Windows Phone 7 is the new kid on the block when it comes to brand new mobile operating systems, and while Microsoft has no problem with that title, the speculation regarding how many handsets the company has sold since the OS’s launch –and the fact that many were thinking it was looking more negative than positive—may have been becoming annoying as of late. Unfortunately, Gartner’s new report regarding how many handsets they believe Microsoft has sold may not do much to squash that annoyance, as the results aren’t as fabulous as they could be.
Or, perhaps more accurately, these results aren’t as good as Microsoft would like. Granted, selling any number of handsets is better than selling none (just look at the initial KIN ONE and KIN TWO sales), but with such a high-profile operating system like Windows Phone 7, along with the range of hardware the software was launched on, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine that Microsoft was expecting more. Gartner’s numbers relate to a global scale, suggesting that Microsoft sold 1.6 million Windows Phone 7 handsets around the world. Not staggering, but it does show that WP7 wasn’t being outright ignored, either.
What’s worth noting, is that Windows Phone 7 was only available on two carriers here in the United States for the majority of WP7’s life here locally. It wasn’t until about 11 days before the end of the first quarter that the first Windows Phone 7 device launched for another carrier. Additionally, Windows Phone 7 is still missing from Verizon (that’s changing real soon, though). Of course, the future launch of a Windows Phone 7 device on Verizon’s network isn’t going to boost the worldwide sales totals of Microsoft’s mobile OS all that much, but it will certainly help.
What I find interesting in this, is that Microsoft is still staying quiet. While Gartner’s numbers are still fresh, it would make sense to me for Microsoft to come forward and make their own announcement regarding the sales numbers for their fledgling mobile operating system. There’s a chance that Gartner’s predictions are actually higher than the reality, and this could be one reason why Microsoft is remaining coy on the topic. However, on the flip-side, it’s perfectly possible that Microsoft has sold more handsets, too, and that would seem to be something that the company would want to share.
I do have to agree with Gartner’s belief that Nokia’s future involvement with Windows Phone 7 will have a huge impact. But, I don’t think that impact will be felt in 2011. Even if Nokia does launch a handset before the end of this year, I don’t think it will be the first Nokia-branded handset that instigates a huge exodus from consumers running their current mobile OS of choice over to Windows Phone 7. However, that could all change depending on what type of handset Nokia launches initially, and in which markets the handset finds itself.
In the end, are you surprised by Gartner’s report? If you’re not, what do you think Microsoft can do to change things around, and start selling more handsets? If you’re finding yourself looking at those numbers and think they’re too low, let me know why in the comments below. And lastly, do you think Nokia will make a big difference in the future existence of Microsoft’s mobile OS?