Windows Phone 7 off to a slow start in USA, being outsold by Windows Mobile

Steep hill
Microsoft still has a steep hill to climb to catch Android

In unwelcome news to Microsoft I am sure, the NPD has revealed that in Q4 2010 more Windows Mobile that Windows Phone 7 handsets have been purchased by customers.

According to the NPD, 4% of al smartphones sold ran Windows Mobile, down 3%, while Windows Phone 7 OS debuted at 2 percent.

Of course the numbers represent little more than half of a quarter’s sales, as Windows Phone 7 only debuted in USA on the 12th November, and only on two of the 4 major carriers.

“With its mid-quarter launch Windows Phone 7 entered the epicenter of competition between iOS and Android at AT&T. Both competitors offer mature feature sets and large app libraries,” said Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis for NPD. “Microsoft has made the case for Windows Phone 7’s differentiation and improved integration. Now, the company must close the feature gap, offer more exclusive capabilities, work with partners to deliver hardware with better differentiation, and leverage its extensive experience in driving developer communities to increase its app offerings.”

The NPD also warned that Microsoft’s opening quarter was slower than that of Android or WebOS when they debuted, but if it is any consolation to US Windows Phone 7 users, the platform is selling faster than WebOS, which only achieved 2% market share for the whole quarter also.

Android achieved 53% market share, up 9 points, while Apple was down 4% to 19%, tying RIM, who fell 2%, also to 19%.

The news comes as the Canalys revealed the results of their research, which shows around 3.1 million Windows Mobile and Windows Phone 7 handsets were shipped in Q4 2010.  They did not reveal the split between the two OS’s however.

The numbers are an indication that Microsoft will need to spend a lot more money to win market share for their fledgling OS, including providing features Windows Mobile users have become accustomed to, such as desktop synchronization, WIFI tethering, and provide enterprise features which will allow businesses to adopt and manage the OS.

Read the full press release at PRWeb here.