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December 29, 2014



I suspect this could be the same with Android phones - we are given shiped units and not sold & activated.

Maybe this is overall trend and now we see confirmation in data?

People buying iPhones made concious decision about phone because of the high price - probably all or almost all iPhones are activated because of high price.


Are the phone activated are not in WP8 only? Cuz even if you hâte Wp, I find this number quite suspicious


Few more options:

1) Phones used as feature phones. Do you know how poor the Ovi account activation % of Nokia's Symbian and S40 feature phones were? Phones activated in China may not be able to access Microsoft servers so Microsoft never sees them "activated". Also I cast my doubts that kids, elderly people and users without data plan ever create the Microsoft account mandatory to see device "activated".
If you want to rule this option out, you need to have Android activation % for comparison. If it gets even close, this whole blog post turns pointless.

2) Less likely but possible scenario is some misinterpretation by the speaker in question (this was a clipper of presentation in MSFT developer event AFAIK). If he e.g. was talking about activated Lumia phones currently in use (much more significant number for developers) it would drop all older phones that have rotated out of the use. Basically anything sold prior to Q3 2012.

I vote for option #1.


Yes, we are to believe all sorts of Microsoft phones were sold in china and not activated ....LoL!, I got a bridge to sell you too!

abdul muis

I guess this is maybe the accounting magic at work. Someone in marketing department mess up with the number to make it look like Lumia is gaining marketshare, but someone in other department didn't consult the marketing department, and went with honest number.... result.... big mess...

I wonder if BB will have the same mess. BB device also failing so hard.


There are probably lots of discrepancies between shipment and activation statistics. Is it possible that phones can be "activated" without it registering as such? According to this, in the week leading up to and including Christmas, 3 times as many Apple iPhones were activated than Samsung devices. These are worldwide statistics.

I doubt that Apple actually outsold Samsung 3x in the weeks leading up to Christmas, even in the US. More likely Apple sales matched Samsung's for the quarter. But virtually all iPhones get synced to an Apple ID or iTunes account as soon as they are turned on, and Apple does sell a lot more phones on the retail market directly to consumers, rather than to carriers.


Thanks, I had forgot how the unique peculiarities of this forum: in general Microsoft numbers are fake, falsified and cannot be trusted. However THIS specific number is 100% legit and verified. As all of a sudden are all the past quarterly shipments that previously have been suggested to be greatly exaggerated by several commenters here.

I still vote for #1: phones sold but not connected to Microsoft account. Lumia 520 is a smartphone alright - but it's still mainly sold to featurephone users.


I suspect some phones are bought by MS-fanatic IT-staff and pushed to employees that does not want nor use them.


why change the numbers of shipments, real sales, activation or tommy BB.. this info appears 3 months ago when MS launch L830&L730 in India on Oct. 1st: --if we stay with tommy #s we have for last 5 quarters *2013-Q4:8.2´M. **2014-Q1:5.6´M. Q2:7.4´M. Q3: 9.3´M. Q4:zero = 30.5´Ms tommy now say´s:4Q13-4Q14 = 40.4´M ??? WTF.---

abdul muis


I bet you never use, or try WP device.

Microsoft has done something great to PUSH user to register/activate the phone. If the phone didn't activated with Microsoft Account, you can't save the phone number in address book. Awesome, isn't it?

abdul muis


Quote: "Phones activated in China may not be able to access Microsoft servers so Microsoft never sees them "activated""

No!!! The only one that got blocked in China were Gmail/Google. Not microsoft. and as I wrote above this post. If you don't activate your WP device, you CAN'T SAVE PHONE NUMBER into the adress book, and I bet no one will use WP phone like that.


@abdul muis
> I bet you never use, or try WP device.

In fact I do, daily. I've set up two - one for me and one for my mom. In both cases I have had certain interest to install apps so I have also included the MS account. I cannot therefore say if you're right or not about not being able to add a contact without MS account but I'm going to believe you here.

Fact is that the number Tomi picked here was mentioned by a speaker in developer event. As Elie said above, the difference is too suspicious to be true no matter how much Tomi wants to accept all the bad numbers about WP and reject all positive ones. The idea that one third of all Lumias ever produced were thrown into the trashcan is compelling but it would show up as too much red ink in fiscal reports (be it Nokia, MSFT, carriers or retail) to be left unnoticed.
Did the speaker talk about WP8 Lumia activations only? Plausibly as this was for SW devs but the number is still too low. Was it installed base but he mixed the terms? Was he just clueless? We may never know.

abdul muis


"The idea that one third of all lumia .... to be left unnoticed."

Well, there's the reason why some lumia were discounted very big. Unfortunately, even with big discount it still hard to sell the lumia's. The lumia might not be dumped into the trash can, but maybe nokia/microsoft already giving the huge discount in the first place so the retailer won't lose much. The retailer maybe getting a big profit from other related discount such as Windows OS, MS Office, or X-Box for selling the lumia phone.


Here are two others who found the same numbers remarkable:
"Globally, we have 50 million Lumia activations. India is the fourth largest market in terms of Lumia sales. Lumia is the fastest selling smartphone in its segment and is the most competitive offering for the smartphone user,"

Charles Arthur ‏@charlesarthur Dec 5
Nokia India chief says 50m Lumia activations worldwide but shipments since Oct 2011 = 67m. So, 17m lost at sea?


And some come up with a solution to the discrepancy:

Rami Saajoranta ‏@RSaajoranta Dec 5

I think @aatifsumar might be right: I know many Lumia users who are only using it to call other people @charlesarthur @teroterotero

(see the twitter link I gave)

abdul muis


Around 1.5 year ago, my driver upgrade his old S40 phone to the 'cheap/big-discount' lumia phone. And he told me that he lost my number and can't save my number into his phone. I offer him to look onto why, and found out that if the phone is NOT ACTIVATED (use internet, and put some microsoft account), it CAN'T store NEW CONTACT.

So, I think that everyone that suggesting that the lumia is used as dumbphone and not activated, has no idea about the phone need to be activated with microsoft account to be able to store new contact in address book.


Shorter link:


@Abdul Muis
"So, I think that everyone that suggesting that the lumia is used as dumbphone and not activated, has no idea about the phone need to be activated with microsoft account to be able to store new contact in address book."

I think these people might be like your driver. They simply do not store their contacts because they are unable to get through the technology and do not have someone present to help. So, they memorize their numbers, or use pen&paper.


"C.A. said there are 17M too many Lumias shipped vs. activations, Tomi here says 26M."

Determining the number of Lumia's shipped is not trivial. You have to comb through the media hype of MS and Nokia and add them up yourself.

Tomi has given the numbers he used, so you can check for yourself where he erred. C.A. does not give a breakdown on how he got to his release numbers. So I stay with Tomi here until someone comes up with better numbers.

abdul muis


"I think these people might be like your driver. They simply do not store their contacts because they are unable to get through the technology and do not have someone present to help. So, they memorize their numbers, or use pen&paper."

I hope what you write is sarcasm. Because I'm not sure anyone will memorize number or use pen & pencil. I think if the user can't save the number, after a while, they will sell the phone to friend/relative or second hand shop, and the phone will go round and round until it find an owner that will activate the phone.

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