Windows Phone 7 Another Flop? Amazon Puts Samsung Focus on Fire Sale. #wp7

Windows Phone 7 was supposed to be Microsoft’s grand re-entry into the smartphone market. After languishing with Windows Mobile for several years too long, it seemed that Redmond had finally gotten their “groove” back. And then there was the Kin hiccup. It never really did make too much sense — the Kin. It was targeting teens and “preparing them” for their later years with more advanced smartphones. The biggest problems however, were rather ugly hardware and bundling said hardware with fairly expensive data plans — money that tweens and teens typically don’t have. Is Microsoft on track for another Kin flop, except this time with Windows Phone 7?
Now we’ll point out that we’re looking at but one of several Windows Phone 7 launch devices, the Samsung Focus. With that said, I’m sure the question will still ignite a miniature war in the comments. But seriously, think about it. The reported sales for Microsoft’s opening day were a paltry 40,000 units. Granted, this number comes from several 3rd party analyst groups and fails to include worldwide sales info. But even more telling, however, is that Amazon is already selling the Samsung Focus for a mere $49 when purchased with a 2yr. contract. I’m sorry, quote amazing sales all you want. Phones that are selling well aren’t chopped from $300 down to $50 two weeks after they’re released. Similarly, the same price chop happened with the Kin. And we all know how that turned out.

While I don’t think WIndows Phone 7 is doing nearly as well as Microsoft would have hoped (especially after doling out over $100 million on pre-launch marketing), I don’t think it’s on its deathbed either. This time at least, Windows Phone 7 does have quite a bit of peoples’ interests, even if sales aren’t in the 6-figure/day range.

Launch-day sales aside, perhaps a more revealing method of measuring a smartphone’s success is not by how many units are sold within the first 24 hours, but in how long it takes a particular device to hit 1 million units sold. For the G1, it was 6 months. The iPhone: 74 days. Windows Phone 7: TBA. If the sales figures of 40,000 on launch day were anywhere close to the real number, they could potentially beat the G1 to a million sales, meaning in theory that Windows Phone 7 isn’t a flop.

But even then, selling 1 million devices doesn’t mean you have a guaranteed hit. By now, even the lot of webOS devices has surpassed 1 million devices. Though that’s spanning multiple years. Furthermore, Palm has been promising exciting new hardware for months. And what do we have to show for it? Nothing. Of course, early 2011 will be the time in which we finally see some actual new webOS hardware — many months late to the party.

Of course, the real test for Microsoft will be in the coming months. The initial crop of Windows 7 hardware was pretty lame save for the Dell Venue Pro. If Microsoft wants to have the sort of fanboy excitement that Android and iOS enjoy, they’re going to have to push their hardware manufacturers to step up their game as well.

Is Windows Phone 7 a flop? Monetarily speaking, it’s possible. Will it wither away like the Kin? Probably not.

TheNextWeb, Mobiledia, PC Mag, The Street

  • Robert

    Give it some time. WP7 ease of development, DirectX at bottom of pipeline, plus other advances will eventually show that others will have to keep up.

  • Robert

    Give it some time. WP7 ease of development, DirectX at bottom of pipeline, plus other advances will eventually show that others will have to keep up.

  • NoTheeeeenxImKeepingMyiPhone

    Hi — Ummm… WHERE are you getting your “it took the iPhone 74 Days” numbers? Are those iPhone 1 numbers? iPhone 2? 3G? 3GS? iPhone 4? — because the iPhone 4 took LESS THAN 24 HOURS to hit a million units. And YES, that matters. 40,000 day 1 versus 1.7 Million in three days (and a heck of a lot more had they not RUN OUT) is **HUGE** — and Microsoft was ALL over the place talking crap about how they made enough phones to *beat* the iPhone day 1 numbers and they were literally saying they thought they’d be CLOSE — what with the 70k + Employees in Redmond alone. Yeah, no.

  • Dotmat

    You are right by saying that Microsoft has all the time, money and experience to make this a success in the long term. But this was still a rather sad relaunch by a company that has been making software as long as they have.

  • Cell phone tracker

    It won’t come as a surprise if Windows phone 7 cell phones do not sell well, Windows phone 7 is not an iPhone killer in any way. And we all know now the essence of competition in the smartphone industry is the OS, but Windows phone 7 OS has no innovation compared to iOS and Android, so why should the consumers choose MS?