Monday, August 8, 2011

It is now or never for Windows Phone 7

InformationWeek reports that the share of Microsoft in the US mobile phone market has gone down 38% since Windows Phone 7 launched last year. When Windows Phone 7 was launched last year, Windows Mobile held 8% of the US smartphone market. As of the end of June 2011, the combined share of Windows Mobile and Windows Phone 7 is down to 5.8%.

HTC has done the most among all manufacturers to promote Windows Phone 7. How long will it continue.

With no information of global sales of Windows Phone 7 devices, we looked at Statcounters GlobalStats which records mobile phone usage by recording how many webpages tracked by Statcounter are visited by different mobile devices. For the month of June 2011, Windows Phone 7 was recorded as being used by just a bit over 1/4th of one percent of all users.

At the same time, Nokia was toppled from its spot as the top maker of smartphones, falling from first to third, behind Apple and Samsung.

While Nokia's adoption of Windows Phone 7 is supposed to give impetus to the Windows Phone 7 operating system, Nokia is taking a long time to launch its first Windows Phone 7 device. For some reason or other, Nokia took the time to release its MeeGo powered Nokia N9, which is apparently a one-off device.  Nokia would have better spent its time launching a Windows Phone 7 device. Not that there is anything wrong with MeeGo, but it does not seem to make sense for Nokia to launch a platform that is is abandoning after a single phone. 

With each passing day, a Windows Mobile or Symbian use migrates to Apple's iOS, Google's Android or even RIM's BlackBerry OS. A new iPhone (or maybe two) is expected in the next two months, and a new Ice Cream powered Google Nexus phone is expected soon after that. It will be harder for Windows Phone 7 to gain traction after that.

If Windows Phone 7 is to make a serious stab at the market, Q3 of 2011 is when it has to make its move, and that move is really for Nokia to release a Windows Phone 7 device. The OS is ready and the available apps are sufficient. If the new alliance does not, Windows Phone 7 market share may be so small, and Nokia's clout in the market might be so diminished that it really wont matter anymore.

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