Nokia says it sold 8.2 million Lumia phones last quarter. Lumia phones are the devices that run Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 operating system. Lumia sales had actually been growing quarter over quarter in 2013, but saw a decline in the final quarter. It sold 8.8 million Lumias in Q3 2013.
That’s a troubling stat since sales declined during the holiday season. It’s also a bad sign for the Windows Phone platform in general. Nokia is pretty much the only manufacturer that sells Windows Phones these days. HTC, Samsung, and others don’t take the platform very seriously and concentrate on Android instead.
Remember, Microsoft is still in the process of buying Nokia’s smartphone and tablet business for $7.2 billion, but the deal hasn’t gone through yet. Everything should be finalized before the end of the first quarter of 2014. Microsoft will report earnings this afternoon around 4 p.m. Eastern.
~ Steve Kovach – Business Insider
Oza isn’t concerned about the potential for increased competition, telling the Times that “The entry of more players in the Windows Phone market will help the ecosystem to grow further.” Nokia’s Lumia line of Windows Phone smartphones has become the de facto brand of handsets, but there has been rumor of Sony jumping into the ring this year.
He then appears to tie the entrance of new hardware players to a more healthy application market: “Also, more developers will come on board, strengthening the ecosystem even more. In that sense, it only encourages the consumers to buy Windows Phone and broadening the ecosystem.”
With Sony jumping to the Windows Phone platform, the increasing number of developers building Windows Phone apps and the increasing number of app downloads, 2014 might just be the year for Microsoft’s Windows Phone. I am looking forward to learn what’s unveiled at BUILD this year.
Microsoft is in the process of a huge push into the cloud. Almost every Windows Phone user will sign up and use some of the features. If Microsoft was to release Nokia’s still to be substantiated Android handset, I would assume that it would be tied as tightly to their online services as the Nexus handsets are tied to Google’s. That’s a win right there for Microsoft.
Windows Phone is established as the third player in the smartphone market. With some smart marketing, decision-making, and focus during 2014, Microsoft can consolidate that position and reach a 10% share in the US and world market. Windows Phone may carry on steady growth over the next few years, but most analysts are pegging the potential share in the 15%-20% range over the next four years. Without some disruption, ‘comfortably third’ is going to be Microsoft’s final destination in the market.
~ Ewan Spence Forbes.com contributor