Report warns Windows Phone 7 suffers from the "Your-dad-uses-it" syndrome

There are plenty of reasons why Windows Phone 7 has failed to gain popularity. But a new report from Gartner offers a unique reason: the perception that it's something your dad uses at work.

That conclusion was drawn by a Gartner report released today about the mobile market that has plenty of bad news for Windows Phone 7. The report found that Android sales continue to surge worldwide, and that Apple has also seen a growing market share. Android worldwide sales were 36.3 million in the first quarter of 2011, while Apple's sales were 16.9 million.

Windows Phone 7 sales, meanwhile, were bleak. Computerworld reports:

Windows Phone had only modest sales that reached 1.6 million units in the first quarter of 2011, as devices launched at the end of last year failed to catch much consumer interest and operators continued to focus on Android, according to Gartner.

There wasn't much good news for Nokia, Microsoft's partner in Windows Phone 7, as Symbian's market share dropped from 44.2% to 27.4%. Overall sales of Symbian devices actually increased, but the company's overall share of the market fell.

As for the future of Windows Phone 7, Gartner says that the partnership with Nokia will help, but only if when the phones are finally released Nokia hides the fact that they run Windows Phone 7. Computerworld notes:

In the long term, Nokia's backing will accelerate Windows Phone's momentum, Gartner wrote. Nokia needs to make consumers forget that they are buying a Windows phone, because the current perception is that Microsoft is something dad uses at work, according to Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner.

Microsoft's current ad campaign for Windows Phone 7 might not help. It emphasizes that Windows Phone 7 is the device to use for those who want to spend less time with their phones. By way of contrast, ads for Android and the iPhone emphasize all the nifty things you can do with your phone. Sales numbers show which strategy is working.

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