Analyst: Windows Phone 7 launch a success, could end up harming AndroidAlex Wagner - Senior News Editor
Microsoft may not be willing to talk much about Windows Phone 7 sales numbers, but one analyst thinks that they don't have any reason to keep their mouths shut. Charles Wolf, analyst at Needham & Co., is calling WP7's launch "successful," although he notes that as of Nov. 30, there were only 135,000 active users of WP7's Facebook app. Wolf also believes that Microsoft will be using its $500 million marketing budget to gain support from the major smartphone manufacturers. The most interest aspect of Wolf's analysis, though, is the claim that if WP7 continues to be successful, Android is going to suffer and that the iPhone will benefit. Because both Android and WP7 devices come from multiple manufacturers and have similar licensing models, the iPhone and its single manufacturer will be the big winner, Wolf says. Another thing that could hurt Android? That Verizon iPhone that we've heard so much about.
It may seem kind of strange that the success of Windows Phone 7 could have an adverse affect on Android, but it kind of makes sense. If WP7 does become successful, more manufacturers will flock to the platform, devoting more of their resources to creating device's for Microsoft's OS rather than putting them toward Android development. Since the only company making the iPhone is Apple, this isn't an issue for the iOS-powered handset. Wolf also points out that Android has been benefitting from the the absence of an iPhone on Verizon, evidenced by the fact that RIM has been getting clobbered on Big Red. Once the iPhone arrives on VZW, though, I've got a feeling that just about everyone, Android included, is going to take a hit. What do you all think of Wolf's analysis? Will Windows Phone 7's success hurt Android, or is there still enough smartphone market share to go around?