Microsoft's Windows Phone sold 1.4 million units in its first year of release, according to an analyst's estimates.
Microsoft may have sold some 1.4 million Windows Phone units
in the platform's first year of release, according to analyst Horace Dediu.
Compare that to the 1.723 million smartphones that research
firm Gartner estimates
Microsoft sold in 2011 (a number that includes both Windows Phone and the
now-antiquated Windows Mobile). Moreover, Dediu feels that Microsoft has taken
the wrong approach to marketing Windows Phone.
"The dependence on a complex value network means that
products do not reach users quickly enough and when they do the marketing
message is weak, even when backed by large budgets," he wrote in an Oct. 12
posting on his Asymco Website. "The real problem with Microsoft's approach
is that it's neither viral like Android (because it has a price and a contract
associated with it) nor is it focused and agile like Apple's."
In other words, he added, "it seems to suffer from the worst
aspects of modularity (market lag) without benefitting from the control over
the ecosystem and end user experience that differentiates it."
Although it's declined to release exact sales figures,
Microsoft nonetheless acknowledges Windows Phone's soft market performance. "It
was under a year ago that we launched the first Windows Phone," Microsoft CEO
Steve Ballmer told an audience of media and executives at this year's financial
analyst meeting. "We haven't sold quite as many probably as I would have hoped
in the first year."
Nonetheless, Microsoft is gearing up for a significant
Windows Phone push in months ahead, starting with the Sept. 27 release of its
wide-ranging "Mango" update. The company hopes that Mango's 500 new tweaks and
features could give the platform the momentum it needs with consumers to more
effectively combat Apple's iOS and Google Android. Apple's latest iPhone, the iPhone
4S, racked up a million preorders in its first 24 hours of availability.
In addition, Microsoft has signed significant deals with
companies such as Nokia to produce a wide variety of Windows Phone Mango devices.
Other partners include Samsung, HTC, LG Electronics, Acer and ZTE, all of which
will likely obey Microsoft's minimum hardware requirements while giving their
own unique spins on their respective smartphones. Dual-core and LTE devices are
supposedly in the pipeline.
In an Oct. 11 interview with The
Seattle Times, Windows Phone division President
Andy Lees knocked Android, which he predicted would enter a "chaotic phase" of
increased fragmentation across multiple platforms. "If you've used some of the
(Android) phones, some of them are great, but some of them are not great," he
told the newspaper. "But it's random."
Nicholas Kolakowski on Twitter
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.