Mixed Picture For Windows Phone 7 Launch

Dennis Faas's picture

With Microsoft's new Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system (OS) recent debut, experts are already debating whether or not it's a success. One source claims first-day sales were nowhere close to the release of other high-profile phone systems, while others report significant stock shortages.

The sales figures come from an unnamed market research source speaking to a financial news website. The source claims a total of 40,000 handsets running Windows Phone 7 were sold the first day it went on sale. That compares poorly to the 1.7 million sales of the iPhone 4 in the first three days it was on sale. (Source: thestreet.com)

It's not stated how this 40,000 phone figure was produced. Similar figures in the past have come from leaked manufacturer records to guesstimates based on the number of people seen buying at a particular store.

No iPhone-Like Hype Here

In the past, when Apple released a new iPhone, it's been a major event: there's only one handset in play (and only one carrier), and the company releases it on a Friday to maximize the chances that people will either wait in line on release day or get it over the weekend.

With Windows Phone 7, things have been very different. The system is available on multiple handsets from different manufacturers and on different networks. While Microsoft has tried to make sure the system looks, feels and works similarly on all phones, there's no single "Windows Phone" for consumers to get excited about and rush out to buy.

European, US Sell-outs a Positive Sign

Intriguingly, though, there have been reports of stores selling out both in Europe and the US. Microsoft addressed these events in a statement reading: "As is sometimes the case with the launch of a new product, initial supplies are tight. We understand some customers are disappointed to learn their local stores are already out of stock. We hear their concerns and are working diligently with our partners to bring more phones to stores in the coming weeks." (Source: zdnet.com)

Of course, these two points aren't necessarily contradictory: it's possible that in some stores sales are low simply because management didn't think many people would want to buy a Windows phone.

If that is the case, though, it suggests Microsoft's marketing campaign, which some say is costing the company hundreds of millions of dollars, has failed to create buzz. That doesn't mean Windows Phone 7 is sunk, but it does make its road to success a lot tougher.

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