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Is Israel a pointless market for Windows Phone?

Is Israel a pointless market for Windows Phone?

The mystery of the missing Windows Phone

After the exciting Windows Phone Lumia launch at the Microsoft IDLC in Hertzliya, Israel in Winter 2011 it’s mid-Q2 of 2012 and still no Windows Phones are available from the Cellular Providers or the Microsoft Israel site:

windows phone - israel

REALLY? A generic “your search did not turn up any devices”? When a customer clicks “Buy” they want to buy. At least give a teaser or invitation (see my comments above).

This is a where you ask, what would James Bond do? (Bond credits have always been master teasers. In the old days it was “James Bond will return in..”)

Windows Phone - 007
Thanks to YouTube user MrCNR2000 for sharing this.


So, what’s the holdup?

The bottleneck was providing Hebrew language support but I am skeptical that Cellcom, Orange or Pelephone are going to invest heavily in Windows Phone when Nokia Israel (or at least whomever handles their Twitter account) can’t tell me if and when Microsoft-Nokia’s flagship Lumia phones are going to be launched.

A small country with a small customer base

Is it worth the effort to encourage the providers to add Windows Phone to their catalog of devices in a small country like Israel?

Ostensibly the answer is no. The ROI for the number of handsets that could possibly be sold doesn’t make it worthwhile… if that is the target being aimed for.

Where’s the ROI?

Simply looking at the number of handsets sold is a fools game and misses the point of the Smartphone market altogether.

The big money is being made and going to be made in App sales. At present, the Windows Marketplace is growing and whilst it lags behind Apple and Android in numbers of apps or even in providing the popular, big ticket apps in some cases; the rate of growth is impressive.

Warptest Predictions

Apps are the force multiplier for Smartphone moneymaking and given that Israel has one of the strongest hi-tech software development markets in the world the value of Microsoft pushing Windows Phone in Israel is far beyond the size of the market.

Israel should be a Petri dish for the development of superlative apps for Windows Phone thus ensuring the Cellular Providers have good reason to see Windows Phone as a strong contender to tip the balance of the mobile platform market share.

Microsoft and Nokia Israel need to seriously get this ball rolling and offer some of the incentives and a major marketing campaign like we have seen in the US.

Stop waiting for success and make it happen guys!

I was not at Microsoft’s ThinkNext 2012 event last night where some of the up and coming Start Ups displayed their products. Many of these were mobile Apps but how many of these were developed for Windows Phone? Based on tweets I read, not many.

I have high hopes for Windows Phone but if you are a regular here you know that..

It’s time to build some momentum here, don’t you think?

Raphael Freeman

First and foremost, it’s not just the issue of Hebrew support, but also map support. Right now Bing maps on facebook for desktop for example have no data in the Israeli maps.

Secondly, the Nokia Lumia 900 launch was a bit of a flop in the States was a bit of a flop and pickup in traditional markets such as the UK has been almost non-existant. Apart from which, current Windows phones will not be upgradable to Apollo means that I doubt anybody would buy the phone in Israel right now.

I think there is a slim, very slim, chance that Windows Phone 8 might be more interesting in which case, if I was Eurocomm, I would wait till Windows Phone 8 and then see if it’s worth launching.

We certainly don’t want a Kin fiasco here!

The maps are not going to change in my opinion any time soon. As to the rest AT&T claims they are sold out of the Lumia 900 across the US.

The question of upgrade to Apollo is undecided at present according to what I have heard but at the end of the day it comes down to hardware compliance to Apollo’s minimum spec.

The point being (as I said in the post) Microsoft has missed a huge opportunity to make the backbone of Windows Phone, whichever version, a serious contender but until the phones are here, being sold and used then most Devs are not going to trouble themselves to develop apps for WP7.

Redmond missed the opportunity to launch here, incentivize the handsets and have the strongest development community in the world invest in WP7 apps.
I believe they can still rectify this.

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