Despite early reports that Rovio would push Angry Birds for Windows Phone out of the nest on May 25th, Microsoft said on Wednesday that the game won’t launch until June 29th. The good news is that there will be plenty of other new titles to hold Windows Phone users over. Hydro Thunder Go will debut on May 25th, Doodle Jump lands on June 1st, geoDefense will launch on June 8th, Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 1 will be available on June 15th, and Plants vs Zombies will launch on June 22nd. Microsoft didn’t clarify why it pushed the launch out, but we suspect it’s just in an effort to offer a new game every week. Don’t forget: we’ll be reporting live from Microsoft’s Windows Phone press event in New York City next Tuesday at 10am, where we’ll hear more details on the platform. More →
Paul Bryan, Microsoft’s senior director of business experiences product management for Windows Phone, has written a blog post that details Windows Phone Mango’s business productivity features. The update, which will be discussed in deeper detail during a press conference in New York City on May 24th, will include pinnable email folders for quick access from the homescreen, conversation view in email, server search, and a new Lync application for business chat users. Bryan also said there will be added capabilities for IT departments, including complex password support, information rights management support, and the ability to access hidden corporate Wi-Fi networks. “This week, we expect to exceed 16,000 apps available in the Windows Phone Marketplace,” Bryan added. We’ll be reporting live from Microsoft’s press conference on the 24th. More →
According to industry insider Eldar Murtazin, Nokia is set to begin discussing the possibility selling its cell phone business to Microsoft. The blogger, who has a proven track record of disseminating accurate intel, says negotiations will begin next week and the results will not immediately be made public. If the two giants do work out a sale, however, it could close before the end of 2011. According to Murtazin, “both companies are in a big hurry.” The idea seems like a bit of a stretch, but some believed Nokia CEO Stephen Elop was brought on board for this very reason — an idea that seemed far fetched at the time. And let’s not forget, Nokia was founded in the 1800s as a paper company and it shifted gears several times before building its first cell phone, so a change in direction would certainly be in line with the company’s heritage.
UPDATE: Nokia spokesman Mark Squires posted the following on Twitter: “We typically don’t comment on rumors. But we have to say that Eldar’s rumors are getting obviously less accurate with every passing moment.” More →
Verizon hasn’t announced the HTC Trophy just yet, but there have been enough leaks that the carrier may as well just take the wraps off of its first Windows Phone. We’ve already seen a Verizon-branded version of the device in leaked images, and it was spotted on Best Buy’s website early last month. Now the Trophy has popped up on Best Buy’s website yet again, and this time you can add it to your cart for $599 without a contract. That price could be filler for now, though, so we’d sit tight for Verizon Wireless to make this official. To sweeten the rumors even further, Microsoft currently has a “free exclusive Verizon HTC Trophy Theme” available on its website for Xbox 360 users. Yep, we’re placing bets this takes off before Endeavor does. More →
We recently had a chance to speak with Sprint’s Vice President of Product Development, Fared Adib, about Sprint’s upcoming devices, product strategy, and a whole lot more. Interested in Sprint’s thoughts on unlimited versus capped or throttled data? Wondering about Sprint’s plans for product differentiation in 2011 and beyond? Curious to know if Sprint will offer RIM’s new BlackBerry Bold 9930? Hit the break for our full in-depth interview with one of the industry’s driving forces of innovation.
BGR Interview is a series of interviews and conversations with executives, influencers, tastemakers and innovators, covering the mobile and consumer electronics industries. More →
Late last week, BGR wrote about a recent report suggesting Microsoft’s share of the global smartphone market would overtake Google’s share in 2015, and Windows Phone would become the best-selling smartphone platform in the world at that point. On Tuesday, the Pyramid Research analyst responsible for the report published a follow up explaining that her findings were misinterpreted. Pyramid’s Senior Analyst Stela Bokun explains that Windows Phone is poised to overtake Android’s massive market share much earlier than that — as soon as 2013, in fact. Beginning this year, Bokun sees Windows Phone popularity exploding even faster than Android adoption has since its introduction in 2008. The analyst attributes the coming Windows Phone boom to Microsoft’s partnership with Nokia; the Finnish cell phone giant is set to bring the end user cost of Windows Phones down, thus accelerating adoption dramatically. Bokun also notes that other manufacturers will continue to support Windows Phone, which will help make the devices widely accessible. “With the change in the price of WP devices, and the multivendor strategic approach of Microsoft, the main advantage of Android – scale – may be removed,” she wrote on Pyramid Research’s blog on Tuesday. It certainly seems like a long shot, but Pyramid Research forecasts smartphone sales individually in 51 separate markets, and the firm stands by its findings. We also shouldn’t forget that it only took Google 2.5 years to get its Android OS where it is today, so it’s quite clear that anything can happen. More →
Microsoft has just invited us to a Windows Phone event in New York City on May 24th, 2011, during which the company will “lift the curtain on the next major release of Windows Phone.” We know Mango will offer Internet Explorer 9 with an integrated Twitter experience, better multitasking, and new apps such as Angry Birds, Skype, and Spotify. We’ve also heard that Microsoft will add Bing Audio for identifying music, Bing Vision for scanning bar codes, and voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation with Bing Maps, although none of these features have been confirmed by Microsoft just yet. On May 24th, however, we’ll learn it all — and of course we’ll be on hand reporting live.
Several new features set to be introduced in Microsoft’s upcoming “Mango” update for Windows Phone were revealed this past weekend. We already knew that Mango is set to be a major update to the Windows Phone platform — perhaps the most anticipated new feature is improved multitasking support — but Microsoft had been keeping several upcoming additions under wraps. Newly revealed features include Bing Audio, which will identify songs by listening to music, a la Shazam; Bing Vision, which will provide barcode scanning along with a host of camera-assisted search functions; the addition of turn-by-turn navigation to Bing Maps; speech recognition support in the messaging app; and a new native podcast player. None of these new features have been confirmed by Microsoft at this point but considering the proven track record of the source, it looks like Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7.5 update is going to be even more exciting than we thought. More →
Microsoft has confirmed that its Windows Phone 7 platform on Friday suffered its second major outage this week. Early on Friday, users began reporting that they could not access Xbox LIVE services from their Windows Phone 7 devices. BGR had independently confirmed the issue on two separate devices, and now Microsoft has acknowledged the outage via its official Windows Phone support team Twitter account. “It’s a new issue that users are unable to access Xbox LIVE features at this time,” a Microsoft official posted to the Twitter account. Earlier this week, Microsoft’s Windows Marketplace suffered an outage that prevented users from accessing the company’s mobile app store during a scheduled maintenance that was extended due to complications. More →
When it comes to Twitter, we’re just as addicted as every other poor soul who got sucked in. We’re constantly connected on our phones and computers, always checking our timelines, and we crouch in a corner and cry every time the fail whale rears its ugly head. As addictive as the service is though, Twitter is often asleep at the wheel when it comes to features. Luckily, that’s where third-party developers come into play and when it comes to Twitter apps, there are now thousands of choices across every platform imaginable. Even once you’ve found your Twitter apps of choice, however, one of the most annoying things about being addicted to Twitter is constantly seeing the same tweets as you move back and forth between your phone, PC tablet and other devices. What’s more, when you make changes to your mobile client — say, adding a new list column — you have to make the same changes all over again in your other clients. But what if there was a better way? More →
Dell’s Venue Pro smartphone had its share of setbacks at launch, but we really grew to enjoy the device once the wrinkles were all ironed out. The build is outstanding, the design is sleek, the slightly curved display is unique, the 4.1-inch AMOLED display is nice and vivid, and we have big hopes for Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 platform. On Thursday, Dell quietly launched a new version of its Venue Pro smartphone, this time with T-Mobile’s 3G bands swapped out for AT&T’s. Beyond that, the device has the same great look and feel, the same great build, and the same affordable price tag — just $99.99 with a 2-year contract. More →
According to IHS-owned market research firm iSuppli, revenues from major mobile app stores will grow 77.7% to $3.8 billion this year. iSuppli estimates that major app markets like those offered by Apple, Google, Nokia and RIM sold $2.1 billion worth of apps in 2010 and just $830.6 million in 2009. “With consumers continuing to show robust, unflagging interest in downloading games and other applications to devices like smart phones and tablets, collective revenues from the four stores will climb sharply this year,” said IHS mobile media analyst Jack Kent in a statement. According to the report, consumers’ hunger for mobile apps won’t be slowing down any time soon. The firm suggests that app store sales will continue to grow linearly — as most analysts these days seem to believe all growth is linear — with revenues ballooning to $5.6 billion in 2012 and $8.3 billion in 2014. Hit the break for the full press release. More →
Rumors that the HTC Trophy will land on Verizon Wireless have been swirling since last year, but the carrier has yet to make an official announcement. That may change soon, as the Trophy has been spotted on Best Buy’s website, suggesting that an imminent launch is possible. The page is no longer live, although Pocketnow managed to grab a screen shot before it was pulled. The device was listed for $599.99 before any Verizon Wireless subsidies, but it’s possible that that figure is a placeholder until an official price is revealed. The tale of the Trophy landing on Verizon is as old as time itself: A Verizon branded HTC Trophy was leaked in early March, and despite reports that the phone would launch in “early 2011″ or “late March,” the phone has yet to surface in any official capacity. More →