Microsoft reportedly sold just 40,000 Windows Phone 7 phones in its opening day on sale Monday, dwarfed by Apple's 600,000 pre-orders for the iPhone 4 on its first day and Google's boost that it is activating more than 200,000 Android phones per day.
The report by TheStreet.com citing "a market research source who tracks phone sales" dovetails with new research from the IHL Group that shows relatively little interest among current smartphone users in Windows Phone 7. The IHL study announced this week found that more than 56 percent of current smartphone users are seriously considering an Apple iPhone and 44 percent an Android device for their next smartphone, while only 24 percent are considering a BlackBerry and a paltry 10 percent gave Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 any serious consideration. The study is based on a survey of 570 consumers and 66 retailers, the research firm said.
"The iPhone is quickly replacing the Blackberry in the mindshare of consumers and the executive office for many retailers," said Greg Buzek, President of IHL Group, in a statement. According to the study, iPad adoption is soaring as well, from less than 5 percent to 47 percent within a year. Android-based devices will see a strong increase as well, from 14 percent today to 33 percent within the next 12 months.
"The iPad ushered in the age of the tablets, and retailers are going to adopt these quickly," adds Buzek, citing the demand by retailers for moderately priced handheld devices for sales associates and store managers to enhance the consumer experience. "With the advent of the iPad, we have seen the price drop from $1,500 a device to under $500 in volume," he noted. "Some retailers are looking for these tablets to eliminate POS locations in their stores altogether."
The momentum behind Apple's iPhone/iPad and the onslaught of smartphones running Google's Android operating system doesn't appear threatened by Monday's debut of Microsoft's Windows Phone 7. Microsoft officials reportedly declined to comment on reports of lackluster first-day sales, and a T-Mobile spokeswoman also did not offer numbers to TheStreet.com. It quoted her merely saying that its Windows Phone 7 model was "already receiving strong interest from our customers right out of the gate."
Analysts noted that Microsoft and T-Mobile didn't do much to maximize first-day sales by putting the device on sale on Monday, instead of a Friday or Saturday launch, which draws bigger crowds to retail stores. Microsoft may have also confused consumers with too many models, Michael Cote, an industry strategist with the Cote Collaborative, told TheStreet.com, noting that it introduced nine Windows 7 phones at its October press event.
Nielsen telecom analyst Roger Entner cautioned that the jury is still out on Windows Phone 7, recalling that the first Android phone was not a big seller initially for T-Mobile. A better test for the Microsoft devices will be the holiday shopping season that starts on so-called Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.