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The opportunity cost of Windows Phone

The global mobile OS market shares for Q4 shows a continuing (but diminished) leading share.

At the end of last year Android’s unit share reached 51% which is down from about 57% during the third quarter. iOS reached 23%, followed by Symbian at 12%, RIM at 9%, Bada at 2.4%, Windows Phone at 1.6% and Other at 1%.

When seen on a year/year basis Android gained 18 points of share in Q4 while Symbian lost 18 points. iOS gained 6 points of share and RIM lost 6 points. Bada gained 2.5 points and Windows lost 1.5 points.

This symmetry can also be observed in another set of data. Published in The Guardian Kantar Worldpanel ComTech data shows the OS share changes for January on a year/year basis for a select set of countries.

Android share gains do seem to be mirrored by Symbian share losses on a country-level.

This should be most interesting to Nokia and Microsoft as both have a lot riding on Windows Phone replacing Symbian sales. If there should be a recovery in the fortunes of these companies, it would seem that their strategies should focus primarily on stemming and then reversing the losses to Android.

Microsoft’s strategy of increasing the cost structure for Android through IP licensing is certainly part of this picture but it’s a slow process to turn that disincentive for Android into a large incentive for Windows Phone.

Indeed, the speed with which Android handsets can be developed seems to be a key value of that operating system and one for which Microsoft does not have a good answer.  Nokia is now one year into its commitment to the Microsoft platform and it has a very limited portfolio to show for it (and limited sales as well.) As a result, Nokia’s Symbian business evaporated very rapidly. More rapidly than the company anticipated.

The dilemma for other vendors may well be how long will it take for them to develop a replacement for their Android portfolio in Windows Phone.

The opportunity cost of this switch is subtle and insidious but may be the root of why we don’t see a stampede toward Microsoft. Conversely, Android contract-free, implement-at-will availability may be its greatest selling point.

 

  • http://twitter.com/e_orione Emilio Orione

    Regardless of the cost of this switch, vendors will wait and see if wp7 sells.
    If it does the cost can (or must just to be sure) be sustained otherwise they will let nokia and microsoft fade away.

    • http://www.asymco.com Horace Dediu

      But they did not wait and see if Android sold before committing resources to building Android phones. Furthermore, according to many sources including personal conversations, operators are very keen on obtaining more Windows Phone models for their store shelves.
      See you at Asymconf (www.asymconf.com)

      • http://twitter.com/WaltFrench Walt French

        People naturally HATE being dependent on another unless they recognize it as a clear-cut case of having their tails saved. And after Verizon took a pass on the iPhone in 2006, they had no choice in 2008 but to get in bed seriously with Android. Today, as you note, they don’t like being in that place, but Google is in a place where they have little choice.

        Windows Phone might offer the operators the opportunity to play the platforms off against one another, as they had for years before the iPhone disruption, what I like to call the “barefoot and pregnant model” of calling the shots for manufacturers, keeping each from getting too uppity. 

        This only works, of course, if consumers actually want the phones. For all the reviews citing how WP7 phones work OK, enthusiasm remains consistent with consumers associating “Microsoft” with “last decade’s complexity and dependency.”

        The curious angle for me is how extensively manufacturers will commit to WP8. I noted that for example, Microsoft’s announcement of the Samsung patent license, that future Samsung development of WP products was called out in the first para. If Microsoft has a hook into most of the Android OHA (Moto seems the only significant holdout), they might generate some hardware-driven enthusiasm.

      • http://twitter.com/SebSemmi Sebastian Semmler

        Android is simply the best choice for the carriers goals.

        Maybe WP7 is a good mobile OS, but it’s far away from being on the same level as iOS/iPhone as a whole (hardware, software, ecosystem, own retailchannel, strong brand) 

      • http://twitter.com/WaltFrench Walt French

        I assume that Microsoft is keeping its powder dry for WP8, which will (at least pretend to) have a merged code base for the 3 screens. Nokia will have had lots of time to ramp up designs/production, although it amazes me that such a tight hardware spec requires the “anything goes” world of Android, with its multiple CPUs, graphics layouts & drivers, etc. And any new WP partners will be able to come in with a splash.

      • Davel

        I wonder how a common look and feel will do in mobile, PC’s and games consoles.

        There are many applications that had years of coding done to a windows interface. Now they will work elegantly with a touch mobile one? Many people are bowled over by this merge. I wonder how much thought Microsoft paid to interfaces and usability. Unless Microsoft suddenly got religion I think not enough. I expect people to be underwhelmed by the effort.

      • Sravati

        Manufacturers (OEMs) do not distinguish and bias on OS. They simply produce phones with OS which is good and being asked by customers. There are so many OEMs. The problem with WP is that it is not easy for an OEM to get started with WP and put it into its new phone. It’s just impossible for medium-sized OEM because of so many non-engineering and engineering restrictions. Secondly, WP user interface is not liked by people at all. They why do OEMs commit to WP ? Fate of WP8 would be same as WP7 because these basic problems remain intact without any solutions.

      • http://twitter.com/e_orione Emilio Orione

        They had no choice but android to enter the touch phone market after the iPhone. Now they can wait and see if wp7 works and jump on it after the first signal of life, for now it is dead in the water.

      • Shourya

        First of all, no users are interested in Windows Phones. What operators do ? Do they stock Windows Phones even when there are no purchasers? Don’t simply post lies and give wrong guidance to guinine buyers because MS pays you some bucks in the background. Several research firms found that MS is pouring lot of money on you people just to post positive comments on WP, and everybody know this now. Windows Phone has been failing because it is very difficult to make it work on phone (it has so many restrictions), and its user experience is too bad compared to iPhone and Android. So, recognize why WP is failing and work on that instead of posting lies that WP is good.

  • Anonymous

    For me the most interesting comparison is that between Bada and Windows Phone. There are very few Bada devices available, made only by Samsung. There are no Bada phones on any of the big US carriers. The advertisement budget of the two cannot be compared. If we look at the pricing – on Vodafone Germany, the Samsung Omnia W, Wave 3 (Bada), and Galaxy S II are priced the same.
    Both Bada and Windows Phone became available at the same time – second half of 2010, I think.

    Yet Bada manages to grow market share and Windows Phone loses market share.

    The only conclusion I can draw from this is that there is something fundamentally wrong with Windows Phone and it doesn’t matter what licensing strategy Microsoft will employ – its just a dud. Even if they were to open source it.

    My opinion is that the problem is in the user experience, regardless of what 1000 (probably paid for) reviews say. The funny part is that Microsoft presses on to make Metro the cornerstone of the new Windows release too.

    • poke

      I think Metro is a flawed user experience. The flat, print-style look doesn’t work when you have moving, interactive elements. You need shading, texture, shadows, etc, to differentiate elements in a moving/interactive scene.

      Whether this explains why WP7 has failed to take off I’m not sure.

      • Anonymous

        With 300 dpi screens already here on iPhone, this is a bad time to go to such a flat look. A Retina iPad is going to melt consumers’ eyes out ad spoil them for everything else.

        It’s a lack of imagination. Like Adobe’s flat icons. Painful lack of imagination.

    • Anonymous

      Perhaps it’s all about the name – does anyone want a windows like experience on their phone? To me the name windows echos years of viruses, malware, blue screens of death, DLL hell, buggy software support and frequent update patches.

      Windows is a horrible brand to,put on a phone. They should just rename it Microsoft phone or xPhone (based n the successful Xbox brand).

      • Tatil

        MS would probably prefer Xbox Phone Live with Windows. 

    • vangrieg

      Any direct comparison between WP7 and Bada is flawed if it doesn’t account for distribution differences between the two platforms. If you’re in the US you don’t even know what it is. If you’re from a handful of Western European countries you may wonder how it gets the share. But if you’re from one of the Bada core (emerging) markets (where phones are sold unsubsidized) you’ll see the difference immediately when you walk into a store. You’ll see those phones prominently placed by Samsung and priced at $150-400 as opposed to WP7 which starts at $350-400 (prices may vary from country to country but the ranges should be roughly the same). Samsung pushes most Bada phones in markets where price matters and they have a strong offering – smartphone-level functionality at dumbphone prices, that with very strong push and ad campaigns.
      How sustainable that is remains to be seen. Android is certainly moving into Bada’s price category (and lesser rivals like WP7 Tango and Nokia’s Asha do as well).

    • Anonymous

      Before drawing comparisons from Bada, I would want to know how much of Bada sales are in S Korea and how much elsewhere. I suspect the Bada numbers are goosed by samsung’s strong retail network in their home country.

    • http://www.facebook.com/james.scariati James Scariati

      Honestly, I think a big part of the problem with WP7 (aside from being late to market) is the name. Windows Mobile has a stigma of being clunky and out of date. Calling the new OS Windows Phone 7, as if it’s a direct successor of WM6, associates it with the old product and causes people to immediately discount it.
      Given that it’s really a 1.0 release, they should have ditched the Windows branding entirely and just called it “Metro,” since that’s the name of the UI anyway. At least that way it would *sound* like a new thing to people who wouldn’t know the difference otherwise.

      Microsoft has this weird attachment to the “Windows” brand where they just tack it into everything. I think they think it’s worth more than it really is.

      • Davel

        But Microsoft believes that windows is the center of the universe.

      • Canucker

        Since the centre of the universe is the place where everything else is leaving you behind, in every direction and as fast as they can possibly go, I guess that is an apt analogy for Microsoft Windows.

      • Pinto

        Yes, they think but that is a Real Joke!

      • Anonymous

        No, it also sucks. It shipped in late 2010 with no HTML5 browser. The so-called native apps are the Silverlight Microsoft just killed.

        Microsoft’s real response to iPhone will be phones running Windows 8, which will have a lightweight NT in the same way the 2007 iPhone had a lightweight OS X. Windows 8 phones will run HTML5 apps and native C apps like iPhone. Windows 8 phones will have companion tablet PC’s like iPhone, and a way to port legacy desktop apps like iPhone.

      • Gunat

        You know so much. Are you a Microsoft employee who often come to forum to advertise your products? Or, are you a paid ad person ?

    • Anonymous

      @facebook-18100265:disqus @KirkBurgess:disqus 
      There is an article by Tomi Ahonen, where he lists the reasons Nokia and Windows Phone will fail the market – http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2012/01/the-real-top-14-reasons-why-nokia-lumia-and-windows-phone-will-fail-not-just-in-usa-but-across-plane.html

      The first Windows Phone related reason for failure that he gives is the Look & Feel of the device and he bases that on a TNS survey, which found that in the industrialized world this is the number one deciding factor for selecting a smartphone. The Brand of the handset is the number two deciding factor, so yeah – the Windows branding probably did a lot of damage too, but the UX did more.

      This is also supported by a statement by a Sprint VP – David Owens, who said that the “the number-one reason the product [Windows Phone device] was returned was the user experience” – http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2398768,00.asp. 

      @6761ba434cf8e7f7b943f21bbb78137d:disqus @ChKen:disqus 
      If distribution and pricing were the only differences between the two platforms, then there is no reason Windows Phone shouldn’t be able to offset its unavailability in emerging markets with US market alone, where Bada devices are not available at all. Add to this that they are scarce in W.Europe too.

      • Davel

        I spent some time reading the first link. I got to the part where it talks about surveys and what the consumer wanted.

        The link talks about how great Nokia was at SMS and keyboards and lamented the fact that the Lumia is touch screen only. To the author of the article, did he miss the fact that Apple eschews a keyboard? That the incumbents laughed because it doesn’t have one? That Apple takes the bulk of profits in the mobile space? That customers world wide crave the iPhone? Suffice to say I stopped reading.

      • Tatil

        Ahonen is an old Nokia executive and he still has not figured out why Apple crushed Nokia. He thinks Apple did not bring anything new to the table, as Nokia already had touch screens, browsers and installable apps. Some people still think in terms of feature matrices. Touch screen, check; browser, check; keyboard, check… 

      • vangrieg

        Distribution and pricing aren’t the only differences but they explain how a platform like Bada can get sales numbers. You have an OEM willing to make an effort pushing devices and an instantly understood value proposition. This won’t work in the US because it’s much harder for an OEM to push anything through a carrier and because the price is hidden by carrier subsidies.

        This is not to say that WP7 is better or anythig, but just to point that you are comparing different phenomena and different dynamics here.

      • Tatil

        I only played with one in a Microsoft store (right across from an Apple store) for a few minutes. I thought it was a good effort, but two UI choices that jumped out at me. In its desire to add advertising, Microsoft has made the actual map to cover only half the screen in its Maps app. There may be a preference somewhere to change that or it may depend on the search term, but MS should put its best foot forward in a demo unit for a product that does not have much following. Maps is one of the most important apps on a smart phone, so this is quite important, especially in sandboxed OS where many apps can only open the default Maps app. 

        Another “poor” choice was in app launching. Unless one of the tiles does what you need to do, let’s say you need a calculator, you need to go to the apps screen, which is a scrollable list with tiny flat icons and app names on adjacent columns. Not attractive at all and it is not as easy to locate apps compared to flickable screens. A user can usually remember which page and location an app is located and quickly launch it without paying much attention. In a scrollable list, user needs to pay attention to the name of the apps to see where in the list he currently is at. This is all the more necessary when the icons are small, fairly flat and almost all orange colored. 

        I don’t if these were UI issues that customers were concerned with or the tepid response for WP is really due to UI, but it is my 2 cents. 

      • John Gardner

        Your post is  simply wrong. You were in the Bing  app – which is half screen as the idea is it’s found some local cafe etc that is listed below. Maps is a full screen app. Also the ” long ” list of apps has a jump list (which appears when you have a few apps installed) so there is no scrolling. I realise you like fake leather & wood finish to your mobile UI, but it seems dated to me.. 

      • Tatil

        Personal attack, huh? Nice… No I don’t like leather and wood, but flat icons do not make them easy to distinguish among a large number. I am not sure what you mean by jump list. Does that require knowing the exact name of the app and hitting the first letter or typing a few letters in a search box? If so, it is far easier to swipe one or two screens an hitting an icon that is fairly different in colors and shape than the others. There is a reason babies who cannot speak yet can use an iPad. That is what it means to have an intuitive product. 

        If real Maps are not accessible from Tile screen directly on a demo unit and the user is supposed to go the app list, scroll and pick Maps (or figure out what a jump list is supposed to be) so that he does not get the wrong impression and that Maps app is going to behave different than Bing app, I am sure it is the fault of the prospective customers for liking fake leather somehow, not any UI design shortcoming, sure… 

      • Anonymous

        Windows has always been about the faults of the customers. Got a virus? Your fault. Got a blue screen? Your fault. Can’t automate Excel? learn to program. (Your fault.) It was like having a teacher, parent, spouse or boss looking over your shoulder.

      • Anonymous

        I believe Tatil’s point makes itself – these days UI’s need to be intuitive.  If someone with a fair modicum of smartphone experience (so I assume from Tatil’s posts that he/she has) cannot just jump in and discern Bing from Maps, what hope does my mother have? 

        To be fair, I’ve fiddled with the Nokia 900 and found it to be an attractive and interesting phone – but in the time I had with it I was unable to make it do anything (intentionally). 

        Perhaps another advantage for Android is that it has copied iOs so slavishly… 

      • Gunat

        You are one of paid JUNK guys who always praise WP. Your aggressiveness and language clearly says so. Everybody now knows that WP positive comments are only written by paid JUNK guys like you.

      • Anonymous

         The first article is great – very informative, and well researched!

  • http://twitter.com/SebSemmi Sebastian Semmler

    Why did iOS lost market share in germany?

    • germanguy

      Because over here most folks are “bargain hunters” and incredibly price-sensitive. If they can get a “good enough” smartphone for less (i.e. Android), they will. For the same reason the Market share of the Mac was historically always low in Germany, compared to other western european countries.

      • http://twitter.com/SebSemmi Sebastian Semmler

        I’m also from germany ;)

        This also was my first thought, but to me it seems too simple to say, that it is simply a specific culture

      • http://www.asymco.com Horace Dediu

        I don’t mean to stereotype but this is also a reason why deep discounters in food retail like Lidl and Aldi are German. The saying I heard is that Germany is the only country where people drive Mercedes and BMWs in search of rock bottom prices.

      • Dick Applebaum

        Ha!

        We opened our 1st computer in a shopping center in Sunnyvale… I’d go to work early and park in back .

        The people dumpster diving drove Mercedes and BMWs mostly — and other luxury cars.

      • Davel

        Too funny.

    • berult

      A smart phone is thin client to the human ethos. The German ethos is best served with a thin client that acknowledges and advertises in no uncertain terms the plasticized boundaries of its proper, …subservient role as a ring-tone lackey.

      What for me would be worn close to the vest as an enhancing tool, for the Germans would be anchored to a quest as a parading fool… Germany’s already top of the line, …or so goes the psyche…, has had for ages its own unshakeable paradigm…

  • http://kaizenity.blogspot.com/ FalKirk

    Horace, do your Windows Phone 7 numbers only include Windows Phone 7 (WP7) or do they include the defunct Windows Mobile OS too?

    • http://www.asymco.com Horace Dediu

      My numbers conflate the two.

  • http://twitter.com/Alishsayd Alisher

    The Android wave is no longer lifting all the boats in this sea. Samsung is the obvious winner, but it’s unclear whether HTC, LG, Sony and other Android wannabes will continue growing. 

    They have no way of differentiating, and no way of building a stronger brand than Samsung (Sony might have, but they squandered it). At the low-end (think, <$200 transfer prices) government-backed Huawei and ZTE will eat their lunch too. My prediction is that LG and HTC will try to compete in the Android ecosystem for another 9-12 months, but when it's clear this coming holiday season that they aren't getting anywhere, they'll start to shift their focus to a new platform. Windows Phone today is the most credible candidate for that. 

    • Anonymous

      good insight. i think you’re right about that. but of course the big question is: can Nokia rebound as a top brand = to Samsung, as it once was?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shameer-Mulji/1685212657 Shameer Mulji

        Nokia still has excellent brand cachet pretty much everywhere except Canada & USA.

      • Anonymous

        Yeah, but Nokia has not even caught up to iPod, let alone iPhone, and has it even started to compete with iPad. How big a business is it to make phones for old people?

    • Davel

      Horace covered this topic several times last year.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shameer-Mulji/1685212657 Shameer Mulji

      I’ll be surprised of in a couple of years, Sony, HTC, & LG are still around or relevant in the smartphone game.

  • Vipul N

    Key for success of third platform like Windows will be how different it is from other two.If not a drastic change it can offer  Innovation in the form of phones loaded with lots of applications thereby freeing USer to choose & download can be a huge differentiator. It can be a  similar case as well loaded windows Machine. The only differnece in this case is no needt o buy an App if you like. If you do not like you just delete it.

    • Tatil

      Yepp, customers love preloaded crapware. That is the ticket, just load as many apps as possible. 

  • Anonymous

    Horace,

    As this shows and as we know there is currently a marked relative outperformance by iOS phones vs. Android phones in the US when compared with rest of world.

    Given that both platforms launched first in the US, do you see the US smartphone market as a leading indicator for the battle between these two platforms worldwide going forward?

    Great stuff as usual.  Thanks.

    • http://www.asymco.com Horace Dediu

      I’m not sure that the US is a leading indicator in mobile phones. It usually is in terms of software platforms but mobile is a funny business with many local exceptions usually due to its regulated nature.

      See you at Asymconf (www.asymconf.com)

    • Anonymous

      Apple has more points of sale in the US than in the rest of the world. They are new to phones. Android is made by old phone companies like Motorola and Samsung who have much bigger phone sales channels. So Android is the incumbent in spite of it being newer than iPhone.

  • http://twitter.com/qka qka

    You say “Indeed, the speed with which Android handsets can be developed seems to be a key value of that operating system and one for which Microsoft does not have a good answer.”

    Is that speed a function of experience? Will Nokia get faster at develop WinPhones as they release more versions? For that matter, Samsung produces WinPhones. How fast are they at developing new WinPhone handsets? Or are they at the start of their learning curve for that software in handsets?

    • http://www.asymco.com Horace Dediu

      The speed is more than engineering time. It’s getting contracts signed and working within the constraints Microsoft puts for how to position the handset and perhaps also the promotional campaigns. The marketing and project management and the overall process is likely to be very different.
      See you at Asymconf (www.asymconf.com)

  • Anonymous

    the make-or-break factor for Windows Phone is Nokia. if consumers respond well to the new line of Nokia products this year, both will regain a good segment of the market – 15%? – and hold their position for years. but if not … then Nokia is the next RIM (which is already the next Palm), and Windows Phone will always be an also-ran trying to get even 5% of the market.

    • Canucker

      15% is optimistic given the response to date. Achieving a consistent marketshare of 10% is doable but will represent a major retraction of market for both Nokia and Microsoft. I have doubts that this is sustainable with their current structures. A possible boost would come if Windows 8 tablets are a “hit” given that I’d bet Nokia will be one of the OEMs.

  • Anonymous

    “Android share gains do seem to be mirrored by Symbian share losses on a country-level.”

    Which also mirrors Samsung’s gains vis-a-vis Nokia.

  • vangrieg

    What makes you think that Android phones are faster to develop? That Nokia produced two models in less than a year is very impressive speed. And as they ramp up experience and production capabilities, and take care of sourcing in larger scales this should become even faster.

    You are comparing Nokia to Android OEMs who have significant experience with that platform, and have pipelines of products in development. That they push out a new phone every month doesn’t mean that development takes two months.

    From the looks of how long it takes for OEMs to update their phones, WP7 seems like a much readier-to-build product than Android (and it should be in theory).

    I don’t really know what the truth is, but I don’t see how you draw your conclusion from the facts you mention.

    • http://www.asymco.com Horace Dediu

      I realized that Android had an advantage in time to market when Andy Rubin tweeted that the code can be downloaded from an FTP server. The process of getting started with Android is as short as can be. The alternative from Microsoft requires negotiation, terms and conditions and probably a few lawyers. These are not onerous conditions but they are non-zero cost in time and effort. In previous years Microsoft offered licensing to any and all comers but I believe that this is no longer the case and it’s much more selective and has more stringent hardware and marketing requirements. I’m not suggesting that Microsoft offers a bad deal, quite the opposite. I’m suggesting that Google offers no deal of any kind. The asymmetry here is not only one of price. It’s between caring and not caring.

      • Techmologyrocks

        I’d also add that Nokia’s first phone, the Lumia 800, isnt “new” in any way; its simply an existing phone they had already developed (for Meego) outfitted with Windows. So in one year, they have come up with one new design.  

      • Anonymous

        Actually, the only thing in common between the N9 and Lumia 800 is the external design – everything else about the Lumia 800, the internals and hardware capabilities, is different (in most cases, inferior – no front facing camera, no NFC, less RAM and less storage memory).

        In fact the Lumia 800 internals and manufacture were not even designed by Nokia, but outsourced to Compal. And the Lumia 710 is just the 800 internals in a different (cheaper) chassis.

        So it really has taken Nokia well over a year to create their first Windows Phone, the Lumia 900, as this is likely to be the first true Nokia Windows Phone. Designed AND made by Nokia (but still specified by Microsoft – ho hum).

      • Canucker

        While Rubin tweeted the path to download Android, he didn’t account for the significant delays in OEMs offering updates to their existing Android handsets. This may well be their choice (and something they will forever deny) in order to push the sale of new phones, but there is also likely to be some level of development/testing time as well. Windows Phone 7 does have one advantage in that the hardware specs are more limited and defined than Android. This *should* allow faster development of hardware although, as you note, the rate-limiting step is likely the licensing process (and Microsoftian bureaucracy). However, Nokia has a “special” relationship, relatively massive production and distribution capacity and has only released two WP7 devices to date (both of which are underwhelming and one of which is clearly descended from an abandoned Meego device). The Nokia Lumia 900 will be the first truly competitive device. Indeed, the lack of range of WP7 Nokia phones suggests to me that they are taking an Applesque strategy in limiting models and releases. This is one way to differentiate from Android and it’s not exactly hurt Apple (although you could argue that since the iPhone is production-limited, having multiple models – not just previous years – would help).

    • Marko.K

      Under year? Nokia was rumored (with pictures, by MS&Nokia developers etc) to design a new smartphone with Microsoft platform at middle of 2010 and rumors happend to be real, and results you can see in 800.

      Nokia has always done lots of research and development on multiple systems, they just don’t bring them to sale or proceed with those projects from research labs.
      Nokia have had Android phones since Android was released… They just didn’t bring them up. 

      It toke from Nokia over 18 months to make a Lumia 800 phone (leaked pictures, information and talks among Nokia workers) and dozens of different models and designs.

      WP7 is such that OEM can not much customize it, only pre-install few applications and include them to ROM file. While Android manufacturers could as well just push a vanilla Android but instead that, they want to make a whole new launcher and own applications and services for all. 

    • RobM

      Phone expert company Nokia taking more than a year to just port the Windows Phone 7 into its existing phone shows how complex WP really is. That is why Samsung and other vendors almost stopped producing WP phones and went with Android and now enjoying their decision. WP is quite complex in terms of OEM producing the phone (there are so many restrictions to make it work on the phone). It is equally bad in user’s hand because user’s interface is just too waste.

  • Anonymous

    Horace,

    Your insight here — that the key Android advantage is “meeting-free” development startup versus Windows licensing — led me to consider other Windows Phone woes.

    Microsoft still believes that software developers, particularly institutional developers writing apps for use by their enterprise, will see value in leveraging existing workflows to the Windows Phone platform. But enterprise development is now predominantly a Web platform, or perhaps (still?) a Java one. [citation needed]

    The merits of the Windows Phone offering are actually a trap for Microsoft: if you ignore this past decade, as if Linux or Apple or Google or Mozilla never happened, then the richness of the Windows ecosystem would seem to offer an overwhelming advantage. But the complexity of Windows infrastructure is simply no longer needed to get the job done. Even if Microsoft is smart enough to realize this, they seem to have demonstrated a fatal unwillingness to disrupt their own legacy.

    • Raghu

      I purchased Lumia 800 and it was my biggest FAULT. It looks outdated in front of my friend’s Android phone costing just USD 120. The user interface of WP is so bad that I even thrown it couple of times on the bed.

      • Rupali

        Yes, new Android phones within USD 150 are very colorful and attractive than dumb Windows Phone Lumia. I just hate the user interface of Windows Phone! It looks MS has gone back by 20 years in user interface!!!

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  • Kaavli

    Android :

    1. It is open-source. OEM gets the whole source code

    2. OEM can change how OS works, add new apps, etc – very easily3. It is comparatively easy for OEM to put Android into their phone. Lot of support is available on the web. Windows Phone on the other hand has so many restrictions on OEM such that it is almost impossible for a medium-sized OEM to incorporate it into their phones!4. Time to market is excellent with Android, especially with innovative new phones. The same is  impossible for WP phones as innvovation in hardware is masked by WP.
    5. Android has reasonably good user-interface. Windows Phone user interface is very, very bad.6. Android has gauranteed bright-future as it is open-source and backed by Google
    … and so on.

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