Microsoft may have sold just 40,000 Windows Phone 7 devices on its debut in the US. A claim from a market research tracker cited the figure as representing sales across both AT&T and T-Mobile and for all devices. None of the involved companies would confirm numbers to The Street, although a T-Mobile representative said it had "strong interest." The HTC HD7 had at least temporarily sold out at the company's online store.
The details are unconfirmed but corroborate field reports of small or non-existent lines, even at Microsoft's retail stores. Reaching 40,000 represents a significant launch but trails well behind other major device launches and behind regular rates for most rivals. Apple sold about 273,000 iPhones over the course of two days on its June 2007 debut and now sells nearly as many phones per day, albeit worldwide. Google switches on at least 200,000 Android devices per day on a similar scope.
Cote Collaborative founding analyst Michael Cote blamed the low numbers for Microsoft's decision to launch on a Monday. Apple and most Android device makers usually choose the end of the week, usually on Friday or Saturday, when workers can better afford to take time off to queue up. Despite investing large amounts of marketing money, $500 million worldwide, many simply couldn't afford to devote time to the launch, Cote suggested.
He also noted that Microsoft's determinations to rush the launch and have as many devices as possible may have hurt its chances instead of helping. The absence of copy-and-paste text may have led some to hold off. Similarly, with four phones launched at the same time and more enroute by the end of the year, customers may have been indecisive, Cote said. Users in his group's studies liked choice but often wanted simpler choices, such as going with or without a keyboard.
Microsoft has acknowledged that WP7 is effectively starting fresh and that it didn't expect an immediate turnaround, but it hasn't given estimates of how soon it hoped to bounce back and reverse years of declines.