Now that the new Surface tablets have made their debut, Microsoft might be looking to add one more incentive to its trade-in program later this week. According to Forbes, “an inside source at Microsoft” said that the in-store exchange program will expand this Friday to include the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 5 at some Microsoft Stores in the U.S. and Canada. Microsoft will reportedly offer its customers a minimum of $200 for Apple’s phones, which is identical to the iPad promotion already in place. Keep in mind Microsoft is already offering to buy back Android and iOS devices via an online program, so it would appear that the company will soon have all its bases covered.
With occasionally unreliable autocorrect software and periodically clumsy fingers, typing on a virtual keyboard has never been easy. Take these issues and couple them with slow response time, and it’s no wonder so many of our text messages end up riddled with errors. Cloud gaming company Agawi wanted to know which phones responded the fastest, and so the company set up a series of benchmarks (called TouchMarks) to measure touch responsiveness. More →
Microsoft is now in the handset business. The company’s shocking announcement Tuesday morning that it will acquire Nokia’s devices and services businesses for $7.2 billion has set industry watchers aflutter, and analyses on both sides of the fence are emerging. Needless to say, however, most seem bearish on the deal. Ben Thompson is currently the growth engineer at Automattic, maker of WordPress, but he has formerly held positions at Microsoft and Apple so he certainly has a unique inside perspective — and according to Thompson, Microsoft’s Nokia buy is “the deal that makes no sense.” More →
A picture is worth a thousand words and sometimes a chart is worth even more. Microsoft’s announcement late last week that Steve Ballmer would step down from his role as chief executive within the next year rocked the tech world, though it was hardly a real surprise. While Microsoft is still the largest software company on the planet, Ballmer has been widely criticized for the past few years due to Microsoft’s failure to address the exploding smartphone and tablet markets. While Microsoft’s future likely isn’t quite as bleak as some make it out to be, there is no question that its mobile efforts in recent years have failed — after three years, Windows Phone’s global market share is now just 3.7% and in the tablet space, Windows RT has hardly been well received. The following chart from mobile analyst Benedict Evans shows exactly why Microsoft’s minuscule smartphone presence and late, ill-received move into the tablet market is, as Evans puts it, a failure: More →
Nokia is getting ready to unveil a full HD phablet that will launch later this year alongside the company’s first Windows RT tablet, a new report claims. Windows Phone Central on Wednesday evening posted what it claims to be several key specs from Nokia’s upcoming phablet, which an earlier report said will be unveiled in late September. According to WPCentral, the new phone will feature a 6-inch 1080p display, a quad-core processor, a 20-megapixel camera and an updated version of the Windows Phone operating system. The unnamed device will supposedly be unveiled on September 26th and it may debut alongside Nokia’s upcoming Windows RT tablet, which is shaping up to be a pretty huge mess.
HTC has tried plenty of things to reverse its current slide. Some seem to be working out relatively well, others not so much. Where HTC’s Windows Phone devices are concerned, the company gained some traction with its Windows Phone 8X and recent rumors suggested a new flagship Windows Phone might launch this fall. With HTC betting $1 billion on its latest Android phones, however, it seems like Windows Phone is again taking a back seat — or perhaps, HTC is moving away from Microsoft’s mobile platform entirely. A new report from Digitimes cites anonymous industry sources in claiming that HTC will likely “drift away” from Windows Phone now that Nokia’s Windows Phone market share has reached 80%. The report notes that HTC’s share of the tiny Windows Phone market is now just 5%, so focusing on Android is probably a good idea… especially considering HTC’s latest flagship phone is the best Android phone in the world.
Consumers continue to prefer the iPhone and Android smartphones over Nokia and BlackBerry devices, and now analysts are questioning if a third platform will ever have the chance to succeed. Charlie Wolf of Needham & Co downgraded Nokia shares to Hold from Buy on Thursday, Barron’s reported. The analyst explained that he upgraded Nokia “too early,” adding that it may have been wrong to upgrade the company all together. He noted that Nokia’s recent earnings were “disappointing on virtually every dimension,” adding that Lumia sales, while they rose 32% from last quarter to 7.4 million units, are concerning because the average selling price declined 18% to roughly $205. Wolf is now questions “whether consumers are even interested in a viable third platform in the smartphone market,” noting that “Nokia’s second quarter results raise the possibility that consumers are content with just two platforms.”
Every single time Nokia unveils a new smartphone or reports numbers of any kind, a familiar question is raised: What if Nokia had switched to Android instead of Windows Phone? What if? This was a fun game to play for a few months after Nokia first announced it would dump Symbian and MeeGo in favor of Microsoft’s mobile platform, but now that ship has sailed. Revisiting that tired old question repeatedly is indeed typically boring, but it turns out that doing so for the umpteenth time finally got us a candid explanation straight from the horse’s mouth of exactly why Nokia opted for Windows Phone over the world’s top smartphone platform. More →
Sometimes an operating system just needs the right device to really get it going — recall what the original Motorola Droid did for Android. ReadWrite’s Dan Rowinski thinks that Nokia’s Lumia 1020 has the potential to be the catalyst that finally drives consumers to Windows Phone because it’s at last providing users with a reason to buy smartphones that aren’t based on iOS or Android. The irony, Rowinski notes, is that the Lumia 1020′s most compelling features are those that Nokia designed itself and not the ones that Microsoft designed for Windows Phone 8. More →
Microsoft can use all the help it can get right now. Nearly three years following its launch, Windows Phone’s share of the global smartphone market now sits at just 3.2%, according to market research firm IDC. Nokia’s new $650 Lumia 1020 is an impressive camera phone, but the odds of it helping Microsoft’s cause likely aren’t good — at least not until the price comes down. What may help, however, is getting more vendors on board with Windows Phone 8, and LG is currently working on its first Windows Phone 8 smartphone, according to a recent report. More →
We were able to get our hands on the Lumia 1020 at Nokia’s press event in New York City on Thursday. The company’s latest flagship smartphone is equipped with a 4.5-inch 1280 x 768-pixel display, a dual-core Snapdragon processor, 32GB of internal storage and 2GB of RAM. The internal hardware isn’t going to blow you away but it isn’t supposed to. The dual-core processor handles the Windows Phone 8 operating system with little lag and 2GB of RAM makes multitasking as smooth as butter. We would have liked to see a full HD display on the device, but the selling point isn’t the screen — it’s the 41-megapixel PureView camera. More →
Nokia needs a game-changer and it needs one fast. Despite churning out great devices, the company has struggled to gain market share and compete with smartphones like the Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5. Nokia is now ready to throw its latest punch at the mobile market. The company has long been rumored to be developing a Windows Phone with a high-end 41-megapixel PureView camera unlike anything we have seen before on a Lumia handset, and some rumors suggest it will be supported by a xenon flash and optical image stabilization. But will it be enough? Can an ultra-high-end camera really help rescue Nokia from its current slide in the smartphone market? Nokia’s Lumia 1020 press conference is set to begin at 11:00 a.m. EDT, 8:00 a.m. PDT, and BGR’s live coverage follows below.
For a while now, we’ve heard about BlackBerry and Windows Phone vendors betting big on expanding their presence in emerging markets by releasing cheaper devices aimed at consumers who are buying smartphones for the first time. But as Business Insider’s Jay Yarow points out, there’s major obstacle standing in these platforms’ paths: No-name Android vendors that are pumping out a flood of cheap phones that sell in the $100 range. Yarow points to new research from Needham analyst Charlie Wolf showing that no-name Android vendors now account for roughly a quarter of all Android devices, or more than the combined Android market share of HTC, LG, Sony and Motorola. More →