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Windows Phone goes 4G at last

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) appears to be finally preparing to "face the future" and flip the switch on fourth generation wireless technology.  Faced with a "no-LTE-no-Windows Phones" ultimatum from America's largest carrier -- Verizon Wireless, a joint venture between Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) and Vodafone Group Plc. (LON:VOD) -- Microsoft appears to finally have became serious about LTE, with the first 4G Windows Phones spotted in the wild.

Windows Phone fans have long defended the platform's lack of LTE with platitudes such as "4G kills battery life; "the technology is ready for the market"; "LTE speeds aren't as good as promised"; or "the coverage isn't ready yet".  These criticisms certainly single out legitimate weaknesses of current LTE deployments, but they glaringly miss the fact that rudimentary 4G -- while a work in progress -- is the state of the art, today.  And technology sells phones; without cutting edge hardware (even if it's just a little better), a phone is less likely to succeed in the fickle consumer market.

But the drought and defensive responses may at last be near an end.  The Verge cites a source cites a source close to Samsung Electronic Comp., Ltd. (KS:005930) as describing an upcoming "early 2012" Windows Phone, which packs both a larger screen that the previous Samsung Focus S Windows Phone (so likely Samsung's 4.52-inch display found in the Galaxy S II HD) and a LTE modem.

Likewise a source reveals an HTC Corp. (TPE:2498) Windows Phone handset named "Radiant", which will also feature an LTE modem.  WPCentral, a top Windows Phone rumors site, has spotted the handset in the wild.  The handset was running a post-Mango build -- Windows Phone 7.10.8004.

Nokia Oyj. (HEL:NOK1V) is also reportedly cooking up an LTE-enabled variant of its slick Lumia 800 handsets, which bears a bit of a resemblance to the sleek colored metal-body iPod Nanos.  

Lumia 800
[Image Source: The Verge]

Some of the details clash with the previously leaked Windows Phone roadmap (also revealed on WPCentral).  Reportedly "Tango", the next build of Windows Phone would be aimed at budget handsets, and the late 2012 "Apollo" would be aimed at higher end (i.e. LTE, HD screen) smartphones.  

It now appears both the HD screens and LTE will be launching in early 2012.  It's possible that Apollo will launch aside Tango, or it's possible that the improvements have been merged into Tango as a single super-release, similar to Mango.

Samsung is the world's largest maker of smartphones and second largest maker of feature phones.  Nokia is the top smartphone seller in China, the world's new largest smartphone market.  And HTC was on top of the American smartphone market -- the world's second largest market -- at last count.

Sources: WPCentral, The Verge [1], [2]

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RE: get a move on
By jvillaro on 1/3/2012 5:20:44 PM , Rating: 2
Well I have to say, I have a Galaxy Tab 10.1 and I like it, we have sort of a love/hate relationship... It might have a tegra 2 dualcore with nvidia grafics hardware accelerated whatever and I can tell you it's NOT buttery smooth not even close to my WP7. Of coarse I can understand the many reasons for that (and yes right now it does have Samsung's touchwizz right now but at the beginning it didn't). Oh and I bought the Sony tablet S for my folks and it's the same.
I'm not dissing Android, I like it, but it does have many faults. And you can't excuse them just like I wont excuse WP7, if you put a product out there for people to buy it, prepare to take criticism. If Google/Android doesn't like being call out for handset manufacturer layers and bloat then they shouldn't allow it, but then they would have had another criticism for that. It's kind of a damned if you do, damned if you don't.

RE: get a move on
By french toast on 1/3/2012 7:56:29 PM , Rating: 2
Yea Android has many problems, but is good in other ways, together with apple it has reinvigorated the mobile scene.

BUT it is buggy and fragmented, whilst it has come on leaps and bounds it will never be as smooth as a operating system built from the ground for multi touch up ala wp7 and ios.

The reason is as i read on beyond 3d that android was built for a mouse and pointer before iphone came with multitouch and google bought it, apparently the code is built into the UI an is now connected through the apps and app store so will be very hard to change.
Whether thats true i dont know, but from my own experience even symbian is less buggy on low hardware.

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