On Friday comScore released its latest mobile subscriber market share report, which suggests that both Android and iOS are increasing their U.S. market shares at the cost of RIM’s BlackBerry OS. ComScore surveyed 30,000 U.S. mobile subscribers during a three month period ending in April 2011 and found that Android’s U.S. market share jumped 5.2 percentage points to a 34.6% grip of the industry. Meanwhile, Apple’s iOS market share grew a marginal 1.3 percentage points to a 26% share. RIM’s BlackBerry OS share fell from 30.4% in January to 25.7%. Samsung remains the most popular mobile phone manufacturer with a 24.5% share of the market and is followed by LG (20.9%), Motorola (15.6%), Apple (8.3%), and RIM (8.2%). Hit the jump for the full release from comScore. More →
During the D9 conference in California, Microsoft’s Steven Sinofsky began showing off Redmond’s upcoming Windows 8 operating system, fully optimized for tablets. According to AllThingsD, which got an early peak at the OS, Microsoft’s ultimate goal was to create an OS that could run on a home computer just as well as it could run on a portable 8-inch tablet. The new start screen, pictured above, shows a tile-based interface that’s strikingly similar to Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system and makes use of the company’s Metro UI. Windows 8 includes Internet Explorer 10, and can run applications that are designed for desktop use, as well as HTML 5 and Java applications that will run better on tablet-sized devices that may provide less power. Sinofsky told AllThingsD that Windows 8 will deliver a new business model for developers, an app distribution mechanism — assumed to be a storefront — and a touch interface. Microsoft reportedly started working on the operating system when it shipped Windows Phone 7. “We really did take a step back after Windows 7,” Sinofsky told AllThingsD. “We were clearly influenced ourselves by phones.” The current demo products run on devices with Intel processors, although Microsoft reportedly also has devices powered by ARM processors, too. There’s still no word on when we’ll see the first Windows 8 devices hit the market, but we’re definitely excited with what we’re seeing so far.
Nokia could launch its first Windows Phone some time this year, and when it does, the firm plans to set a quick pace to get more phones into the market. Speaking in an interview with PCMag, Nokia’s executive vice president of smartphones, Jo Harlow, discussed Nokia’s roll-out strategy. “We should be launching new devices in a rhythm that might be every couple of months, every three months, something like that,” Harlow said. Unlike HTC and Samsung, which see Windows Phone as a “secondary platform,” Harlow argues, Nokia will use the operating system as a primary platform. “We’re going to keep coming with new devices in order to have something to talk about,” she explained. Earlier reports have suggested that Nokia will launch as many as 12 new Windows Phone handsets next year, including a few with dual-core processors. More →
During a press event in Japan recently, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said that Windows 8 would would launch sometime next year. His firm says otherwise. “It appears there was a misstatement,” a Microsoft spokesperson recently said in a statement. “We are eagerly awaiting the next generation of Windows 7 hardware that will be available in the coming fiscal year. To date, we have yet to formally announce any timing or naming for the next version of Windows.” Despite Microsoft’s statement, we could still hear more about Windows 8 much sooner — even if it doesn’t actually launch in the coming fiscal year. “As we progress through the year, you ought to expect to hear a lot about Windows 8,” Ballmer said in his speech. “Windows 8 slates, tablets, PCs, a variety of different form factors.’ According to ZDNet, we could see an early build of the operating system as soon as the D9 conference, which begins on June 31st. More →
During the BlackBerry World Keynote in Orlando this morning, Research In Motion announced that it is working with foursquare to include support for the social-network in an upcoming version of BlackBerry Messenger. Users will be able to share their location information as their BBM status, but RIM execs didn’t go into much detail on how check-ins will work or just how feature rich the implementation will be. The native foursquare client, for example, allows users to find nearby deals, compete with friends for check-in points, and more. RIM did not say when the client would make its debut, although we suspect it will be around the launch of its BlackBerry 7 powered Bold 9900, which will occur later this summer. More →
We’re here in Orlando at RIM’s BlackBerry World developer event and have scored some more hands-on time with the recently announced BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930… and we’re pretty impressed with what we see so far. The Bold 9900 felt light in the hand, but definitely had a premium feel thanks to its thin form factor and metal accents around the body — it’s also the thinnest BlackBerry to date. The new BlackBerry 7 operating system was very snappy and we didn’t experience any lag when bouncing around the new OS, likely thanks to the 1.2GHz processor under its hood. The keyboard reminds us a lot of the original BlackBerry Bold 9000, and the form factor is more akin to that phone than the handset it is replacing, the 9700. The industrial design of the phone is solid, but we do wish RIM would venture away from a form factor that’s feeling pretty stale. We’ll need to spend more time with BlackBerry 7, but superficially it looks nearly identical to BlackBerry 6 — which could be a positive or negative depending on your viewpoint. We’re excited to see what RIM does with the built-in NFC technology, and the faster processor should definitely open the flood gates to more robust applications in the future. We’ve assembled a gallery of photos for your scrutiny. Have a look and let us know what you think of RIM’s latest creation.
LG’s about to get its MeeGo on. Next month, the Korean phone manufacturer is set to debut a prototype device during the MeeGo Conference in San Francisco from May 23rd to May 25th. Details leaked by MeeGo Experts have revealed that LG has a special session up its sleeves during which it plans to show off “multiple” LG branded devices running the OS created by Intel and Nokia. LG will also discuss its future plans for the platform, including its developments for MeeGo powered tablets, smartphones, and in-car entertainment systems. We wouldn’t be surprised to see this leak pan out, given that Nokia has decided to focus its efforts on Windows Phone devices, and that LG, ZTE, and China Mobile have all recently decided to work towards creating MeeGo smartphones. More →
It looks as though Microsoft has accidentally confirmed that its next major Windows Phone update, dubbed Mango, will bring the mobile operating system up to version number 7.5. The information comes courtesy of the Redmond company’s website, which prompts developers to “Preview the Next Windows Phone OS 7.5.” Mango is expected to launch in late-fall of this year and was originally thought to be Windows Phone 7.1. The update will bring with it true multitasking, Internet Explorer 9, and an integrated Twitter experience — among other things. Microsoft has yet to issue an official statement on how the operating system’s version number schema will progress. More →
Looking for the newest Android 2.1 device? Neither are we. That’s why it’s no surprise Sony Ericsson quietly launched the Walkman W8. It’s the first Android device to sport the firm’s “Walkman” moniker, which should imply it has more music-centric services, but we’re not seeing anything extraordinary in its spec sheet. It’s loaded with the Walkman music player software, although that’s nothing to call home about. The phone sports a 3-inch touchscreen display with a low 480 x 320 resolution and it also has a 3.2-megapixel camera, an FM radio, and 128MB of RAM. The Walkman W8 will make its debut in Asia in three colors, blue, red, and orange. Our jaws will hit the floor if this ever hit the U.S. marketing running its current OS.
No one likes letting a perfectly good operating system go to waste. Reuters is reporting that just as Nokia begins to divest in the MeeGo operating system, other companies are starting to dig in. The publication writes that electronics giant LG has joined the likes of ZTE and China Mobile in a “working group” that aims to develop a MeeGo-based smartphone. “It [Nokia's absence] is opening opportunities for the others to come in,” said a member of MeeGo’s steering committee. “Discussions are taking place. You’ll see things coming out this year, pretty soon.” The fate of the open-source operating system has been in question since Nokia announced it would focus the lion’s share of its development dollars and efforts on Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform. It is, however, nice to see that an OS with such great potential will not be put out to pasture just yet. More →
We just received confirmation that RadioShack has begun accepting pre-orders for RIM’s upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. You can reserve yours for now $499, and RadioShack says it will be available starting on April 19th. The PlayBook sports a 7-inch touchscreen display with 1024 x 600-pixel resolution. It’s powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor, runs RIM’s sleek new QNX operating system designed for tablets, has 1GB of RAM, and offers both a rear-facing 5-megapixel camera and a 3-megapixel forward-facing camera for video chat. We’ve had plenty of hands-on time with the PlayBook and are excited by the concept, but we’ll take a much deeper dive once we review the device. If you love what you’ve seen so far, however, feel free to hit the jump for a link to RadioShack’s pre-order page. More →
AllThingsD had a chance to sit down with Microsoft VP Joe Belfiore to discuss the new Windows Phone 7 “Mango” update, which the Redmond-based firm is discussing during the MIX 11 conference in Las Vegas today. Belfiore confirmed that Mango will offer a new browsing experience using Internet Explorer 9, and noted that it will have integrated Twitter features. Similarly, Mango will allow users to run multiple programs at the same time – complete with background audio support. That means you could theoretically stream music from Slacker Radio while firing off an email. Microsoft will also allow developers to tap into a phone’s gyroscope and camera, which it hopes will help spur more augmented reality applications. Speaking of apps, Belfiore confirmed that Layar, Skype, Spotify, and Angry Birds, are on their way to the Windows Marketplace. Belfiore confirmed that Mango will launch this fall. More →
While most manufacturers are trying to find the sweet spot for tablets in the 7-inch to 10-inch range, Lenovo’s thinking bigger. The firm’s senior marketing specialist, Wiliam Cai, said that his company is working on a new 23-inch tablet designed for the home — with a focus similar to that of an all-in-one desktop — that could land later this year. “We think that there is potential for a 23-inch tablet,” Cai told TechRadar. “We’d have to take care of battery life and we are working to get the weight down.” Cai said such a device could be moved around the house, and possibly be used as a TV or with a full keyboard. That sounds more like a connected TV than a tablet to us, but we’re excited to see where Lenovo takes this idea. It’s unclear what sort of operating system Lenovo has in mind, but we’re guessing it’ll probably run Windows 7. More →