According to IDC sales statistics Android and iOS are the leaders in the smartphone world covering over 95% of the market. Windows Phone is the third largest mobile OS but its market share is much lower. Here are the most recent statistics for 2015 on the popularity of Windows Phone based on mobile web traffic.
Windows Phone's evolution
When Microsoft acquired Nokia’s smartphone business it became clear that the Redmond-based company is aiming to start manufacturing its own Windows Phone devices. After a few years, it is still unclear whether tapping into smartphone manufacturing was the right decision for Microsoft.
From a buyer’s perspective having more choices in terms of operating systems than just Android and iOS can be a good thing, of course given that Windows Phone devices are now comparable with what other operating systems can offer. Initially Windows Phone's capabilities were a far cry from what was possible with the competing OSes, for instance there was no notification centre (it appeared with the 8.1 release) which was unacceptable for many users. But over time the missing features were updated, and the upcoming Windows 10 Mobile may be a major leap forward for the third most popular OS on the market.
Check out the table with the overview of major developments introduced to the Windows Phone platform.
|Windows Phone 7.5||IE 9 Mobile, multi-tasking of third-party apps, Windows Live SkyDrive access||2011|
|Windows Phone 8||Windows NT Kernel replaced the Windows CE architecture, apps can be ported between Win 8 and Win Phone 8||2012|
|Windows Phone 8.1||Notification centre, IE 11, separate volume controls, Cortana voice assistant||2014|
|Windows 10 Mobile||Windows Phone name phased out, apps can be designed for use across multiple Windows 10-based products, Microsoft Edge browser, Skype messaging integration, notification syncing with other Windows devices||2015|
The idea behind Windows 10 is that the same operating systems will be installed on all devices, including smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops. And therefore Microsoft Lumias are now touted as the “phones that work like your PC.”
Windows Phone market share in 2015 based on website hits
The list of countries where Windows Phone is the most popular doesn’t include any of the largest markets although there are 4 EU countries among the top 10. This is mostly due to the fact that the Windows Phone platform is the strongest at low-end and mid-end price categories which aren’t the most sought-after in all countries. Here is Windows Phone share based on traffic to thousands of DeviceAtlas-powered websites in the last three quarters.
Most used Windows Phone versions
The following diagrams present the breakdown of the most used Windows Phone versions in countries where Windows Phone is popular. Windows 10 Mobile is not listed given that the first Windows 10 phones are yet to be released. The following statistics are based on web traffic in Q3 2015.