Microsoft Windows Phone 7 Shipments Fail to Impress: 10 Reasons Why

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-12-21 Print this article Print

News Analysis: Microsoft says its partners have shipped 1.5 million Windows Phone 7 devices. But a closer look at that number reveals why Microsoft's mobile operating system isn't really challenging Apple's iOS or Google Android.

Microsoft mobile device partners shipped 1.5 million Windows Phone 7 units to carriers during the first six weeks of its availability, according to Microsoft officials. At first glance, that might not seem like a figure to scoff at. After all, there are few products in the tech space that gain that level of popularity.

But a closer inspection of the numbers shows why these early results are not as impressive as they look. For one, it doesn't represent actual sales to consumers and enterprise customers. Moreover, it's estimated that 300,000 Google Android phones are being activated each and every day. That means that in just five days, it can match a figure Microsoft took six weeks to reach. 

Simply put, Windows Phone 7 can't compete. And here's why: 

1. The sales aren't impressive 

First and foremost, Windows Phone 7 sales just aren't all that impressive. Yes, Microsoft might be happy to see 1.5 million devices shipped to carriers, but its excitement seems rather premature. As noted, 300,000 Android phones are activated by customers each day. Until Microsoft can even come close to that figure, it will have extreme difficulty gaining ground on Google or Apple. 

2. Windows Mobile ruined everything

An important reason for Windows Phone 7's inability to compete is its predecessor. As soon as Apple offered up the iPhone and Google came out with Android, it became clear that Microsoft didn't have a single competitor that mattered. Windows Mobile looked old, and consumers and enterprise customers forgot about it. As the software company's sales figures show now, it's having trouble overcoming the disappointment consumers felt from its old OS. 

3. Android is more readily available 

Over time, it is possible that Microsoft might be able to build up Windows Phone 7's momentum. However, that is extremely unlikely unless it can find a way to achieve the same level of ubiquity that Android enjoys in the mobile market. Right now, several Android devices are available on all major carriers. Consumers have nothing but options, and they appreciate that. Windows Phone 7 handset options are limited, to say the least. 

4. There isn't an iPhone competitor 

Speaking of those options, it's important to point out that, at least so far, there isn't a single Windows Phone 7-based device that can compete on any level with Apple's iPhone. That's a significant problem for Microsoft. The iPhone sets the standard by which all other smartphones are judged. Until Microsoft's vendor partners can come up with something that comes even close to the iPhone's features, Windows Phone 7 will have a hard time appealing to consumers. 

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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