Independent analyst firm Ovum has predicted that Windows Phone 7 (WP7) will ‘upset the status quo' in the smartphone market in 2011, but with LG left disappointed by the platform's recent launch, is Ovum's prediction too bullish?
As part of Ovum's forecast for the coming year of the telecoms industry, the company predicted that WP7 will be the fastest growing platform.
It also said that Android will overtake iPhone as the favourite OS with mobile developers by the end of the year, perhaps indicating that while WP7 could grow quickly, Android is likely to have a good year too and continue its rapid growth.
However, Microsoft itself has admitted that WP7 might take a couple years to become as big a force to be reckoned with as Android and Apple's iOS.
Microsoft VP Joe Belfiore has previously said it will take certainly more than a couple of months before WP7 is profitable and has a good smartphone market share.
With punters queuing round the block to get their hands on the new iPhone, there was no such pandemonium over WP7 when it launched in October last year, despite a massive marketing budget provided by Microsoft.
Apple Insider reported that WP7 failed to make an impression at launch, with free concert tickets thrown in with handsets to incentivise customers to risk the new platform and while early adopters have found WP7 rather pleasing, LG has revealed that the WP7 platform has not proven as popular as it thought it might.
In an interview with Pocket Lint, LG's marketing and strategy team director, James Choi, said: "From an industry perspective we had a high expectation, but from a consumer point of view the visibility is less than we expected."
"LG has been closely collaborating with Microsoft from the beginning. What we feel is that it is absolutely perfect for a huge segment out there. What we feel is that some people believe that some operating systems, mainly Google, are extremely complicated for them. But Windows Phone 7 is very intuitive and easy to use," he reportedly added.
While the easy user interface was a key selling point for the new platform, trumpeted by Microsoft, Choi said that could actually be a turn off some people.
"For tech guys like us it might be a little bit boring after a week or two, but there are certain segments that it really appeals to. We strongly feel that it has a strong potential even though the first push wasn't what everyone expected," he told Pocket Lint.
However, Choi apparently suggested that LG will be loyal to Microsoft's new platform, adding that being reliant on one OS is ‘not beneficial' to LG.
"There is a need and demand from the operators saying there is too much ‘Android' in the portfolio. In that sense LG always tries to balance our portfolio, and that's not just in sense of hardware but OSes as well," he reportedly added.
He apparently reckons that WP7 will catch on when mid-tier and low-tier handsets are launched.
"Right now it's only exclusively present in a high tier, because of its hardware requirements, and that's limiting growth," he reportedly said.
If 2011 is the year that sees cheaper handsets launched, there is a chance that WP7 could enjoy a burst of growth as it follows a similar business straregy that has proved fruitful for Google. The eagerly anticipated update to the current OS, called Mango is also expected soon, but it remains to be seen as to whether Ovum's dramatic prediction comes true.