Gloomy start for Windows Phone 7 sales

Dec 1, 2010
Finance

The race for World Smartphone Domination isn’t over. But you can cut the skepticism over Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows Phone 7 with a knife. With loads of ad and marketing muscle and gaming industry connections, WP7 was seen as a contender when it hit the market Nov. 8. But will WP7 be another “Bob,” the new […]

The race for World Smartphone Domination isn’t over. But you can cut the skepticism over Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows Phone 7 with a knife.

With loads of ad and marketing muscle and gaming industry connections, WP7 was seen as a contender when it hit the market Nov. 8.

But will WP7 be another “Bob,” the new interface for Windows that flopped in 1995? Can Microsoft catch fast-charging Android from Google (GOOG) or dominant iPhone from Apple (AAPL)?

There are doubters amongst us.

Katherine Noyes in PCWorld said: “Microsoft brought too little to the game, and it entered too late. Unless it makes a really big change really soon, Windows Phone 7 doesn’t stand a chance.”

She notes the lackluster U.S. launch with only 40,000 sold. And new figures based on Facebook-generated numbers indicate that only 117,000 have been sold, according to T3. That’s a fraction of daily sales for Android.

Europe and Asia/Pacific got an early taste of WP7 with launches on Oct. 21.

British retailer Mobilesplease told PC World that between Nov. 11-24, WP7 only represented 1.9 percent of sales compared with 25.6 percent for Android.

Mobilesplease blog said sales have been lukewarm at best: “Windows Phone 7 has got off to a sluggish start as far as our customers are concerned, accounting for just three percent of smartphone sales and a little under two percent of overall sales through MobilesPlease.co.uk and our network of mobile phone partner sites.”

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The bloggers also noted that even Symbian 3 phones are outselling WP7 phones three-to-one.

“With no killer handsets, and the stuffy, suit and tie image that they have tried so hard to shed still lingering, Microsoft need to pull something impressive out of the bag soon if they are going to compete in the mobile phone market,” Mobilesplease said.

Noyes knocked WP7 for “disastrous” security while Android has become increasingly enterprise-friendly with open source roots that boast good security. WP7 also offers a low number of apps (just 1,400 so far) and a poor choice of phones compared with Android.

Big Verizon news expected later

In other smartphone news, watch today for an announcement about Verizon’s (VZ) launch of its new 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) network in 38 major metro areas covering 110 million Americans before the end of the year. 4G LTE will be available in more than 60 airports.

Nationwide rollout is expected to be completed in 2013.

Verizon is holding a press conference at noon in New York. It offers a preview via YouTube. Find out more information about 4G from Verizon Wireless here.

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