Microsoft is going all out for the mobile space with its Windows Phone 7 lineup and at least one industry analyst believes that it will have to dive into the lower-end of the market to be a strong success.
Carolina Milanesi, a researcher with Gartner, said the upcoming Windows Phone 7 platform is an improvement over Microsoft’s previous mobile offerings and that it is a “good effort.” She also said that is will need a lower average selling price (ASP) to truly make a dent in Android of the iPhone.
“At launch starting out with high-end devices will guarantee a higher level of appeal and help drive on the visceral appeal,” she wrote in a blog post. “However, in order to grow share Microsoft will have to come down on ASP to be able to compete more directly with Android-based products.”
The Samsung Focus and other Windows Phone 7 devices will be coming to AT&T for about $199.99 with a new, two-year contract. Look for the T-Mobile Windows Phone 7 devices (the Venue Pro and HD7) to clock in at around the same price.
That seems pretty reasonable to me, as the $200 price point is essentially the standard for high-end smartphones. That’s what it costs to get an Apple iPhone 4, Droid X or other top-shelf device.
I guess the main argument for what Gartner is saying is that Android is quickly becoming the platform of choice for a new breed of smartphones for first-time buyers. We recently saw Motorola and Sprint just introduced a wide variety of handsets aimed at new smartphone users and all of these are powered by the little, green robot.
Should Windows Phone 7 be aiming for this segment of the market? I’m not quite sure. All smartphones come with a data plan and the low initial price of the handset is a pittance compared to the life of the contract.
What do you think, friends?