Microsoft’s newly launched Windows Phone 7 will be unlikely to catch the leading rivals Android and iOS, Taiwanese smartphone makers have said.
Microsoft has gained widespread agreement to launch Windows Phone 7 handsets on mobile telecoms carriers worldwide, including the big four in the UK, which Digitimes claims would result in an increase of global smartphone market share rising from five per cent for the current Windows Mobile to ten per cent in 2011.
Citing sources within Taiwanese smartphone manufacturers (most likely HTC, the largest Taiwanese player), Digitimes said that because Windows had been so late in offering new versions it was unlikely to catch up with iOS and Android.
Taiwanese manufacturer HTC has been a long term Microsoft partner for Windows Mobile smartphones since long before Apple burst onto the scene with the iPhone. The company is the strongest supporter of Microsoft’s mobile OS reboot, offering three handsets in the UK – the 7 Mozart, 7 Trophy and HD7.
Digitimes’ sources added that many smartphone vendors had shifted R&D resources from Windows Mobile to Android for over 2 years and that it was "quite impossible" to shift to Windows Phone 7 given "growing marketing potential for Android."
Despite the array of models all of the HTC phones, and indeed all of the others such as from Korean manufacturer’s LG and Samsung, are based on 1GHz Qualcomm ‘Snapdragon’ CPUs with all devices offering 800 x 480 resolution screens. Such little variance in specification is likely an artifact of Microsoft tighly laying a minimum specification for the devices.
Digitimes sources said that these high hardware requirements would further limit the OS to high end products and that more mainstream smartphones are where the sales volume lies. One of the reasons for the success of the Android operating system is smartphone manufacturers introducing lower end models at price points normally associated with ‘dumb phones’.