Amid reports that Windows Phone 7 has made only a small impact in its first six weeks, Microsoft has released its first sales figures, claiming 1.5 million shipments of devices running the new operating system.
This healthy figure surprised many, though it refers to sales to operators and retailers rather than sell-on to consumers. It does not come close to the figures for a new iPhone or an Android big-hitter, but it is respectable – and Microsoft itself has said it knows a new OS will be a slow burn when it is up against the entrenched positions of iOS and Android, plus Symbian outside North America.
However, it remains unclear how many of those WP7 smartphones are still sitting on shelves. Last week some US carriers were increasing buy-one-get-one-free offers on Microsoft phones, though in several European territories – where Apple and Android are somewhat less powerful – operators have reported sell-outs.
Achim Berg, Microsoft's VP of business and marketing for Windows Phone, said in a company blog that the WP7 launch has been in line with that of other first generation mobile platforms. For comparison, the original iPhone sold one million units in its first 74 days, though that was to end-users and only in the US.
"We're comfortable with where we are, and we are here for the long run," Berg said. "Windows Phone 7 is just the beginning. Our opportunity is to make sure people get to play with a Windows Phone. Once they do, they love it. This is very important for us."