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Windows Phone 7 seeing supply shortages

updated 01:50 pm EDT, Tue November 2, 2010

Windows Phone 7 Euro launch hit by supply

The early days of Windows Phone 7 have been marked by international shortages, info from carriers revealed this weekend. Orange UK, but also other carriers, were told to only expect small quantities even from different brands like the HTC Mozart and Samsung Omnia 7. Mobile heard that, despite being a preferred Microsoft partner for the launch, Orange had to prioritize stock for pre-orders and flagship stores at the expense of others.

The low quantity led to a last-minute 'raincheck' for customers who had to be turned away, which gave them a 20 ($32) HMV coupon as compensation while they waited.

Reasons for the shortage haven't been explained, but an internal Orange e-mail had managers believing it was the result of a "manufacturer issue on a world-wide scale" and not one specific to the UK or any one carrier. Orange didn't confirm shortages itself, but Microsoft's UK mobile leed Alex Reeve acknowledged that there were "challenges with retail stock" in the first days that should have been cleared.

The constraint isn't likely to have been triggered by sheer demand, which was significant but triggered small lineups at best. One report from Orange's main London store saw just two people queue up early to buy devices. There was more press on-hand than actual customers, Pocket-lint recounted. Apple by contrast had its largest lines ever for the iPhone 4 and to this day still faces regular early morning queues at its retail stores.

Microsoft had already set modest expectations for the debut after recognizing that WP7 was a reset of its platform, but it has also committed to $500 million in marketing and has been hoping to garner early momentum.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    shortage simply means availability and demand mism

    shortage does not automatically mean popularity.

    If one decides to make 80,000 units and MSFT buys up 80,000 for their employees, then there is a shortage even if only 100 people want to buy it.

  1. Wingsy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    comment title

    So WP7's shortage is due to small quantities being shipped, not large demand. What Paul said.

  1. Mr. Strat

    Joined: Dec 1969



    And I was going to give them out as Christmas presents. :-)

  1. lamewing

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Wait til you see them

    How about waiting until you have used the devices before making snide comments as to the quality of the Win7 phones. I heard people deride the Zune for years and yet I have used a ZuneHD for about a year and love it. My iPhone no longer serves as my music device, but just as my mobile computer. To each there own, but at least try and speak from experience first.

  1. Fonejacker

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Kin part 2

    as short as their queues - just 2 people, hahahahahahaha

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