Windows Phone sales have quadrupled over last year, says Ballmer

Daniel Bader

November 29, 2012 10:31am


Windows Phone 8 is off to a great start, if Microsoft’s CEO is to be believed. During a shareholders’ meeting this week, the outspoken executive had a lot of effusive things to say about the platform, alongside claims that the new WP8 platform was outselling its predecessor by four to one.

“Windows Phone 8 has been on sale for a few weeks and is off to a great start, [and the phones] are getting rave reviews and have initially sold out in many countries.”

The issue here isn’t whether Windows Phone 8 is selling well compared to Windows Phone 7. This is undoubtedly true give the former platform’s poor sales performance throughout its brief lifespan. The real question is whether Windows Phone 8 is selling well compared to iPhone and top Android devices, but until we hear from Nokia in their next quarterly earnings we won’t know for sure.

There is anecdotal evidence that at least one Windows Phone 8 device — the Nokia Lumia 920 — is making brisk sales. The AT&T version is difficult to find in stores, according to people we’ve spoken with, and Amazon cannot keep the device in stock. Subjectively, the phone offers great value over the equivalent Android or iPhone; in Canada it is sold for $99.99 on a three-year contract with 32GB of internal storage, whereas most Android devices, or the equivalent iPhone 5, are more expensive and offer less space.

Microsoft has also been touting WP8 as a “synergistic” platform with Windows 8, which it launched around the same time. They have sold 40 million licenses since its launch a month ago but, again, Ballmer is cagey as to what that means; are 40 million computers running Windows 8, or have that many licenses merely been issued, left to sit on shelves or in OEMs’ databases?

According to Microsoft, demand for Windows 8 PCs and tablets is enormous; the data, however, shows a 21% decline for Windows PCs over last year (including tablets, which were practically non-existent), and according to analysts the Windows 8 tablet market is “virtually non-existent.” Again, until we hear from OEMs reporting actual sales data we won’t know for sure. We’ll also likely hear how many Surfaces were sold when Microsoft issues its next quarterly results. Either way, it will be spun into a web of success: Ballmer is good at that, and we love an underdog.

Source: Bloomberg, Readwrite

  • Sean

    Glad to see them getting some traction. Would really love to pick up either an WP8X or a L920 though Telus doesn’t appear to be carrying either =(

    • Spinmaster

      “News Spinning 101″ (Down the hall from “Damage Control” and Marketing 101)

      -If your sales numbers are HIGH: “Quote them in thousands or millions

      -If you just released a product ( and have to fill up the distribution channels): Quote the SHIPPED units, not the sold ones.

      -If your sales-numbers or market share is in the TANK: Just qoute %of increse by Quarter; if the % STILL SUCKS; quote “The last six months”; if the % STILL SUCKS, then quote the Delta of “LAST YEAR”

      -We know that Windows phones are in the lower pocket of the provebial “Tank”.
      Telus just stopped selling the Lumia 810 at $530 (Not a typo, not a joke) and the Lumia 610 on Telus prepaid at $130 is STILL too expensive, and will be killed by the Samsung Discover.

      -So releasing new models, of course that will cuadruple the sales; from 50 units to 200.

    • Spinmaster

      With all these “positive articles” about MS you just wonder when the One BILLION DOLLARS in Marketing will be spent?

      Meanwhile: Nokia is still refusing to make Android phones.
      (Imagine the next NEXUS made by Nokia??)

      RIM has employees “jamming” and looking for a theme, an Heins attends games instead of working 24/7 trying to release BB10 on time for the season (MS did it!!)

      -Then MS releases hardware, and THINKS that baristas will get in line overnight to get a tablet with keyboard for $720.

      In the Meantime LG prices the Optimus G at more than $600 (killing a great phone) while they can’t churn enough Nexei 4.

      Koodo Releases the S3 at $450 next week; and ROBELUS keeps pushing their $73+ ARPU….and that’s all in the Canadian Holiday news;now let’s check traffic and weather…

  • jellmoo

    Microsoft has yet to really figure out how to cross promote it’s platforms and create any real synergy between them. They need to build up their unified ecosystem a lot better, and offer app developers much better traction to hit as many targets as possible.

    WP8 is really cool and has tons of potential, but it needs better app support in order to flourish. Same thing for the Surface. Without a better developed ecosystem though, it’s going to be hard to compete against Google and Apple as they have made great strides in that department.

  • skazzers

    Yes it went from 1 user in Canada to 4!!!

  • Eric

    Just picked up a Lumia 920 yesterday and I am really liking it… The phone is heavy but I quite like the user interface. Hopefully I will not be returning the phone.

  • J-Ro

    Personally, i’m not a fan of windows 8. Its a cool idea but a lot of people that are used to the regular windows and dont’ want to upgrade to a touch screen wont get the full experience, which in turn will result in switch brands and frustration.

    Also, from a business stand point. If I was the owner of a company housing 1500+ employees, why make the sudden change so I have to do such a haul for equipment? Eventually all programs will be for 8 and previous systems will be left with outdated software.

    It’s great on phones and tablets but they should have made a real retro version to the desktop and not the “RT” version which i consider a tease.

    • gtp20

      If you used Windows 8 for more then 5 minutes you would know why your comment is ridiculous.

    • swizzlerz

      I use windows 8 on my desktop with a duel screen non touch setup. It works great. don’t need to have touch. touch is fun for mobility but not needed at a desktop. one screen runs the new apps the other has my desktop applications :)

  • Derek

    Can’t be that hard to quadruple a really small number. Impress me and tell me how many they sold.

  • rt

    Underdog? BB10 is an underdog. Firefox OS is an underdog. Jolla is an underdog. Nothing created by a company as wealthy with the advertising budget of Microsoft is an “underdog”. I mean unless you are just using current sales numbers, in which case Iphones are also an “underdog”.

  • Yeria

    If I’m a developer or a company, I can’t see myself investing in Windows Phone if I’m already invested heavily in iOS and Android. You just don’t have enough time and resources to invest in 3 different OS while doing maintenance work AND new development. Even if you’re a newcomer, you will first develop for either iOS or Android, because you want your app to be available to a big user base.

    It is unfortunate, but I just don’t see any compelling reason for devs to build apps for Windows Phone or Blackberry. There has to be incentives for doing so, but there are really none thus far, and it will only get worse as the time goes on.

    I think Microsoft should really consider implementing deep integration of Windows 8 with iOS and Android instead of just focusing so much on Windows Phone. Everyone uses Windows and everyone uses either an iPhone or an Android device, but there really is no platform that connects the two together. I think this can really drive up Windows sales. Native iTunes support? How about a standalone Google Music player? Almost nobody cares if I can view my Windows Phone SMS from my computer when nobody uses Windows Phone to begin with. Any advantage Windows 8 offers is only an advantage if I make a decision to commit everything to the currently weak Windows ecosystem hoping someday it will become stronger.

    I don’t even want to spend $30 for an upgrade, when it will only mean incompatibility, headaches and a crappy UI.

  • Brad F

    noticed how he did not give a real number cause real numbers sucked for it.

  • TP

    I would like to see the market share growth.
    When they were selling a really small number, ‘quadrupled’ doesn’t tell anything.

  • HighClassFrenchCricket

    wp8’s massive explosion into the market was nothing but a popcorn fart. I can make more noise after a night at taco bell and a large coke. faaaaaart.

  • fogman_white

    I have Win8 on my tablet and it’s going very well but I would not install Win8 on my PC (running Win7). Yesterday evening, I went to different cellphone shops (Bell, Telus, Rogers, BestBuy, FutureShop and Videotron) and no one had a demo (and functionnal) WP8 phone (no Nokia 920, no WP8) so where are they doing their sales ???

  • John

    You want to know how successful I am? I increased my net worth by 1000% last year! From 0 to $1000. Dang I’m doing good!

    • ElNad

      You suck at Math.

    • TP

      From 0 to 1000 is not 1000% growth.

    • John

      You’re right! But just imagine how good I’d be doing if I could do math too!!!

    • Me Ted

      “You want to know how successful I am? I increased my net worth by 1000% last year! From 0 to $1000. Dang I’m doing good!”

      That would actually be 100,000%.

    • bob

      people suck at math here

      from 0 to 1000$ is the same as from 0 to 1$
      an increase of infinity %

  • Bravo

    Sales in this case does not refer to selling to a user

    It refers to ‘selling’ to a carrier and putting it into their inventory.

    However if the carrier does not sell these phones then Nokia has to ‘buy’ them back.

    aka Channel stuffing

  • Bongo

    I hope they move up to become the 2nd most popular O/S right under Android… and above IOS and BB

  • jPhoneUser

    umm so how many surface’s did u sell ?

  • Paul Q

    4×2=8

    There are always so many MS employees on here. The phones are a*s!

  • Vengefulspirit99

    @me ted
    oh boy lol… the irony…