Windows Phone/Lumia in China – Yay or nay? Possible 7% Marketshare in China?

| May 18, 2012 | 54 Replies


I was rather skeptical to read the WP blogs saying that WP was apparently getting some initial traction in China.

Oh you know I’d of course like it to be true, but I’m not too convinced as evident by my rather hesitant title.

Both WMPoweruser and WPcentral are reporting that WP has exceeded iPhone’s share in China. Now, for some context, I don’t think iPhone isn’t doing that well anyway in China (not as easily available, though people had been going crazy for it).

The source they both cite says:

The Windows Phone, which has recently been available in China, has two months after launching a market share of about 7 percent, according to Microsoft. Slightly larger than Apple’s iPhone, which accounts for nearly six percent.

Michel van der Bel, COO Greater China Region at Microsoft, expects the market share is sure to grow. “We’ve only just begun.” He expects a lot of the new smartphone and PC tablet because of their multitasking: “Our smartphone and PC-tablet hybrid, which is suitable for the consumer, but also easy to insert in an existing business infrastructure . This allows us better than most competitors respond to the consumerization of IT .

Is there an error in translation somewhere. 7% after two months? The only place this traction is seen is in Finland. It’s possible that it’s 7% of the sales taking place at one operator but it’s mentioned as China as a whole. iPhone BTW is on 6%.

Neowin and TheNextWeb has also interpreted the same source as 7% for the entire chinese market

Actually, no not just Finland. Apparently Windows Phone is doing well in Russia too.

Hopefully this translates into positive sales numbers for Q2 2012 for Nokia Lumia. More Lumia models is expected in China, hopefully making it to more operators.

Cheers DamielRohie and Viipottaja for the tip!


Category: Nokia, Windows Phone

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Comments (54)

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  1. Sefriol says:

    I think it’s possible though Nokia isn’t the only one selling WP. (Well most of it, but definitely not all) HTC might be a big thing in China.

    We’ll see how good Nokia truly is when WP8 comes out. WP8 SGS3 vs Lumia 9XX comparison might be tough.

    • zymesh says:

      HTC is a Taiwan brand and Mainland Chine considers Taiwan as a Rogue state so i doubt HTC has a real traction with China and its government at all.

  2. kan says:

    But didn’t Apple have a blowout China quarter?

  3. BellGo says:

    Doubt it. It might be true though, who knows?

    • BellGo says:

      .. Then again WP market share has been dropping.. even in Q1, so I am really skeptical.

      • Oslík says:

        Those Gartner numbers are quite doubtful. They declared steady and big growth of Bada, but the last Bada phones were launched last August.

      • JamesSB says:

        WP has not dropped. It has been steadily rising. Gartner’s numbers are for both Windows Mobile and Windows Phone.

  4. manu says:

    .galaxy s3 pre-order @9million units.looks like lumia wont sell that much combined this year.

  5. Pökö says:

    Don’t mix Finlands 7-8% share in statcounter data to this. Statcounter share is against all existing phones out there(total population). So Lumias market share in Finland is somewhere over 20%(more likely 30%). It has to be, otherwise it would be impossible to get 8% total share of existing phones.

    I am sceptical also about hat 7% in china. Someone wrote in wmpoweruser site, that figure could be share of “the officially” sold phones. He said that most phones are sold outside these regulated channels.

    But anyways, it can’t be bad news if Lumias outsell iPhone (in any channel).

    • DamielRohie says:

      That is what someone wrote on the Russian report as well. that most phones are not bought from the official channels. while this may or may not be true at least from the official carrier it might be true. positive news even if it doesnt represent the entire picture is still positive news. positive news begins to suggest that Nokia is starting to bounce back. which means more money for Nokia, which means investors start investing, which means more phones, which means that at the end of the exclusive agreement with Microsoft maybe Nokia will be flush with cash enough to bring in other OS. who knows, but positive thoughts kiddies positive thoughts.

      and I got a internet shout out. woot I am internetz famous!

  6. Keith too says:

    While I would like to believe it I’m sceptical because WP still only has about .4% data usage share according to statcounter which would put WP market share around 1.5%. Though getting accurate data from China is a challenge so the statcounter data may not be very accurate for China so it is possible.

    One thing for sure it is about to rise more with China Telecom announcing 3 Windows Phones to be released soon.

  7. incognito says:

    There is no way for any non-Android smartphone to snatch 7% of the market in two months in China for new sales. For totality of the market, 7% is even ludicrous to consider (with estimated 300M+ smartphone owners 7% would make at least 21M, which is more than the amount WP devices sold by all manufacturers world-wide since its inception). I cannot find Q1’12 stats for China atm. but even if we go with the data from Q4’11, you can see how large of a number is 7%.

    In Q4’11 there were 32M smartphones sold in China (Canalys), 7% of that would be 2.24M. Further, the expected growth for the Chinese market for Q1’12 was 13% (Chinese New Year ‘n all that) according to IDC, so one can estimate at least 36M smartphones sold in China in Q1’12, of which 7% would be 2.52M, which is almost the amount of WP phones sold world-wide by all manufacturers in Q1’12 according to Gartner. If you take into the account that the world largest mobile carrier, China Mobile (~67% of Chinese subscribers), is not selling any WP devices atm. 7% for WP would be crazy to even consider possible.

    The claim that WP is trumping over iPhone on the Chinese market is also wishful thinking – there are more than 15M iPhone users on China Mobile (which doesn’t offer the iPhone, btw.) alone who are forced to use 2G and happily do it still – that’s way more than 7% conjured by whoever gave that nonsensical estimate. Even with new sales taken into account only, there just is no way for that number to hold its own.

    What might, and just might be possible is 7% of China Telecom (selling a couple of WPs including Lumia 800c) new sales to be WP – that would land it somewhere in the 300k-400k range – which at least sounds achievable unlike the original claim in all its grotesqueness.

  8. Stuart says:

    If Elop doesn’t change his opinion on dual-sim Windows Phones he’ll lose yet another battle in China. It’s not always about the apps. Sometimes it’s about the hardware. And having dual sim is something a lot of emerging markets would consider a huge plus in an entry level smartphone.

  9. Oleg Derevenetz says:

    I would note about numbers in Russia. That one ”WP outselling iPhone” sentence is related only to WP sales numbers from one specific carrier, namely MTS. That’s not related to global sales numbers. In Russia ”subsidized” carrier plans are not popular, so almost noone buys smartphones in carrier stores, preferring specialized stores like Euroset, Svyaznoy, and so on. MTS numbers are really insignificant.

  10. twig says:

    I would say it could be true even though you may see much more iphones on the streets of China. There was a business article addressing the topic a few weeks ago that the att sales rep brought up and for every one real iphone sold many more fake ones are sold.

    The HTC one X and other one blocked by Apple in the u.s. is going to cost HTC billions according to articles this morning. Don’t know if HTC will be able to withstand that much longer.

  11. Kit Yeung says:

    I’m Chinese and please stop using that fugly wrong flag up there.

    • scilenso says:


  12. Gäst says:

    I’m very skeptical.
    Does the carriers in china that sells Lumia even have 7% of the Chinese market?
    Now this is not only about Lumia but all WP, but most carriers in chine doesn’t like either WP or iphone.
    And about the lumia selling well in russia, i saw somewhere that the lumia had very high return rates in russia.
    I don’t know whats true but i think it’s better to remain skeptical until officially prover wrong by an quarterly or interim report.

  13. Beelzebozo says:

    As incognito already nicely pointed out.

  14. Janne says:

    I am highly sceptical of the 7% figure, there is just so much room for misunderstanding in that chain of translations, but there is good news overall in the links above. Perhaps just small good news, but still for the news to become big, we usually need small news first. Here is hoping Nokia can build a virtuous circle of more and more small good news… Which can then turn into big good news.

    It all may fail of course, but good to see some good news.

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