Microsoft is out with initial sales figures for Windows Phone 7, and the results will surprise skeptics (including me), who expected sales to be dismal. The company just announced that more than 1.5 million phones were sold in the first six weeks, a solid rollout.
Achim Berg, vice president of business and marketing for Windows Phones, says on the Microsoft News Center site that "phone manufacturers sold over 1.5 million phones in the first six weeks." Berg goes on to say that the sales figures met Microsoft's expectations, which you would expect him to say.
Microsoft has until now refused to release sales figures. Initial anecdotal reports indicated slow sales, and Microsoft's silence only added to the sense that the phone's launch was going poorly.
The 1.5 million number isn't a blowout success, but it's far from a failure, especially considering that the phone so far is available only on a limited number of carriers, and not on Verizon or Sprint.
Windows Phone 7 sales are still dwarfed by both Android phones and the iPhone, of course. Google says that approximately 300,000 Android devices are activated daily, for example. But it's to be expected that the revamped Microsoft mobile platform wouldn't immediately challenge either Android or the iPhone.
I've frequently said that Windows Phone 7 sales were tanking, and if Microsoft's sales numbers are accurate, I was clearly wrong. The respectable sales figures show that Microsoft may be able to regain a foothold in the mobile market, which is vital for the company's future. Mobile is where the growth is, and without being a player in the mobile market, Microsoft would be relegated to a slow-growth company.
I don't expect Windows Phone to challenge Android for supremacy, or the iPhone for second place. These sales numbers, as solid as they are, don't indicate that Windows Phone 7 has caught fire in any way. But they do show that Microsoft is clearly in mobile for the long term and will be a competitor. And competition is good for consumers and the overall industry. So for anyone who cares about the future of mobile technology, the sales figures are welcome news.
This story, "Surprise! Windows Phone 7 sold more than 1.5 million in six weeks" was originally published by Computerworld.