Samsung Loves Windows Phone, But Carriers Want Leverage

samsung balance

There has been a growing concern in the Windows Phone camp as to why Samsung hasn’t released any Windows Phone 8 devices in the United States. After all, Samsung was the first OEM to announce a Windows Phone 8 flagship device, the ATIV S, way back in late August last year at IFA 2012 in Berlin.

The ATIV S was missing-in-action at the launch of Windows Phone 8 last November. Since then, there has been no words from any U.S carriers about availability of the ATIV S flagship. When there are announcements from other international carriers, the ATIV S ran into multiple setbacks and delays. (more…)

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Nokia: Print Your Own Lumia 820 Back Casing

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3D printing is the next revolution in technology according to many, and people are already printing all kinds of interesting things. Now, Nokia has become the first cellphone manufacturer to announce a public development kit that will allow people to print their own casing for their Lumia 820 smartphone.

The Nokia Lumia 820 is a mid-range Windows Phone 8 handset currently available on AT&T. It comes in a variety of back casing colors including red, white, cyan, yellow, and black. But what if you want to use your own color? Now you can with a 3D printer. (more…)

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Nokia’s CEO: “Today We Are With Microsoft, but Anything Is Possible”

Stephen Elop

Nokia may currently be all-in on Windows Phone for its mobile business, and various rumors even point to a possible Windows RT-based tablet coming from Finland. And while Nokia is certainly still loyal to Microsoft’s operating systems at the moment, there are at least small signs that a change could be in the works.

Quoted by Gizmodo en Espanol, Stephen Elop (Nokia’s current CEO) had the following to say regarding the possibilities of a Nokia phone running Android: (more…)

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Still Playing Fruit Ninja With Your Finger? That’s So 2012

We know how well the Nokia Lumia’s screen works, because Nokia made it a focal point for their advertising campaign. But how well does it really work? Popular YouTube channel adrianisen’s tech demonstrates how versatile the Lumia 920′s screen really is. He decided that playing Fruit Ninja with the old finger is not that fun anymore. Now he slices fruits in Fruit Ninja with a kitchen blade. Check out the video below.

[wmpu]

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Conditions are Slowly Improving in Chinese Factories

Final chapter of the I-Economy

Apple’s association with the “sweatshop” manufacturing plants of China and various other countries has been under intense scrutiny for the past few years. The scrutiny culminated in a series of articles by The New York Times under the overarching title of the “iEconomy,” where the technology industry – with Apple at the center – was slammed for their practices of employing cheap labor and allowing dangerous working conditions in return for higher profitability margins. Since then, various changes have taken place throughout the supply chain of nearly every consumer electronics company.

Apple, to their credit, has taken a lead in this charge. (more…)

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Nokia’s Windows RT Tablet Supposedly Debuting in February

nokia

Nokia is going to be releasing a Windows RT tablet, according to Digitimes. The tablet should be unveiled in February, placing it after the deluge of news that is certain to pour out of CES in early January.

Nokia’s tablet plans were rumored to be on track for a release coinciding with Microsoft’s initial Windows 8/RT push. However, supposedly because of the Surface RT, Nokia decided to hold the release of its tablet until 2013. Nokia’s tablet was rumored to be a “flagship” device, and something that could go toe-to-toe with the best from Apple, Google, and apparently Microsoft itself.

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Now, according to Digitimes (a source infamous for incorrect information from parts suppliers, so take this with a serious grain of salt), Nokia is hoping to release a tablet based on a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon chip. The first batch of devices is expected to come in at 200,000 – fairly low, but perhaps the conservative estimate makes sense. Obviously, the tablet will run Windows RT and have access to all compatible applications.

Other information is scarce, though the timeframe suggested puts an announcement squarely around the time that Mobile World Congress will be taking place in Barcelona, Spain. The MWC event is typically used by various companies to introduce new products. Historically, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S II there, while HTC earlier this year used the venue to launch the One series. It would make sense for Nokia to host a press event an unveil a new tablet.

[Digitimes]

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Estimate: Windows Phone Sales Surpass Four Million During Holiday Season

Microsoft launched its new Windows Phone 8 platform towards the end of October in an attempt to make the company relevant again in the mobile space. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has noted in the past that he would be happy if Windows Phone could emerge as a third-place competitor alongside Android and iPhone. After the dismal launch of Windows Phone 7 last year, that was a lofty goal for Ballmer to wish for.

But based on early sales estimates, using methods that have proved accurate in the past, Windows Phone sales might actually be surprisingly high. Based on a recent estimate that involves calculating the number of monthly active Facebook users coming from Windows Phone devices, it appears that Microsoft may have sold as many as 4.24 million Windows Phone 8 devices during the fourth quarter.

Microsoft has yet to reveal any official sales figures for its new Windows Phone lineup, but Ballmer did claim that sales have quadrupled year-over-year. The higher number of Windows Phone sales than many expected can be attributed to Nokia’s flagship Lumia 920 smartphone, which has been in high demand this holiday shopping season.

At this rate, perhaps Windows Phone devices can actually give the iPhone and Android smartphones a run for their money. At the very least, Microsoft is fulfilling its goal of becoming relevant in the mobile space, helping to disrupt the two-horse race that has long existed between Apple and Google. And with BlackBerry 10 around the corner, too, the smartphone industry is shaping up to be quite exciting heading into the new year.

[BGR]

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Nokia’s Struggles and How it Plans to Recover

Finnish handset maker Nokia was at the top of the mobile phone industry for several years, offering devices that served as benchmarks for the competition. Then, five years ago, the iPhone and Android devices helped to kickstart the smartphone industry that Research in Motion had pioneered earlier in the decade with the BlackBerry.

After faltering in the smartphone industry, Nokia eventually partnered exclusively with Microsoft to release devices running the Windows Phone mobile operating system. And while sales of Windows Phone devices have been considerably lower than iPhone and Android handsets, Nokia has no plans to ditch Microsoft yet.

In an attempt to recover market share that it has lost, the infamous DigiTimes, citing its usual Taiwanese supply chain sources, reports that Nokia will still be ordering a large number of Windows Phone 7.5 devices into 2013. Nokia has plans to sell these older handsets in emerging markets as low- and mid-range smartphones that cost far less than flagship Windows Phone 8 smartphones.

Interestingly, the report does suggest that Nokia might switch to an alternative platform for its lower tier smartphones in emerging markets. That move would presumably be made if Windows Phone 7.5 devices fail to meet Nokia’s internal sales projections in the foreseeable future. While it has so far ruled it out, perhaps Nokia will consider switching to Google’s open source Android operating system down the line.

It would be quite an interesting move if Nokia switched to the Android platform. Samsung has been an extremely successful Android handset maker in the past few years, while Motorola and LG have had considerable success. Nokia does make rather powerful smartphones with attractive designs, so switching to Android could eventually be a smart move if it truly wants to regain its position atop the mobile phone industry.

[DigiTimes via BGR]

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Do You Think Windows Phone Can Become a Legitimate iPhone and Android Competitor?

Microsoft launched Windows Phone a few years ago as a much improved successor to its previous Windows Mobile lineup of mobile phones. Windows Phone is a true mobile operating system for smartphones. Windows Mobile, at best, was an also-ran platform; although, it did have respectable market share during its time.

As much of an improvement as Windows Phone is, the launch of Windows Phone 7 did not garner significant attention. The platform was released over three years after the iPhone and Android smartphones had been on the market, giving Microsoft a huge gap to chase. To this day, it still lags behind significantly in what is still a two-horse race in the mobile space.

While both the iPhone and Android devices continue to dominate the smartphone industry, do you think that Windows Phone can become a legitimate third-place competitor? Windows Phone does offer some unique and intuitive features such as Live Tiles, alongside an emerging Windows Store app ecosystem, so it’s possible that the Microsoft platform could take off.

Moreover, the Windows Phone devices available on the market look great and have powerful hardware specifications. Both the Nokia Lumia 920 and HTC Windows Phone 8X are flagship Windows Phone smartphones available this holiday shopping season, and they’ve both seen respectable demand; at the same time, it’s hard to gauge exactly how much interest the devices have garnered due to supply shortages and constraints.

What are your thoughts on Windows Phone?

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Nokia Launches Here Maps For iPhone, iPad

Nokia today released Here on the App Store, bringing its highly renowned mapping solution to the iPhone and iPad for free. Here features everything that you’ve been missing in Apple’s lackluster Maps app in iOS 6, plus more, such as public transportation and live traffic views, community maps, search history and suggestions, step-by-step guided walk navigation and integrated sharing functionality. Apple is still working to improve its own mapping solution, so this new alternative by Nokia might be the next best option in the meantime.

HERE Maps helps you feel like a local anywhere you go. See where you are, search and discover nearby places, and get a feel for the place. Collect places to remember or for later discovery. Explore new destinations and know instantly how to get there on foot, by car or on public transport. HERE Maps is based on the world-class NAVTEQ mapping data used in 90% of in-car navigation systems in the world.

[App Store via The Next Web]

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