Microsoft’s Windows Mobile revenue is puny compared to that of iPhone or Android. Nicholas Kolakowski asks if things are about to change
Microsoft’s possible revenue from Windows Phone: less than $613 million (£377 million).
That number comes courtesy of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which did a little digging into Microsoft’s annual US Securities and Exchange Commission report. It comes from subtracting Xbox 360-related revenue — a cool $8.1 billion—from that of its overall Entertainment and Devices Division, leaving $613 million split between Windows Phone and a variety of much smaller projects such as Zune, Surface and the thoroughly out-to-pasture Windows Mobile platform.
Anaemic sales compared to iPhone and Android
Microsoft rolled out Windows Phone in late 2010, meaning that any revenue numbers aren’t reflective of a full year of sales. Nonetheless, sales totalling under $613 million would be anaemic compared to those of Apple’s iPhone over a similar period, or even the combined family of Google Android devices.
Microsoft habitually refuses to release any hard sales data related to Windows Phone. Nonetheless, studies from various research firms have suggested Microsoft holds a single-digit share of the US smartphone market. Research firm comScore, for instance, placed Microsoft at 5.8 percent by the end of May, trailing Android at 38.1 percent, Apple at 26.6 percent and Research In Motion’s BlackBerry franchise at 24.7 percent.
Microsoft occupied some nine percent of the US smartphone market in June, according to data from Nielsen. That total, which included the company’s Windows Mobile platform, trailed Google Android with 39 percent, Apple’s iPhone with 28 percent and RIM with 20 percent.
During a July 11 keynote speech at the company’s Worldwide Partner Conference, CEO Steve Ballmer described the newish platform’s market share as “very small,” but insisted that other metrics (such as consumer satisfaction) boded well for Windows Phone overall.
“Nine out of 10 people who bought Windows Phone would absolutely recommend it to a friend,” he said, reiterating a talking point voiced by many a Microsoft executive over the past few months. “People in the phone business seem to believe in us.”
Mango reached its release-to-manufacturing milestone 26 July. “Earlier this morning, the Windows Phone development team officially signed off on the release-to-manufacturing (RTM) build of ‘Mango’—the latest version of the Windows Phone operating system,” Microsoft executive Terry Myerson wrote in a posting on The Windows Blog. “Here on the Windows Phone team, we now turn to preparing for the update process.”
A day after that RTM milestone, one of the company’s hardware partners revealed its first smartphone running the software. Fujitsu Toshiba Mobile Communications’ IS12T will offer a 3.7-inch screen paired to a 13.2-megapixel camera. It will arrive on Japanese store shelves by September or later, according to an IDG video uploaded to YouTube and posted on multiple news Websites, including PC World. The phone supports CDMA-based (Code Division Multiple Access-based) networks.
Samsung, HTC, LG Electronics and Nokia have all committed to building new Windows Phone devices preloaded with Mango, along with Acer and ZTE.