Microsoft OEM partners ship 1.5 million WP7 devices in 6 weeks. It’s a very good start

It finally happened. After weeks of anticipation Microsoft has released the first Windows Phone 7 sales figures.

In the first six weeks 1.5 million WP7 devices were sold by manufacturers to operators and retailers.

(Btw, unit sales to wholesale partners – is a standard way of reporting in Consumer Electronics industry. Microsoft reported device sales number is not different of what Nokia, Samsung or LG are reporting when they say that they sold XX devices that quarter. )

Twitter erupted: It’s only 1.5 million! In six weeks! While Google and Apple sells that many devices in less then a week! Windows Phone 7  is a huge failure!

C’mon people, wake up and smell some coffee.

For a completely new platform, 1.5 million phones sold, even only into a retail channel, is a very good number. It means that Microsoft with partners is already on the way to ship 1 million devices a month and 12 million WP7 devices a year. Not a blowout number, not huge number, but by no means a failure.

Remember how many iPhones Apple shipped in the first 12 months? 6 million. How long it took Google to ship the first million of Android devices? About 6 months.

According to the released official figures, in the first 6 weeks after launch Windows Phone 7 is doing better then Android and iPhone did at similar point in their history. According to IDC Microsoft Marketplace, now with 4000 apps,  is also ramping  up better then Android did at the start.

Yes, I know Microsoft started with more vendors, more countries and more operators then Android and iPhone. Yes, I know smartphone market is now much bigger then it was 2 or 3 years ago. Yes I know that compared to to current sales of Android and iOS devices, WP7 shipments look miniscule. Yes and yes and yes.

So what? Forget about about the juicy headlines, and what will happen next week. Try to do a bit of long term thinking. The smartphone race is not a sprint, it’s a marathon, and it will play out over the next 3-5 years. You know who was an undisputed leader in smartphones 4 years ago? Nokia. Who was a very solid #2? Microsoft. Neither Apple, nor Google were even on a horizon yet. Who knows what will happen in the next 4 years?

As for today, the fact is, that unless the operators and retailers completely misjudged the demand for WP7 phones, and they will end up sitting on the shelves for months, the new Windows Phone OS is to a very solid  start.

And with commitment Microsoft is making to it, I am pretty sure that WP7 OS is here to stay, and not in a small way.

Author: Stasys Bielinis

While I like to play with the latest gadgets, I am even more interested in broad technology trends. With mobile now taking over the world - following the latest technology news, looking for insights, sharing and discussing them with passionate audience - it's hard to imagine a better place for me to be. You can find me on Twitter as @UVStaska'

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  • Sverix

    Numbers of sales to retailers and operators actually only indicate how big the expectations have been. Such numbers can only be used over a longer perod, where the operators and retailers have reordered new shipments.
    As you yourself indicate at the end of the article, the devices could actually still be on the shelves!

  • http://www.staska.net Staska

    Agreed, they are expectations from Carriers and Retailers. But:

    #1 While they occasionally make mistakes in over ordering inventory, usually
    retailers are very good at forecasting and moving it. And they also have a
    very big power to move the goods they bought through their retail shops.
    Sure, most of the WP7 devices might be sitting on shelves, but, so far, I
    haven’t sen any numbers or indications that it is the case.

    #2 Reporting wholesale sales numbers is the standard industry practice. So
    when Samsung says that they sold 1 million Galaxy Tabs or 9.3 million Galaxy
    S – they also report sales to retailers and operators, not the end users. As
    do Nokia, LG, RIM, HTC and everyone else. Singling out Microsoft implying
    that they are trying to obfuscate bad numbers or smth., when all they did
    was to report sales figures according to standard industry practices hardly
    seems fair

  • Sverix

    I still think. what we need to see from Microsoft, is the number of actual activations – especially this early after the launch.
    And by the way; not everyone else follows this ‘standard’. When google reports 300.000+ devices per day – it is actually real activations.