Print 37 comment(s) - last by AlexWade.. on Dec 22 at 12:39 PM

Windows Phone 7 has posted a strong initial performance -- without even launching on Verizon or Sprint.  (Source: AP)

Microsoft is spending close to half a billion dollars to advertise the platform.  (Source: Microsoft)
Predictions of the platform's demise look to be greatly exaggerated

Many news sites reported that Microsoft latest mobile effort might truly be sibling of the miserable Kin.  They claimed that sales of the Microsoft smart phones were poor at best.  Other sites, however, were a bit more cautious to prophesy the platform's doom, instead citing cautious optimism about sales.

Well, the first official sales numbers are out at last, and while they aren't anywhere near the mega-success of Apple or Google, they look to be quite promising.  

According Achim Berg, Microsoft’s vice president of business and marketing for Windows Phones, Microsoft moved 1.5 million Windows Phone 7 units in the platform's first six weeks on the market.  Those sales look particularly impressive given Microsoft's past struggles, including the abysmal Kin, which sold somewhere between 6,000 and 10,000 units over its lifespan, by the estimates of most.

The sales are also pretty impressive considering that the Microsoft platform made its debut on only two U.S. networks -- T-Mobile and AT&T.  With a pair of big OS updates reportedly coming, and with Verizon and Sprint preparing to launch WP7 handsets, 2011 looks to be a very bright mobile year for Microsoft.

Mr. Berg, in an interview posted on Microsoft's Press Center expressed a great deal of enthusiasm about the public response.  He states, "We believe that to succeed in mobile you need, first of all, a great product, and we think we have that. What we’re hearing from our customers is that they’re thinking the same way. Additionally, early customer survey data on the overall software experience is very positive and the willingness to recommend our phone is very high. That’s really good for us. "

One of the most compelling storylines emerging following this news is what changes Microsoft's success will yield on its competitors.  On the one hand, Microsoft's phone is quite unique and may be attracting new smartphone customers.  On the other hand, Microsoft's success this year and next may come at either Apple or Google's expense.  Which outcome dominates, and which competitors will see an adverse sales impact is a great unknown.

It is clear, however, that Microsoft did something right this time around.  Whether it was the half billion dollars it poured into advertising the platform or the innovative interface, Microsoft appears to be showing early success in capturing public attention for its new platform.  Now if it can just pull of a similar turnaround in the tablets sector, it might finally win over its skeptics.

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Need to note
By cochy on 12/21/2010 4:09:45 PM , Rating: 4
That these sales figures reflect units sold to carriers such as AT&T. There are no sales figures that I've seen that indicate how many units have been sold to consumers, which is the important figure.

RE: Need to note
By Luticus on 12/21/2010 4:28:56 PM , Rating: 2
That's because as far as we know they haven't released them yet. the only thing i've heard is "it's going as we expected"... hopefully they didn't expect it to suck because i'd like more platform options :-)

RE: Need to note
By mcnabney on 12/22/2010 10:32:28 AM , Rating: 2
Are these US shipments to T-Mobile and AT&T only, or does the 1.5M number include all global sales?

RE: Need to note
By Mitch101 on 12/21/2010 4:35:01 PM , Rating: 5
They dont order 1.5 million phones unless there is demand for them. Wait till Verizon and Sprint start selling them.

RE: Need to note
By Luticus on 12/21/2010 4:37:39 PM , Rating: 2
This is very true, and a good way to look at it in my opinion. These stats should be taken with a grain of salt but they aren't completely meaningless.

RE: Need to note
By Mitch101 on 12/21/2010 4:45:53 PM , Rating: 3
I wouldn't take them with a grain of salt the sales to consumers shouldn't be far off from this because no phone carrier would want to float hundreds of thousands of devices to sit in a warehouse on a new platform unless there was demand for them. Neither the company that is manufacturing them or the phone company selling them to consumers.

Im not sure how much inventory they keep but I would guess its probably a few weeks worth of inventory.

They could be lumping in Verizon and Sprints order but I dont expect it to be far off the 1.5 million.

RE: Need to note
By Luticus on 12/21/2010 5:00:34 PM , Rating: 2
I say take it with a grain of salt because it's not the "real" number that everyone wants to see. Granted as you said it is a good indicator of what the number probably is, the fact that it isn't the actual number leaves that margin of doubt there. It is possible this could be the result of vendors who over invested in a platform (not that i think this is the case but it "could" be). Until we see the concrete number, this is good news... but nothing to get "high and mighty" about.

I hope ms can keep the momentum up and continue to push the platform to success. as of now, if there's any mobile platform I'm interested in it's Microsoft's.

RE: Need to note
By melgross on 12/21/10, Rating: 0
RE: Need to note
By omnicronx on 12/21/2010 5:52:11 PM , Rating: 3
I disagree with many of these statements. One thing people seem to be forgetting is that since around 2009, NO retail store has been massively stocking product. (unless your name is Apple)..

Clearly they have not sold 1.5M phones, but I have my doubts that countless phones are sitting on the shelves..

Palm also sold a single phone and it was not a worlwide release. Many Windows Phone carriers were terribly limited on launch and even the proceeding weeks.

So this entire 'there is probably tons of stock' theory most likely won't hold.

I personally went looking for phones when it was released, and while I did not buy one, I did notice that of the 3 stores I went too, they only had 2-3 of each phone on stock if you were lucky..

I just don't really think MS is that far off considering how many devices were available on release and how many countries they were released in.

RE: Need to note
By melgross on 12/21/2010 6:01:55 PM , Rating: 3
MS isn't far off because there's no argument about how many phones are in the hands of carriers and retailers. That's all they're really said. No one is arguing the point.

But they need to do what Apple and Google do, and tell how many activations there have been. That's the number that matters.

RE: Need to note
By omnicronx on 12/21/2010 6:40:45 PM , Rating: 1
Of course that is all that matters.. but one can easily infer that Windows Phone sales are not amazing, but are not terrible either judging by carrier reaction..

Just do the Math.. Even if they only sold 900K phones (or around 60% of what they've shipped), we are still talking 150K per week, thats half of what Google is currently at.

Do we have hard numbers? No.. but we have enough to make a few inferences.. one being that the Windows Phone Platform is hardly going the way of the dodo..

RE: Need to note
By Mitch101 on 12/22/2010 8:48:35 AM , Rating: 2
Everyone knows what Droid is and Everyone knows what an iPhone is. You cant compare thier current sales to an Unproven and Unknown phone like Windows Mobile 7. Not everyone knows the new Microsoft phone yet. Its an unproven smartphone. Just like when Droid first started against the iPhone.

The only accurate way to compare is when the iPhone first launched and people started to discover it and what is could do for them. The Same was said when Droid Launched sales were slow until people discovered it and found it a worthy competitor to the iPhone. The same is occurring with Windows Mobile 7 people are starting to discover the Phone and learning its a good product comparable/alternative to iPhone and Droid.

RE: Need to note
By AlexWade on 12/22/2010 12:39:14 PM , Rating: 2
I think it is unfair to compare W7-Phone to iPhone because I seriously doubt W7-Phone has blind zealots who would buy anything from Apple. The fair comparison is with the Android phones, which had to work to get market share.

RE: Need to note
By Mitch101 on 12/22/2010 9:30:06 AM , Rating: 2
I'll second your remarks because who would stock up on Windows Phone 7 after the Kin issue. The sales numbers 1.5 million have to be close. No phone company would want Windows Phone 7 to be a Kin so Inventory must be kept low.

RE: Need to note
By jabberwolf on 12/21/2010 8:52:02 PM , Rating: 2
Actually no thats not true.

Most carriers in the last year have kept VERY VERY low inventory levels. And don't buy something unless its demanded and is moving off the shelf.

So these sales are pretty much similar to consumer sales.

But hey you can try to bash to reality all you want but I think you're in denial.

RE: Need to note
By cochy on 12/22/2010 11:28:46 AM , Rating: 2
Right. Because Verizon didn't have thousands of Kins sitting in a warehouse and didn't try to get rid of them for $0.01 each. Also Sprint never had a warehouse full of Palms that no one wanted to buy. </end sarcasm>

Your logic is not only flawed but broken.

RE: Need to note
By Souka on 12/21/2010 5:54:30 PM , Rating: 2
Does this number include all the sets GIVEN to MS employees?

Does it assume all MS-employees get one thats about 135,000 "sold" right there....

RE: Need to note
By cditty on 12/21/2010 6:06:16 PM , Rating: 2
True. Plus it ain't the advertising. I work in radio/tv and that ad campaign was terrible.

RE: Need to note
By Shadowself on 12/21/2010 8:01:22 PM , Rating: 2
Let's see what the next six weeks hold -- even in shipments to resellers. If the numbers are similar to these, I'll be impressed. If they are less -- well, we'll know that this number is just channel stuffing.

RE: Need to note
By jabberwolf on 12/21/2010 8:56:48 PM , Rating: 4
Again most carriers have had ultra low inventories the last 6 months and do not house something they cant or havent already sold.

PS- I love the BIAS that the article has with the pictures to go along with it.
If it were an Apple product it would have Steve Jobs in an angel suit looking like Jesus.

Microsoft's demise, huh?
By themaster08 on 12/21/2010 3:50:39 PM , Rating: 2
No doubt Tony will be quiet on this one.....

RE: Microsoft's demise, huh?
By Luticus on 12/21/2010 3:58:28 PM , Rating: 3
like he Could resist. He'll just pull someting bogus pro-Mac propaganda out of his @ $ $ like usual. Happens everytime :-) Not That in mind mac, I'm just a good noticing trends.

After trying this phone...
By masamasa on 12/21/2010 4:44:27 PM , Rating: 3
I went with the Samsung Galaxy instead. The Windows 7 phone just feels a bit too peculiar, as though it was designed by an artist rather than a logical thinker. I think it's one of those love it or hate it items.

RE: After trying this phone...
By Belard on 12/21/2010 5:48:00 PM , Rating: 2
I have a Galaxy myself... but Windows7 Phone itself is not a phone. Samsung makes a "galaxy" class W7P too.

I think the W7P interface is well done, going a bet retro with basic colors (easier to read) and larger 2 button column design for the UI compared to 4 columns used on Android & iPhone.

There are aspects I don't like about W7P:
A) - Its Microsoft (yeah, but thats how it is)
B) - Adding a memory card that becomes useless when its pulled. For security, it makes sense... for backup/exchange - its a nightmare. Its why SIM cards rock. Damage/service a phone, you pop out the SIM and your good to go.
C) - Drag & Drop should have been done before release.
D) - Closed nature of the apps store, more like Apple than Google.

By kleinma on 12/21/2010 5:05:33 PM , Rating: 2
If Microsoft can build in some safeguards to protect user information, and can tout that as a feature, they might have a big one up on the current competition, considering all those apps on the iPhone and Android are raping your personal data right out of your phone. Not to say it might not be happening right now on the Win7 phone apps, but whoever can protect that, will win the hearts of many consumers. If playing angry birds means I have to sacrafice my personal privacy, then I don't need it.

Let's Not Get Excited ...
By burpnrun on 12/21/2010 4:11:43 PM , Rating: 1
It's apparent that these are "sales" to providers that Microsoft is crowing about, not to end users and/or activations. I'd be more interested in the latter.

It is easy for Microsoft to initially twist the arms of providers and retailers to take the stock. Whether the units go out the door in terms of end-user sales and activations remains to be seen. Remember Kin?

Apple and the others can just about equate provider sales to end-user sales, with a time lag. Microsoft can't, which is why the claims by Microsoft should be taken with an (unhealthy) dose of salt, for the time being. In brief, much ado about nothing.

By Mjello on 12/22/2010 8:57:42 AM , Rating: 1
We bought one for testing and it was the last one we will ever buy.

No tethering
No danish keyboard
No turning off dictionary.
No games - malfunctioned due to area restrictions
No marketplace - malfunctioned due to area restrictions
No USB storage functionality - Its locked on zune player which doesn't even ship with the phone

Only positive thing about it was the menus are smooth. Yet very confusing

How many will Microsoft buy back?
By jnemesh on 12/22/2010 12:35:53 PM , Rating: 1
OK, so they shipped 1.5 MILLION phones to retail. How many of these will have to be bought back, ala Kin? I know its poor form to even MENTION the ill fated Kin, but if they couldnt succeed with that POS, what makes WP7 any different? Its still playing 3rd or 4th fiddle behind iOS, Android, WebOS and Blackberry! The hopeful will say "give it time", but in this field if you are even a LITTLE behind the curve, you get buried! I hope they are able to salvage SOMETHING out of this adventure, but lately, I have lost much faith in Microsoft for being able to develop ANYTHING that is relevant in the marketplace! Maybe it will improve once Ballmer leaves and there is some MAJOR restructuring at Microsoft, but the way they are set up now...I dont see much hope.

This about more than a numbers sold game
By Tony Swash on 12/21/10, Rating: -1
By Anoxanmore on 12/21/2010 5:41:43 PM , Rating: 2
It's over 9000!

(Sorry I can't justify a serious response.)

RE: This about more than a numbers sold game
By wordsworm on 12/21/2010 6:01:44 PM , Rating: 2
How much does Google make for each sale? This is an important question as well. Clearly they have a business model. Could it be that there are other benefits aside from the clearly obvious?

By omnicronx on 12/21/2010 6:12:38 PM , Rating: 2
Little to nothing from the phone itself. They take small licensing fee's when a phone is coupled with Google apps (maps etc), but thats it.

Google's business model is most likely not much different then their search business.. AD revenue ;)

They also make money on the marketplace, but there are countless more free apps on Android, so I'm not sure how much they would make compared to the likes of Apple.

RE: This about more than a numbers sold game
By omnicronx on 12/21/2010 6:09:39 PM , Rating: 2
First of all, I think we all know by now that Android is hardly free for the carriers (in its vanilla form i.e non Google). Pretty much every Android carrier either has the IP to protect themselves, are being sued, or have licensed technology from someone else so they don't get sued. Google devices, i.e those with Google apps on them surely are licensed from Google and are not free.

Second of all, I'm not sure what they license WP7 for, but if it is in line with Windows mobile (and it probably is) we are talking about 8-15 dollars a pop.. Which for all intents and purposes could actually be less than Android manufacturers such as HTC when you start counting how much they paid for patent licensing.

So licensing probably won't be their bread and butter. My opinion is that they will follow a route similar to Google.

In my opinion they will make their money from their cut from the marketplace and prospective ad revenue, with a little bit of licensing fee's sprinkled on top to round it out.

By Murst on 12/21/2010 6:12:27 PM , Rating: 2
I don't remember where I read it (perhaps it was engadget or arstechnica), but it was somewhere around $5 per license.

Also, although Google doesn't charge for the OS license itself, it was stated that Google charges around $5 for some apps to be installed on the phone (like mail, etc), so the price of both OSes was similar and irrelevant to the handset makers.

I hope I'm not way off, cause I can't remember my source and it has been a few weeks since I read it.

By themaster08 on 12/21/2010 6:12:58 PM , Rating: 2
And Microsoft makes less per license than Apple does per Mac. Seriously, what's your point?

Your posts are just a constant loop of the same topic, based on your ideals, predictions and small-minded outlook of the technology world.

By sviola on 12/22/2010 6:34:58 AM , Rating: 1
Android is not free. Manufacturers and carriers pay Google for their apps, pay royalties on patents and ip and must maintain software dev and test teams (few phones have vanilla android).

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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