Microsoft Takes a Swipe at the iPhone

As one of the smartphone leaders, the iPhone is a natural target for any mobile manufacturers looking to unseat Apple. In a week where RIM founder Mike Lazaridis has already claimed BlackBerry phones have an advantage over iPhone because of their lack of data-intensive apps, Microsoft has taken a similar swipe at Apple, claiming Windows Phone 7 handsets won’t be flooded with “6,000 different arcade puzzle games”.

In an interview with Mobile Entertainment, Microsoft’s head of marketing for Windows Phone in the UK Oded Ran said Microsoft’s new OS will put quality ahead of quantity.

“It’s not about whether you have 6,000 different arcade puzzle games in a specific category on your app store,” he told the site. “It’s about how good they are– it’s not about the number, it’s about the quality.”

It’s certainly a very pointed attack at Apple, but perhaps not one without some merit. The App Store is often accused of being a victim of its own success, as the sheer number of titles on the system often make it hard to tell the wheat from the chaff.

Nonetheless, it’s an easy soundbyte for a competitor to make, since Microsoft is clearly looking to emulate the iPhone’s success over the past few years with its Windows Phone overhaul. Apple zealots shouldn’t dismiss the challenge, however. The general consensus from commentators at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week is that Microsoft has made a good showing with its new OS, and that Windows Phone 7 excels when it comes to Apple’s specialty: clean and classy UI design.

If Ran’s comments are anything to go by, Microsoft is more than aware that Apple is its main rival.

“People tend to forget that this remains a highly dynamic industry when it comes to market share,” Ran said, when questioned whether Microsoft could really take on the likes of the iPhone.

“People are changing their phones every 12-18 months, so things can change quickly. Look at Siemens’ market share five years ago and now, or indeed iPhone and Android. It’s a very dynamic world, and users will vote with their choice.”

With the likes of stellar iPhone hit Flight Control already signed up to be on the Windows Marketplace, Apple could finally be in for some serious competition over the next couple of years.

[Via Mobile Entertainment]