Earlier today we reported that AT&T is preparing to launch the Nokia Lumia 900 — a Windows Phone handset that the carrier believes could outsell the iPhone when it debuts next month. And according to a new survey, that may not be as crazy as it sounds.

PC World recently conducted a large-scale survey for its annual Readers’ Choice Awards. The poll collects consumer feedback on wireless carriers, mobile operating systems, and smartphones. And some of the results may surprise you…

In the “Mobile Operating Systems” category, consumers ranked both the iPhone and Windows Phone 7 an 8.7 out of 10. Perhaps even more interesting is that they ranked Samsung’s Windows Phone offerings above the iPhone in the “AT&T Smartphones” section.

For the most part, however, the iPhone came out on top in a majority of the Readers’ Choice categories — which isn’t surprising considering the handset’s history of customer satisfaction. But it’s a bit surprising to see how well Windows Phone performed.

If Microsoft’s Windows Phone devices are so popular with consumers, why aren’t they selling by the millions? One word: apps. When PC World asked its readers the number one reason why they chose the iPhone over other handsets, 63% of them listed app availability.

Lack of app selection is a harder problem to solve than you might think. First you need a wide install base to attract developers — who are already designing apps for hundreds of millions of Android and iOS customers. And you need developers to make apps, and you need apps to attract customers. It’s a vicious circle.

But just because it’s difficult, doesn’t mean it’s impossible. And Microsoft has enough clout and enough money to make almost anything happen in the mobile space. It’ll be interesting to see if Windows Phone can gain any market share ground on its competition this year.

What do you think? If Windows Phone had a better app selection, would you switch?


  • Anonymous

    You hit the nail right on the head

    Developers don’t want to put time and resources into a platform with a small install base. And consumers don’t want to adopt a phone that doesn’t get support from developers.

    I really like the windows 7 OS and some of the hardware is amazing but iPhone gets all the love. If I didn’t have an iPhone I would definitley go with windows phone over android. Also windows 8 looks really good on tablets.

  • I already own a Windows Phone. I own a Nokia Lumia 710. Yes the app selection is smaller, but that is alright. I like WP7 because of it’s interesting UI. I like the beauty of how it is put together. Most people look at me weird when I say that, but it’s the truth. I think in time that the number of apps available will increase. The reason that there aren’t many developers making WP7 apps is because it isn’t where the money is. Unfortunately, people tend to write the OS off without even trying it. I would recommend a WP to my family and friends. But I still love my iPod Touch 4

    • Anonymous

      Your point is valid and I don’t look at it as weird at all. I chose iPhone because I’m a heavy app user, and having access to the AppStore means a lot to me. There’s one thing I dislike about Windows phone, correct me if I’m wrong, of all the windows phone I tried out, they all seem to be running on some last generation hardware, also, is there a windows phone out there with the screen resolution that is on par with Retina display or Super AMOLED?

      • You are correct. The screen resolution is lacking. And if I could change anything about my device, it would be the screen. The hardware is really the only part about the phones that seem to be lacking. I don’t think there is a phone with a screen that is on par with Retina or Super AMOLED.

      • Anonymous

        NOkia lumia 900 rocks. I’m definitely getting one! Android sucks and iPhone has become soooo boring. And I’m tired of the jailbreak life. And iPhone is not the same without jailbreak. Windows Phone….take me to your leader!

  • three words i love iphone

  • Windows Phone has a very intuitive interface and the their hardware actually works the way you want it to. I am a die hard iphone fan, but windows phone is way better than android when it comes to the ease of use and stability.

  • I develop Windows apps at work and iPhone apps at home. I dunno. Don’t think I could ever switch. I waited for so long for Microsoft to come out with something. They just took too freaking long for it and given Microsofts track record I’ll always view them as a step behind Apple in the mobile arena. They need a feature that’s original and I’m sorry but live tiles just don’t do it for me.

    • Anonymous

      But rows of dead icons do? Please. No flash support makes you horny for iPhone? Please. No customizations makes you hip and cool? Please. Stick with your boring iPhone. I’m tired of
      simple. I’m tired of plain. Nokia Lumia 900 as the balls and style iPhone wish it had.

  • Do you mind changing the title to “Windows Phone considered legitimate iPhone contender, but has fewer apps”? The title is very misleading.

  • I would switch in a heartbeat if their “appstore” was half as big as apples appstore. It all comes down to apps for me. Wp looks nice and easy to me. Hopefully they will grow big enough next 2 years so i can give them a try next time im getting a new phone

  • I think for the general public, the WP7 isn’t that intuitive at all.. A few days ago I had one for the first time in my hands, just for a minute, and I had a bit difficulty in handling it.. With the iphone that doesn’t happen! It’s much more intuitive! However, the new lumias seem great, and I think I could prefer the WP7 to the iphone, but with that problems (apps, hardware..), I don’t know.. That’s the main reason why I’m an apple fan: what they do, they do it right! And it just works. Plain, and simple

    • Oh, but, by the way, I love the WP7 interface!

    • Anonymous

      Nokia Lumia 900 has better hardware. As for apps. That’s a matter of time. But with Xbox live on Microsoft side, I’m sure switching will come swift.

  • Thomas Gehman

    Windows Phone is so freakin’ ugly!!!! :-I

  • I agree! Then again windows puts In a lot of animation when it comes to menu switching. I’ve tried out the phone and it lags because of the animation. I like windows phone but when it comes to ease transfer of music and apps I’ll go for an iDevice.

  • Windows Phone 7 has 70,000+ apps and more every day. I’m satisfied with the progress.

  • Windows Phone 7 has 70,000+ apps and more every day. I’m satisfied with the progress.

  • Doug Wittrock

    I most likely wouldn’t switch, since I switched to the Apple platform overall some time ago. I would however love to see them become successful, since competition is good for us all. If Microsoft could raise the bar, we’d have some amazing apps and hardware in the mobile realm.

  • I love this post. That’s what I call an unbiased post. I wish all the authors were like that.

  • I wouldn’t switch but I would definitely have one around

  • I love my iPhone, however I have to admit it lost it’s luster lately. The phone is far too popular, and the ‘exclusive / exciting’ feeling I once had by owning it, has far since disappeared as everybody seems to be walking around with them these days.

    My next phone will undoubtedly be the Nokia Lumia 900.

  • creed waters

    windows phone looks like crap, it really seems like a step back, colored tiles and a black bar that takes up a large % of the screen area. pointless.

    android has the best UI while iOS has the apps and JB community.

  • Tom

    Jailbroken iOS > Vanilla iOS > Android > Windows phone.

    I don’t where PC World got their survey respondents.

  • to my opinion, I think Lumia 800, 900 and n9 are currently have the best design. but I need my mobile to do tether when I need it, and iPhone has the best cloud computing when iPod, iPhone, iPad, and their Macs work together.

    • Valid point about the cloud in a Apple only arena, but could be argued that Windows has the best cloud computing when the Xbox, Windows and Phone work together in the Microsoft only arena for the same reason.

  • “a Windows Phone handset that the carrier believes could outsell the iPhone when it debuts next month” = LOL… cant never be!!!

  • Yeah…
    ehm i have no idea about WP7, early i have windows mobile 6.5, its quite good enough if… you used with custom Rom. 🙂 ….. but right now i cheating with android ( still with SG2 + custom Rom ) and i plan to leave iphone 4 to my wife 🙂 its not about hate another love the other…but hey ..we lived in colour of world…and that’s the best thing…

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