Those paying attention to the mobile space would know that Windows Phone 7 launched (kind of) in Australia last Thursday. To say the launch was fragmented would be a massive understatement. To begin the ‘Australian launch’ was really a Telstra launch, as only WP7 devices being sold through Telstra were available on October 21st. If you thought there’d be midnight launches or round the block cue’s for WP7 devices forget it. Incredibly there was only 11 Telstra stores on day 1 that had launch hardware. Even those buying with Telstra faced severe shortages for the past week since launch. Not only that, but if you’re outside a metro area, forget about it. I know only a single person that has managed to secure a HTC Mozart outside capital cities (see my hands-on).
The news is even worse for Optus and Vodafone customers, if you had your heart set on a WP7 device from these carriers, your out of luck. The Samsun Omnia 7 for example is currently only available on a business plan and will only reach consumers (in some metro stores, with very limited supply) next Thursday 4/11/2010 – 2 weeks after the official #WP7AU launch.
All this is contrasted by the previous 3 iPhone launches. Despite living in regional Victoria – Albury Wodonga, I have been able to secure an iPhone every single time on launch day. Microsoft strength is supposed to be their hardware partners, however it seems for the WP7 launch they have failed Microsoft. How on earth a single company – Apple has a better manufacturing, supply and distribution chain that Microsoft hardware partners that have been doing this for much longer is simply amazing.
Even this morning Steve Ballmer had to stand on stage at PDC 2010 and say WP7 will ship to the US shortly… Seriously what is going on that Microsoft launched in NZ and Aus prior to the US ? Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad for those few that were able to secure a WP7 early, in the technology industry, little old Australia with 22 million people is very rarely one of the first launch countries.
I want to love WP7, but Microsoft and their partners are making it really difficult with a dysfunctional launch like this. Also if you’re thinking the websites of Optus, Samsung, LG would be providing information about WP7.. forget it.