When Microsoft’s vendor partners shipped their first Windows Phone 7 devices last year, they hardly seemed to back up the launches with the kind of marketing efforts that might position the platform to succeed against established rivals like Android and iOS. Reportedly, “secret shoppers” from Microsoft have since been snooping in stores and discovering that sales staff were largely uneducated about the platform, often confusing it with the older Windows Mobile operating system. The Redmond-based company is trying a different tactic for its new Windows Phone Mango devices, however. In preparation for the upcoming release, Microsoft and HTC are training “hundreds” of sales staff on to use and sell the platform, head of Windows Phone marketing at Microsoft Achim Berg recently told Bloomberg. In addition, the company will also put more effort into its marketing campaigns according to the report. Microsoft’s latest Windows Phone Mango operating system is expected to be deployed to Windows Phone devices this fall alongside the release of a new batch of Mango smartphones. More →
One of our Verizon Ninjas was kind enough to pass along a handful of training documentation being circulated for the Samsung Fascinate’s looming release. A lot of the documentation will confirm what you already know, the device will have a: 1 GHz Hummingbird processor, 4-inch Super AMOLED display, and a 5 megapixel shooter with 720p recording abilities. The documents also detail that the Fascinate will support ActiveSync for Exchange 2003, 2007, and 2010 servers. Mobile hotspot capability will be built in, and — like the EPIC 4G — the device will have Bluetooth 2.1 + ERD as opposed to Bluetooth 3.0. Curiously, the device will only have 384 MB of RAM; the Captivate, EPIC, and Vibrant all have 512 MB. Flash support is listed as being available by “Year End 2010”; meaning Android 2.2 probably isn’t dropping on the Fascinate until then either. Some of the more mundane things we discover are that the device will come preloaded with Bing Maps, Google Maps with Navigation, NFL Mobile App, Amazon Kindle, Visual Voicemail, Backup Assistant, Blockbuster, Skype Mobile, Vcast Videos, and VZ Navigator. Hit the jump to view all the goodies.
UPDATE: We’re not sure about the RAM figure listed on these slides. On the fifth slide RAM is listed as 336 MB with 512 MB of ROM, on the 7th slide RAM is listed as 384 with 2 GB of ROM. Obviously one (or both) of these figures is incorrect on the training documentation. More →
We have heard from a Verizon Wireless source that Verizon is targeting an August 12th launch date for the Motorola DROID 2. More →
We don’t have too much information to go off of at this point in time, but we’ve been told by a Sprint source of ours that Sprint employees will begin training for a “slate”-type device on June 7th. More →
Verizon Wireless, Sam’s Club, TARGET: gearing up to launch Motorola Droid, BlackBerry Storm 2, BlackBerry Curve 2, more
If you’ve been wondering whether the Motorola Droid (or Tao, or Sholes — whatever), BlackBerry Storm 2, BlackBerry Curve 2 or LG Chocolate Touch would be hitting Sam’s Club stores or even TARGET, you’re in luck. We just scored an internal document outlining merchandising, training, locations, and pretty much everything else you’d need to know. While Sam’s Club appears to be set up to carry the Motorola Android handset, TARGET seems to be left out. We won’t bore you with some of the more technical stuff, though. Here’s a shot of the Motorola Droid looking pretty fly in an all black everything outfit. There actually looks to possibly be a front-facing camera on the phone. It seems to corroborate our earlier report of some cool face recognition action, or it could just simply be the European variant. There’s placeholders for the LG Chocolate Touch, BlackBerry Storm 2 and Curve 2 in here, and we might have a little bit of copyright infringement on our hands, folks. That’s our BlackBerry Tour image nestled in between some other Verizon handsets. One more slide after the break.
Thanks, J Bird!
T-Mobile fans, we’ve got good news and bad news. The good news — internal training on HTC’s Dash 3G (Snap) and Touch Pro2 is set to kick off June 16th on the east coast. In other words, we’re likely very close to seeing both handsets get official. The bad news — training doesn’t wrap up until July 2nd in Baltimore/DC so the rumored July 1st release date for the Dash 3G is pretty much not going to happen. The rumored July 22nd launch for the Pro2 could be on the late side of things however, so it’s not all bad. Our ninja only has access to the east coast training schedule but assuming the rest of the country wraps up around the same time, we could see one or both of these handsets by mid to late June — because June isn’t already jam-packed with sweet handsets launching left and right. Woo!
A document leaked by VZW E, a well known tipster over at Howard Forums details the training dates of some upcoming Verizon Wireless smartphones. The Blackberry Storm and Touch Diamond were mentioned in a previous leak of training information but this information about the Samsung Omnia is new. Rumored to be coming to Verizon in November, previously leaked documents contained the very broad “coming in November” target release date. According to this new document, the Omnia training is slated to begin November 15th which means we can expect the Omnia to hit the shelves soon there after. The optimistic among us are hoping for a possible release during the last week of November but we will most likely see the phone arrive sometime in December. This is great news for all of you who are anxiously awaiting the Omnia but the document does leave us wondering what happened to the HTC XV6850 a.k.a. Touch Pro, and the Samsung i770 Saga both of which were rumored for a November release along with the Omnia. With no apparent training dates showing up on this document and rumors of delays circulating for both handsets, it looks like we may have to wait a bit before we can get our grubby mitts on the XV6850 or the i770.
For realz, y’all. October 2nd was about as concrete as we were going to get, but the powers that be (RIM’s lack of focus on the OS) have interjected. We’ve been working on this story over the past couple days, and here is a quick rundown on what we’ve heard… The Bold, while originally set for a launch on October 2nd is still having OS issues and it’s been up to RIM to fix them. Normally BlackBerrys can glide through AT&T’s testing labs in a pretty short time frame. Something like 2-3 weeks. As you are all aware, not this time. Regardless of what the problem is, there’s no excuse for having probably the most botched launch in device history. Device training was supposed to start October 7th, but that has been pushed back now, and then there’s the launch parties coming up starting mid-month. We’re not going to give another predicted launch date until we can fully confirm it, so we’ll get back to you on that. Any RIM PR reps want to give us a ring and still tell us the device was never delayed? Suckaz. Hit the jump for an email explaining the delay and the postponed device training sessions!