Phone 7 Sales Appear Slow, But Applications Jump

Heading into the holiday season, there’s some sorta-good news and some not-so-good news for Microsoft on the new Windows Phone 7 handsets. The not-so-good news includes a report by a United Kingdom-based online retailer that Android phones are outselling Phone 7 devices 15 to 1.

The retailer, MobilesPlease, wrote on its company blog Monday that Phone 7 “has got off to a sluggish start,” accounting for “just three percent of smartphone sales and a little under two percent of overall sales” on the company’s sites, including its partner sites.

3,000 Apps, 15,000 Developers

MobilesPlease also noted that it was selling three times as many Symbian 3 handsets as Windows 7 phones. If this is indicative of the overall market, the company said, it surely must be “a blow to Microsoft,” especially since “Symbian 3 sales are almost entirely made up of one handset, the Nokia N8.”

The blog also said that, after checking with a few other mobile-phone retailers, “the story was the same, Windows Phone 7 handsets were not selling.” It noted that the local Carphone Warehouse had no Phone 7 handsets on display.

The Phone 7 rollout is just beginning, and Microsoft’s Black Friday sale in the U.S. — buy one Phone 7 device and get a second free at AT&T stores — could help get the ball rolling.

The sorta-good-news: Microsoft announced that there are now 3,000 applications in the Windows Phone 7 store, and 15,000 registered developers. Registered developers totaled 8,000 in September and 13,000 at the beginning of this month, and apps numbered about 1,000 last month.

Applications have become a key selling point for smartphones as the devices have become platforms for doing, playing and sharing. While impressive, Microsoft still has a ways to go to catch up with the leader, Apple, whose App Store has more than 250,000…

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