I might be on an island here but this seems like MS is playing the same rollout that both Apple and Samsung did. When Apple released the iPhone, wasn't it an AT&T exclusive for years? Wasn't the Epic 4G only available to Sprint customers for a good six months (before any other Galaxy S phone was released in the US)? .
The iPhone was the most sought-after computing device in the world during that time. AT&T getting the carrier exclusive on that was a MAJOR coup for the mobile provider.
But with these Lumia phones, there's not a strong demand for them--see the market share numbers you noted. Microsoft needs to CREATE demand, and it needs to do that by making these phones available via every outlet possible, in conjunction with a massive ad and education campaign.
Anything less simply won't work, and the Windows Phone market share will remain minimal. [/quotemsg]
I don't ascribe success to their plan, nor do I even know that logic was part of it, just pointing out a corollary. And I'd say that with the Epic 4G, there wasn't pre-hype that I recall before they hit Sprint stores. The Epic (and the Evo) got a lot of press once folks put them in their hands however and that took off. Bottom line, creating some unfulfilled desire doesn't always lead to a product's demise.
As for "how" to create high demand for "these" phones, noone shown so far they know how to do that. My guess is that when there is a bonefide Surface Phone, that will be pushed to all carriers in all markets that have the infrastructure to make them look good. So the "anything less won't work" doesn't wash with these phones. I personally think that until they get past the Vz and Sprint sales staff actively trying to push folks away from the platform, they will not have anything that will work from a marketing perspective at those outlets.
In my (you guys apparently think crazed) view, the notion of consolidating at this time to one US carrier might have some value in concentrating that small fan faction into a slightly more influential one. At the same time, if that 2.x% all concentrated at AT&T doesn't grow, what they do next year will likely not matter.[/quotemsg]
It's funny, I was just writing a response to you asking why a "Surface Phone" would make any difference, because even if such a device had insane specs, why would anyone pay the commensurate markup (are we talking $1,000 here?), and then I realized that you have a really good point. Such a device could push the phone-as-PC paradigm even further than the 950/950 XL can.
In that sense, maybe the 950/950 XL is a sort of dress rehearsal for how users will actually use their phones with the Display Dock and peripherals on a big monitor. Interesting...
The other thing is that we should remember that these are kind of "world phones"...and Windows Phone has a much larger market share in other parts of the world. In some European countries, for example, it has double-digit market share.
I've written about this before: http://www.tomshardware.com/news/microsoft-global-windows-phone-strategy,28697.html
Granted, that's more about the low-end, but the main idea is that Microsoft sees international markets as a key to Windows Phone success.