Should Microsoft start releasing a ton of phones every year?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from Arizona
Published: October 13, 2011

Google won their own race. They’ve released Android into the world, and I can imagine that it’s been a bigger success than they could have ever imagined. Android’s ruling the world in many people’s eyes, and everyone else is just trying to catch up. There’s been plenty of discussion about how it happened, or if it will keep happening – but that’s all discussion. As it stands right now, Android is here, and here to stay thanks to all of the devices that are out there. There are so many of them, in fact, that some think that’s how Android is winning at all. By default. So is it time for another company to follow in those steps?

It wasn’t too long ago that it became public knowledge that Microsoft would soon be making Windows Phones featuring dual-core processors and LTE-connectivity. This was news. Legitimately, people were excited about Microsoft catching up to the rest of the market. Yes, it is exciting in and of itself that Microsoft will be releasing phones that feature 4G-connectivity and dual-core processors, and we should all be eagerly anticipating their arrival. But, when we look at the market right now, finding a phone that has 4G-connectivity, or a dual-core processor for that matter isn’t hard. It isn’t hard at all. But it’s great news that there are more on the way.

But, let’s face it – they’re behind the curve. No, the software is great, and Windows Phone stands out because of the simple, easy-to-use format. That’s great. But, when we’re looking at hardware, the market is seriously taking off, and Microsoft seems to be just watching it go. And this doesn’t come back to the whole tortoise and hare story, this is something separate. Because everyone knows the mobile market is taking off, and it isn’t slowing down any time soon. But Microsoft is seriously taking their time, and I’m beginning to wonder if they’re taking this seriously.

Then again, the same argument could be said for Apple, but let’s focus on the Redmond-based company for now, okay? When it comes to Microsoft, we’ve got more than one phone out in a year’s time, so that’s something. But, if we look at the market right now, and compare that to what Microsoft has coming down the pipe, it seems like there’s a pretty large gap. Sure, the HTC Titan is a pretty impressive device in that large display and the 1.5GHz processor, but folks want dual-core.  People want that 4G-connectivity, and people have that in plenty of handsets on Verizon’s network, Sprint’s network, and even AT&T and T-Mobile USA (in their own 4G way, of course).

This has me wondering if Microsoft should take a more Google-like route with their hardware. They’ve got the manufacturing partners, many of the same that Google does, so maybe they should start using it. If Microsoft were to go to HTC and ask them to start releasing four to five devices a year, each of which slightly “better” than the previous one, that would be a step in the right direction. The same thing could be said for Samsung. Both of these manufacturers already have a big presence in the Windows Phone marketplace, so by pushing out more devices, the better. At least, that’s definitely working for Google, so why wouldn’t we assume it would work for Microsoft?

The other thing is carrier passion. Microsoft has to get these carriers excited about Windows Phone. Verizon should want to release a new Windows Phone, and we should be talking about the next two handsets coming down the pipe. Instead, that’s not even kind of happening. With Windows Phone 7.5, Microsoft has a chance to really make an impact on the market – now just start releasing more handsets, and that may actually happen.

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