Was the Windows Phone 7 launch a bust?

Thu, Nov 11, 2010


Windows Phone 7 was and is Microsoft’s last chance to catch up with the big boys that are Apple and Google in the smartphone race. A few years in the making, and sporting a brand new interface, Microsoft is throwing nearly a billion dollars worth of advertising behind Windows Phone 7 to help it hit the ground running.

So when do Windows Phone 7 handsets launch? Oh wait, what’s that? They already have? This past Monday?! Oh man, we must have missed the long lines and the inordinate buzz earlier this week. *takes off snarky jacket and puts away pipe*.

Seriously, though, early indications suggest that sales of Windows Phone 7 haven’t been all that impressive. Though Microsoft hasn’t released any sales figures just yet, The Street reports, citing a market research source, that only 40,000 Windows Phone 7 handsets were sold this past Monday.

The anemic sales number does not include the 89,000 Microsoft employees that will be given free Windows 7 phones.

Microsoft reps declined to comment. A T-Mobile spokeswoman did not offer a number of phones sold, but said Tuesday that the Win7 phone was “already receiving strong interest from our customers right out of the gate.”

To put things into perspective, Google bragged recently that they’re selling 200,000 Android handsets a day while Apple’s iPhone sales come in at nearly 270,000 units a day. Fair, Windows Phone 7 is brand new and is already entering a relatively mature market with established players. That challenging environment, however, is precisely why Microsoft’s smartphone success is up in the air.

Is it possible that Microsoft introduced too many Windows Phone 7 models and confused customers? Perhaps, but that doesn’t seem to have had any impact on impressive Android sales. The bottom line is that Windows Phone 7, even if it’s on par with Android, needs to be so far above and beyond Android and the iPhone if it really wants to make a dent in the marketplace. Sure Microsoft has tons of cash to devote to advertising and an assortment of other promotional activities, and sure, Microsoft can bleed money for a loooong time in the hopes that its investment will eventually pay off. But this ain’t the video game console market, and Microsoft’s efforts may very well prove to be too little too late. Windows Phone 7 is still a mystery to most folks who might even be inclined to wonder, “Microsoft is involved with smartphones these days?”

Okay okay, it’s too early to be predicting the demise of Windows Phone 7, but let’s just say we’re not overly optimistic. The upcoming holiday shopping season should be quite telling.

Oh, and one more thing. The iPhone will probably be hitting Verizon in early 2011.




1 Comments For This Post

  1. RM Says:

    The Windows Phone 7, overall, gives the impression of being a cheap knockoff of iPhone/Android – poor UI, apps not quite there, lack of any distinguishing features and a feeling that it won’t be there tomorrow.

    Maybe it will appeal to the Xbox community and that helps change the story for Microsoft.

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