Ahead of the formal transfer of Nokia’s hardware business to Microsoft in exchange for a few dollars, a new report out today details how dominant the Finnish handset company is in the Windows Phone market. According to AdDuplex, Nokia now controls 90 percent of the Windows Phone market.
That’s to say that 9 out of 10 Windows Phone handsets in the market today were made by Nokia. As that number continues to rise on a monthly basis, its current sales share is higher than 90 percent. Or, put another way, Windows Phone is Nokia as much as the reverse is true.
Another milestone was reached today: Among Windows Phone handsets in the market, more than 75 percent now run Windows Phone 8. That’s to say that in the past year, Microsoft has sold enough new handsets to triple the usage of all Windows Phone 7.X handsets that are still in use. Of course, some Windows Phone 7.X owners upgraded to new Windows Phone 8 hardware, but it’s still a mark of maturity for the new Windows Phone build to cross the 75 percent threshold.
The low-end Lumia 520 continues to perform strongly, picking up another 3.3 percent market share in the month. Its 521 variant broke into the top 10 most-used handset list with 3.4 percent. A new version of the phone, the Lumia 525, will reach markets in short order.
Tossing light onto why the Lumia 520 matters for Windows Phone (and therefore NokiaSoft), is the Vietnamese market, which, by percentage, is made up of 57 percent Lumia 520 handsets. The low-cost side of the Lumia line of smartphones is driving unit volume for the platform.
That’s the gist of the market: Nokia is the only Windows Phone OEM that matters; the Lumia 520 and its children are selling well; and Windows Phone 7.X is firmly in the past. What Microsoft needs now is a hit handset in its home market, and it will have a decent footing the world around. What will be more than interesting will be whether Windows Phone can move more than 10 million units in the fourth quarter of 2013. If not, concerns about its unit volume growth rate will resurface.