Windows Phone 7 Sales Reportedly Strong in International Markets

Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 is reportedly selling well in international markets, but the smartphone platform's U.S. launch awaits.

Windows Phone 7 sales seem to be off to a solid start in international markets, according to reports from around the world.

DigiTimes reported in a Nov. 3 article that sales of HTC-built Windows Phone 7 smartphones are "better than expected" in Europe and Australia. Stocks of the HTC HD7 and HTC 7 Mozart had apparently sold out in both the latter country and Germany.

"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 suggested, indicating the sales information came from unnamed "Taiwan-based handset makers."

Meanwhile, stocks of Windows Phone 7 devices in the U.K. are apparently low, according to several media outlets. "We will be launching with limited amounts of both our Windows Phone 7 devices, the HTC 7 Mozart and the Samsung Omnia 7," a representative from U.K. carrier Orange wrote in an e-mail to Mobile Today. "We are, however, anticipating that our competitors could be in a similar situation." Orange customers were apparently being offered a cash voucher in exchange for preordering a Windows Phone 7 device.

The Mobile Today article quoted an Orange manager as saying: "I was shocked when I heard the news. We are the lead partner for Windows Phone 7. But I believe this is a manufacturer issue on a worldwide scale."

Windows Phone 7 will make its debut in the U.S. market Nov. 8, with two devices-the HTC Surround and Samsung Focus-on AT&T. At the company's Professional Developers Conference 2010, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer suggested that the smartphone platform has a chance in what he termed a still-nascent mobile market, despite fierce competition from the likes of Apple iPhone and Google Android.

"We're early; there's no question we're early," he told the audience during an Oct. 28 speech, according to "I think we kind of nailed it. When you see it, you just go -oooh.'"

Windows Phone 7 differs from its competitors with a user interface that aggregates Web content and applications into six subject-specific "Hubs," such as "People" and "Games." Microsoft hopes that format will attract users away from competing platforms that rely on grid-like screens of individual apps.

During the PDC, Ballmer also reiterated that Microsoft intends to reverse its fortunes in smartphones, where its market-share has fallen steadily over several quarters. The company is reportedly pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into marketing efforts.

"Make no mistake about it, we're all in," Ballmer reportedly told the audience. "I get all kinds of questions about -What if you don't do this or that,' or blah, blah, blah. Boom, baby, that's what we're going to do."