LG Electronics thinks Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone 7 is a great fit for a certain part of the smartphone market--but the company has been underwhelmed by the response to the platform so far, a senior LG marketing executive said.
"From an industry perspective we had a high expectation, but from a consumer point of view the visibility is less than we expected," James Choi, marketing strategy and planning team director for LG Electronics, told Pocket-lint.
Windows Phone 7 devices from LG, Samsung and HTC went on sale in Europe and the Asia Pacific region Oct. 21 and in the United States and Canada Nov. 8. Microsoft said in late December that Windows Phone 7 licensees shipped a combined 1.5 million Windows Phone 7-powered gadgets to carriers during the first six weeks of the platform's availability. However, the figure represented phones on store shelves and not phones sold to end users.
"LG has been closely collaborating with Microsoft from the beginning," Choi said. "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 (NASDAQ:GOOG), are extremely complicated for them. But Windows Phone 7 is very intuitive and easy to use."
Despite the lackluster response, Choi said LG is still committed to seeing Windows Phone 7 grow. He said having a balanced smartphone portfolio is crucial.
"From a vendor perspective, having that balance is critical, being dependent on one OS is not beneficial for us. That's the same with not just the manufacturers, but the operators as well," Choi said. "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 OSs as well."
Microsoft expects to release Windows Phone 7 in several major international markets in the second half of the year as part of an effort to broaden the platform's reach. Greg Sullivan, senior product manager for Windows Phone, recently told FierceWireless that Microsoft will add language support for simplified Chinese, Russian, Portuguese for Brazil, Japanese and Korean in the second half of the year.
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