Windows Phone 7 devices sell out in the UK


Windows Phone 7 may be a hit after all. The Register is reporting that new devices running Phone 7 are already sold out on Orange, a UK carrier. In response to the demand, Orange has begun allowing pre-orders for the handsets, going so far as to offer £20 HMV (an entertainment retail chain) vouchers to satiate customers while they wait. HTC and Samsung handsets are also selling out as fast as they are shipping.

Low initial shipments can be blamed for part of the problem. Samsung is dealing with a shortage of AMOLED screens for its devices, while HTC is dealing with software issues.

“We have been working with our handset partners to roll out Windows Phone 7 devices across our retail footprint as swiftly as possible,” the spokesperson told News Factor. “We can confirm that, as part of this process, we have been running a pre-order service whereby customers are given an incentive in those stores who have yet to receive stock, and we are working with our suppliers to meet customer demand as a number-one priority.”

One analyst believes this is a good sign for the fledgling OS, which many have written off. “Remember that many reviews of Windows 7 mobile, while generally good, also carried caveats that the company was too late to market to act as anything but a speed bump to Android and Apple phones,” said Charles King, analyst at Pund-IT. “Demand for Phone 7 phones outstripping supply may suggest that the market is cozying up to these products far more readily than reviewers or analysts assumed.”

A good sign

While European and American tastes don’t always line up, this could spark a boost in interest for Microsoft’s fledgling system here in the States. If Microsoft’s claims about the OS–that WP7 requires 20 percent fewer steps to accomplish tasks than Android or iPhone–are true, the company may have a success on their hands.

To learn more about Windows Phone 7, check out our “Everything you need to know” article. It has videos and goes in-depth with the OS. Microsoft will launch WP7 in the U.S. on Nov. 7-8.