Right after Microsoft announced Windows Phone 7 Series, rumours began floating that they were going to offer it side-by-side a version of Windows Phone 6. Now, there seems to be an official confirmation of this – and we are ticked off.
Why? For one, the idea that this version is targetted at “emerging markets”.
Secondly, according to Bsquare, WP 6SE does not support 3G services on GSM networks.
Exactly what do these mean?
That African and Asian countries are the targets of WP 6SE? How did they arrive at this? Does it translate to cheaper devices? Experience shows that WindowsPhone devices are more expensive than same class devices from the competition. For example, the average non-3G WindowsPhone still costs an arm and a leg more than a 3.5G-enabled device from Symbian.
Note too that some of the most vibrant mobile markets on the planet are emerging economies – Nigeria, India, Brazil et al. These markets have much stronger 3G presence than some advanced economies have. The U.S. is an example of an advanced economy with horrible 3G presence.
How did this idea crystalize?
In closing, have you tried registering as a user at the official WindowsPhone 7 Series website? We did two weeks ago, and would you imagine that Nigeria was not initially on the list of supported countries? Apparently someone at Microsoft messed up big time. We were miffed big time. The good news, however, is that as at today Nigeria is now listed.
The laughable part is, there’s a section titled “My current phone is” on the registration form. The options presented there are:
- A Windows phone
- Nexus One
- Palm Pre
- Other smartphone
Apparently, Microsoft does not consider the world’s two largest smartphone platforms, Symbian, worth competing against. Plus, it is shortsightedness to list only specific products from Android and WebOS. Surely, the Droid and Nexus One account for only a small percentage of Android sales (though they may well be the current flagships).
Surely, Microsoft cannot be so shortsighted as not to see that emerging martkets currently make up some of the most vibrant smartphone markets?
Targetting non-3G devices at emerging markets? Doh! There goes Microsoft’s chance to expand the marketshare of WindowsPhone; and since Android does not seem to be into a show of strength in these parts yet, the chances of anyone knocking Symbian off as king of the smartphone jungle are still next to zero.
Sigh. And we were looking forward to some real competition.
Story via WindowsMobile Experts