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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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By EricMartello on 7/29/2011 11:22:08 PM , Rating: 5
You're title is the only accurate thing you stated and it would be nice if the manufacturers didn't plan on 1-2 year life cycles for their products. MS market share with WP7 is growing which is the important part...and you seem to forget that android was introduced when the only real mainstream alternative was the idiotPhone, affectionately called the iPhone. Sure, without real competition Android was able to secure a chunk of the market.

Android is "clunky" in terms of UI responsiveness and WP7 is actually more responsive than iOS in most situations. It makes sense, because Windows also happens to be the best desktop OS available - both Apple and Linux have severe shortcomings that relegate them to niches.

Personally I don't really care which phone you use but I will continue to use my Windows phone and enjoy it. Windows Phone 7 is a solid, lightweight OS that is minimalistic and very efficient. I'm actually disappointed that so many nerds think the clunky, bloated Android is better in any way, shape or form.


By themaster08 on 7/30/2011 3:29:26 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
I'm actually disappointed that so many nerds think the clunky, bloated Android is better in any way, shape or form.
Agreed. I too own a Windows Phone, and even in its current form, it's still outstanding. Mango looks absolutely fantastic. The work Microsoft have put into it is quite something.

I'm also disappointed that the homebrew/jailbreaking community doesn't engage more in Windows Phone, since Microsoft actually support the homebrew community. They could do some quite amazing things with the platform.

It's the absolute best of both worlds. If you're a purist or mainstream user who wishes to have a lightweight, responsive, easy-to-use OS that doesn't need to be tampered with to work the way you like, then stock WP is for you.

If you like to tweak your device to get the very most out of it, jump on board the homebrew community, and you fear no punishment from Microsoft for your efforts.


By inighthawki on 7/30/2011 10:24:39 PM , Rating: 3
As a developer I have access to the releasable of Mango, and all I can say is that it makes the phone 100 times better than it already was. So if you like WP7 now, you will love it when Mango finally comes around.
It is even more responsive and has a plethora of great new features, including pretty much everything that anyone previously had problems with (notably multitasking and things like custom ringtones).

It even comes equipped with a few features I would have never expected, like the ability to scan barcodes, QR codes, etc in real-time from the search menu (search button). It works way better than the apps I've seen on my friends' android and iphones and it's built right into the OS.


By themaster08 on 7/31/2011 5:19:54 AM , Rating: 2
It's good to hear the point of view from someone who has already used Mango. With all of the big features coming to the platform it's nice to know some of the more humble features such as custom ringtones, which seem to have not been mentioned all that much.

It would also be nice if they included more theme colours, or even a colour palette, but I can understand from a font readability perspective why they may not. Occasionally when browsing the Marketplace, it can be difficult to read some of the titles due to the background image. But that's something the homebrew community could come up with. I just hope that they point their efforts a little more in the direction of Windows Phone once Mango has been released. A Cydia-like marketplace would be awesome.

I think Mango covers all of the major shortcomings with the platform, particularly my own gripes. Looking forward to the final release!


By CptBlu on 8/2/2011 3:41:56 PM , Rating: 2
unfortunately no new colors but orange is now called Mango LOL thats exciting but as stated there are so many new features and so much more polish applied that it will not matter the market is 10000 times better and usefull now this was my major complaint the rest of it i knew was comming and was normal for an intial launch crap search is just not excuseable

the group tiles are awesome I actually use facebook now mainly because i never have to log into the site my phone display any bit of usefull information that it contained. windows phone sets the standard for a modern OS i stress modern becuase both ios and android conform to the same old way of doing things a grid of icons in no way is innovative or magical i think that UI was actually developed back in the 70's with LISA its nothing more then a modified desktop metor is simply diffrent and webos while innovative i dont find very intresting but it is a better shot at modern then the other guys


RE: So many phones...that will end up as landfill
By rudy on 7/31/2011 12:23:53 PM , Rating: 2
The bigger problem is none of that. Most people do not even need apps as a website has all the function they get out of most apps. WP7 ships with almost everything most people need. The bigger problem is depicted in this article by choice. There are simply no flagship phones shipping on WP7. I personally was very interested in getting one but my carrier sprint only offered 1 phone with a small display and wvga resolution. At the same time the evo 3d had just come out and I cannot justify purchasing something with a single core that is slower and lower resolution and everything. So if M$ wants to play the game they need to make it so more hardware can be released faster and they do need to push retail because in the sprint store the employees basically had nothing good to say about wp7 they just keep saing go android thats all.

When people are acting like that your average walk in phone buyer is not going to touch wp7. And even tech savy ones wont buy it if they have no high end hardware options.


By PrezWeezy on 8/1/2011 7:48:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
At the same time the evo 3d had just come out and I cannot justify purchasing something with a single core that is slower and lower resolution and everything


I understand the resolution issue (although I don't have any problem with the size of the Arrive, which I've been using since it came out) but the idea that the number of cores or speed of the processor matters is ludacrise. Who cares how fast the CPU is rated, what matters is how smooth and quick the phone runs. If you had a phone which runs at 100MHz and is smooth as butter, vs a phone that has quadcore 2.5GHz yet runs like Vista on a PIII, which phone makes more sense to buy? You should care more how the phone runs than how fast the CPU is. Besides, getting a single core over a dual core might make sense when it comes to battery life. Especially if, as I said, it runs as fast if not faster/smoother than the Evo.


By CptBlu on 8/2/2011 3:50:37 PM , Rating: 2
and an inteligent person would see 3D on a phone and run from gimmick horror. an inteligent consumer would politely tell the representitive to keep their opinions to them selves and explain the features of the device i am inquiring about not convinvce me to purchase what works for them because i have far diffrent needs the some 17yr old kid at verizon telling me how awesome (a malware proned battery wh###) android is ill admit i got tired of waiting and moved from my touch pro 2 to an evo mainly because this was the point in which android actually got kind of intresting (froyo is the first decent build) and that lasted about as long as its battery 4 months later we get WP7 and i said hello focus yet instantly it was said that it was crap and mainly because it didnt have many apps oh and angry birds wasnt out yet (who cares) i just ask that you give Windows Phone the same curtosy as android and apple and let them take a year or more in others cases to get their feet on the ground and bang out all those features that matter to each individual user because what mattered to you may not matter to me


By Tony Swash on 7/30/2011 2:52:55 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
MS market share with WP7 is growing which is the important part...and you seem to forget that android was introduced when the only real mainstream alternative was the idiotPhone, affectionately called the iPhone. Sure, without real competition Android was able to secure a chunk of the market.


Dismissing the iPhone and Android as somehow being a push over is silly, both are very strong offerings - consumers are buying them in their tens of millions. Your comment is like Ballmer's laugh when asked about the announcement of the iPhone.

Maybe Mango and some sort of Nokia miracle (good luck with that) will give WP7 a boost - I can't see it myself. I think Microsoft's best bet is to tie Android in such a complex legal mess that the carriers and handset makers decide to jump from Android to WP7. Either way I can't see impacting Apple at all.


By EricMartello on 8/1/2011 5:14:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Dismissing the iPhone and Android as somehow being a push over is silly, both are very strong offerings - consumers are buying them in their tens of millions. Your comment is like Ballmer's laugh when asked about the announcement of the iPhone.


A lot of people bought androids simply because they didn't want an iPhone and it was the only other choice - not because Android was necessarily better. Now that WP7 is available and is arguably the best OS for smartphones currently available, it's just a matter of time until it gains steam.

Either way it's good to have choices among WP7, iOS and Android...but too many fanboys sell WP7 short because they have this dire misconception that "linux" = "superior" and that anything from MS is bloated and buggy garbage...in this case the bloated and buggy garbage is android. WP7 beats iOS for efficiency and responsiveness, and matches Android for being "open" to custom development, with reasonable limitations put in place to prevent the kind of "app spam" you get on the android market.


By Lugaidster on 8/2/2011 3:41:13 PM , Rating: 2
At least you said arguably. Because it doesn't fit my needs.


By PrezWeezy on 8/1/2011 7:49:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I think Microsoft's best bet is to tie Android in such a complex legal mess that the carriers and handset makers decide to jump from Android to WP7


You mean kinda like what Apple has been doing for them?


By Lugaidster on 8/1/2011 12:57:42 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not going to say that Windows Phone 7 is not great, because it is. It's just not for me (and probably the same applies to the other people that'd rather have an android phone). I don't like the fact that they limit what can and can't be on the marketplace just because they don't like redundancy. Android gives me the same freedom that Windows for desktops gives (almost). I can find almost anything in the store. The same can't be said for WP7 and iOS.

Android's UI is clunky, and overall, it's not as fluid as WP7, but efficiency is not all, regretfully. There are many things that affect the final evaluation and, to me, WP7 fails many of them.

I'm not a fan of jailbreaking/rooting/hacking to get missing functionality, so I don't like Android for that (unlike many others). I like Android because it gives me the biggest selection of options without having to resort to those methods.

This is not a review and I don't intend to convince anyone that one OS is better than the other. This reply is actually because I don't like the fact that someone feels disappointed at me without knowing me. All options are valid and the reason one picks one OS over the other should be made solely based on one's preferences.


By SoCalBoomer on 8/1/2011 5:31:17 PM , Rating: 2
This is a question I ask everyone who says this - what can you NOT find in the store?

I've been looking through the marketplace for several months and I have not found anything, yet, that I can't find. Granted, sometimes I can't find a FREE offering, and sometimes the app I find sucks. . . but that's the same way it is with the Android I have as well. . .

And, "limit what can and can't be on the marketplace just because they don't like redundancy" - you mean Apple?


By Lugaidster on 8/2/2011 3:17:24 PM , Rating: 2
"limit what can and can't be on the marketplace just because they don't like redundancy" People can't make a substitute to windows live messenger or the browser. It's not allowed. They don't like apps that replace default functionality.

You can't publish emulators in the marketplace (so no playing classics from snes, nes or genesis) and if you could, you'd have a mess in your pseudo-filesystem because of the no folders policy. As I've said before, if you can't find nothing wrong with it, then fine by you. I can find plenty of things that are deal-breakers for me (gap-less playback being the first).


RE: So many phones...that will end up as landfill
By CptBlu on 8/2/2011 6:44:20 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with you in some way yes you cannot not do these things but that was kind of stated it is a bridge between the wild west of droid and the homogenized pleasantville of apple you can not created a web browser because the vast majority would just be the browser control dropped on a form and the browser control is ie9 which is one of the things i think is wrong with android market there is too much crap to wade through to find something intresting apple on the other hand goes to an extreme and blocks things just because some group of people might find offnese to its content I appologize if you some how feel personally attacked when windows phone users try to point out the many things we though were wrong with the other guys thats why we have them but its simply because for the momment every other android and iphone user is trying to make us feel like we are some how lower classed citizen for our choice for the fact you pratically have to beg a sales person to sell you the phone because they are programmed with one or the other camp with out really understanding any of the technology behind them
i really dont think that nintendo and sega are asking or would be denied if they wanted to make emulators for the platform (although you could argue they are ther are several arcade classic in the market) so i do understand your point unless you are upset that you can not create an emulator on your own and sell it for profit or play roms you probably downloaded from some bit torrent then thats fine i dont think thats an issue
isolated storage is a very innovative aproach um you do know that you can just think of it as a folder its just a private folder for each app and again what the issue if a developer created and app that collected some sort of data then they would obviously provide some mechanism to retrieve that data other wise really then what is the point or are you more upset that you can not just plug your phone in and copy whatever you want and do what ever you want to the data ok why? what is it that you want to do so bad
i get it androids cool and all and as a dev i think its intresting but it stops there for me when it comes to production environment droid is cool too play with i can make that device do anyhthing i wanted to do its a great little toy but i need a phone and device that is secure and can run the applications i need and want there are only 2 real moder OSes iOS and windows phone and this is mainly where my preffrence comes to play i am not a fan of apple they make cool stuff but i find it to normally be overpriced and not really very cutting edge its like 1920's modern it looks cool and futuristic on the outside but its last years parts on the inside and as a primarily windows users apple products do not integrate the way i would expect into my environment


By Lugaidster on 8/2/2011 8:50:22 PM , Rating: 2
I have nothing against people choosing whatever phone OS they want. What I have a problem with is people shoving their preference on me. WP7 is a great OS and I respect it a lot more than iOS. I'm a fan of Windows 7 for PCs and have nothing against Microsoft.

The reason I don't use WP7 is because I'm used to the freedom a desktop OS provides. WP7 is not there and will not be there anytime soon (unless Microsoft somehow chooses to do things differently).

Besides, I'm not a fan of Microsoft services, I use Google Apps for my work a lot, so Android fits a bit better with that.

Anyway, to each their own. I don't believe that the way to defend your preference is to attack those who don't share it. That'll only get you so far. After all, not everyone is a fanboy.


By flyingpants1 on 8/3/2011 4:33:42 AM , Rating: 2
Is this post a joke? I didn't find one period or comma.


"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton














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