23 percent of Windows Phone users come from Android, claims Microsoft. Are we supposed to be impressed?

June 27, 2013
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Nokia Lumia 920

Yesterday during a BUILD session geared towards Windows Phone, Microsoft aimed to motivate developers by talking a bit about the mobile OS’ current market penetration. During the presentation Microsoft shared a few stats about where Microsoft Windows Phone users come from.

According to the data, 42% of users come from a feature phone. But what Microsoft really wanted to rub in was that supposedly 23% of Windows Phone devices come from Android users that ‘upgraded’ (Microsoft’s words not mine!) over to a Windows Phone 8 device.

So that’s amazing, mind-blowing – Android sure is in trouble! Except for the fact that it isn’t. Not at all.

Looking at Q1 2013 data from IDC, Windows Phone represented 3.2% of the entire smartphone marketshare pie, shipping 7 million units. This was a notable growth of 133.3% year-over-year. Okay, so Windows Phone did see growth, that much is true, but so did Android.

During Q1 2013, the platform made up 75% of the worldwide market and shipped 162.1 million units, reporting a 79.5% year-over-year growth.

While Windows Phone 8 grew more percentage wise, the actual growth of units shipped between Q1 2012 and Q1 2013 was just 4 million more. In contrast, Android shipped 71.8 million more.

Tell me, which of these figures impresses you the most?

HTC Windows Phone 8X

Understanding why some Android users are jumping ship to Windows Phone 8

We can point out the fact that Microsoft’s growth isn’t really significant all day until we turn blue in the face. That doesn’t change the fact that there are at least some folks that have made the jump over to Windows Phone 8. The question is: why?

There is no way to know for sure unless we go knocking on the door of every Windows Phone convert, but we can take some guesses.

Past Windows Phone/Mobile users

First, at least a small portion of these ‘converted’ users might have owned Windows Mobile or Windows Phone 7 devices but jumped ship when they realized that Microsoft couldn’t keep up with the competition.

Windows Phone 8 is a dramatically different experience from Android and iOS, and also represents a major leap forward from WP7 and WM. Whether you agree or not, some users also really enjoy the idea of live tiles.

It’s no surprise that Windows Phone 8 might attract back some of these former fans.

Not everyone loves an open OS

If you are reading this and regularly keep up with Android-related news, odds are that you are a big fan of Google’s open platform.

You like customizing your phone. You enjoy the freedom to use any app you want, or ditch apps that you’d rather not use. More than likely you aren’t so keen on the idea of a locked down OS and would NEVER consider it.

We have to face the facts though, not everyone feels that way. Some people like a platform that takes them by the hand and makes things as “simple” as can be.

Why were these users on an Android device to begin with? Honestly, affordability and freedom of choice when it comes to hardware. They might like an OS that is simple, but they want to choose a phone that looks/works best for them and fits into their budget.

With Windows Phone 8, they get a more Apple-ish locked-down approach, but they have several hardware options that stand out in a crowd. I may not be a Windows Phone fan, but I will admit that their software and partner hardware certainly stands out (whether that’s good or bad is up to you).

Elephant in the room: customer satisfaction

Many Apple fans will be quick to point out that iOS is consistently rated higher overall in customer satisfaction than the Android. What they aren’t as quick to point out is that several Android devices have a higher satisfaction rating than the iPhone, including the Galaxy Note 2.

Unfortunately, there are tons of low-end and even mid-range Android handsets that admittedly aren’t perfect. Many users buy these cheaper handsets, find the experience isn’t perfect and instead of blaming the junk phone – they feel that Android is at fault.

It’s perfectly conceivable that at least some users that have been ‘burnt’ by lower-quality Android handsets might have made the jump to other platforms, and that could certainly include WP8.

windows phone ad

In the grand scheme, Windows Phone 8’s ‘23% Android stat’ doesn’t really matter

We’ve explored some of the reasons why a small minority of Android users might consider converting to Windows Phone, but does this statistic matter in reality? Not really.

Windows Phone 8 is a new OS and Microsoft has put a lot of hype behind it, enough that early on it might have won over some converts from another platform. Unfortunately for the Redmond giant, all evidence suggests that Microsoft can’t sustain this growth or hype.

We might have pointed to IDC’s data showing that Windows Phone 8 grew tremendously in Q1 2013 compared to last year, but looking at things from a month-to-month basis? ComScore reports that in the United States Microsoft actually went down .1% during the period ending in April, compared to where they stood back in January.

What does this mean? Basically, that Microsoft’s revelation of this “23% from Android” figure is simply about smoke and mirrors. It is an attempt to excite developers into developing for their platform. Unfortunately for Microsoft, they don’t really back up their claims with meaningful facts. And so far even developers don’t seem convinced.

Even if – by miracle – Microsoft does continue to slowly gobble up some Android users, Android will continue to expand its user base as well, negating any loss of users to Microsoft.

Microsoft is desperate to solidify its place as the third most popular mobile OS, and to do so, they are going to work hard at downplaying iOS and Android. It’s as simple as that.

Comments

  • Rockwell mellow

    So that’s about 23 people from android?

    • Grman Rodriguez

      2.3 people lol

    • MasterMuffin

      Yea big news would have been “23% of Android users jumped to WP”, this just means that what, under 1% of Android users jumped while many more jumped to Android!

  • coopere

    Wonder why they didn’t mention how many iOS users as well. Am sure that would have got the developers excited too

  • AndroidBrian

    23% of the 200 people who use those phones….

  • mrband

    There are a coup of reasons more IMO: price (in the low-mid range, I’m not talking about Lumia 920) and Nokia cameras, which are pretty good.

  • dli7319

    they probably came from a low-end android phone (pantech huawei etc)

  • mrband

    >>23 percent of Windows Phone users come from Android, claims Microsoft. Are we supposed to be impressed?

    What impresses me is how bad WP and M$ is going. They were once the absolute KINGS of smartphones/PDAs after defeating Palm, then Apple first and Android after took their crown while M$ was sleeping for years. And when they finally returned, they did with an OS arguably inferior to their rivals. And to add insult to injury, the infamous WP7 -> WP8 un-migration affair…

    M$ can resist however, Nokia cannot.

  • satsmine2k4

    Those 230 people won the windows phone free from Microsoft promotions… Others don’t care…

  • Nick Dion

    I live 10 minutes away from the Microsoft Campus, All windows phones are free for employees. I Bet, that over 70 percent of Windows Phone Users are Employees. Hands Down, The only WP8 users i know are MSFT employees.

    • Pradeep Viswanathan R

      lol :)

    • Pradeep Viswanathan R

      lol :)

  • nishantsirohi123

    And all those android users came from low end android phones like galaxy ace and LG optimus one

    and choosing the lumia 520, which as a matter of fact is a great device for 150$ unlocked price

    but go up and you can feel that WP doesnt stand that strong in uppermid and high range devices

  • Paul Allen

    When I made the decision to leave iOS I almost switched to WP8 for the simple reason that the vertically-scrolling home screen makes more sense. The vast majority of my time using a smartphone involves scrolling vertically within apps, etc. It feels backward having to switch to a horizontal motion to navigate home screens.

  • pallu

    Android users tend to experiment and not get hooked to one ecosystem. So it’s quite possible that many have switched.

  • Grman Rodriguez

    I hope to be one of those, wp8 has grown on me, but I need ‘em apps yo, that’s the only reason I don’t switch, once that’s fixed I’ll be one of those 2.3 people to move

  • Rooney-

    Switching from Android to wp? Hmmm..Like Business class to Economy class!

    • robblog

      indoor plumbing to outhouse ;)

  • J

    Most importantly, it’s ridiculously misleading, and that’s why they tell it this way.
    So let’s take a look : 23% of 7 million, that’s about 1.6 million devices. How much is that compared to the 162 million Android devices sold this year ? Less than 1%. How impressive, Microsoft.

  • gargamel

    As an Android user, I think that WP offers a great alternative to many users who want a simple, fluid experience. WP runs much smoother than Android, it’s less flexible but 99% of users don’t care.
    So if you’re a simple user, who want a smooth running, mid priced phone, why not buy a WP?

  • CpuKnight

    Honestly if I were a normal user who doesnt want to game on his phone and just wants to socialise and normal phone functions, I would definitely choose WP8 because no matter what hardware, it always runs smooth. Heck even WP7 was butter smooth with virtually no lag. Only thing is Xbox Live on that phone is terribad with little to no interesting games so naturally as a gamer who spends half his time outside gaming on his phone, I chose a Snapdragon S4 Android phone.

  • gucci

    No !!

  • Cristi13

    After 3 years since you released your wp platform, you only have 3-4% of the marketshare. After 3 years after release, android was overtaking symbian, to become the most popular platform.
    Are we supposed to be impressed,ms?

  • Frank Bales

    Bash it all you like, but I’ll be switching to a Windows phone. Why? Truthfully? Mostly because I’m switching to a Windows Tablet, but also because of Nokia’s superior cameras.

    • Tree Squid

      I’m typing this on a 920, the camera really isn’t all that great. Looks like any flagship Android except at night time, which even that isn’t as impressive as what you see on ads.

    • Tree Squid

      I’m typing this on a 920, the camera really isn’t all that great. Looks like any flagship Android except at night time, which even that isn’t as impressive as what you see on ads.

  • A.Noid

    Windows phone 7, and 8 have 3% of the market after being out for several years. So I think it makes sense to take an O.S. that has completely failed in the mobile space, and make a desktop O.S. out of it, and then try to force it down the public’s throat. That’s why Windows 8 is selling so well. Makes sense to me. Balmer that arrogant idiot needs to be fired.

  • phil

    What a bias article, android news= fox news? We are up to over 5% in America, and every android user at work looks at my 920 with envy, btw you can install, uninstall apps on every platform…. Dumdass, in fact it’s easier on wp

  • Ruzveh

    If 75% of mobiles sold are Android so obviously that 25% is far less estimate

  • Ruzveh

    If 75% of mobiles sold are Android so obviously that 25% is far less estimate

  • Tree Squid

    I’m actually the exact opposite, I’ll be coming to android once the Xperia Z is released on T-mobile, and I’ve been under Microsoft’s wing since Windows Mobile 5. For things I mainly use my phone for, (Music, podcasts, Internet), they’ve completely devolved in terms of making these tasks any easier, and have ignored the customers cries for too long like for fixing constant errors you get, DRM problems, forcing you to deal without having a software program to manage your music, tits, this list could really go on. In contrast, the UI really is pleasant for someone who wants the simplest available OS out there, it’s great for getting seniors off their old flip phones, but anything other than that is quite terrible, and most websites you go on you have formatting issues, or are just not able to jump on because no one wants to to support WP. I thought I’d never get to this point, but I’m ecstatic to dive into the Android universe, and all that it brings.

  • Tree Squid

    I’m actually the exact opposite, I’ll be coming to android once the Xperia Z is released on T-mobile, and I’ve been under Microsoft’s wing since Windows Mobile 5. For things I mainly use my phone for, (Music, podcasts, Internet), they’ve completely devolved in terms of making these tasks any easier, and have ignored the customers cries for too long like for fixing constant errors you get, DRM problems, forcing you to deal without having a software program to manage your music, tits, this list could really go on. In contrast, the UI really is pleasant for someone who wants the simplest available OS out there, it’s great for getting seniors off their old flip phones, but anything other than that is quite terrible, and most websites you go on you have formatting issues, or are just not able to jump on because no one wants to to support WP. I thought I’d never get to this point, but I’m ecstatic to dive into the Android universe, and all that it brings.

  • Mclover

    My entire family and I made the switch from android
    to the windows phone last November. I have to say I have not had any complaints
    and would do it again in a heartbeat. The system is so much less buggy then
    android and apps are a lot better when using because they don’t crash all the
    time like my experiences on at many android devices. I love many of the features
    such as office 365 on the phone and have a better camera the all of my friends that
    have IOS and android. Why would I want to stay on a system that cause nothing
    but headaches each time you use it?

  • gabrelov

    I think google should control android since most of of the android devices which are cheap and copy phones are,destroying their image. Since we all know android starts,to slow,due to many background apps running this maybe a problem on cheap phones which will tend to hang and in turn disgust users. I have many android devices and they slow down in months use google should blacklist some of these fake and copycat manufacturers because believe me or not most of those who jumped are disgusted users. The trend is up not down and since windows ios and bb are controlled thus no fake cheap low quality phones are sold meaning high customer satisfaction. It is the law of economics that one aspect a company should look is satisfaction. This already happened to symbian due to no improvement thus sinking it and could possibly happen to android. Android is a good platform but too much freedom without limitations is bad. I have many droid devices even a samsung galaxy S and there are already alot of people using wp around me nowadays and the trend is up not down in expense of bb symbian and ios.

  • guardianangel42

    Bit late to this party, but I recently (around December of 2013) switched from my Gen 1 Windows Phone 7 Samsung Focus to a Gen 1 HTC One.

    When you switch from a single core, bottom of the barrel, 3 year old phone to a brand new, quad core, flagship phone and have to install a custom rom just to get close to the same fluidity of the user experience, there’s a serious problem with the way your platform functions.

    The fact is that, no matter how bias you are about Android, right now that whole ecosystem is willfully reliving Microsoft’s dark age of Windows.

    The hardware fragmentation, the poor coding, the crashes, the reliance on new hardware to make old software work properly, the failure to do any sort of real optimization, the failure to have any sort of real means of malware screening.

    If I could, after having tried Cyanogenmod 11, Android Revolution HD, and the stock OS on my snazzy, slippery, too large for my basketball-palming sized hands, gorgeous except for its cheap case HTC One, I’d switch back to Windows Phone. There are too many irritations, too many horrible interface designs, too many fragmented settings locations, too many small, irritating issues I’m having with my phone to keep it.

    It’s death by a thousand cuts. I switched because the HTC One offered more features that I wanted and the reviews said it ran well. It didn’t, and the features aren’t enough to overcome the deluge of irritations.

    I build my own computers and speakers, I am a computer science major, and I run a small computer repair business on the side. I’m probably more technically minded than a hell of a lot of android users. It’s because of these things that I can’t abide by horrible UI design, bugs, and poor coding.

    If you’re going to do something, spend the time to do it right.