Windows Phone 7 Sales

By Nicholas Kolakowski  |  Posted 2010-12-26 Print this article Print


Microsoft (Kinda) Announces Windows Phone 7 Sales

In more concrete news, Microsoft announced that some 1.5 million Windows Phone 7 smartphones had sold during the platform's first six weeks of release, breaking company executives' previous reluctance to share any hard data on sales.

"We are pleased that phone manufacturers sold over 1.5 million phones in the first six weeks," Achim Berg, Microsoft's vice president of business and marketing for Windows Phones, mentioned in a Q&A posted Dec. 21 on the company's corporate Website, "which helps build customer momentum and retail presence." Those numbers apparently meet the company's internal expectations.

Microsoft hopes that strong Windows Phone 7 sales will allow it to reverse several quarters' worth of market-share declines in smartphones, where it faces fierce competition from the likes of Google Android and the Apple iPhone. However, those new sales figures represent sales from manufacturers to mobile operators and retailers, not customers.

In November, reported that 40,000 Windows Phone 7 devices sold on Nov. 8, the platform's first day of U.S. availability. That, combined with Microsoft executives' previous reluctance to share sales numbers, led a selection of pundits and analysts to suggest Windows Phone 7 was underperforming among consumers, especially in contrast with the hundreds of thousands of activations per day racked up by Google Android and Apple iOS devices.

However many customers are actually purchasing Windows Phone 7 devices, that 1.5-million sales figure suggests that mobile operators and retailers are taking a bet on the platform's appeal. In the meantime, some analysts are seeing Windows Phone 7's first weeks in a positive light.

"We can say that for a company that just a few months ago was an also-ran in mobile, having 10 smartphones released in 30 countries is not a trivial achievement," Al Hilwa, an analyst with research firm IDC, wrote in a Dec. 19 research note. "I would not be surprised if Microsoft had the third-largest app portfolio in the industry by the middle of next year." Windows Phone 7's Marketplace currently holds 4,000 apps.

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.

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