Windows Phone 7 sales at just 674,000?

On the face of it, all is good. Microsoft has had the big launch, it has started to roll out updates and if you are in the UK, you must have seen the succession of TV ads currently going out. All of which points to a reasonably steady first six or so months for Windows Phone 7. Not according to Russian tech analyst Eldar Murtazin.

According to Phone Arena, the man who successfully flagged up the Nokia/Microsoft partnership is now claiming that sales of the Microsoft smartphone stand at just 674,000. We don't know what period that covers, but it's likely to be for 2010.

It's almost certainly either unofficial figures or an approximate calculation, but the data, said to come from carriers and retail chains, has been described as 'catastrophic'. With 1.5 million Windows Phone 7 smartphones shipped to the market, under half have actually been sold to consumers if the data is true. He also claims that the gap between shipped and sold units has continued to widen in the first quarter of 2011. Not a good trend.

Murtazin blames Microsoft's strategy, specifically its attempt to compete in the already crowded high-end smartphone market where iOS and Android are already dominant. But is it really a fair comment? Microsoft is likely to be looking at this as a long-term, rather than short-term strategy. When the platform matures and develops and when the Microsoft/Nokia tie-up hits the market, Microsoft could well see its investment paying off. But until that happens, the company will have to be content with an unaccustomed role of underdog.

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