Archive for the ‘ WP7 ’ Category

Slow sales of Windows Phone 7

I’m a firm believer of “A wise consumer is everyone’s best customer” so I read a lot about technology.  In fact, I spend the first hour or two of my working day reading about the latest advancements in technology and the latest gizmos that are available or soon to become available to the consumer.  Back in July of 2009 my cell phone stopped working but my wireless contract was not up for renewal until November of 2009 which incidentally was when the newly redesigned Windows Phone 7 was to become available to consumers.   If I was going to stay in business and hold out for the WP7, I need to buy an unlocked phone from Amazon to hold me over.

During those four months I had a lot of time to consider which features I had to have in my next new phone.  Having large fingers, I knew I had to have a slide out keyboard.  With that said, the obvious and only choice at that time was the LG C900.  The phone is a bit heavy but solid and the OS is very fluid and responsive.

Before ordering it, I was fully aware of the short falls it would have when the product hit the shelves but I was willing to ride the storm out until such features as “copy and paste” would become available.  All reports I read predicted that this key feature and a few more would be available to consumers no later than January 2010.  Since copy and paste was not a deal breaker for me and considering that when the iPhone and the Android made their debut they didn’t have this functionality either, I decide that I would take a leap of faith and buy it.

The copy and paste functionality that would arrive with the “NoDo” update slated for January of 2010, didn’t become available to the consumer until March.  This much-needed update also made it possible to send and receive Pop3 e-mails.

During the months of June and July I read about the latest update A.K.A. “Mango” that was to deliver over five hundred new features to the WP7.  Due to testing at AT&T, I did not receive that update until the third week of October.  As much as I felt that the first to buy the device should have been the first to receive the update, “Mango” turned out to be worth the wait.

Just recently I read an article by Jason Hiner of TechRepublic who feels that WP7 may be suffering from the “Windows” branding itself more than any other reason and there may be truth to that but I think there are other reasons that have led to the WP7 only achieving 2% of the smart phone market.

Product Knowledge (or lack thereof): Recently, I sat down with a customer of mine that was in the market for a new cell phone.  I showed him my WP7 and went over all that the device had to offer him.  Armed with all the details he needed to buy one for himself he went to the AT&T store and asked a salesperson to show him to the WP7 phones that they carried.  The salesperson suggested that he buy an Android or iPhone instead.  He said he tried asking questions about some of the features that the WP7 that we had discussed and the salesperson know nothing about the product.

Availability: AT&T only had three different flavors to choose from LG, HTC and Samsung where the Android had more flavors than you can shake a stick at.  To make matters worst, iPhone 4 had just arrived and you could buy the iPhone 3 for $100.00.

Advertising:  Microsoft came out with a clever commercial that proclaimed “It’s time for a phone to save us from our phones” which showed cell phone users constantly looking at their phones while life was passing them by.  This Christmas they came out with a new commercial that shows how Windows 7 and WP7 can quickly and easily interact with each other to deliver digital content in seconds.  There needs to be more advertising that focuses on the ease and usability of the WP7 if the product is going to gain any ground in the future.

Variety:  The first few WP7 products to hit the market were phones were built on Android’s second class hardware.  Nokia introduced the Lumia 710 & 800 model which claims to be the first true WP7 but they lack features like a qwerty keyboard and front facing camera that consumers look for in a phone even if they never use it.

My gut feeling is these are the many reasons that have contributed to the sluggish sales of the WP7.  Recently there has been a change of the guard in the WP7 division named Steve Sinofsky that may bring a breath of life into a well designed device.  It is rumored that Steve Sinofsky wants to take the  Windows Embedded Compact kernel in Windows Phone 7 and replace it with a stripped-down Windows 8 kernel widely known as MinWin.  How that decision will play out is yet to be seen but I for one have no choice but to hang in there at least until November 2012 when it’s time to renew my cell phone contract.

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Windows Phone 7 greater than 40,000 apps

As of November 16th 2011 Windows Phone Marketplace has now passed the 40,000 app and games submission mark.  Rafe Blanford writes “During the last four weeks, an average of around 165 new content items have been added each day” putting the store on track to reach the 50,000 mark sometime in January.  While that is impressive if fairs in comparison to Apple’s 500,000 apps and Android’s 400,000 apps.  Even though Microsoft’s App Store can’t match competing stores title by title, you will be able to find the most popular titles or the equivalent thereof.  The latest update aka “Mango” has integrated many of the productivity apps that iOS users seek such as Shazam, Facebook and Twitter to mention a few.

After reading the report by Rafe Blanford, I got to thinking about the 40,000 app milestone and decided to do a survey on my own.  I posted the following question to all of my Facebook, Twitter and Google+ followers “How many apps on average do you use on your smartphone on a daily basis?” and the response made me realize something that gave me a renewed faith about smart phones, apps and Windows Phone 7.  After polling 44 people the average app usage on a daily basis was 8.  With that said, is it important that Microsoft doesn’t have the 400,000 plus apps like Android or 500,000 like iOS?  I think not, what I do think is important is that they have the apps that most user want to remain competitive and desirable to existing and future consumers.