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.
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