Microsoft confirms what we’ve all been thinking: high-end Windows Phones aren’t selling

Microsoft has posted its latest in a series of blog posts detailing app store download behaviour in December.

Specifically, the company confirms what we’ve all been thinking: few Windows Phone owners own high-end devices. In fact, the majority of Windows Phone users still run devices with 512MB of RAM.

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The company provides this data to developers for purposes of encouraging them to update their apps to support low-memory devices. ‘Low Memory’ comprises Windows Phone 8 devices with 512MB of RAM and Windows Phone 7.5/7.8 devices with 256MB RAM.

windows trends1As you can see, Windows Phone 8.1 now runs on 65% of total Windows Phone devices, with Windows Phone 8 comprising 30% and Windows Phone 7, in all its capacities, making up less than 5%. This allows developers to optimize apps for the latest version of the OS without worrying about compatibility, but being forced to spare resources due to low RAM counts is a potential roadblock.

The Lumia 520 and 530 are by far the two most popular devices in the Windows Phone ecosystem, followed by the Lumia 625, 630 and 635, all low- to mid-range devices in the $100 to $200 range. High-memory devices are divided fairly equally between then Lumia 1020, 920 and others.

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Canada doesn’t place in the 10 top in terms of top Windows Phone ecosystems, making it very clear that we don’t have much of a sales ecosystem in this country (though population is a contributing factor).


Finally, paid apps only account for 11% of Windows Phone developers’ revenue, with in-app purchases making up 35% and advertising the majority with 53%. This breakdown may be even more stark on iOS and Android.

Overall, while Microsoft is not decrying the Windows Phone app ecosystem as being unhealthy, it’s certainly not in a great way, especially in North America.