Preston Gralla

Nokia sales figures show Windows Phone continues to fall futher behind Android, iOS

April 18, 2013 1:11 PM EDT

Nokia may be bragging about its latest sales figures which show sales of the Windows Phone-based Lumia series increasing by 27 percent, but the truth is, with each passing month Windows Phone falls further and further behind iOS and Android. Increases of 27% and even more only put Windows Phone deeper into its hole.

Nokia announced that it sold 5.6 million Lumia Windows Phone devices in the first quarter of this year, an increase of 27 percent compared to the quarter previous, and the best quarter yet for sales of its Windows Phone devices.

Movement certainly seems to be going in the right direction. Nokia sold 4 million Lumia Windows Phone devices in the second quarter of last year, 2.9 million in the third quarter, and 4.4 million in the fourth quarter.

In a statement, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said, "People are responding positively to the Lumia portfolio, and our volumes are increasing quarter over quarter." And looking forward, Nokia said that the increases will be even more in the future:

In the second quarter 2013 supported by the wider availability of recently announced Lumia products, Nokia expects the sequential growth in Lumia unit volumes to be higher than the 27% sequential growth in the first quarter 2013.

But let's put those numbers into perspective. Reuters estimates that in the first quarter, Apple shipped 36.9 million iPhones, dwarfing Nokia's Lumia sales. And Samsung, largely because of its Android line, shipped 61.6 million smartphones. And that's just one manufacturer of Android phones.

In addition, Nokia noted that its Lumia Windows Phone line continues to struggle in the important U.S. market, saying in a statement, "On a geographical basis, Lumia volumes increased sequentially in all regions except for North America."

Overall, Windows Phone is struggling. A recent IDC report puts its global market share at 2.6% in the fourth quarter. It sold only 3.6 million more phones in the fourth quarter compared to a year previous. Android, meanwhile, had a 70.1% market share, and sold 74.8 million more phones than a year previous. And iOS had a 21% market share, and sold 10.8 million more phones than a year previous.

So Nokia can celebrate a 27 percent increase all it wants, but it only means that Windows Phone falls each quarter further behind its competitors.