Installed base (or actual users) versus quoted marketshare


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Apr 2, 2017
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Whilst phone sales, and other methods of measuring marketshare measure a volume of under 1% globally with higher figures in most mature markets, installed base (the number of actual users), as measured by comScore, is in the US for example, last measured at 2.7% of users. Compare to BB which is actually under 1%.

comScore Reports January 2016 U.S. Smartphone Subscriber Market Share - comScore, Inc

Perhaps we could figure this might be a little lower in emerging markets, where price is king.

But consider that there are about 2 billion smartphone users? Is that right? Assuming it is....

Lets say the total % of users (rather than the oft quotes sales based "marketshare"), is 1%. 1 percent of 2 billion is 20 million global windows phone users. And were we to assume something more like comscores user base, lets say conservatively 2%, that's 40 million windows phone users.

I don't really think 10's of millions of users can be considered either irrelevant or insignificant.

I guess the point of this post is really to point out that the figure to care about is installed userbase, not current this quarter phone sales, nor extrapolated internet based statistics. But the actual total number of current users.

Most of the time when throwing these stats around, people are either using inaccurate browser based stats, or using sales figures for handsets (which for obvious reasons will be low right now for windows 10 mobile).

Even the claim of android taking over from windows 10 desktop - its based on browser stats - what about those people who aren't using their PC to browse? Or their xbox? What about anonymous sessions or tablets/hybrids (Are android tablets counted as phones? Windows tablets as desktops)? That's simply no way to measure accurately the installed user base.

Just thinking the finer points of statistics have gotten very lost on mobile phone enthusiasts. Webstats are a proxy for actual users, and in the same way as mobile/desktop sales, often lose things in the translation.

What we actually care about, is the total users. And that's something that's harder to accurately measure than webstats, or sales figures. Don't get them confused.
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