Last Updated Jun 1, 2010 6:20 AM EDT
You can easily understand the skepticism:
This seems a lot especially for a new platform but the company is expecting that 40% of the handsets sold in 2011 will be smartphones (compared to only 14% in 2010) and hopes to grab a piece of the pie and generate money through the licensing fee and services integrated in WP7 (Zune music and movie downloads and 30% cut in the Marketplace). Just for comparison's sake, Apple has sold 51,234,000 iPhones to date (and they are probably going to continue to sell a whole lot..).But the thought isn't totally outrageous when you look at history:
Now, during his Consumer Electronics Show keynote in 2009, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer claimed sales of 20 million Windows Mobile devices. "We have delivered 11 different mobile phones that have each sold a million units each, and in the past year," Ballmer said. "We've brought to market over 30 new Windows Mobile phones, or more than any other mobile platform in the market--and our partners have sold more than 20 million Windows Phones in the past 12 months."So perhaps it's not unreasonable to think the company could sell 30 million devices running Windows Phone 7, which seems a far, far more compelling operating system than its predecessor.Microsoft has cited IDC projections as evidence, although the market researcher questioned the interpretation, saying that its numbers were for both Windows Mobile 6 and Windows Phone 7. But for a moment, look at how the smartphone market is behaving:
- Google (GOOG) has just seen a 67 percent quarter-over-quarter growth in Android activations.
- Between Q3 of its fiscal year 2009 and Q1 of 2010 -- two quarters -- Apple (AAPL) approximately doubled the sales rates of iPhones.
- In 2009, smartphones were 15 percent of all handset sales globally.
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