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THOUGHT: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly or how well is Windows Phone 7 selling?
Posted by Arne Hess - on Friday, 21.01.11 - 12:37:45 CET under 09 - Thoughts - Viewed 17028x
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Back in November, Deutsche Telekom released a statement where the company said that was was "very satisfied" with the initial Windows Phone 7 sales in Germany and later, Microsoft's Achim Berg, Vice President of Business and Marketing for Windows Phones, followed-up that he was also quite satisfied with the whole Windows Phone 7 eco-system development. However, earlier this year, James Choi, Marketing Strategy and Planning Team Director of LG Electronics told Pocket-lint in an interview that "LG had a high expectation from an industry perspective, but from a consumer point of view the visibility is less than LG expected".

And now, at yesterday's CeBIT Preview event in Munich, Ingo Hofacker, Head of Consumer Marketing at Deutsche Telekom, repeated that "the (Deutsche Telekom's Windows Phone 7) devices sell excellent" and that the company is "ahead of budget and Microsoft is very pleased".

So who's right and who's wrong? The happy Microsoft/Deutsche Telekom fraction or unhappy LG?

It's clear that Microsoft had to say, two months after the launch, that it was satisfied with the whole Windows Phone 7 eco-system development which includes the manufactured devices, the registered developers and submitted and available Marketplace apps. And it's also widely known (or not) that Deutsche Telekom is Microsoft's preferred  German Windows Phone 7 launch-partner, therefore the company can hardly say anything different today.
On the other hand we have LG, one of the few and very early Windows Phone 7 partners with a long-term relationship to Microsoft, which has launched two Windows Phone 7 smartphones. And LG seems to be somewhat unhappy with its own sales figures.

Now you have to ask who the faulty player is? The OS, namely Windows Phone 7 which seems to sell well or the device(s), namely LG's Optimus 7 and LG Quantum smartphones which seems to sell bad?

Back in October, we had a poll here on the::unwired where we asked which of the available or upcoming Windows Phone 7 devices were our readers favorite and while such a poll is always far away from anything representative, the result was quite impressive because the clear winner was HTC, followed by Dell and Samsung with LG on the last place:

So what does it mean? It could mean that the::unwired readers had higher expectations in HTC, Samsung and Dell devices than in LG devices. It could mean that the LG brand is way weaker for smartphones than the HTC, Dell and Samsung brand. Or it could mean that readers seems to know what to expect from HTC, Dell and Samsung but not know what to expect from LG. The truth is most likely anywhere in between but it's quite obvious that HTC and Samsung have a way better track record when it comes to smartphones than LG ever had. Also the Dell Venue Pro is an exception because at the time of the poll it was a very unique device with its portrait slide-out keyboard.

I had the opportunity to test all European Windows Phone 7 devices and at the end of the day, they hardly differentiate from each other. All of them come with a 1 GHz CPU, feature at least a 5 megapixel autofocus camera and have nearly the same screen resolutions. Basically I can recommend every single device and I haven't found any show-stoppers on each of the tested devices. However, the differences like supported UMTS bands and memory are details, users might not care about Also, while a Samsung Omnia 7 comes with a Super AMOLED touchscreen a LG Optimus 7 features a Gorilla Glass touchscreen but does the consumer knows the difference and cares about it? I hardly believe so, not if it's not heavily advertised and at the moment, the Windows Phone 7 operating system is advertised, not the minor differences between each hardware:

Being a marketing guy by background, it brings me back to the brand again! If Microsoft, as the developer of Windows Phone 7, and Deutsche Telekom, which sells two devices from two different brands (but not LG), are happy with the sales figures and other carriers also told me that their Windows Phone 7 devices (but again not from LG) are selling better than forecasted, the OS itself can't be that wrong but either the offered device(s) or the company brand seems to fail.

So what do you think? Am I right or wrong, are Microsoft and Deutsche Telekom right or is LG right? Why have you chosen the Windows Phone 7 device you are using and not another?

Cheers ~ Arne


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