Two million Windows 7 phones in the channel

Microsoft’s senior product manager Greg Sullivan said in an interview with Bloomberg that it sold over 2 million Windows Phone 7 devices to carriers and retail partners last quarter.

The weasel words here are “to carriers and retail partners” this is not the number sold, there could be 1.9 million boxes sat around unsold in the channel or there could be none. It’s likely to be somewhere in between and exactly how much we’ll never know, although we’ll be keeping a close watch on over the next few months. However the figure still represents growth on the 1.5 million quoted in late December, but it’s not great growth, 500,000 in a month is poor, very, very poor.

In order to assuage speculation on sales Microsoft’s Sullivan said that, 93% of Windows Phone 7 customers are satisfied with the operating system and brand awareness has increased by half to 66%.
“Sales are an important measure, but for a new platform we think customer satisfaction and active developer support are more important indicators of how sales will be over the long term,” said Sullivan.

The only real good news is that Microsoft also released figures on the apps market. There are now 24,000 developers signed up to build apps for the Windows Phone 7 platform, and 6,500 apps are currently available in Microsoft’s Windows Marketplace and it’s growing at 400 a week. Another 20 or so weeks at that rate and it should be easily beating RIM BlackBerry, who back in September announced 10,000 apps.

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