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Windows Phone is thriving at the low-end, dying at the high-end

Published Nov 27th, 2013 4:30PM EST
Windows Phone Device Sales Analysis

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Windows Phone has definitely shown some very promising momentum this year and it has soundly beat BlackBerry in the race to become the world’s No. 3 mobile platform. But there’s one asterisk next to Windows Phone’s impressive growth in 2013: It’s been driven almost entirely by low-end and mid-range smartphones while it’s languished in the high-end market dominated by the iPhone 5s and the Galaxy S4. Neowin points us to the latest research from AdDuplex showing that just 1 of the top 4 Windows Phones in the world is a high-end model while the rest of the platform’s top devices are in the low-to-mid-range market.

What’s particularly interesting is that AdDuplex found that the Lumia 1020 — which is not only the best Windows Phone device on the market but has also received a very strong advertising campaign — doesn’t crack the top 10 in any market. Neowin speculates that the device’s high initial $300 price tag has scared off a lot of potential buyers and that the phone’s marketing campaign as the world’s best camera phone has made it too much of a niche device to catch on in the mass market.

The most popular Windows Phone in the world by far is the Lumia 520, a budget model that accounts for more than one-quarter of all Windows Phone devices sold in the world. While Microsoft is more than happy to gobble up market share in emerging markets with low-and-mid-range devices, the company would probably like to also have a high-end flagship device that will both increase its presence in the United States and generate higher margins than its cheaper devices.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.


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