Over the last few days much has been made in the technology press about "disappointing" sales figures for Windows Phone 7. What exactly is this based on considering there are no official sales figures and is it true or not?
Back on the US launch (no figures for Europe yet, where Windows Mobile is traditionally much stronger), an anonymous source was quoted by dozens of technology websites as saying Windows Phone 7 sold 40,000 units on day one. To date nobody knows who this source is.
Is 40,000 units a bad figure for a brand new platform with low awareness? Not really. Although we don't have any figures to directly compare with the first Android phone, the G1, T-Mobile did announce they had sold a million in the first 6 months. On average that's a little over 5500 units sold per day.
Of course for Google the technology press spin everything in a more positive light, the stories when the G1 came out weren't about disappointing sales figures. No they just made figures up saying it had 1.5 million pre-orders. Obviously out by several orders of magnitude, at least.
Microsoft isn't given the same luxury. A few days ago figures of Windows Phone being outsold 15 to 1 by Android in the UK swept around; this has been covered on pretty much every technology news website. Where are these figures from?
Katherine Noyes, a known Linux fanboy, someone who said Android has almost made the iPhone a "niche also-ran", writing for PC World say they're from a UK retailer. Well I'm from the UK maybe I've heard of them, someone like Expansys or Amazon or maybe o2 or Orange, or maybe even the Carphone Warehouse? Nope from someone called Mobiles Please. Err never heard of them, in all my years buying smartphones I have never heard of these people.
Worse yet they're not even a mobile retailer, they're just a website that links to deals from other retailers. I'd call them a comparison website. Except Alexa has never heard of them, neither has Compete. When my blog gets more traffic than a so-called "UK retailer" you should be worried, especially worried when tech websites with millions of readers use them as a basis for a story about how Windows Phone 7 is a failure.
Of course I have to congratulate Mobiles Please for all the free advertising they got, from nowhere to being mentioned on dozens of the biggest technology websites. All they needed was a crappy anti-Microsoft press release.
Windows Phone 7 is undoubtedly doing better than the handset makers predicted, Orange are still having to dish out £20 vouchers to make up for the fact its taking them a while to get phones into people's hands. It's also certainly doing much better than Android was in its first couple of months, just looking at the daily active Facebook users coming from Windows Phone can tell you that, and that's a very conservative estimate for total sales. Without a doubt Windows Phone 7 will get to the million mark faster than Android.