Microsoft has been working hard to make their Windows Phone platform more than just a distant third in the mobile platform wars and they may have bridged a rather strong gap, passing the iPhone in 24 markets.
The markets include Italy, Finland, Poland, India, South Africa and Nigeria, amongst others. One thing to note is most of these countries, apart from Finland, are low-wealth and do not buy the most premium smartphones available.
Nokia is the key to Windows Phone growth, the company reportedly contributes to 90% of the platform sales and the Nokia Lumia 520/521 are the best selling phones in a number of markets, surpassing Samsung and HTC’s low-end smartphones.
Emerging markets could be a long term benefit for Microsoft, considering the amount of growth in the mobile sector in these markets. Still, it says something about the failure of Windows Phone’s high-end smartphones, like the Nokia Lumia 1020 and HTC X8.
Microsoft has looked at these figures in the past few years and worked to make their low-end smartphones even better, with Windows Phone running on pretty much any low-end smartphone without any bugs or lag.
Still, this may not be enough for Microsoft, who want to become a competitive force in the high-end market, where the money is really surging. The move to pay $1 billion a year for Samsung to make more Windows Phone devices is only more evidence of this high-end move.
Sony may be the next partner joining on the Windows Phone platform, but we are not sure what end the company will be looking to hit. The Xperia Z1 is a nice smartphone, but Sony may be looking to compete in the low-end against Nokia, since this is where the most sales are happening.
This announcement really isn’t that big of a deal for Apple, who do not sell their iPhone in low-end markets. In the US and high-wealth countries in Europe and Asia, the iPhone outsells all of the Windows Phone and this is with only two smartphones, compared to the variety available on WP.