Does Windows Phone get a fair shake in US retail stores?

Does Windows Phone get a fair shake in US retail stores?
For someone who is thinking about getting their first smartphone, the array of choices can make the purchase a daunting task. While the tech savvy crowd takes to their favorite websites to get in-depth information on available mobile devices, the average customer relies on store representatives to present them with unbiased recommendations based on their needs. The question is, are these people receiving equal and adequate information about the available phones?

In the video below, where the names of people and companies have been beeped out to protect the innocent, a caller plays the role of a flip phone owner looking to purchase his first smart phone. When he asks what smartphones they carry, the representative replies, “We have Androids and BlackBerrys in stock.” After being specifically asked if they carry smartphones from Apple, the representative admits that they do, but they are currently out of stock. The caller then says to confirm, “So all the smartphones you carry are Apple, Android, and BlackBerry?’ to which the representative responds, “Correct.”

Further along in the conversation, the caller states that his son was telling him about a phone with Xbox features. The representative says, “Oh, that’s a Windows Phone.” After being lead a bit, she admits that Windows Phone is another type of smartphone she forgot to mention. She says they carry “a couple” of them but if you’re not into gaming, their 4G LTE phones are their best selling phones.

So what do you think? Do you think conversations like this are commonplace and can affect a device’s sales numbers or was this an isolated incident of an undereducated employee? We think everyone can agree that this woman hearts 4G LTE.

source: WMPoweruser



1. shy2papa

Posts: 336; Member since: Jan 23, 2010

Look the fact of the matter is WP7 still dose not have what it takes to go up against iOS or the people's choice Andriod. MS has to work hard to make WP7 UI more attractive and give people the chioce to customise it the way they want.

3. Penny

Posts: 1847; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

That's debatable. WP7 has what it takes to up against iOS and Android, it just depends on what you are looking to get out of your device, because each platform has its benefits and pitfalls.

4. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

I think mango update helped a lot.

8. vvelez5

Posts: 623; Member since: Jan 29, 2011

I don't know what you mean by "attractive" but it is considered that the Metro UI is the best looking UI out there. Obviously not the easiest to use like IOS or gives you the best customization like Android. But the prettiest by far.

10. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

Who says its the best looking. I have never heard that before.

14. vvelez5

Posts: 623; Member since: Jan 29, 2011

Many people simply because IOS is basically a collection of apps and Android can start looking very clustered. The live tiles with the black background looks great and many sites and reviews agree.

15. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

That's totally opinion, but seriously most people think its one of the uglier OS's. At least in the US.

19. vvelez5

Posts: 623; Member since: Jan 29, 2011

Never heard anyone say the Metro UI is considered ugly And it isnt opinion that IOS is a collection of apps and Android can start looking clustered. But of course to what is "pretty" is opinion but when several reviews and people say its pretty then you start to think that they may have a point. and being American and living in America I've never heard one person call the Windows UI ugly. And I am not exaggerating. But I'm sure people dont like the way it looks.

32. snowgator

Posts: 3620; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

One thing is for sure: Metro UI is a love it/hate it thing. The more popular WP gets (and it will) the more polarizing it will become. Without the ability of manufacturers to put a skin on the devices the way you can on Android, the live tiles concept is it's selling point. And if you fall into the group that dislikes it's looks, WP has lost you. I love the function and the advantages of the live tiles, and I can see dozens of ways Nokia, Samsung, HTC and all the other handset makers can make hubs and tweaks to make each of their WP offerings unique. But there will still not be the Sense VS. Touchwiz VS. Motoblur type distinctions. Maybe that puts Microsoft at a slight disadvantage to Google. But the trade-off is a smooth UI experience with updates that come quickly and firmware improvements that will not "brick" your device. Whew, way more long winded than I meant that to be. Just wanted to agree with vvelez......

54. vvelez5

Posts: 623; Member since: Jan 29, 2011

LOL always love your comments snowgator whether I agree with them or not.

62. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

i just love gator.. he tastes like chicken. :)

66. snowgator

Posts: 3620; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Dude... I am way creeped out right now...

67. vvelez5

Posts: 623; Member since: Jan 29, 2011

But gator you do taste like chicken. With like a fishy texture to you.

69. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

a lil on the rubbery side if its premade. thats how you can always tell fresh snowgator from left over snowgator. :) :) :)

55. Uzzelien

Posts: 131; Member since: Feb 22, 2011

I do see it as a disadvatage but more of an advantage. Look at how long it takes HTC or Samsung to release Android X.XXX to the phones after it comes out and is RTM compared to WP7's last RTM to phone. Like you said the updates come a lot faster. They don't even talk about how much better support it has for Word, Excel, Power Point and Share Point then Android does.

24. shimmyx20

Posts: 280; Member since: Mar 03, 2009

I definitely think Metro is the best looking. I have an iPod (had an iPhone 3G), and I have had several Android phones with all the major skins (TouchWiz, Blur, and Sense). My current phone, a Samsung Focus, has the best looking UI of all of them. Windows 7 paired with a Super AMOLED screen is really great looking.

70. T00muchF00D

Posts: 98; Member since: Nov 27, 2011

The Engadget crew and the Gizmodo crew did

26. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2340; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

If you had post this a year ago, I would have agreed with you. But, now that Mango has been released I would have to say you may be wrong. With the introduction of Live Tiles, WP7 is a unique and I must say attractive OS. I mean the idea of being able to look at your device and find out basic information without having to go into an application is great. Also, WP7 was the first one to truly be optimized for HTML5 while Android and iOS have been playing around the entire time and now we know that Flash is no longer going to be offered for mobile platforms. While WP7 does need to step it up in terms of graphics (which the other day they were looking for people to "bring the heat" when it comes to graphics and games), at the same time it has the fastest growing app market. I don't think WP7 is trying to appeal to those who really care what picture they have on their background or whether they are allowed to put applications in this pane or that pane. The whole premise behind WP7 is that people aren't absorbed into their phones but rather you can work efficiently without having to go through several different menus and opening applications to find what you need. Now, I will admit WP7 is still lagging behind the other OS' in terms of technology as well as overall appeal. But, I have a very very strong feeling that next year with the release of Windows 8 and Metro UI coming to all Microsoft applications (your PC, your Xbox 360, and your phone) you will see more and more people looking at windows phone. This idea that you can access your computer profile from your mobile phone or your Xbox Live account from your mobile phone and still play with your friends is really quite interesting. Also, Microsoft did buy Skype so you will most likely see a good integration of that as well.

59. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

Its still a plenty viable OS, certainly more mature in the app sector than Blackberry but carriers still tend to push those more, and that video above just further demonstrates it.

68. CellularNinja

Posts: 306; Member since: Sep 27, 2011

so, so biased. . . You don't have to like it, but it can compete with the other OSs. It doesn't have to be your favorite to be a great OS.

2. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

Majority of sales reps in store and over the phone are actually not much more educated then the average consumer. You could tell this girl didn't really know what she was talking about. Also as can be seen by the comment section on here a lot of them are very biased and will try to push their favorite phone on you. Sales people don't try to sell windows phones right now, but that's kind of microsofts fault. They haven't created much demand for the phone. They also have higher return rates which goes against the sales rep.

31. snowgator

Posts: 3620; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

As I say this, understand I am not trying to call you out Taco- I know that happens to you a lot. But I have never heard of Windows Phones being returned a lot. As a matter of a fact- it was the amazing rate of customer satisfaction for Windows Phones that got me to go look into them. I had a horrid experience with Windows Mobile, and it is very old news that when lumped in with Win Mo that it appeared as though WP was rated real low. But WP itself is very well recieved and those that owned a first gen WP sold me on them.

48. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

snowgator, taco is right about return rates. HD7's were boomarangs at first. People were all excited about them, but when they realized the WP7 was lacking a lot of features they had in android, a very large chunk of them went back to andriod instead. A lot of that was not proper expectactions by the sales reps (who most knew jack about the device themselves), and an expectation by unknowing customers that WP7 did all the stuff the old windows phones did, just nicer. The "boomerang" effect has died down quite a bit, but so have sales since then. You scare the sales reps from selling it and the phone is toast.

60. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

Returns due to features is not the same as returns due to issues with phone. WP7 may have initially saw high returns due to features, but I rather have a phone returned due to features than due to issues. My optimus for instance didnt ring at all today and my wife tried calling me several times. The phone has worked good for a year, but now its starting to crap out on me, coincidentally enough when Im out of the manufacturer warranty. If I had gone WP7 instead, Im sure it will still be working good. I cant rely on my phone anymore after what happened. She was pissed at me, she thought I was ignoring her calling or had the volume off or misplaced the phone or something like that, but it was with me the entire time with ringer, it just didnt ring or receive any incoming messages. Particularly strange since the mobile web was working on the phone just fine, and when I sent her a text, because I hadnt heard from her in a while, it seemed to go through fine on my end, but she didnt receive.

63. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

down, in sales... returns are returns. and actually the HD7 has had a lot of issues since the mango update. I have warrantied more HD7's in the last month than i remember selling in the 6 prior months.. lol. Some weird issue where it just decides to hang and become a permanent brick randomly. Did like 5 in the week after mango came out and have been slow n steady ever since. For a phone that didnt sell that well to begin with.. thats a lot.

5. CannedKarma

Posts: 19; Member since: Oct 22, 2011

As a Verizon store manager, I'll readily admit that I'm prone to telling customers we carry Android and iPhone when first asked as those are our top sellers. When a customer comes into the store looking for a new phone, and lets me know what sort of experience they're after, I'll certainly use that information to better quality them into a WP7 handset if it's applicable. The problem goes in a couple main ways: first off, there's not a 4G WP7 handset on Verizon, so it by default gets the short stick when you're considering the best promos that are offered, and then there's the issue of selling what's on hand to the customer versus what would need to be special ordered. Very few stores actually have stock of the Trophy on-hand, and one of the eternal mantras of any retail store is to sell what's available today. That said, none of my reps are familiar with WP7, and even the official Verizon training materials are incorrect in their descriptions. Our online manuals list WP7 as having a 'PC-like experience'. Until a manufacturer takes a leap of faith to build an LTE WP7.5 handset, the devices will continue to gather dust in a warehouse, and the reps won't let the customers know about them. It's sad, but it all boils down to what is most popular to sell, especially when the people working the stores aren't all interested in knowing EVERY platform on the market inside out. Lastly, it's exactly like taco50 said: Microsoft has done a deplorable job of marketing WP7 in its first year. This is compounded by the fact that Windows Mobile, which is more often than not confused with Windows Phone 7, was a terrible OS that those who were familiar with it were burned enough by it to never give a successor OS another shot.

9. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

Windows mobile was a mess. It's hard for a lot of people to get over that and give them another chance. Consumers and sales people.

33. snowgator

Posts: 3620; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

We know LTE and dual core options are coming for WP, so that part will take care of itself. Besides, every carrier is headed to LTE, so it is not like Microsoft has a choice. Other options such as expandable memory and different form factors also have to come. Why is it this second gen of Mango flavored handsets seems fine with giving every consumer who wants a full qwerty keyboard or extra room for media to Android? Beyond me to understand. But the marketing problems, especially from a giant like Microsoft, is really lost to me. I cannot fathom Microsoft not pumping ad campaign after ad campaign to push it until they find the one that works. Sorta like Gieco or Budwieser- they each have like three different ad campaigns going on at any one time. Than they just run with the more successful ones until they run their course.

40. risee2

Posts: 9; Member since: May 25, 2011

As a manger why are giving pushing blame back on WP7 for not having a LTE device or Microsoft not marketing the devices. And admitting your stores don't have the Trophy in stock and your staff is not trained on WP7. Thats is the whole problem you as a manager or Verizon should have one person trained on WP7 since its in your store. That's the problem I have when into Verizon stores for any device untrained staff. Actually the WP7 does have a PC like experience. Windows Mobile wasn't that bad. Move on from the past. True Windows fans will keep coming back. A device that speaks for its self doesn't need adds that saturate the market.

46. CannedKarma

Posts: 19; Member since: Oct 22, 2011

Where to start with this... WP7 does not have a PC like experience in the slightest. Metro UI is entirely different from anything you've seen traditionally on any Windows platform. And 'true windows' fans? Considering the divergence between the two systems, that has nothing to do with it either. And yes, a device that speaks for itself still needs marketing. Why do you think the iPhone is so successful? Because Apple has one of the best marketing strategies and follow-throughs of any company in the world right now. If you don't market your product, it will do poorly solely through the virtue of no one knowing about it. Very basic marketing theory. Microsoft is to blame for not marketing WP7. Just about every critic who has lauded the platform has brought this up repeatedly. Check your sources. As for not having at least one person at the store trained on WP7, I am the tech expert at my store for all the platforms. When my reps aren't familiar with something, they come to me. When we have down time, I pass along the knowledge I have to them. That's the point of being the manager -- those who work for me know they can come to me with their questions.

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