Microsoft's timing couldn't be worse: It's expected to announce one or two new Windows Phones on September 4, just one day after Samsung will reveal the Note 4 phablet, and five days before Apple shows off its newest line of iPhones. Do the new Windows Phone devices have a chance?
The Motley Fool reports that early this week Microsoft sent out an invitation to journalists for a September 4 press conference, with the line, "Join us for more face time."
The Fool reports that it's likely that Microsoft will announce its new "selfie" phone on that date, and possibly a higher-end Lumia phone as well. Several weeks ago, The Verge reported that sources say Microsoft will be releasing two new phones soon: The "selfie" phone and an "affordable high-end phone," code-named Tesla, and probably a replacement for the Lumia 720.
The selfie phone will probably be a mid-range phone with a 4.7-inch display. Its main distinguishing characteristic seems to be a 5-megapixel front-facing camera for taking selfies. Selfies are a big market: At June's Google I/O conference, Android and Chrome chief Sundar Pichai revealed that 93 million selfies are taken a day on Android phones.
In the battle for market share, press coverage counts for a lot. And if Microsoft is going to unveil two new phones on September 4, it's going to lose the press coverage battle. The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is expected to be released on September 3 at a Samsung Unpacked event happening in New York City, Berlin, and Beijing. The Samsung phablet has been a big hit, and any update to it will be much bigger news than new Windows Phone devices.
Then, five days after the potential Microsoft announcement, Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 6. Need I use the word megahype? Even without Steve Jobs, iPhone announcements dominate tech coverage leading up to the event and after the event.
So it looks as if Microsoft will lose the battle for press coverage in the same way it's losing the battle for market share. The latest figures from Strategy Analytics show Windows Phone with a 2.7% worldwide market share in the second quarter of 2014, compared to 84.6% for Android, and 11.9% for the iPhone. After the announcements from Microsoft, Samsung, and Apple, it's not likely that Microsoft will make any headway at all.