Samsung, Windows Phone 8 and Tepid Consumer Demand

Whether or not responding to the recent Apple patent victory in US federal district court, Samsung has said it will be first out of the gate with a Windows Phone 8 device. The new device, announced yesterday, is called "Ativ S" and will be out before Nokia's first Windows Phone 8 handset. Indeed, Samsung will be formidable competition for Nokia with the new OS. 

Meanwhile an analyst at Bernstein Research argues that US consumers simply aren't interested in the Microsoft mobile OS: 

“Our research shows that for many years, poor sales of Windows-based phones stem from a deep and stable lack of consumer interest for the product. Despite numerous and repeated efforts of manufacturers (Nokia, but also Samsung and HTC) and Operators to develop an alternative to Android and Apple based on Windows, and despite the launch of numerous phones based on Windows with strong features, reviews and marketing support, the operating system remains cornered to less than 5% market share in smartphones.”

Currently Windows Phones' market share in the US is 3.8% according to the most recent comScore figures

Screen Shot 2012-08-30 at 12.16.05 PM

A consumer survey conducted by Opus Research in April indicated something quite similar in terms of demand for Windows Phones:

My next mobile phone will likely be . . .

Screen Shot 2012-08-30 at 12.23.43 PM
Source: Opus Research, April 2012 (n=1,504)

These responses won't necessarily translate into sales figures -- Android is obviously leading the market -- however they do indicate a level of interest or demand for the various handsets and operating systems.

Both Microsoft and Nokia have high expectations for Windows Phone 8. It's not clear what will happen if consumer demand fails to materialize.