Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 is now on sale in the U.S., but reports seem mixed on whether the smartphones are a solid seller or languishing on shelves.
Are Windows Phone 7 devices a hit with consumers?
The jury's still out.
Within a day of the new smartphone platform's Nov. 8 release, reports
indicated a high level of interest for devices offered through AT&T and
T-Mobile. "We did have lines in some of our markets across the nation," an
AT&T spokesperson reportedly
told the Seattle Times
definitely was anticipation for the phone."
AT&T is offering the Samsung Focus and HTC
Surround for $199 with a two-year contract. T-Mobile's first Windows Phone 7
device, the HTC HD7, retails for the same
price with a data-plan.
For a brief time, the HTC HD7 appeared to
be sold out on T-Mobile's Website. By Nov. 9, however, the smartphone was apparently
available again. Amazon.com
listed it as "In Stock,"
with a shipment time of 1-3 weeks.
A number of Twitterites used the hashtag "#wp7" to describe device sellouts at
local AT&T and T-Mobile stores. "Got lucky and snagged a Samsung Focus this
morning before it sold out," one
. "Was too late at the MS store, but AT&T had 1 left. I need
it!" Stores in Knoxville and Raleigh allegedly had their supply stripped.
Other Tweets were less upbeat about the sales situation. "Telstra store mgr
tells me they sold 80 units of #wp7 first day but hasn't seen much action
since," Scott Barnes, who describes himself as a former Microsoft product
manager, wrote on his Twitter feed
At an AT&T store in midtown Manhattan, the two Windows Phone 7 devices
were definitely still in stock. "It's only the second day of sales," a store
representative told eWEEK
Microsoft's multimillion-dollar marketing push, AT&T stores' promotional
materials seemed minimal at some New York City locations; the same midtown
store had two Windows Phone 7 devices placed inconspicuously along its device
display wall. At an AT&T retailer in Park Slope, Brooklyn, the sole
Microsoft advertising presence seemed to be a small Windows Phone 7 sticker in
the front window.
In San Francisco, CNET's Ina Fried and
Josh Lowensohn reported lines at a local AT&T store
-for tickets to a
free Microsoft-sponsored concert headlined by Maroon 5. Somewhat fewer people
were apparently interested in purchasing a Windows Phone 7 device.
Windows Phone 7 is available first on GSM-based networks, such as AT&T
and T-Mobile, before moving onto Verizon in early 2011. Microsoft has continually
declined to place a price-tag on its massive marketing campaign, which
one analyst estimates at close to $400 million
Early reports indicated that Windows Phone 7 was selling well
internationally, with DigiTimes reporting in a Nov. 3 article
that sales of HTC-built Windows Phone 7
smartphones were "better than expected" in Europe and Australia.
"Early supporters of the new operating system, such as South Korea's Samsung
Electronics and LG Electronics, are also experiencing rising demand from
carriers," the article added, sourcing its information as unnamed "Taiwan-based
Microsoft hopes that Windows Phone 7's unique interface-which centers on six
subject-specific "Hubs," such as "People" and "Games"-will pull users who would
otherwise gravitate towards the Apple iPhone or Google Android. Each of Windows
Phone 7's Hubs aggregate Web content and applications in streamlined ways, in
contrast to the rivals' focus on grid-like screens of individual apps.