Windows Phone 8.1 Finally Breaks The 50% Market Share Threshold

Windows Phone 8.1 accounted for more than 50 percent of all Windows Phone usage in November. It closed October with 46.7 percent of the market.

Windows Phone 8, its predecessor, still controls 33.5 percent of the Windows Phone base. That amount will decline as more carriers update phones that were initially sold with an earlier version of the Windows Phone platform.

Here’s the chart [Data: AdDuplex November preview. Via: Neowin]:

Screen Shot 2014-11-27 at 10.08.31 AM

Also worth noting in the above data is the 95 percent of the market that Microsoft controls. Microsoft wants both its gross sales figures to rise, and its percentage of the Windows Phone market to decrease. Microsoft would be far happier to sell twice the phones, at 80 percent of the market, than sell a few more, and control 95 percent — third-party OEM support is critical to the long-term health of Windows Phone. That’s not conjecture. The company wouldn’t be working to expand OEM uptake of Windows Phone if it didn’t want to see a more diverse manufacturer base for the platform.

At the same time, for us nerds, the 95 percent figure — and its likely only small change in December — means we’ll be able to quickly estimate the total Windows Phone handsets sold in the current calendar fourth quarter, Microsoft’s fiscal second. Extrapolating from Microsoft’s raw reported unit volume to the entire market’s size is simpler the larger the company’s personal market share remains.

Moving forward, it will be interesting to see if HTC can expand its own Windows Phone market share to the 5 percent mark inside of the first half of 2015. It’s 62 percent of the way there already. Or, if another OEM could race it to the mark and win. We’ll see.

For now, stop reading blog posts and go hug someone you love.