Microsoft’s (MSFT) next version of the Windows operating system, codenamed Windows Blue, will reportedly help merge its PC and mobile platforms, according to Digitimes. Windows Blue is said to currently be in development separate from the Windows 8 and Windows Phone units. Microsoft’s overall goal is said to have the operating system compete with Google’s (GOOG) Android and Chrome platforms. More →
The latest comScore numbers were published on Thursday and revealed that Android is starting to lose ground to Apple (AAPL) in the United States. In a three-month period ending in February, Google’s (GOOG) operating system share fell two percentage points to 51.7% while iOS gained 3.9 points for a 38.9% share. BlackBerry’s (BBRY) market share continues to fall and now accounts for 5.4% of the market, however it is expected to gain some ground now that the BlackBerry Z10 is available. Adoption of Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows Phone platform remained flat, increasing a mere 0.2 points for a 3.2% share of the market. More →
It has been widely reported that Amazon (AMZN) may be working on a Kindle smartphone that is expected to debut later this year. Adding more fuel to the fire, the company has hired Charlie Kindel, a former general manager at Microsoft (MSFT) who headed the development of Windows Phone’s app platform and developer experience. Little is known about Kindel’s new role at Amazon, although he revealed that he will be a director of “something secret.” More →
Sprint (S) does not offer any Windows Phone 8 devices, however a new report suggests that the carrier will launch two Windows-powered smartphones in the coming months. According to The Verge, the carrier will start offering the HTC (2498) Tiara and Samsung (005930) Ativ S this summer. The unannounced Tiara smartphone is rumored to be a mid-range handset with a 4.3-inch WVGA Super LCD2 display, while the Ativ S offers a 4.8-inch 720p display, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, NFC and an 8-megapixel rear camera. Both devices are expected to be available at Sprint stores in May or June.
There has been a great deal of confusion among carriers and retailers regarding Samsung’s (005930) strangely tepid Windows Phone support over the past few months. Samsung’s supposed flagship Windows Phone device, the ATIV S, debuted in Europe in December and sank without a trace. The ATIV was simply the Galaxy S III with very minor tweaks and the Windows Phone OS slapped on. It now looks like the ATIV S will never launch in India. The U.S. launch of the ATIV Odyssey at Verizon (VZ) has been a complete disaster; the phone received no marketing support and is not even listed among the top 20 contract models at Verizon Wireless. More →
Microsoft’s (MSFT) manufacturing partners felt betrayed after the company announced its Surface tablet, a milestone that marked the first time the software giant produced its own hardware. Since then, analysts and other Windows Phone vendors have speculated that Microsoft may release a Surface smartphone at some point in the future. And now we’ve learned that even one of the company’s most loyal partners fears for the worst: In a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Nokia (NOK) voiced its concerns about the possibility of a Surface smartphone. More →
We’ve known for a while that carriers have been itching for a chance to ditch smartphone subsidies, but Verizon (VZ) CFO Fran Shammo now expects that smartphone subsidies will decrease naturally over the next two to three years with no added cost to consumers. FierceWireless reports that Shammo on Monday told the the Deutsche Bank 2013 Media, Internet & Telecom Conference that emerging smartphone platforms such as Windows Phone and BlackBerry 10 will lead to increased competition in the market and bring lower priced phones, which will in turn lead to reduced subsidy costs for carriers. More →
Microsoft (MSFT) plans to release the next major update to its perpetually emerging Windows Phone platform this holiday season, according to a job posting on the company’s website. The listing for “Software Development Engineer in Test – Windows Phone,” which was first picked up by WMPoweruser, clearly states that Microsoft is “targeting the holiday of this year” with its next Windows Phone release, though it doesn’t provide any specific details about what features the new software might include. An earlier report claimed Microsoft is planning two minor bug-fix updates to its mobile platform before this major update is released ahead of the holidays.
One of the surprises from last week’s Mobile World Congress trade show was Nokia’s (NOK) confirmation that it has no plans to add QWERTY models to its Windows Phone lineup. Nokia used to be the second biggest QWERTY phone brand in the world and BlackBerry’s (BBRY) subscriber base of nearly 80 million users is potentially up for grabs in many of the emerging markets that are Nokia’s bread and butter. More →
BlackBerry (BBRY) has clearly seen some early success with its next-generation BlackBerry Z10 smartphone, but there are still a number of barriers on the road ahead. BlackBerry 10 targets consumers and business customers alike, but while many saw a certain level of enterprise success as a sure thing just 12 months ago, increased competition from the likes of Apple (AAPL) and Samsung (005930) may be disconcerting. Adding further fuel to the fire, Nokia (NOK) CEO Steven Elop recently confirmed that he too is gunning for BlackBerry’s business user base. More →
Windows Phone and BlackBerry 10 are currently battling for the No.3 spot in the smartphone arena, but Nokia (NOK) CEO Steven Elop believes Windows Phone will some day amount to much more. ”We selected Windows Phone as our platform so that it would be a key point of differentiation,” Elop told Bloomberg during a recent interview. And while Windows Phone has a minute share of the global market right now, the executive sees that changing dramatically in the coming years. More →
Despite lukewarm sales of its Windows Phone 8X and Windows Phone 8S, HTC (2498) remains “fully committed” to the Windows Phone operating system. The company’s vice president of global product planning, Tai Ito, said in an interview with CNET on Tuesday that HTC has a “good collaboration with Microsoft for a future release this year.” The executive acknowledged that Windows Phone 8 performance is “not as good as the market expected,” however he believes that after some time consumers will begin to embrace it. Unfortunately, HTC’s upcoming Windows Phones might not feature the same design elements as its new HTC One smartphone, as the executive added that the company is taking a “family approach to separation.”
Despite increasing efforts from vendors to appeal to business customers, a new report found that Android’s enterprise market share actually declined in the fourth quarter. In the latest Device Activation Report released by Good Technology, iOS was found to be at the top of the enterprise market with 77% of all activations, an increase from 71% in 2011, and it captured eight of the 10 spots for most popular devices. Enterprise activations for Android devices fell 6.3% year-over-year for a 22.7% share of the market, while Windows Phone came in at a distant third with 0.5% of activations. More →