Microsoft announced today that 1.5 million mobile devices running its Windows Phone 7 platform have been shipped to retailers in the six weeks since the operating system's launch November 8.
Corporate VP for Mobile Communications, Business and Marketing Achim Berg said this number was "in line with our expectations – especially when compared to other new platform introductions" and that customer momentum and retail presence were still building.
Berg also stressed that 18,000 developers have signed up to work on Windows Phone 7 -- including game developers
such as Namco Bandai, Konami, THQ and Glu Mobile -- and have already provided more than 4,000 apps for the platform's online store.
Windows Phone 7's initial shipment rate puts the platform well behind current rates for other major mobile phone operating systems. Analysts estimate Apple sold 1.5 million iPhone 4's on the device's first day of release this year, while Google reports it's currently activating 300,000 Android-powered phones every day.
That said, the numbers are favorable compared to those for other first-generation phone platforms. The original iPhone took 74 days to sell its first million units when it launched back in early 2007. Motorola's Droid phone -- one of many models running the Android operating system -- took a similar amount of time to sell a million units when it launched this year.
"We introduced a new platform with Windows Phone 7, and when you do that it takes time to educate partners and consumers on what you’re delivering, and drive awareness and interest in your new offering," Berg said. "We’re comfortable with where we are, and we are here for the long run; Windows Phone 7 is just the beginning."
The sales rate for the first six weeks represents a slight slowdown from 40,000 reported sales
on the platform's first day of availability. Microsoft has since tried to increase that rate by offering a free Xbox 360 game
with every new Windows Phone 7 activation.