Microsoft: 1.5 Million Windows Phone 7 Smartphones Sold In First Six Weeks5:49 PM EST Tue. Dec. 21, 2010
Mobile phone retailers have sold more than 1.5 million devices running the new Windows Phone 7 operating system, Microsoft said Tuesday. The company also indicated that "the first of several updates" to the mobile operating system would come in the next few months.
While 1.5 million units sold in six weeks sounds like a healthy sales number, it pales against sales of Apple's iPhone 4, which, according to one estimate, sold up to 1.5 million units on its first day of availability in June.
Microsoft disclosed the Windows Phone 7 sales numbers in a posted interview with Achim Berg, who was named corporate vice president, mobile communications business and marketing group, earlier this year. The interview was with Microsoft's in-house Microsoft News Center.
Microsoft launched Windows Phone 7 in Europe and Asia on Oct. 21 and in the U.S. and Canada on Nov. 8. The product is critical for Microsoft because the company lags far behind competitors such as Apple and Google in mobile systems. Earlier efforts such as Windows Mobile faired poorly against the competition and Windows Phone 7 is Microsoft's latest attempt.
Berg, while expressing satisfaction with the Windows Phone 7 sales numbers, emphasized that major new software products take time to win market acceptance.
"We are pleased that phone manufacturers sold over 1.5 million [Windows Phone 7-based] phones in the first six weeks, which helps build customer momentum and retail presence," he said in the interview. "Sales are ramping well as our reputation is growing for offering users a unique experience and are in line with our expectations, especially when compared to other new platform introductions."
Companies that manufacture smartphones that run on the Windows Phone 7 device include ASUS, HTC, LG and Samsung.
"We know we have tough competition, and this is a completely new product. We're in the race – it's not a sprint but we are certainly gaining momentum and we're in it for the long run. I think our expectations are realistic for a new platform. We started fresh with Windows Phone 7, and it's a different kind of phone. Measuring for success is more long term than short term," Berg said.
NEXT: Plans For A Windows Phone 7 Upgrade
Apple doesn't disclose sales numbers for its popular iPhone. But Morgan Stanley analysts have estimated that 30 million of the devices had been sold through the end of 2009 and that number could reach 100 million by the end of 2011.
Apple began selling the most recent version of the product, the iPhone 4, on June 24 and Oppenheimer analyst Yair Reiner estimated that first-day sales of that device were between 1.0 million and 1.5 million. In contrast, one report said 40,000 Windows Phone 7 devices were sold on the first day they were available in North America.
Berg also said Microsoft has 4,000 applications for Windows Phone 7 in its online marketplace. There are more than 300,000 applications for the iOS that runs both the Apple iPhone and iPad devices.
Berg also said new releases of Windows Phone 7 are under development, confirming rumors that an upgrade could be coming in early 2011. Those could offer cut and paste capabilities and some form of multi-tasking.
"We are working on updates that will take us to the next level," the executive said in the interview. "We are on a path to begin releasing the first of several updates in the next couple of months, and several more mobile operators around the world will introduce Widows Phone 7 on their network in 2011 and we will have a broader portfolio of devices from phone manufacturers at different price points delivering on our commitment of providing customers choice."