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HTC is preparing multiple Windows Phone 7.1 handsets, including these 3.7-inch low end models.  (Source: Phone House)

The HTC Eternity, the company's flagship WP7.1 model, will be a whopping 4.7-inches -- almost worthy of the designation "mini tablet".  (Source: HTC Inside)

Samsung will reportedly be offering Mango slider goodness (far right).  (Source: Nanapho.jp)
Nokia, HTC, LG, Acer, Huawei, ZTE and Samsung hope to overwhelm Apple, give fight to Google

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is viewed by many as the slumbering giant of the smartphone market.  With arguably the most innovative interface available on a smartphone today, the platform is mainly lacking in polish and selection.

The company's answer to those shortcomings is one word -- Mango.  Mango -- the Windows Phone 7.1 update -- promises more of everything good about Windows 7; more polish (notably third party multi-tasking, third party tiles, streamlined Office software, and a dramatically improved HTML5-ready browser) and more phones.

As far as the more phones part of the equation, we're starting to get a feel for what's in store when Mango launches in September.  Among the high-profile players to commit to Mango devices are Nokia Oyj. (HEL:NOK1V), Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (SEO:005930), HTC Corp. (SEO:066570), LG Electronics (SEO:066570), Acer Inc. (TPE:2353), ZTE Corp. (SHE:000063), and Huawei technologies.  Fujitsu Ltd. (TYO:6702) and Dell, Inc. (DELL) are also rumored to be preparing designs.

HTC, perhaps a bit concerned about its legal troubles with its Android OS line, is diving deep into Mango with multiple handsets.  Two low-end models -- the keyboard equipped Prime and the touchscreen-only Ignite have been spotted after being accidentally posted by Dutch retailer Phone House.  Both phones pack a lowly 800 MHz processor, 512MB of RAM, 5MP camera, and 3.7-inch LCD display.

Moving to the cream of the crop, HTC will be pushing the definition of a "smart phone" with its giant "Eternity" handset.  With a whopping 4.7-inch SLCD screen, the Eternity is almost the Windows Phone 7 tablet which some users have demanded.  It will pack a 1.5GHz single-core Snapdragon processor, 16GB of storage, an 8MP rear camera, and a 1.3MP front camera.  This handset will surely prompt debate over whether slower Android phones with more cores are "better" or whether a faster single core is better suited for a smart phone.  Images of the Eternity have already leaked.

Samsung, meanwhile is preparing a model with a slide-out bottom keyboard, the SGH-i677.  Little is known about the specs or official name, at this point.  Likewise, the hardware for Nokia's much-anticipated "Sea Ray" -- rumored to launch in October at Nokia World -- is unknown.

If Microsoft can flood the market with high quality offerings, it could overwhelm Apple, Inc. (AAPL) to seize second place -- something DailyTech and a number of top analysts predicted [1][2] would happen within the next couple of years.  From there the company can move on to challenging Google Inc.'s (GOOG) prolific Android platform for world domination.

Windows Phone 7, officially hit its release to manufacturing (RTM) build just days ago.  It appears on pace to meet its planned release schedule.



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I wonder if MS can pull it off?
By Tony Swash on 7/29/2011 7:01:27 PM , Rating: -1
I wonder if MS can pull it off and become a serious player in the mobile world? I wouldn't be surprised if they failed but they might make it - they have a lot money and determination and unlike Android they are not just offering an iOS clone so maybe they can carve out a slice of the market. I would be astonished if Microsoft had more than 10% of the market in two years time but stranger things have happened after all Apple became the world's largest smart phone maker just fours years after entering the market.

But I can't help feel that the name is hindrance. I guess Microsoft thinks Windows is a cool brand where as in reality it has a poor brand reputation - they should have called it something else.




RE: I wonder if MS can pull it off?
By Ilfirin on 7/29/2011 7:25:30 PM , Rating: 2
RE: I wonder if MS can pull it off?
By bplewis24 on 7/29/2011 7:44:01 PM , Rating: 2
That's 9% of Q2 sales domestic. And it also includes WinMo phones, which could possibly make up the majority of that %.

They would have a long way to go to get 9% of total market share.


RE: I wonder if MS can pull it off?
By Ilfirin on 7/29/2011 7:51:40 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah they are US only figures.

But they did grow from 5.8% to 9% in one month while WinMo was discontinued. Not quite sure how that could possibly be primarily WinMo.


By postulation on 7/29/2011 9:10:28 PM , Rating: 5
That is the single most telling statistic that no one seems to be talking about. If these figures are to be believed, they grew significantly while in the shadow of Mango and new Hardware. I can't believe more people don't recongnize that the growth of the platform is now here. It might not surpass Apple or Android, but Windows Phone is going to be a major player in mobile, like or not.


RE: I wonder if MS can pull it off?
By Tony Swash on 7/30/2011 6:22:49 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
That's 9% of Q2 sales domestic. And it also includes WinMo phones, which could possibly make up the majority of that %.

They would have a long way to go to get 9% of total market share.


It is telling that Microsoft doesn't release the number of WP7 phones actually shipped.

Ballmer himself recently described the WP7 market share as 'very small'

http://www.dailytech.com/Microsofts+Smartphone+Mar...

If Microsoft can take advantage of the sea of legal troubles that Google has brought down upon Android and if Nokia starts shipping WP7 handsets in numbers before it implodes (a big if) then maybe MS can get some traction in the market place.

I still think tagging the phone OS with the Windows moniker was a marketing mistake. To most people that would imply recreating the Windows desktop experience on their phone and that isn't very attractive for most ordinary consumers.


By OoklaTheMok on 7/31/2011 5:02:42 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I still think tagging the phone OS with the Windows moniker was a marketing mistake. To most people that would imply recreating the Windows desktop experience on their phone and that isn't very attractive for most ordinary consumers.


And do you feel that Apple shouldn't use the "i" in their product names because it conveys a consumer grade product that isn't capable of enterprise class functionality? [snipe]Actually, they aren't no matter what they call it.[/snipe]

Windows is the most recognized product family name in software, period. Not using that name, would be marketing suicide. And if you are concerned about the relationship between the Windows desktop experience and the Windows Phone experience, I suggest you look at the Windows 8 previews, and you can be corrected in your outlook.


By CptBlu on 8/2/2011 6:56:25 PM , Rating: 2
i agree there seems to be a more recent ferver that windows is completely horrible but most of that was marketing and primarily the apple commercials i dont think that anyone can argue no matter which camp you reside that windows is still by like not even in the vicinty the best selling desktop operating system and im sure your going to say that well you can buy a computer without windows and the simple truth is you can for the average consumer their is apple (still not the primary consumer or enterprise system) and the geek has linux (and no you can not go into probably any retail store and by a linux pc but more then likely if your a linux user you have some hardcore rig held together with ducktape naild to plywood )you probably wouldnt be shopping there for one anyways


By themaster08 on 7/29/2011 7:25:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But I can't help feel that the name is hindrance. I guess Microsoft thinks Windows is a cool brand where as in reality it has a poor brand reputation - they should have called it something else.
It really depends. The flipside to that is this could be a great opportunity to reinvigorate reputation of the Windows brand and actually make it "cool".


RE: I wonder if MS can pull it off?
By Daemyion on 7/29/2011 9:30:43 PM , Rating: 2
They probably will. The comments here sound familiar... like when they introduced Internet Explorer and Netscape was king of the hill. Or when they introduced the Xbox, and the Playstation was the king of the hill.

Microsoft may be late to new markets, but you can't fault their determination, deep pockets and stamina. Besides, it's always a laugh seeing Ballmer develop sweat stains trying to present a new product line...


RE: I wonder if MS can pull it off?
By Performance Fanboi on 7/30/2011 7:08:15 PM , Rating: 2
Determination, deep pockets and stamina are sometimes not enough. Zune says hi.


RE: I wonder if MS can pull it off?
By themaster08 on 7/31/2011 4:47:16 AM , Rating: 2
Thats probably because it was only available in the U.S. and Canada.

If it had worldwide availability, I'm sure it would have gained more traction. I don't know what Microsoft were thinking!

I'm from the UK and bought an imported Zune HD. I was extremely impressed with it. Not just software-wise, the hardware looks amazing as well.


RE: I wonder if MS can pull it off?
By OoklaTheMok on 7/31/2011 5:07:06 AM , Rating: 2
My guess would be that getting content licenses outside of North America, is difficult. It would be interesting if Apple's iTunes arangements have anything to do with it...

Other than that... Zune is awesome!


By TormDK on 8/1/2011 9:39:40 AM , Rating: 2
I'm still a sad panda whenever I think about the Zune and it's US only release.

Microsoft needs to put some weight behind it's efforts to bring us that sort of content world-wide.


RE: I wonder if MS can pull it off?
By InvertMe on 8/1/2011 9:24:07 AM , Rating: 2
The Zune hardware may have never taken off but the music service is very popular and IMO is the best streaming option out there. Now that I can us it on my WP7 phone (is that redundant to say that?) I feel like I have the best of both worlds.


By cjohnson2136 on 8/1/2011 10:10:58 AM , Rating: 2
I would agree and the price is good too. 14.99 a month with 10 credits for songs. So you figure the average song is 99 cents about 10 dollars of that 14.99 is going to pay for the 10 songs you get to keep forever and 5 of it to unlimited streaming. Very good price in my book


"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs














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