Microsoft and Nokia can’t hide from the very, very ugly truth: Windows Phone is failing miserably

“Neither Microsoft nor Nokia can hide from the very, very ugly truth,” Mark Rogowsky reports for Forbes. “Windows Phone is failing miserably to gain any important traction despite tremendous marketing support.”

“It’s true that globally, Nokia’s Lumia line set a record with 7.4 million units sold in the quarter. But those numbers mask the grim reality,” Rogowsky reports. “irst, North American sales actually fell to just 500,000 units. Second, average selling prices actually fell almost 20% from the prior quarter. To boost sales, Nokia has become a low-end smartphone maker.”

Rogowsky reports, “The two companies sit at a crossroads. Microsoft is paying Nokia $250 million a quarter to lose money pushing inexpensive Windows phones. The platform is picking up marginal share, but quite literally none of it is at the high end. If rumors about a lower cost iPhone from Apple prove true, even those gains are likely to prove short-lived. But more significantly, Windows Phone is on the verge of disappearing in the United States and parts of Western Europe, where most mobile-app development is centered. In theory, developers will write for a platform if the numbers exist somewhere. In reality, developers work on what they see and live with… Nokia and Microsoft both bet on each other and the bet appears to have gone sideways.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Windows Phone had a chance. Its chance was based on the court systems of the world working in a timely fashion to address patent infringement issues and thereby drive up the cost of Android to the point where it became cheaper for phone assemblers to adopt and push Windows Phone to those too ignorant, stupid, and/or cheap to get a real iPhone. Developers would follow. However, at this late date and getting later every second, Windows Phone may not survive, given the glacial pace and/or incompetency of legal “systems” around the world. Timeliness is everything in tech. Missed opportunities are gone forever.

That two of the world’s most inept CEOs, Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer and Nokia’s Stephen Elop, couldn’t succeed is hardly surprising.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Tom R.” for the heads up.]


    1. I couldn’t agree more! And this shows how out-of-touch Microsoft is. To most people, “Windows” equates to slow, messy computers with virus pop-ups and annoying, confusing prompts. So what does Microsoft do? They extend that association to phones. All you have to do is look at someone when someone tells them their phone is a Windows phone. That initial reaction of “Really? Why?” is priceless.

      1. MS out of touch example: I’ld knee deep in 20 windows open on a major project and “Windows” notes it is going to reboot to install an update.

        No option to wait 20 minutes or 2 hours.

        Ballmer has no clue. I know he doesn’t use a Windows computer heavily for big tasks. The only thing he uses heavily is his weight stacked behind his voice & CEO position.

      2. I would like to think that calling it an XPhone would have been the smarter choice. It might have made a small difference, and Apple really does need competition to speed up innovation. But sadly, Microsoft is still too focused on the desktop, thinking of phones and tablets as merely accessories to the PC instead of realizing they are the future.

    2. You’re right, although it may have been “doomed” with any name. But “Windows something” was the worst possible choice. Even without the negative marketing aspect associated with the word “Windows,” the name doesn’t even make sense. There are no windows in the interface.

      Also, Microsoft has a knack for awkward names. What do you call a phone running the Windows Phone OS? A Windows Phone phone? You always need to say “Surface tablet,” because “I have a Surface” sounds odd (in more ways than one). And more than one would be “Surfaces”? Or “Zunes” or “Kins”?

      It’s all part of Microsoft not thinking through all the details. In contrast, Apple picks really good names. It sounds natural to say, “I have an iPad” or “I have two iPads.” Attention to detail…

    3. “Putting “Windows” in the name doomed it.”

      I disagree… what doomed it was years and years of being lazy and incompetent in the mobile market along with rotating chaotic strategies… Windows CE, Windows Mobile, Pink, Danger, Zune, Played For Sure, ‘Kin…

      And then when Apple showed them the light both with phones and tablets, it took them too long to realize that this is what people wanted, and then enter the field with something similar. By this time iOS and Android had so much of the market that there wasn’t much hope for Microsoft.

      However, their best strategy during any of this time was to look at why so many people use Windows. Then make sure that their mobile solutions met the same criteria and re-enforce that connection by branding it with the Windows name.

      They succeeded with the name, the easy part, but have failed to make Windows phones extensions of why people run Windows on the desktop.

      I know, I know… The popularity of iOS is because it’s not a bulky, bloated and frustrating experience like Windows. And I agree as an iOS user and primarily a Mac user… BUT, Microsoft never had a chance to compete with this. Their best shot was to compete with a smaller niche that wanted as much of a desktop computer in a tablet and phone as possible.

      This is why the Surface RT was a mistake, and the Surface Pro, while never even coming close to achieving iPad numbers had a chance to compete against Android for those people who need to run Windows software but want a tablet-like device.

        1. @John, take a chill pill. Okie said Window phone was not a direct rip off of iOS. You interpreted this as MS made something decent and went on some rant about MS evilness. I’m not saying your wrong about MS but you added nothing to Okie’s comment.

  1. It all started in 2007. There became two relevant factors in the mobile phone industry. iPhone, or not and available now, or not.

    Apple and ATT were there at the time. Every other carrier and every other manufacturer missed on one or both counts. The carriers all recovered as soon as they were able to offer the iPhone, late to the game, but not dead. The other manufacturers will never have an iPhone, not even close.

    The Microsoft/ Nokia team blew both factors. While their phone might have stood on its own, how sure can you be when it comes from a company that thought calling its operating system WINCE was a good idea?

  2. I may be one voice in the wind but I actually want the Windows phone to succeed…if only to help crush the kludge/rip-off that is Android.

    That said I still believe competition is good because it actually spurs innovation.

    I’m an iPhone user through-and-through, however during a recent contract job I used a newish Windows phone and not having used one since Windows CE days, I was pleasantly surprised by how well it worked. It’s UI wasn’t an iPhone rip-off and it still doesn’t hold a candle to an iPhone overall (particularly for being intuitive to use), but it did work well and never had any issues.

    So if they dump Ballmer and concentrate on making a decent phone I wish them well. Apple has nothing to worry about with respect to competition, but as I said, competition when it’s legit and not a copy of something else, is good.

    1. John…anger management my friend. FWIW I wouldn’t own a Windows (or Android) phone if my life depended on it. Try reading what I said and chill a bit. Sheesh!

  3. Well, once John gets back to the keyboard, then sure, you’ll be whatever MS negative term he comes up with! So help me, I use Windows/Parallels too. I don’t like it, but sadly, I have to. As for Golden’s comments about the Windows Phone, I agree: it’s a far better phone than anything based on the Android cluster, and competition is a positive thing. OK, John… over to you. ARF, ARF!

  4. “If rumors about a lower cost iPhone from Apple prove true, even those gains are likely to prove short-lived.”

    Exactly. This is what I’ve been saying when all those naysayers (including MDN) were telling us that Apple will never make a cheap phone.

    The low-cost iPhone is all about expanding the market and eating the competitor’s lunch.

  5. MDN should also cheer that the Winokia Lumia phones do outsell the other artificially chosen nemesis, Blackberry. Not that Blackberry every did anything against Apple, but MDN just likes to arrogantly attack any company not named Apple.

    Good for you, MDN. Now it looks like the world will have a whole two choices in smartphone platforms. We all just love to have duopoly choice, right? Isn’t that the American brand of capitalism?

    They say more small businesses are started in the USA than any other country, but what they don’t say is that they are restaurants, and many of those are franchises. A real look at the business landscape in the USA in 2013 looks very similar to 1893, when wealth was held by the very few elites and consumer choice was A or B or make it yourself. Except today nobody makes anything themselves in the USA.

    1. so you’re going to compare the musical talent of a nation with 320 million to another with 35 million?

      For its size, Canada easily holds its own:

      Colin James, Rush, Triumph, Tragically Hip, 54-40, Spirit of the West, Paperboys, Odds, Bryan Adams, BNL, Sam Roberts, April Wine, Tom Cochrane, Loverboy, Bruce Cockburn, Guess Who, The Band, Nickelback, and so forth.

      … and if you like light & easy pop, David Foster, Gino Vanelli, Michael Buble, Anne Murray, and Shania Twain, Gordon Lightfoot, etc.

      Most people wouldn’t know what nation their favorite English-speaking artists are from. Especially in a huge nation that plays the same 40 corporate-pushed songs incessantly from coast to coast instead of celebrating local talent.

  6. Oh thank the Lord!

    MS Windows is the one technology I really and honestly do wish would hurry up and disappear from our lives. (I know it won’t happen in my lifetime, but it’s something to strive for.)

    Apple needs continued competition, but Windows ain’t it.

  7. Nah, I think devs also will write for a platform
    If the opertunity exists there. If there aren’t do many Apps on the BlackBerry or the WP there is a if get chance you can succeed and get noticed. With so many Apps in the App Store now its hard and its only the big ones that get noticed the most.

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