If your product is selling well, you brag about it. If it isn’t, you don’t. It’s a basic strategy, driven by the idea that talk of heavy sales in turn generates even heavier sales.
It’s a bit telling, then, that Microsoft is doing their damnedest to get around having to shed any light on Windows Phone 7’s sales thus far. In an onstage interview with Walt Mossberg at the Dive Into Mobile conference, Microsoft’s Director of Windows Phone Program Management Joe Belfiore skirted the issue not one, not two, but three times.
The first approach was a softball: How’s the product doing?
“So far, so good..”
Not exactly the answer anyone was looking for, so another one was thrown out: But how many have you sold?
“We’re not talking numbers.”
Uh oh. Essentially a less abrupt way of saying “No Comment”, thats not something anyone wants to hear mid-Interview. So Walt comes out swinging, suggesting the same thing many in the room were thinking: by not talking about numbers, it implies that Windows Phone 7 isn’t doing too hot.
“I don’t think that’s the case here. It’s too soon.”
Too soon? Fair enough. Windows Phone 7 has only been on the market for just shy of 2 months. Apple waited 74 days before talking up their first iPhone for hitting one million sales; Google waited over six months before announcing that the original Android phone, the G1, had accomplished the same thing. But both of these examples are individual devices, launched in just two or three countries off the bat. In contrast, the Windows Phone 7 launch was spread across 9 devices (10, if you count the Dell Venue Pro, which had some last minute delays) on 60 carriers in 30 different countries; surely, there should be something for them to brag about by now?
Success in the mobile market takes time, though; whereas Android barely put a dent in the iPhone’s marketshare at first, it’s neck and neck just two years later. Microsoft, however, doesn’t seem too confident that they’ll be able to catch up even within the next few years. Perhaps trying to irk the numbers out of Belfiore one last time, Mossberg asked: “So.. how long before you’re back into the market… back up to a good marketshare, up there with Android and Apple?”
“I don’t know..”
“Longer than that.”
This is the guy that knows more about how Windows Phone is selling than anyone else in the world; if he’s not out there exuding confidence that his product will be battling for the front of the pack any time soon, it’s not exactly a good sign.
Photo Credit: Asa Mathat | All Things Digital