Turning to smartphones (a place that we love to turn to, by the way), Ballmer was asked if Microsoft was planning on developing its own smartphone and he said that he was happy to have HTC, Samsung and Nokiapushing Windows Phone 8 hard this holiday season. The WSJ then asked if Microsoft considered Apple’s business model so that it could control both software and hardware, and the executive used this opportunity to fire a shot across the bow by calling Apple the low-volume player in every market it competes in, except for tablets. Now, it could be due to the less than 3% market share that Windows Phone currently has in the global smartphone market (according to Gartner), but it would seem that Microsoft’s CEO is forgetting about a little number called the Apple iPhone. We wouldn’t callselling 26.9 million units of the Apple iPhone 5 in the latest quarter “low volume”. With the recent back and forth between Apple and Microsoft, a response from Tim Cook is probably forthcoming.
Ballmer also said that even though Windows Phone handsets do some things that both the iPhone and Android models don’t, it takes more than features to succeed in the market. Ballmer said that customers need to touch, see and feel the phones, which he points out can be done at AT&T and Verizon where the phones are, in his own words, “well-presented, the salespeople know what they’re talking about.” We can also expect to see more ads for Windows Phone 8 like the two we showed you on Monday. Ballmer said that Microsoft has not had a television campaign for the platform in some time and will start to “tell the story in our own voice,” another important step Ballmer says is required for Microsoft to gain market share in the global smartphone market.