Microsoft Releases First Windows Phone 7 Sales Figures

Microsoft has revealed the first hard sales figures for Windows Phone 7. But those numbers come with lots of qualifiers, implying that Microsoft is still concerned about its fledgling mobile OS's ability to compete with the iPhone and Android platforms.

Microsoft touted its Windows Phone 7 numbers in an interview on its Web site. Achim Berg, vice president of business and marketing for Windows Phones, stated, "We are pleased that phone manufacturers sold over 1.5 million phones in the first six weeks." That figure, however, may not be quite what it seems. What Berg failed to mention, as ZDNet blogger and Redmond magazine columnist Mary Jo Foley pointed out, is that those sales are to carriers, not end users.

In the interview, Berg did not release details on how many Windows Phone 7 activiations there have been, which would give a more accurate measure of the phone's popularity. Berg's delicate language seems to indicate that reality, as he says "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."

In response to a question about sales expectations, Berg is similarly guarded: "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." There's little doubt, though, that if customer sales were strong, as they are for the iPhone and Android, that Microsoft would be making much bolder statements.

For instance, Berg hints that Microsoft expected Windows Phone 7 sales to be slow, given its newness in the market. "We introduced a new platform with Windows Phone 7, and when you do that it takes time to educate partners and consumers on what you're delivering, and drive awareness and interest in your new offering," he said. Those kinds of expectation-tempering statements are the type normally made when a product starts slowly out of the gate.

What is clear is that Microsoft is willing to take its time and build its mobile OS base as slow and steady as necessary. It also helps that there are about 18,000 developers signed up to build apps, as Berg stated. Foley also reported that copy-and-paste functionality for Windows Phone 7 is likely coming early in 2011, and a major update in the third quarter of that year.

About the Author

Becky Nagel is the executive editor of the 1105 Redmond Media Group's Web sites, including,, and, among others.

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Reader Comments:

Sun, Jan 30, 2011 Joe

YES! About a month before they came out I asked a sales rep if she knew when the windows phones were coming and she told me not to get one. I asked her why and she said, "Because they will suck!" I said, "You must know more than me because they look cool in all the video's and reviews." She said "Oh, I don't know anything about it, just that if it is a Microsoft phone it will suck." This was at a Sprint store in saint louis.

Tue, Jan 4, 2011 David Rogers Seattle

Costco stopped carrying the only T-Mobile phone available, the HTC HD7, BEFORE Christmas! There was no explanation. and the Dell Venue Pro still hasn't hit the streets. At this time, there is nothing available for T-Mobile customers from Costco. I haven't had any luck with other stores either.

Wed, Dec 22, 2010 Ragan Florence, SC

Retailers are not backing up WP7, they don't even have a display unit for it! I asked for WP7 and they said they're not interested in selling it, that's really bad, I think Microsoft needs to renegotiate the real support being received from carriers and retailers, we need more marketing guys!!!

Tue, Dec 21, 2010

i absolutely love this phone. the live tiles are a huge step forward and i am convinced this is the best smartphone available right now. i highly doubt at&t and tmobile are buying up millions of phones to stockpile them in wharehouses and not sell them. that seems utterly farfetched. also microsoft does not know what at&t and tmobile sell. why would this author make up such wierd inferences into clear statements. why dont you ask at&t or tmobile and be a real journalist instead of a gossip monger. look for this phone to win eventually because it is a much advanced better phone experience. after 1 month of heavy use i have not needed cut and paste once. the need for cut and paste on iphone and android is more about those platforms inferiorities than a problem with windows, but hey well get that feature too in a few weeks.

Tue, Dec 21, 2010 Tom

What I've noticed from various wireless retail stores is that many of the sales reps unfortunately don't seem to know very much about the phone (utterly clueless actually) and not surprisingly seem to be guiding people towards something they are familiar with it. In some cases it even appeared to me that some of them had a fair bit of resentment towards the phone or Microsoft in general. Anyone have similiar experiences?

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