U.S. Windows Phone 7 Smartphone Owners Declining

Dan Frommer:

Specifically, while the number of smartphone owners in the U.S. — according to comScore — has grown to 104 million from 45 million, the number of Microsoft smartphone owners has declined to roughly 4 million, from 7 million.

WP7 app developers will now think twice before embarking on another app. And that will only accelerate the decline.

Microsoft made a huge strategic mistake by being rigid on pixel format (800×480). The goal was noble: to maintain a consistent experience across different WP7 smartphones. The mistake? 800×480 on different display sizes mean the visual experience will be different. Fonts will be rendered bigger on a bigger display, smaller on a smaller one. What Microsoft should have done instead is to be rigid on resolution, say 300 ppi. That way fonts, icons, etc. will have the same size regardless of how big or small the displays are. This is how you ensure a consistent visual experience across all WP7 smartphones. Big mistake Microsoft.