Apple’s iPhone 4S may have earned 1 million preorders in its first 24 hours, but at least one person doesn’t seem onboard with the new smartphone’s features: Microsoft’s Windows Phone division President Andy Lees.
“From a pure hardware perspective, I was surprised they’re not giving the consumer more choice,” he told The Seattle Times Oct. 11. “People want a variety of things.”
Lees also extended his trash talk to the other platform currently dominating the market, Google Android.
“I think Android is heading down this chaotic phase,” he added. “If you’ve used some of the (Android) phones, some of them are great, but some of them are not great. But it’s random.”
Microsoft hopes its new Windows Phone “Mango” update, which offers some 500 tweaks and new features, will give the platform the momentum it needs to combat both Apple’s iOS and Google Android, which reign as the twin titans of the mobility market. Although Microsoft has poured millions of marketing dollars into its Windows Phone effort, and done its best to highlight the product as an important part of its overall ecosystem, the company’s smartphone share has continued to dip in recent quarters.
Microsoft began rolling out Mango to smartphones starting Sept. 27. It has also signed significant deals with companies like 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, Lees added in a separate interview with AllThingsD.
In theory, those efforts could pay off with increased adoption: a recent report from research firm NPD Group’s Connected Intelligence Service suggested that some 44 percent of smartphone owners are considering the purchase of a Windows Phone device.
“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.”
Microsoft’s Lees evidently hopes that a broad number of hardware configurations for Windows Phone, paired with Mango and tight OEM and carrier relationships, will translate into increased sales. But a lack of varied hardware options hasn’t exactly hurt uptake of the new iPhone, either.