Achim Berg, corporate vice president, Mobile Communications Business and Marketing Group, said, "We are pleased that phone manufacturers sold over 1.5 million phones in the first six weeks, which helps build customer momentum and retail presence."
Previous estimates of the number of Windows Phone 7 handset sold to-date were as low as 200,000, which is a far cry from the reality of 1.5 million handsets sold. Keep in mind, however, that the 1.5 million number is what Microsoft has sold to carriers and distributors of handsets. It's not necessarily representative of how many devices have been sold to end users.
By way of comparison, Apple sold more than 1 million iPhone 4s in its first three days of availability, and has sold more than 14 million of them since June.
Microsoft's handset partners launched 10 new Windows Phone 7 handsets earlier this year, with five of them (Dell Venue Pro, HTC HD7, HTC Surround, LG Quantum, and Samsung Focus) available in the U.S. from AT&T and T-Mobile. Handsets launched in Asia and Europe on October 21, and in Canada and the U.S. on November 8.
Berg continued, "Sales are ramping well as our reputation is growing for offering users a unique experience and are in line with our expectations – especially when compared to other new platform introductions. With a new platform you have to look at a couple of things, first of all customer satisfaction. As I mentioned before, we’ve seen great response on the complete mobile phone experience. We know we have tough competition, and this is a completely new product. We’re in the race – it’s not a sprint but we are certainly gaining momentum and we’re in it for the long run."
According to Berg, Microsoft is pleased with Windows Phone 7's launch, but it knows it has its work cut out for it. "We all know that the competition is extreme in this industry, and we have to compete on multiple fronts," he continued. "We have to deliver a great product that people want to use. We have a different point of view than just delivering apps, and we have received great customer feedback on our approach. We are working on updates that will take us to the next level. Plus, we have great support from the ecosystem including developers, operators and device manufacturers, which will add to momentum we are already seeing."
"From this perspective, we’re in a good place. We are on a path to begin releasing the first of several updates in the next couple of months, and several more mobile operators around the world will introduce Windows Phone 7 on their network in 2011 and we will have a broader portfolio of devices from phone manufacturers at different price points delivering on our commitment of providing customers choice. We believe doing these things right will lead to continued success."
Microsoft has indicated that it won't have much in the way of news at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show, but you can expect to hear a lot more from Microsoft at Mobile World Congress in February.