Windows Phone In A Holding Pattern?
Am I the only one that feels like they’re stuck on a JetBlue flight waiting to leave the gate? We all knew this time would come but I didn’t realize how much it would suck. Windows Phone 7 is coming out “Holiday 2010”. No idea what the real date is but let’s say it’s 6 months from now. Between now and then how many Windows Mobile phones will be on the market? Well in the US the Tilt 2/Touch Pro 2 is already outdated (putting aside the processor which was already on the old side to begin with) and the only WM phone available is the HD2 which is on the 4th largest carrier in the US. Yeah it’s selling but let’s give it another month until that cools down…ok 5 months to go and zero phones? Yes, when you leave behind your OS you burn bridges and don’t expect manufacturers or end users to buy technology that they know is nearing end of life. Microsoft has yet to certify a single phone to WP7 – even the HD2 which was supposed to be. So where does that leave us? Well no doubt Android continues to rise. Hell, what else is there on VZ, Sprint and TMo? Yeah, AT&T has the iThing but the other carriers lack a smartphone other than Android – thus their huge gain in marketshare. And don’t be shocked if the iPhone takes over Android in Q3 with the iPhone HD comes out but that’s a side note.
Back to the topic, lots of people are coming off contract in the next six months – probably 1/4 of you assuming it’s a 2 year cycle. It’s pretty hard to say ‘just wait 6 months for WP7 to come out’ because 6 months is way off and we don’t have a single verifiable device yet. For now, we’re in a huge holding pattern and while we’re still seeing new apps come out it’s hard to imagine that developers can be lured to make new apps for a device that has a declining marketshare and cannot reverse that (since WP7 is not backwards compatible).
I know if you’re reading this you may get a new phone once a year (or even sooner) but the average user still upgrades when their contract is up – once every other year. WM has nothing on the market for the next 6 months. Obviously the holiday season is a period when a lot of people start new contracts (and thus contracts are up) because of the gift giving season, so WP7 better impress. For now, I still love my HD2 and my contract is actually up in October (HD2 is off contract) but I just have to sit back and watch marketshare slide and see if MS can really put together an OS that can reverse the trends.