Details are still hazy at best, but Samsung might be preparing to ship a new Windows Phone. A listing for an unannounced Samsung smartphone with model number SM-W750V has appeared on Indian tech company Zauba’s website. According to the listing, the phone will feature a 5-inch display, and as SamMobile has deduced based on its 33,245 rupee ($540 USD) price, it will likely contain high-end specs comparable to Samsung’s other flagship phones. Samsung hasn’t been shy about the fact that it is exploring its options in terms of smartphone operating systems, particularly with the upcoming launch of Tizen. Releasing a Windows Phone would allow Samsung to spread its reach even further, and with Microsoft looming over the Windows Phone business, this could be good timing on Samsung’s part.
The Windows Phone app market may still have some catching up to do but it looks like Steve Ballmer’s “developers” chant is finally starting to work its magic. Strategy Analytics has released a new survey of more than 1,600 mobile app developers that shows 32% of them plan to support Windows Phone next year. While this is still far below the percentages of developers who say they’ll support iOS (68%) and Android (84%) next year, it’s a marked improvement from the 16% of developers who supported Windows Phone in 2013. More →
When should you expect to see every major app released on iOS and Android to also get released on Windows Phone? According to Microsoft’s Windows Phone boss Joe Belfiore, the company will have completely eliminated its app gap with rival platforms by “the end of 2014.” Writing on his Twitter account, Belfiore has been crowing recently about Microsoft getting big-name apps such as Instagram and Flipboard while proclaiming on Wednesday that “the 3rd ecosystem is decidedly here!” More →
Instagram took years to finally launch a Windows Phone app… and then launched a version without video support. Apps like Super Mario Kart keep popping up on the “New Apps” chart. Angry Birds Space is still the No. 9 paid Windows app, a year after it dropped out of iPhone top 10. Ancient corpses of Bejewelled and Fruit Ninja still haunt the graveyard that is the Windows top 10 download chart. More →
Fresh evidence emerged Thursday that Windows Phone has steamed past BlackBerry to establish itself as the world’s No. 3 smartphone OS. New data from Gartner shows that Windows Phone sales hit 8.9 million in the third quarter of 2013, more than doubling the roughly 4 million Windows Phones sold in Q3 2012. Over the same period BlackBerry sales crashed and burned, plummeting from 8.9 million in Q3 2012 to 4.4 million in Q3 2013. More →
One by one, Microsoft is checking off its list of missing Windows Phone apps. Vine on Tuesday announced that its official Windows Phone 8 app was online and ready for download, making it the second major app that it’s snagged in less than a month. Getting both Vine and Instagram means that Windows Phone now has both of the biggest apps on the market for sharing short video clips. Vine says that it’s developed some unique features for its Windows Phone app such as letting users “pin your favorite Vine accounts to your homescreen, and use Pivots to easily switch between your apps.”
It’s taken a while but Microsoft’s Windows Phone finally looks like it’s ready to become a major player in the mobile market. The latest numbers from IDC show that Windows Phone shipments surged from 3.7 million in the third quarter of 2012 to 9.5 million in the third quarter of 2013, a year-over-year growth rate of 156%. More →
Microsoft has always had one big advantage over BlackBerry in its quest to establish Windows Phone as the world’s No. 3 mobile operating system: Giant piles of cash. Bloomberg Businessweek has an interesting new article out on Microsoft and Nokia’s efforts to use raw financial clout to bring more apps to Windows Phone 8. Bryan Biniak, Nokia’s global vice president and general manager, tells the publication that the two companies have started playing hardball with developers and have even told them that they risk losing out on future Microsoft and Nokia business if they don’t bring their mobile apps to Windows Phone. More →
Don’t look now, but Windows Phone is gaining some serious momentum in Europe. The latest numbers from Kantar Worldpanel show that Windows Phone has actually surpassed iOS in market share in Italy, a significant victory for Microsoft that Kantar says is mostly due to strong sales of Nokia Lumia handsets. Overall, Kantar found that Windows Phone handsets now have a 13.7% market share in Italy while Apple’s Italian market share has fallen to just 10.2%. Kantar has also found that Windows Phone has been gaining steam in other major European markets, as the platform now has a combined market share of nearly 10% in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. Android is still far and away the market share leader on the continent, however, and accounts for 71.9% of smartphones sold in the five biggest EU markets.
On Monday, Microsoft announced the third major update for Windows Phone 8, which will enable higher resolutions and a larger Start screen in order to support the upcoming phablet generation of Windows Phones. The new 1080p displays on smartphones from 5 to 7 inches will be able to fit six Live Tiles across the screen as opposed to the four offered by smaller Windows Phones. Windows Phone 8 “Update 3″ will also allow new phones to support Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 quad-core processors. More →
HTC may have found an even worse comeback plan than building a third Facebook phone. Unnamed sources tell Bloomberg that Microsoft has approached HTC with a plan to load Windows Phone 8 onto its Android handsets as a way to give consumers more than one platform option on their devices. In exchange for loading Windows Phone onto Android handsets, Microsoft would consider waiving licensing fees for using the mobile operating system, Bloomberg’s sources say. Amazingly, HTC is apparently warm to the idea and is pondering the logistics of making a dual-boot Windows-Android handset. The fact that such a deal is even in consideration shows how desperate both HTC and Microsoft are to make bigger dents in a mobile market that has largely been dominated by Apple’s iPhones and Samsung’s Galaxy-branded devices.