WinPho 7 Style – a Little Bit iPhone, a Little Bit AndroidOctober 29, 2010 No Comments
By mixing and matching the elements of its competitors’ mobile ecosystems, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) hopes its new smartphone software will succeed where its past efforts failed.
Windows Phone 7 will have a walled app store and interface with computers through desktop software created for Microsoft’s Zune media player — practices similar to Apple’s (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone business model. It will also be made by a number of handset makers and offered by U.S. several carriers — characteristics of the Android ecosystem.
As Apple did when it introduced its iPhone, Microsoft is integrating WP7 phones into its entire product line. “It’s well integrated into the Microsoft ecosystem, which includes Office, Xbox Live, Zune, Windows Live, Tellme and Bing,” Ross Rubin, an analyst with the NPD Group, told the E-Commerce Times.
“Some of those products and services are leaders in the market or have momentum, such as Office and Xbox Live,” he continued. “Some have not had a lot of momentum, such as Zune, but those are all touchpoints from which Microsoft can reach out to users and tout the benefits of Windows Phone 7.”
Grabbing Market Share Fast
As Google’s (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android did when it entered the market, the hardware for WP7 will be produced by multiple manufacturers and be sold by multiple carriers. “You want to get as many OEMs making stuff for you as you can,” Michael Morgan, mobile devices analyst for ABI Research, told the E-Commerce Times.
“This opens up every potential distribution channel you can get a hold of,” he continued. “Especially when you’re starting fresh like this, that’s going to be imperative.”
“The iPhone suffered a lot of criticism with its exclusive handset deal that really limited its distribution and growth,” he added. “Android came in out of nowhere with tons of handset OEMs working for them with a you-want-it-we’ll-sell-it approach and it grabbed a lot of market share and it grabbed it quickly.”
“Hopefully, some of that dynamic will help to give the Windows phone a bit of a foothold as it launches,” he continued.
Prescriptive Hardware Requirements
Although the use of multiple hardware makers resembles the Android model, the restrictions Microsoft is putting on those OEMs smacks of Apple’s emphasis on a consistent user experience across devices. Phones running WP7 have to meet minimum requirements for screen size and resolution, camera resolution and number of control buttons. In addition, handset makers are restricted in what they can do to the WP7 start screen.MOBILE