoft grows to a reasonable level in the mobile department. Not to mention when they started, their marketing was kind of distorted. I remember, at least in the USA, AT&T failed to really market the phone (since they were the first carrier to carry the phone).

I believe "threshold" will help grow their market (if done right), and microsoft will probably produce low(er)-end smartphones for emerging markets in order to get them in their ecosystem.

All and all, only time will tell.

derekaw said,

So a business built on making and selling cheap low end phones. It is really only the low end phones that sell in any volumes. I can't imagine this is what MS had in mind when they launched Windows Phone, and I don't think its a Marketing issue, I think that people just don't like Windows Phone much.

Microsoft doesn't only make low end phones.

hagjohn said,

Microsoft doesn't only make low end phones.

We know, but its only the low end dirt cheap phones that are selling in any volumes.

techbeck said,
MS had no part in what Nokia did here. Whatever makes them look good in the headlines I guess.

Hmmm...had this been a negative article about Microsoft having a super low amount of sells on all phones, would they then be able to take credit for it?

uxo22 said,

Hmmm...had this been a negative article about Microsoft having a super low amount of sells on all phones, would they then be able to take credit for it?


hold on to that thought next year.

I don't think Microsoft will get this number from itself for next year results. It's gonna be very hard to replace all Nokia legacy phones by Windows Phone powered devices.

So microsoft kills the Nokia feature phone hoping that people will buy low end Windows Phones? How does that make sense? Can you make a WP that is good enough at even cheaper prices then the 520 and its variants? Will people buying even cheaper WP's use the ecosystem and buy apps? Will this help the WP platform? What will developers think?

I think it is possible but only if Microsoft can continue to trade the Nokia name on these lower-end devices. That's critical to bringing these so-called "dumb" phone customers to the same party. What is more tricky is monetizing those customers.

Being so cheap, I imagine that the people who buy them don't want to pay for apps or services, they just want a clean, crisp, phone-first experience with great call features and contact management and dual-sims. But throw in a few products like Outlook, OneDrive and Office and Microsoft could be onto an instant winner if executed properly.

There is a certain simplicity and serenity to one's life by having a "dumb phone" to use as a phone, and a laptop or desktop for a personal computer. The rapture of "feature frenzy" is one aspect of Life easy to avoid, along with its associated heartburn.

There is plenty of "Pie" for both companies to excel at what each one does well--as long as neither one gets too greedy and starts to encroach on the other's territory. Remember, pigs get slaughtered.

This is a mixed blessing but let's see where we are in the next two to three quarters. Microsoft aren't going to turn these customers into smartphone users overnight. They will likely have to come up with something that fills the gap well without pushing users to Android. Then again, does Android do feature phones?

CtrlShift said,
This is a mixed blessing but let's see where we are in the next two to three quarters. Microsoft aren't going to turn these customers into smartphone users overnight. They will likely have to come up with something that fills the gap well without pushing users to Android. Then again, does Android do feature phones?

I dont understand, how does that work in practice? What will Microsoft do exactly that fills the gap without pushing users to Android?

TruckWEB said,
Nokia 530, one step closer to cheap phone....

It's a long way to a $40/20 phone....
Once again they nuked a product without a replacement available; weird strategy...

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