Microsoft's bold goal, as reported by MobileTech World, was presented at a ReMIX event in France.
According to Gartner, Microsoft sold just 16.5 million Windows Mobile phones in 2008, the same year Apple exceeded its original goal with 11.4 million iPhones. Microsoft's Steve Ballmer claimed sales of 20 million for 2008 on stage at CES 2009.
Since then however, Apple has dramatically increased its smartphone business while Microsoft's has shrunk significantly. In the first calendar quarter of 2010, Apple sold 8.8 million iPhones while Microsoft only sold 3.7 million licenses for Windows Mobile.
Windows Phone 7, the incompatible new successor to Windows Mobile 6.x, won't arrive until the end of the year, meaning the company will only have four quarters to attain its 30 million unit goal before the end of 2011.
It will need to immediately outsell the iPhone and Google's Android and continue doing so all year as a brand new platform with no real installed base of users, no library of apps, just two retail stores, and an instantaneous global launch.
Apple has reported total sales of 51.2 million iPhones through March 2010. Combined with the iPod touch, the company has sold 85 million devices through the first quarter