Windows 7 Phone Struggling in Market, Says UK Retailer

A blog post from UK phone retailer MobilesPlease paints a bleak picture for the recently introduced Windows Phone 7 mobile OS: at this particular chain, the new Windows handsets are apparently being outsold by Symbian handsets at a rate of about three to one, and are being overwhelmingly turned down in favor of similar Android phones.

Unlike rivals Apple and Google, Microsoft sometimes has problems building enthusiasm for new products outside of its traditional Windows and Office markets – the Zune music player and the recent KIN phone failure are two examples of poor entries by Microsoft in unfamiliar markets. Even successful products like the Xbox 360 are up against stiff competition – despite the console’s year-long lead on its competitors, the Nintendo Wii has blown past it in worldwide sales and the PS3 has almost caught up.

While Windows Phone 7 is a brand-new operating system in an extremely competitive market, it’s hard not to be disheartened by these numbers. It should be said, however, that this blog post is based on the mostly anecdotal experience of one retailer, and that it may not be representative of the entire smartphone market. Windows 7 Phone may not have set the world on fire, but it’s not quite time to declare the platform completely dead.

No official Windows Phone 7 sales figures have yet been released, which makes assessing the health of the platform difficult at this point – surely, the MobilesPlease post and the early reports that only 40,000 Windows Phone 7 handsets sold on the first day of availability paint an overly bleak picture of the situation, but if the OS were doing significantly better one gets the feeling that Microsoft would be talking it up a bit more. The company’s silence thus far leaves a lot of room for interpretation.

The situation with third-party applications reinforces this ambiguity – some developers complain that Microsoft won’t release sales numbers for their respective apps and that the company is withholding payment for app sales until February of 2011, but other sources point to the fact that there are currently 15,000 registered app developers for Windows Phone 7 (up from 13,000 at the beginning of the month) and that the number of apps available for the handsets has tripled from 1,000 to 3,000 in the last month.

Microsoft has made moves to boost the phone’s sales, most notably with an AT&T Black Friday buy-one-get-one-free promotion on the handsets and a staggering $500 million advertising campaign to accompany the phone’s launch. Absent a full-on iPhone-style consumer frenzy, it’s obvious that the company will settle for steadily increasing sales that get them back into the phone market in the long run.

Do you have a Windows Phone handset? Do you simply have a strong opinion about Windows Phone handsets? Let us know in the comments!

Sources: MobilesPlease Blog, CNet, AppleInsider, CIO Today

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21 Responses to Windows 7 Phone Struggling in Market, Says UK Retailer

  1. Temp November 29, 2010 at 10:42 pm #

    lol @ writer

    1:15 implies about 16,000:250,000 phones being sold

    • Andrew Cunningham November 29, 2010 at 11:32 pm #

      You may be right – the source article gave no concrete sales figures for Android relative to Windows Phone 7. They just said that WP7 was being outsold by Symbian by about a 3-to-1 ratio.

      Other sites that are reporting the 15:1 Android ratio, but since I can’t see anything definitive in the source article to back that up I’ll revise the post. Thanks for the feedback.

      • Jai November 30, 2010 at 1:00 am #

        Regarding Symbian outselling Windows Phone 7. Symbian also outsells Android.

        But the information says that it is specifically Symbian^3 outselling Windows Phone 7. I don’t think there are many Symbian^3 handsets out there. I know of only three: The Nokia N8, C6 and C7.

  2. Jai November 29, 2010 at 11:46 pm #

    We must now face the sad reality that Windows Phone 7 is a failing platform.

    Article said: “the company will settle for steadily increasing sales”.
    No. I remember Microsoft talking about its strategy.

    Around June this year, Ballmer got on stage and boasted that he would steer Microsoft to sell 30 million WP7 handsets in its first year. AT&T said it would order 8 million WP7 handsets.

    Like it or not, it is time to admit that those ambitions have now collapsed.

    • Andrew Cunningham November 29, 2010 at 11:51 pm #

      I seriously have no investment in Windows Phone 7 as a platform – I’m an iPhone 3GS user who will probably at least look at the Android handsets when it’s time to upgrade – but in light of the fact that we’ve seen no official sales figures and that the platform has existed for barely a month, it’s a bit early to say one way or the other whether it’s failing.I think it is safe to say, however, that 30 million WP7 handsets by this time next year seems like it would require a pretty miraculous turnaround. It’s sort of ridiculous that this company can’t use buzz about its good traditional products (Windows 7, the last couple Office versions, etc.) to sell its new products.

      • Jai November 30, 2010 at 12:55 am #

        Hi Andrew. The trouble is that there may never be any official sales numbers released for Windows Phone 7. Microsoft never released Kin sales numbers either.
        However, it’s happy to tell everyone about the Xbox Kinect controller sales, which is a success.

        We are now getting lots of anecdotal accounts from around the world of lackluster Windows Phone 7 sales. Each one may not be significant on its own, but put together, you get a picture.

  3. Anonymous November 30, 2010 at 6:02 am #

    If I were a Windows Phone 7 developer, I would be really worried right about now.

  4. JimmyFal November 30, 2010 at 9:51 am #

    “”Even relatively successful products like the Xbox 360 have floundered a bit in recent months, allowing the Nintendo Wii to fly past it in sales and the Sony Playstation 3 plenty of time to play catch-up.””

    Innacurate statements like the one above should warn anybody that this article is designed to get people to read it because of the headline. The author is whoring for readers. Playstation 3 AND The WII have been BEHIND XBOX in sales for the past 5 MONTHS.

    I have the new Windows Phone, and it is every bit as good a platform I dare say BETTER than Android or Iphone. It has NOT caught up in features yet, but were talking months not years to completely catch up in all departments. It will be a slightly slow burn to get sales, but this phone will not fail, and it is not a failure. It’s an awesome phone, and the retailers themselves are the ones pushing the other platforms, all it takes is one look at any of the newspaper ads to see that. This time next year, there will be three big companies competing for the market. And RIM will be left in the dust. The Iphone looks dated next to the Win7 phone, and Android can’t touch the ease of application development. Patience will win this race as it did with the Xbox. PS, where do you get off claiming that XBOX has been floundering? Please back that statement up, because it’s a lie.

  5. JimmyFal November 30, 2010 at 9:53 am #

    Kinect has sold at a MUCH higher rate than move…

  6. Guest November 30, 2010 at 10:12 am #

    My husband, my son and I have a Windows 7 phone and we love it. It is so easy to use. I had an android earlier, and this is quite an improvement over the android. We love it so far.

  7. McFisticuffs... November 30, 2010 at 10:48 am #

    I can’t speak from any hands on experience, but viewing the handsets available in North America, I don’t believe that low sales figures are entirely M$’s fault. Sure, the OS lacks a few key features, but the quality and design of the hardware here is horrendous. Each one of them has at least one major fault, either a poor slideout keyboard, a useless set of slideout speakers (I mean, really? What moron thought that was a good idea?) or sub-sub-par build quality.

    • JimmyFal November 30, 2010 at 12:12 pm #

      The HD7 and the Samsung focus are really nice. Although the Samsung has a cheap feel to it, the AMOLED screen is outstanding. Another nice thing about the Win 7 phones is the wide choices for hardware, the best is yet to come from Sprint and Verizon.

      • McFisticuffs... November 30, 2010 at 1:21 pm #

        Personally I hate the “large selection”. So far it’s put me off buying an Android; why should I have to research hundreds of different devices to find a “good” one (use whichever definition you please) when I *know* the iPhone is “good”. The iPhone, as much as you may or may not wish to hate it, is the yardstick by which all other smartphones are measured. Why? Because there is ONE. (Okay, there are four, but any half-wit can figure out iPhone hierarchy)

        I think that’s where M$ made their biggest mistake; they allowed several manufacturers to develop several handsets, instead of taking it upon themselves to ensure quality hardware.

        All I’ve heard is the Focus is cheap, and the HD7 is not available in Canada. I wanted a WP7 handset, but I don’t want to compromise.

  8. Jason November 30, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    Not worried about WP7, it will be fine. I have a WP7 device and it’s excellent. I have never missed copy and paste on it and multitasking support is a battery drainer, so I’ll live without it. Apps are coming in bunches nearly everyday.

    As for the negative forecast, I’m going to wait until official sales numbers are released because all At&t stores, in my area, were sold out for a week or two after release and all the WP7 device owners I’ve heard from have nothing but praise for the new platform.

    It’s a new mobile OS…it’s not going to set the world on fire overnight.

  9. Ichiphead November 30, 2010 at 2:53 pm #

    Got the Samsung Focus. Lovin’ it. Everything I thought it would be and more. As someone who has had several Win Mobile phones in the past, it’s nice to have something that is truly first-rate. Not jealous of the iPhone anymore.

  10. Joriginaloak December 1, 2010 at 6:24 pm #

    I have a WP7 HD7 and after having an i-phone 3g….its in a completely diferent league…might not have the features just yet….but wait and the tree will bare fruit. As early as Jan/Feb 2011 and then the added features will make the the i-phone and android look like last century’s technology. neither have anything to touch office or xbox and wp7, it has the lot as well as looking fresh and sexy instead of that dull grid arrangements thats on iOS and on android is so ugly it has to have overlayed masks to sex it up from the likes of samsung and htc (sense). WP7 is the future folks and with nothing remotely like it….you watch the rest start clambering to make their coming new iterations resemble WP7s fluidity and simpplicity. As for copy and paste, multi tasking and tethering we wont have to wait 3 years like them first users of i-phone had to…still no flash may i say….which is objective numero uno for adobe and wp7….sales will come……windows fans are not the freaks that que up at silly o-clock in the morning just to grab a phone….some of us have contracts still need to be fulfilled and others are just patient…..a little credit where it is due would be more interesting to read me thinks!

  11. fever December 5, 2010 at 11:58 pm #

    If you’re an XBox Live user and have a Zune pass, this Windows Phone 7 is phenomenal. Most of the common apps have been released already as well. The Facebook app is being reviewed as the best to date, my bank (USAA) app was there the day I bought my phone, imdb, Netflix with streaming, Shazam, AWESOME quality XBox Live games, Fandango, etc etc.

    The device I bought was the Samsung Focus. From what I can tell, it’s quality and hardware is practically identical to the ATT Captivate (Samsung GalaxyS that I used prior). I even put my old battery which is the same model in it to avoid charging it the first day.

    There are a lot of really great features in Windows Phone 7. The experience has been fun, easy, and overall great. I haven’t had to power cycle the phone once since I purchased it at release.

    Give it time. The OS isn’t going anywhere.

  12. Apophis December 22, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

    I keep seeing “buy one get one free” ads in my local paper… so it’s clear to me that a device *this* new to market, that has to resort to that sort of deep discounting, most certainly is struggling.

    From reading various posts on various sites, the WP7 seems to be a capable phone, but nothing special. And the only people who seem to be claiming how wonderful it is are Microsoft fans, who then have to qualify their praise by listing the things… that WILL be fixed or added in due time. If it was truly better that the iPhone and the Android platforms, it seems to me that it would be ready for prime time right now. I’m due for an upgrade next year. And at this stage, I can’t see a compelling reason to take a two year gamble by getting a WP7 device. Right now I’m leaning toward the iPhone first, and then an Android device, with the Blackberry in third. The WP7 would have to show me something real and substantial in order for me to even consider it.

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