The Problem with Windows Phone
The problem with Windows Phone is not its app selection.
I am not denying that Windows Phone lacks the variety of applications available on other platforms or that it's lacking apps that match the quality of the very best iOS apps. That is all true.
That doesn't matter if they're not targeting app-heavy users to begin with.
I think I heard the Windows Phone experience described as "putting people first" last week at CES. That's marketing speak for "it's less about the apps and more about social network integration".
You might think that's bullshit and that Microsoft is only saying that to take attention away from their embarrassing app marketplace. That could be a possibility, but let's pretend for a second that they're actually being honest.
If I were to walk into a carrier store today and said I wanted a phone that's great for calls, texting, and Facebook, and I just went along with whatever they told me to get, I'd probably leave there with an Android phone.
I'd more than likely leave there with an Android phone that wouldn't be a Nexus device, wouldn't have as great battery life as any of the Windows Phones do, and wouldn't be as good as a Windows Phone at any of the three tasks I explicitly mentioned above.
Retail workers simply don't push Windows Phone.
Very rarely, that can be justified. A friend of mine works at a carrier that, until very recently, had such bad Windows Phone hardware choices that he didn't feel like any of them were worth recommending. Now that Nokia's devices are slowly rolling out around the world at reasonable price points, I don't think that's going to be an issue anymore.
But most of the time it boils down to these reasons:
- A remaining hatred for Windows Mobile, which was complete shit, but shouldn't carry over to WP7 seeing how different they are.
- A desire to see some other platform succeed. Anecdotally, they tend to lean towards Android.
- Carrier incentives, in an effort to keep the majority of phones on a platform which they can control and modify (Android).
There are an awful lot of people out there with horrible landscape QWERTY slider phones who use the baby mobile Web version of Facebook. When they'll go to buy a new phone, dumbphones will be gathering dust, but they'll still want a phone that can text and use Facebook. That is who Microsoft wants to go after. That is why the Nokia devices are so aggressively priced.
And all of that won't matter because the retail worker won't even acknowledge Windows Phone's existence. That is the problem with Windows Phone.