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Microsoft Should Hush Until iPhone 2 Debuts

The heat is on. With Apple's (AAPL - Get Report) highly anticipated iPhone2 announcement expected early Monday afternoon, rivals aren't standing still.

I've seen a number of new phone designs that will hit the market in the next few days/weeks. I'm actually playing with a very nifty "iPhone killer" from another manufacturer as I write this.

But this rivalry is now being played out as a war of words -- with the billion-dollar spoils going to the victor. I guess that's why I've just received an email from the Windows Mobile Update team at the WeberShandwick public relations firm.

In it, I was informed that Microsoft's (MSFT - Get Report) Mobile Communications Senior Vice President Andy Lees has "reached out to Windows Mobile's ecosystem of partners" to highlight the great success they have achieved as they continue their mission to put a "smartphone in every pocket."

That ecosystem includes 160 mobile operators in 55 countries, 50 handset makers, and scores of developers, who jointly have created and built on an open platform "that delights customers."

Andy Lees' letter includes the following facts:

  • We also sold more in the previous four quarters than Research In Motion (RIMM), and in the last quarter our year-over-year unit growth alone was greater than sales of Apple's iPhone.
  • IDC expects Windows Mobile OS phones (will) continue to annually outsell Apple iPhones in both consumer and enterprise shipments, and by 2012, Windows Mobile is expected to double sales over iPhone in the consumer space, and have nearly nine times the amount of enterprise deployment.
  • With more than 18,000 applications to choose from, Windows Mobile applications were the most popular downloads on Handango.
  • With 25 Windows Mobile 3G phones worldwide, and unmatched number of form factors, Windows Mobile provides consumers and businesses with what they need -- choice and freedom.
  • Now, I'm not going to argue the validity of these points. I'm sure that if Microsoft and WeberShandwick say this is so, it must be true.

    But, I do question the timing. If this had been announced a few days or even weeks ago, it wouldn't seem like a desperate attempt at getting some publicity just before the release of the iPhone.

    The successes described above may be valid -- but they're valid up until Steve Jobs's speech at the Apple Developer's Conference at 1 p.m. Eastern time on Monday.

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