The Death of the Windows Phone
The Death of the Windows Phone
It may not have been the longest life, it may not have even been the most significant life, but after almost seven years on the market the Windows Phone is officially about to die. There will be some who mourn its death, there will be others who barely bat an eyelid. The Windows Phone is due to be phased out from late June and the end of the fiscal year, with now the best time to look back at its relatively short life.
From Birth to Death
Microsoft arrived on the mobile scene relatively late, despite making developments into the market from the early 2000s. However, it wasn't until November 2010 when the Windows Phone 7 was finally launched in the USA and went on sale to the general public. Given the success of Apple's iPhone in the preceding years and Samsung's Galaxy devices, the Windows Phone was introduced to rival but also enjoy success of the back of theirs.
In 2011 things looked up when Microsoft partnered with Nokia, announcing that Windows Phone would become the main smartphone operating system for Nokia. This gave them more devices to increase the competition with Android and iOS. In total there were three versions of the Windows Phone released before it switched to the now final Windows 10 Mobile.
Essentially, the Windows Phone failed to sell anywhere near as many devices as its competitors, before revenue from the phone dropped drastically. In total, Microsoft and Nokia sold 110 million Windows Phones. Across the same period 4.5 billion iOS and Android devices were bought. The difference in numbers is staggering and makes it clear how far off they were from their dream of challenging, let alone beating, those rivals.
There was a brief period in 2015 when it looked like a decent competitor, but with sales falling and revenue dropping by $730 million from one quarter, it was dead. So much so that Microsoft CFO Amy Hood even commented that: "there was no material phone revenue this quarter."
Are Microsoft Worried?
Not really. Microsoft is a massive company and the end of the Windows Phone won't be damaging its shares for traders using brokers that much. It operates in many different fields and the Windows Phone was nowhere near its main product. Plus, it's unlikely to do much damage to the brand's image, with plenty of other pieces of technology and software in its roster. Cloud services for businesses, laptops, tablets and many others in its product range ensure Microsoft's shareholders won't be losing too much sleep over the Windows Phone's death.
Future for Surface
One area the Windows Phone's decline could impact is for the Surface product division. Many thought that a Surface phone may take over, as Surface Phone has been patented, but given the death of the Windows Phone that appears less likely now. Instead, the future of its products such as the Surface Pro are now a little less certain. Lessons may be learnt from this experience, but whether that sees Surface devices phased out or improved remains to be seen.
The Windows Phone started out with all the best intentions of challenging the dominant iOS and Android smartphones, but in the end it just couldn't compete.