On June 4, Ina Fried from All Things D posted an interview with AT&T’s CEO Ralph de la Vega, President and CEO of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets, on a wide range of issues, one of which was the lack of traction AT&T Windows Phones have shown up until now.
It turns out he’s seeing a lot of the same things that the rest of the industry is seeing–namely the rise of Android, the continued strength of the iPhone and struggles for others, including BlackBerry. And, while AT&T has been one of the biggest supporters of Windows Phone, De La Vega acknowledged that the sales haven’t been what either AT&T or Microsoft would have liked.
“We actually like that software very, very much,” De La Vega said. “It hasn’t sold as well as Microsoft or us would want it to.”
To quote De La Vega, he said:
“I think they’re going to make it a lot better, giving customers more application choices, having a bigger app store with more functionality on the phone, I think that’s all that it needs.”
Here’s the relevant quote:
Nokia has made this huge bet on Windows Phone. One of the reasons, they have said, is to have a bigger presence then they have in many years in North America. How interested are you in adding them to your lineup.
De La Vega: We already have Windows Phone 7 in our lineup. We actually like that software very, very much. It hasn’t sold as well as Microsoft or us would want it to, but I think having the Nokia hardware capability with the Microsoft software capability is a really good combination. They have to prove it by bringing some great devices to market. But I would love to have a great Nokia device with Microsoft Windows Phone 7.
Windows Phone 7, is it a hard sell, or are their features that are missing?
De La Vega: Keep in mind this is the first product that Microsoft has come out with since Microsoft redid their OS. I think for the first thing out of the chute it is pretty good. I think they just need to make it better. If you listen to what Steve Ballmer is saying (Mango, the next version), is going to add about 500 features. I think they are going to make it a lot better. Giving customers more application choices, having a bigger app store with more functionality on the phone, I think that’s all that it needs.
Actually, I loved Windows 8. That looks a lot like a Windows Phone screen, with the tiles. I think that’s a huge win for Microsoft. Now they’ve their same look and feel on their PCs and tablets as they have on their smartphones.