back to article WinPho to eke out 4% of US smartphone biz

Nokia, the Windows Phone 8 upgrade and all the promotional hoopla surrounding Windows 8 will have a very small effect on the take-up of Microsoft's mobile OS this year, market watcher Strategy Analytics has forecast. Focusing in the US, SA predicts that some 123m smartphones will ship Stateside during 2012, up from 102m in …


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  1. EddieD

    No sh¡t sherlock..

    " If it's hoping to boost market share and shipment figures in the medium term by forcing its fans to buy new phones, that's not a strategy that's going to pay off in the longer term, we fear."

    No, it isn't

    I've got a Lumia 800 - nice phone, well made, should last years - say what???

    My next phone is probably going to be dumber than Microsofts planning division

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: No sh¡t sherlock..

      It WILL last years. You'll still be able to buy apps, music and video on it too.

      1. Ilsa Loving
        Thumb Down

        Re: No sh¡t sherlock..

        You mean like the Zune, or Windows 7 gadgets?

        I'm sorry, but Microsoft's track record for supporting products other than core Windows and Office, is abysmal. I learned my lesson during the jump from WinCE 4.5 -> 5.0, and if anything, it's gotten worse since then.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: No sh¡t sherlock..

          It's not Microsoft's fault if your handset maker doesn't want to pay for an OS upgrade for you, plus all the testing involved with running new software on an old handset.

          This is the whole problem with one company doing the software and another doing the hardware, at least on consumer devices anyway.

          1. Tom Samplonius

            Re: No sh¡t sherlock..

            No, it is Microsoft's fault for announcing a completely new mobile OS before the previous version established any sort of significant market. It just killed Windows 7 app development. And there will no reason to offer Windows 7 apps that also run on Windows 8, as so few people actually have Windows 7. So app devs will just skip Windows 7. Microsoft just osborned Windows 7.

            The fact that the flagship Windows 7 phone, the Lumina 900, probably will never run Windows 8, is just icing.

          2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

            Re: No sh¡t sherlock..

            > It's not Microsoft's fault

            Yes it is. It is entirely Microsoft's fault. Microsoft dictated the hardware that could be used to build WP7 phones, this included specific single core SoCs. Microsoft has now dictated what hardware can be used to build WP8 phones and this _excludes_ the SoCs used for WP7. ie the SoCs that can be used for WP8 are all dual core.

    2. The Wookie

      Re: No sh¡t sherlock..

      Yep Im going to get the next Nexus device when I renew, shafting all your early adopters is not a good move, I feel so guilty for recommending friends to buy Nokias and now they learn that two months later they won't be able to run any of the new apps. That is poor.

  2. Chad H.

    Windows 8 halo effect? What halo effect?

    If they release Halo onto their phones, they might just sell some ;-)

    1. Caff

      Re: Windows 8 halo effect? What halo effect?

      Thought the article would mention halo too, probably worth more to them than any advertising budget they could throw out there.

  3. Andrew Baines Silver badge

    "expand the number of phone models available from major partners like Nokia and Samsung"

    Apple seem to do OK with just one phone. Perhaps MS are just confusing the issue?

    I used to like my Windows Mobile 6 phone - guess that was the kiss of death to them. Currently using a Blackberry Bold - look out whichever manufacturer I pick next, it's only a matter of time ....

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: "expand the number of phone models available from major partners like Nokia and Samsung"

      Apple, like MS, sell a few different handsets for different pocket depths.

      - MS sell the 610, a budget (£160) handset to compete with low-end Androids (and it is pretty nice)

      - MS sell the 710, Apple sell the 3GS

      - MS sell the 800, Apple sell the 4

      - MS sell the 900, Apple sell the 4S

      I don't think MS need multiple manufacturers - or that it especially will help. The Nokia models right now seem pretty sweet.

      1. leexgx

        Re: "expand the number of phone models available from major partners like Nokia and Samsung"


        not sure if your understanding the issue M$ have made for there Phone makers and customers, Price is not the issue now

        as i know currant windows 7 phones will never see W8P on it what's the Point in me buying an dead horse that's not going to be supported in about 1 year or 2, i would only buy an used windows 7 phone any way as the avg price for most WP is around £100, i am still pondering should i get an blackberry or an win phone when my contract runs out in about an year

        we cant trust that devs are going to make the app for both win7 and 8 phones

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: "expand the number of phone models available from major partners like Nokia and Samsung"

      'Jonah' Baines,

      I agree, more models doesn't necessarily mean more sales. Just getting right ones. It's the marketing that's important. If the phone company/shop staff don't point the users to it, then why would they buy WinPho. In the shops I've seen it in, there's been a WinPho display, but it's been shoved in an unloved ghetto of the shop, and so the users have probably missed it.

      Like you, I may be bad luck as well. My last (Android) handset was paid for by the company. The 2 smartphones I've paid money for have been the Sony Ericsson P800 (they soon gave up on UIQ Symbian) and the Nokia Lumia 710. WinPho 7 got superseded by 8, 2 months later. I wonder if we could both buy iPhones and bankrupt Apple?

  4. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    Improving the App store

    There isn't even a decent torch app in the WinPho app store. They either want access to your music collection, phone and user ID and seemingly your internet browsing history, or they don't work. Sometimes both.

    If MS just paid 10 developers to do nothing but write apps for 6 months, they could get a couple of hundred decent ones in there. There really is a serious lack of quality. If there really are 80,000 in there, I don't know what they are, because there haven't been many choices when I've searched.

    As happens I don't mind, I didn't buy the phone for apps. I mainly use it for phone and email, with a side-order of maps. So for me the 'People Hub' makes it better than Android or iOS. That makes the flaws in the OS bearable. Android made a much worse phone, for me.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      There isn't even a decent torch app in the WinPho app store

      I got one by accident.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: There isn't even a decent torch app in the WinPho app store

        Which one?

        The one I've got takes about 5 seconds to turn the light on. 2 others that I tried didn't work. Half of them on the store only turned the screen on, and there were a couple that had decent reviews which were either pay-for or wanted required internet access or other unneccesary data access.

        I'm happy to pay for my apps, but since a torch app is simply a home screen shortcut and a function call, I'm not handing over money for that.

        I've used Android for a year, iOS for 2, and Win Pho since April. The WinPho appstore is nowhere near as good.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: There isn't even a decent torch app in the WinPho app store

          That is just bull. There are bucket loads of apps out there for torches. However, you may want to remember that the US (and hence most of the rest of the world) call torches flashlights....

          I use Flashlight XT. It does for some reason want access to my music and video library (which are empty on my phone). However, it has no data connection so I do not really mind....

          1. Richard 12 Silver badge

            Re: There isn't even a decent torch app in the WinPho app store

            And bingo, there's the problem.

            Why does your TORCH need your music and video library?

            Those are completely unrelated to the primary function of the app, so can only be for nefarious purposes.

            1. B4PJS

              Re: There isn't even a decent torch app in the WinPho app store

              Maybe because the camera function that controls the LED is part of the media libraries, seeing as how tightly combined the camera is to the pictures hub...

  5. Paul Shirley

    USA:most valuable and influential smartphone market in the world

    Somehow I doubt even flag waving patriotic Americans actually believe that! So far the US has been seen as followers, extremely tardy ones at that, not a good position to be influential from. Even with 4G they're only in the leading pack, nowhere near heading it.

    Valuable: yes, to the carriers. They're adept at picking their customers pockets. The idea that WP8 will divert any of that wealth to MS or Nokia is laughable, Apple already took what extra margin the carriers were willing to give up.

    IMHO calling the US market valuable and influential is just an admission they've already lost in the European market and aren't winning in Asia. All that's left is the US backwater! They don't seem to be winning that one either ;)

    1. Handle This

      Re: USA:most valuable and influential smartphone market in the world

      Wow! You know, as an American I resent that . . . and I really wish it weren't true.

  6. JDX Gold badge

    The whole "can't upgrade to WP8" issue

    Does anyone know enough about the technical side to explain if this is a real technical issue? Is it potentially something you could do yourself - in fact can WinPhones BE rooted/jailbroken? We've seen you can put Android on an iPad for instance, can you on a WinPhone?

    Serious answers only please ;)

    1. Paul Shirley

      Re: The whole "can't upgrade to WP8" issue

      Upgrading without WP source code access is near impossible, especially with locked loaders and whatever other protection MS used to prevent hacking. Android is only easy to modify because the boot loaders can be unlocked AND enough source is available to make it practical.

      You can't even use the 2nd tier of mods, mix&matching components from different devices (which works on Android) because there are no different devices below the OEM UI tweaks. So no frankensteined OS replacements either.

      And yes, the hardware has changed, the kernel has changed, parts of the stack above it have changed. The WP8 kernel wont run on WP7 hardware, the new stack won't run on the WP7 kernel. This is the downside of MS so tightly specifying the hardware, you end up with a kernel that can't adapt to anything else. Just the single->multi core change creates fundamentally incompatible kernels - no-one builds unified kernels that can handle both, it's too inefficient.

    2. Miek

      Re: The whole "can't upgrade to WP8" issue

      You should probably ask here :

      It seems there is some genuine interest in WinPho development. There's even a "Help I Bricked my Lumia" thread.

      I rather wanted to use android on my 1st gen iPod touch, but it wasn't* very fast and still needed to have IOS on there.

      * Over a year ago, things may have changed since.

    3. Malcolm 1

      Re: The whole "can't upgrade to WP8" issue

      I don't believe there's a technical reason why it's not possible for microsoft. However, the main benefits to be gained from the change from WinCE to the WinNT kernel are support for multiple processor cores, higher screen resolutions, enterprise management facilities and native code support. With the exception of native code support all those are pretty useless to existing owners.

      Most of the obvious UI improvements are going to be made available via the 7.8 update so I really don't think it's as big a deal as it's been made out to be. A typical Lumia 800/900 owner looks to be in a much better place upgrade-wise than their equivalent Android owner stuck on Gingerbread for instance.

      Upgrading unofficially seems like a complete no-go - unless you're a HAL programmer (although XDA Devs have surprised me in the past).

  7. Anonymous Coward

    MS does everything backwards these days...

    At least that's the way it looks to me.

    Take the Windows Phone. I'm sure many people picked it up with the vast support with Windows in mind. I'm referring to XP for example which has been supported for 13 years, Windows 7 which will easily last another 6 years (the Professional version at least) and Office is also amongst those regions. One of the reasons I'm not too bothered with this Metro doctrine yet.

    Windows Phone otoh... There was a first line of devices; and MS insisted on specific hardware specs to meet the demands of the OS. That was reason enough for me to assume continuity even despite the short lifespan of Windows Mobile 6.5. But alas; roughly 1.5 year later the device is already marked / rumoured to be EOL'd because WP8 devices won't be compatible with WP7 devices (logical) but if any software functions will make it back to 7.5 also remains to be seen. IMO that's doing things backwards; including not informing the customers on what is really going on and keeping a rather short lifetime.

    Same applies IMO to Win8 & Office 2012. People tried hard to make Office 2010 user friendly (personally I like the Ribbon there but can well imagine that others don't) but with the latest Office a lot of (IMO) key features seem to be getting reversed again. I like my 'Open recent' backstage view section from where I can also immediately go to the "open file" section if I want to. The new "backstage" metro view otoh? Doable, but not as easy it seems.

    I don't like the way things are headed but at least I am very happy to have my current office environment supported for many years to come.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft have Windows Phone fans left?

    I mean really? After the way they got screwed over on the 7.5 -> 8 upgrade (or lackof).

    I always considered Xbox fanboys stupid for supporting a console that was broken for 4 full years after release, and required subscription to their advert network to play games, Windows phone owners are actually lower than even these in my estimation...

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Microsoft have Windows Phone fans left?

      I'm not sure Microsoft screwed over Lumia buyers, so much as Nokia. I strongly suspect Nokia knew it was no dice with upgrades as I don't think MS made a secret of it.

      Also, to be fair to MS, there are still upgrades happening. Google abandon most Android users without even supporting them to get the bugfixes and security updates. You might just get to 4 ICS, but that doesn't mean your manufacturer/network will even get you to 4.06, let alone the next point upgrade. There are still even mid-price phones being sold with Android 2.3, which is now very very very very very very old...

      Whereas Win Pho 7 has been out for 2 years, and has had about 3 major updates, with one more promised in the Autumn. So you can't exactly call that abandoning their customers. Although I guess they must have known it was an interim product, and they were planning to change the kernel.

      I'm happy, but then I knew what I was getting, and at the £100 mark in Android you don't get updates either. Plus I don't really use apps on my phone. Well apart from Nokia Drive.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Microsoft have Windows Phone fans left?

        Android 2.3 is the last release before ICS. It's not " very very very very very very old"

        You need to stop reading the internet if you believe that.

        Also, the key point is any version of Android (at least anything 2.1 onwards) will run anything on the Android Play store. There is compatibility. That's something Microsoft havn't delivered. Lumias won't be able to run new apps.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        " and at the £100 mark in Android you don't get updates either. "

        Yes you do...

        It's fashionable to pretend that nobody with Android gets updates, but that is bogus. Sure there are hundreds of millions of 2+ year old Android handsets that may never see Android 4, but they will still run the latest Android apps, and the ICS adoption rate is growing in line with exceptions (infact faster than Gingerbread). It's now at over 10% which may sound bad, but if you have all the facts (and consider Samsung only released many updates this month, so won't be registered until next month), it's actually rather impressive.

        The other thing nobody talks about (as again, it's fashionable to pretend nobody gets updates on Android), is all the big Android manufacturers are signed up to a 18month support plan, which considering most phone contracts are 24months isn't too bad at all.

    2. Brian 6

      Re: Microsoft have Windows Phone fans left?

      Adverts are a fact of life, they don't stop u watching TV, going to the cinema,walking down the street or using the internet. There will be an upgrade from 7.5, Its 7.8 which will give Win8 features to win 7 phones. Most people get high end smartphones on contract anyway so new hardware is not a problem.

    3. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Microsoft have Windows Phone fans left?

      I bought my first Lumia last week, knowing full-well I can't put WP8 on it. I couldn't give 2 hoots - I don't want loads of stupid games. It was under half the cost of an iPhone and on a par with low-end Androids, which several reviews had it beating.

  9. Phoenix50


    As a Microsoft fan, and a devoted follower of their products, technologies and brand....I really don't know why I bother visting The Register.

    Seeing all the MS hatred on the forums just gets me worked up and angry. I think I'll just sod off and leave you all to it.

    Shame, TTFN.

    1. januszs

      Re: Sigh.

      Well, you may be already gone, but where actually? Do you know any places where devoted Microsoft followers (who happen not to be some PR stuff) share their love?

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: Sigh.

        Wow. It must take really BIG blinkers to believe the only people expressing positive feelings to MS stuff are paid to do so.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sigh.

      It's pretty sad to be so in love with a corporation (true also of "devoted followers" of Apple, Google, etc.). So much for religion being dead...

      1. Dana W

        Re: Sigh.

        Apple at least gives people what they want with halfway decent customer satisfaction and not a call center in India. They have the best customer satisfaction in the biz for a reason. And that's part of what you pay for.

        To paraphrase and old expression I heard in my misspent youth "If Apple is screwing you then at least they have the common decency to give you a reach around"

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Sigh.

          @Dana W - I just don't see that, my last three dealings with Apple's customer support have resulted in them refusing to fix obviously faulty hardware which is covered by Applecare, it's not just me it's happened to a couple of the guys I work with, dodgy laptops covered by Applecare yet the "Genius" tells them they have to shell out £500 for a new motherboard. A friend who was sold a refurbished iPhone, for which he purchased Applecare, was told when he returned it as faulty, that the applecare ran from the day the phone was initially sold, to the first owner and only lasted a month or two after he'd purchased the phone. I even dealt with one the other day who didn't know what a PPC processor was.

          The odd thing is that pretty much all of the guys I know who've had problems with their Macs are going to buy new ones and won't stop going on about how great Apple are.

          Apple's customer care is piss poor, yet for some reason, people keep going back.

          1. Dana W

            Re: Sigh.

            Bull, Ive had them replace stuff OUT of warranty and never had a repair that took more than a day. The last time I bright in an iPod, they replaced it because I was not "happy" with the battery despite it bench testing fine. "I even got a newer model, no extra charge" Did the same thing with a 3GS on the complaint that it felt "weak". What does Samsung do if you say "I think I'm not happy with the battery?"

            Your experience, if it IS one is man bite dog. Did your friends who needed "new motherboards" by any chance have a fit when they found out that Applecare does not cover spilling your BEER into them? That's the usual phone complaint. "It just stopped working" stories usually fail to mention the whole "dropped it in beer" part of the story.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Sigh.

              Call bull all you want my iMac fan makes more noise than the speakers can, it didn't used to, this is, according to apple, not a problem. The issues with mac books of my collegues was the "it resets randomly when you have an external monitor plugged in" problem. Well documented, not beer.

              I'm glad you have had good experiences with them, it's just not what I've had/heard about.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sigh.

      I'm not devoted to any one company, but the level of MS hate on these forums is ridiculous, but if you want to see what it could be like, just pop over to Slashdot.

    4. Dana W

      Re: Sigh.

      Oh they don't wuv Microsoft fans enough anymore! My heat just bleeds for you! Seriously, Apple fans here take loads of of that same junk year after year, but you don't see us running away. What is it with Windows fanbois who can dish it out but not take it?

    5. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: MS hatred

      > Seeing all the MS hatred on the forums

      I have now gone back and reread this thread to see the hatred that you refer to. All I can find is rational discussion that includes historical facts about MS and WP7. Certainly no one is saying that they want to rush out and buy stuff just because it is Microsoft. You seem to interpret this as 'hatred'.

    6. leexgx

      Re: Sigh.

      if it was not for me getting an blackberry as an Test (as i Broke the screen on my HTC blackstone 6.5 winmoble) i most likey would of had an windows phone now (2 years later still using the same blackberry i got for £50 i only use it for email calls and calender as it syncs with google so its on my other phone HTC One X for backup)

    7. leexgx

      Re: Sigh.

      i would have no problem buying an Used windows 7 phone at the moment to add to my other post as the App requirement is not important for me on my main phone

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: devoted follower

    And when he pulls his frilly nylon panties right up tight ...

  11. Fuzz

    Personally I don't have a problem with the lack of support in WP8 for my phone. I've got one of the original WP7 phones the HTC Mozart. I've had it long enough that I'm happy with the intended upgrade to 7.8. I'm far more accepting of this than I am of the lack of a promised upgrade to my Motorola Xoom, Motorola have promised ICS since the start of the year but it still hasn't arrived.

    However I can see how the people that have just bought a Lumia 900 are going to be pretty annoyed that their flagship phone can't be upgraded to the latest OS version. We've got a fairly large deployment of HTC Radars at work and the staff really like them.

    Microsoft need to go after the business market we need tighter management of the devices e.g. the ability to push out apps and OS updates remotely. It would be nice if the find my phone system reported the location back to work so we could see at a glance where all our phones are.

  12. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Everthing's fine in the powerpoint

    A company here is still toting Gartner's prediction from last year of 10 % market share for Windows Phone 7 in 2012. If it works for them, I'm sure it will work for Microsoft.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The saddest part is...

    ... even that pathetic 4% is a tragic overestimate.

  14. Mikel

    The year is half over

    They had better get cracking then as sales so far this year are about 1/3 of that and the year is half over.

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