Canalys Analytics reports 32.1 million Windows Phone devices shipped in 2013

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Canalys, a research firm, in its latest report on global smartphone shipments says that Windows Phone shipped 32.1 million devices in 2013. The report goes on to say that Windows Phone had the fastest year-on-year growth of the major platforms, at 69%, despite a sequential delcine of 6% in the last quarter. 

However, Windows Phone high year-on-year growth rate is mainly the result of starting from a small base than competing platforms. This is apparent from observing that Android shipped an additional 305 million devices in 2013 (versus 2012), almost ten times Windows Phone's total volumes for 2013.

Canalys figures for Windows Phone shipment were smaller than other estimates (e.g. Strategy Analytics' 35.7 million), a result of the difficulty in estimating figures for non-Nokia Windows Phone shipments.


Canalys reported total smartphone shipments of 998 million, a 44% increase on 2012. Of these 292.8 million smartphone were shipped in the fourth quarter. The top five manufacturers were Samsung, Apple, Huawei, Lenovo, and LG.

In a press release Canalys Analyst Jingwen Wang attributes Windows Phone's Q4 decline to market uncertainity and insufficient marketing: 

"The soft end to the year stopped Microsoft from achieving still more positive growth. Market uncertainty and caution affected Nokia’s performance in Q4, with Microsoft’s acquisition of its devices business yet to complete, as did arguably insufficient marketing, as Nokia and Microsoft failed to stimulate sufficient demand for the latest Lumia products to deliver a seasonal sales boost."

"With Lumia accounting for such a dominant portion of Windows Phone shipments, the growth of the OS faltered too. It will be vital that on completion of the acquisition, integration takes place quickly and thoughtfully. Microsoft has much to do if it is to continue carving out a growing share of the smart phone market, not least driving the platform down to new entry-level price points, delivering innovation and new features, particularly at the high-end, and proactively working with, supporting and encouraging developers to commit to building compelling apps, and bring its app story closer to parity with its competitors. It cannot afford lengthy delays or distractions, and the combined Windows Phone devices team needs to hit the ground running."

Canalys is the third major market research company to release it global smartphone shipment numbers. We reported on the figures from IDC and Strategy Analytics earlier this week.