In an interview with The Verge, senior Windows Phone product manager Larry Lieberman outlined the state of the Windows Phone ecosystem and shared his thoughts on why BlackBerry does not pose a significant threat to Windows Phone.
Windows Phone is now the third biggest ecosystem after overtaking BlackBerry in May, although it doesn’t looks like Microsoft is all that chuffed about it. Android and iOS are leagues ahead of Windows Phone in terms of market share, with Microsoft’s ecosystem managing to hold on to only 3.2% of the global smartphone market share in the first quarter of 2013.
At Microsoft’s Build conference in San Francisco, Windows Phone product manager Larry Lieberman shared his thoughts on the growth of the ecosystem. “We think we’re solidly the third ecosystem right now,” said Lieberman. “That’s a huge announcement in some respects.”
When asked about BlackBerry being a viable challenger, Lieberman said, “I don’t think they can bring to the table some of the things we have, like how we’re delivering across such a different set of price points to such a large audience.” This is in fact a major reason for the strong growth of Windows Phone. With Nokia making affordable devices that are targeted at growing markets, sales have surged over the last quarter, giving Nokia an overwhelming 75% share of the Windows Phone market. Whereas the Windows Phone ecosystem has seen total sales of 7 million units in Q1 2013, BlackBerry has seen that number decline to 6.3 million, a decrease of over 35.1% from last year.
However, Windows Phone 8 continues to lack many features that users of Android and iOS take for granted. Instagram is still not officially available, and a system notification centre is one of the most requested features by users. Also, Microsoft has had a difficult time in convincing developers to build for Windows Phone, with most major studios shunning the ecosystem. Lieberman said, “it’s a chicken and egg situation, so we need to create the bionic chicken.” It looks like Microsoft is trying actively to push the development of Windows Phone in a bid to offer a more significant challenge to the likes of Android. Whether it will succeed in doing so, only time will tell.