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Windows Phone will only account for 2% of app downloads in 2012, firm says

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Despite reinforcements arriving this year from Nokia, Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform will only account for 2% of all mobile application downloads in 2012, a recent report suggests. Market research firm ABI Research recently released a new study stating that nearly 36 billion apps will be downloaded to smartphones and tablets this year, and an overwhelming 83% of those downloads will be served to either Android or iOS-powered devices. “Although Windows Phone lags behind RIM’s BlackBerry and even Nokia’s Symbian, we shouldn’t ignore the fact that the two percent that we forecast for 2012 would be twice the share the platform achieved last year,” ABI analyst Lim Shiyang said in a statement. “Microsoft is gaining momentum, but its starting point is frustratingly low.” Devices like Nokia’s new Lumia 900, which BGR reviewed on Tuesday, are expected to improve Microsoft’s position in the smartphone market while the firm works on its next major OS release, Windows Phone 8. ABI Research’s press release follows below.

Windows Phone to Represent 2% of 2012’s App Downloads, but Its Future Will Be Brighter

LONDON – April 3, 2012

Mobile users will download nearly 36 billion apps in 2012 and Android and iOS will make up for 83% of the app downloads, while only 2% can be attributed to Windows Phone.

Research associate Lim Shiyang says, “Although Windows Phone lags behind RIM’s BlackBerry and even Nokia’s Symbian, we shouldn’t ignore the fact that the two percent that we forecast for 2012 would be twice the share the platform achieved last year. Microsoft is gaining momentum, but its starting point is frustratingly low. Contrary to popular belief, this isn’t really a chicken-and-egg problem of low device sales holding back the app business and the slow app business holding back the device sales. It’s more complicated than that.”

There are four factors undermining Windows Phone’s app growth. First, the small device market share is the most obvious drag. Second, Windows Marketplace’s global roll-out has taken a long time, further limiting the number of potential customers. Third, Microsoft has also been slow to enable in-app purchasing, meaning that most of the quality apps remain behind an upfront paywall. And fourth, there have been no tablets built on the platform. Advancement on any of these fronts will have a positive impact.

According to senior analyst Aapo Markkanen, “One message we hear from many developers is that, purely technically speaking, Windows Phone is actually a rather appealing platform. And if it turns out to be a platform for relatively high-end devices, avoiding the fragmentation pitfalls of Android, it won’t even need to achieve a remarkably large market share to attract a vibrant app scene. The arrival of the first Windows 8 tablets, as well as Windows Phone’s upgrade to the Apollo iteration, should also give it a boost, since developers can reuse their code to launch on various screen sizes.”

ABI Research’s study, “Mobile Applications Market Data,” provides insight into the fast-growing mobile applications market. The market data include a forecast for application downloads, segmented by operating system platform, as well as a forecast for application revenues. Also, a list of storefronts, with their key features and regional availability, is provided.

It is part of the firm’s Mobile Applications Research Service.

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Microsoft to release Windows Phone 7.5 in China on March 21st

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Microsoft on Wednesday began sending out invitations to the press for the company’s Windows Phone 7.5 Refresh launch event in China. According to Liveside, the event will be held in Beijing on March 21st. While the invitation doesn’t mention any specific handsets, HTC recently launched the Titan — becoming the first manufacturer to release a Window Phone device in China. Nokia CEO and president Stephen Elop will also reportedly host a separate event on March 28th. The company is expected to launch three Lumia devices, most likely running the refreshed Windows Phone 7.5 operating system. As of the fourth quarter of 2011, Nokia controls 16.1% of the Chinese mobile market, second only to Samsung.

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Windows Phone Tango may add support for up to 120 languages

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) currently offers support for 35 different languages, however Microsoft may be planning to add an additional 85 languages in the next Windows Phone Tango update. The new version of Windows Phone, codenamed Tango, is expected to better cater to emerging markets, which will help Microsoft and its Windows Phone partners expand the platform globally. WPSauce, the source of the rumor, said that Microsoft announced the added language support during an event in India where the company also noted that future Windows Phone updates will support C++. It remains unclear when the Redmond-based company plans to release Windows Phone Tango.

[Via Pocketnow]

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Microsoft charges partners $20-$30 per Windows Phone license according to ZTE

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

ZTE on Wednesday launched its budget-friendly Tania Windows Phone in the United Kingdom and at the same time, the company seemingly revealed information regarding the cost of Windows Phone licenses for Microsoft’s vendor partners. To license Windows Phone, a manufacturer pays anywhere from $20 to $30 per device according to ZTE executive Santiago Sierra, who revealed the figures while speaking with TrustedReviews. Manufacturers such as HTC and Samsung were widely believed to pay anywhere from $10 to $15 per license, however ZTE’s comments suggest that either the fee is much higher than previously estimated, or not all manufacturers are charged the same fees. This is the first time one of Microsoft’s Windows Phone partners has discussed licensing fees publicly.

[Via TheVerge]

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Microsoft-approved Windows Phone 7 unlocker discontinued (for the moment)

Monday, January 2nd, 2012
Well, that was fast. Not two months after ChevronWP7 began selling $9 “tokens” to unlock WP7 handsets, the tool is being discontinued. WPCentral reports that ChevronWP7 made an agreement with Microsoft not to sell more than 10,000 tokens. Unfortunately for latecomers, though, the outfit’s reached that cut-off, and says it has no current plans to renegotiate this number (though it hasn’t ruled it out either). In a statement, ChevronWP7 spokesperson Rafael Rivera wrote, “Microsoft isn’t involved in our discussion yet. And they can’t provide us with more unlocks because we haven’t asked yet. If we do request more, we’re sure Microsoft will respond positively – as they have in the past.” Until the two companies raise that sales ceiling, the only Redmond-sanctioned unlocker will be Microsoft’s own AppHub, which will set you back a princelier $99.

Microsoft-approved Windows Phone 7 unlocker discontinued (for the moment) originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 02 Jan 2012 13:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink All About Windows Phone  |  sourceWPCentral, Within Windows  | Email this | Comments

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Windows Phone Marketplace now home to 50,000 applications

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Microsoft’s Windows Phone Marketplace is reportedly now home to more than 50,000 applications. That’s a relatively small figure taking into consideration that Apple’s iTunes App Store now boasts more than 500,000 apps and the Android Market is estimated to offer almost as many. However, it is double the amount of applications that were available just five months ago, in July, when the Windows Phone Marketplace only offered 25,000 apps. All About Windows Phone, which first reported the milestone and went into great detail showing the app spread, said 17,276 new Windows Phone applications were published in the last 90 days while 8,010 apps were added in the last 30 days. The site also noted that entertainment is the most popular category, with 15% of all Windows Phone applications falling into that group. The entertainment category is followed by books and reference (14%), games (14%) and tools and productivity (15%). All About Windows Phone also estimates that 58% of the apps in the store are free, 14% are paid but come with a free trial and 29% are pay-for only.

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Microsoft bumps Windows Phone head Andy Lees to new role

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Microsoft has moved Andy Lees, the head of its Windows Phone division, to a new position within the firm. AllThingsD broke the news but did not name Lees’s successor. Instead, several of Lees’s responsibilities, including marketing and business development, will be handled by Microsoft corporate vice president Terry Myerson. Lees will remain a president within Microsoft and will still report directly to CEO Steve Ballmer. “I have asked Andy Lees to move to a new role working for me on a time-critical opportunity focused on driving maximum impact in 2012 with Windows Phone and Windows 8,” Ballmer said in a purported internal memo that was obtained by AllThingsD. “We have tremendous potential with Windows Phone and Windows 8, and this move sets us up to really deliver against that potential. In the three years Andy has been leading the phone group, we’ve come a long way,” he added. “We reset our strategy, built a strong team that delivered [Windows Phone 7] and [Windows Phone 7.5 Mango] and created critical new partnerships and ecosystem around Windows Phone. That is a ton of progress in a brief period of time, and I’m excited for Terry and team to keep driving forward and for Andy to dig into a new challenge.”

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Microsoft Lync coming soon to Windows Phone, Android, BlackBerry, and iOS

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Microsoft will soon launch Lync enterprise chat applications for iOS, Windows Phone, Android and BlackBerry devices. Australian tech enthusiast Gary Holden asked Microsoft’s official Australia Twitter account whether or not rumors were true that Lync would be released in the next four weeks, to which Microsoft Australia replied “Confirmed.” Lync provides an IM solution with integrated video, web conferencing and audio features, although it is unclear how many of those features will be carried over to the mobile application when it is released.

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Microsoft releases Bing app for Android, iOS, not Windows Phone 7

Friday, November 4th, 2011

In a move that can be simultaneously described as puzzling and pragmatic, Microsoft has decided to bring its Bing for Mobile app to Android and iOS before launching it on its very own Windows Phone platform. The company announced the release in a blog post this week, highlighting the app’s most noteworthy features, including a revamped maps module, a new deals service and real-time transit feeds. Interestingly enough, Redmond also based its app on HTML5, rather than Silverlight, in the hopes of providing greater continuity across mobile browser and app interfaces. Only at the very end of the post did Microsoft mention Windows Phone 7: “We’re working to release the same consistent experience for RIM and Windows Phone 7 devices in the future, and will share more details as they become available.” At first glance, this decision may seem somewhat counterintuitive, but it also makes a lot of sense, considering the fact that Android and iOS comprise the bulk of the consumer market. It appears, then, that Microsoft is willing to ignore the OS wars (at least temporarily) in favor of simply getting Bing out to the widest initial audience. Android and iOS users can grab the app now, at the coverage links below.

Microsoft releases Bing app for Android, iOS, not Windows Phone 7 originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 04 Nov 2011 04:52:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink Information Week  |  sourceBing  | Email this | Comments

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AT&T’s Focus S and Focus Flash finally pictured alongside Titan

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

AT&T’s first three Windows Phone 7.5 Mango devices were announced last month, but the pair of Samsung devices included in that announcement stayed behind the curtain while HTC’s Titan took center stage. Wednesday night at the AllThingsD Asia conference, Samsung’s Focus S and Focus Flash finally made their debut, and Microsoft’s Windows Phone team posted images of the phones on one a company blogs. Specs for these devices were already revealed in September; the higher-end Focus S features a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, a 1.4GHz processor, HSPA+, an 8-megapixel camera and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera while the Focus S includes a 3.7-inch Super AMOLED screen, a 1.4GHz processor, a 5-megapixel camera and a forward-facing camera. Pricing and availability have not yet been announced. Photos of the individual devices follow below.

Focus Flash

Focus S

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Microsoft officially launches Windows Phone in India with trio of Mango devices

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

You may have already been able to get a Windows Phone device in India without too much trouble, but Microsoft has only just now made things fully official — complete with Windows Phone Marketplace, voice recognition support, and a trio of Mango devices. That includes just the HTC Radar initially, which will be available next week for the local equivalent of $490, while the Samsung Omnia W and Acer Allegro (believed to be the same as the W4) are set to follow sometime in November. Of the three, the Allegro is said to be the cheapest of the lot, and there’s also some reports that it will launch in Europe for €299 (or roughly $400) off-contract. Those curious about the Radar can check out our review from a few days ago.

Microsoft officially launches Windows Phone in India with trio of Mango devices originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 13 Oct 2011 01:29:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink TechnoBuffalo  |  sourceWinRumors  | Email this | Comments

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Nokia to unveil multiple Windows Phones this year

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Nokia has reportedly confirmed that it will introduce multiple Windows Phone handsets this year, rather than just one model as had been rumored previously. Speaking with Reuters, Nokia chief executive Stephen Elop said that the company will introduce multiple Windows Phone-powered products this quarter as the company begins a new chapter in its storied history. Nokia announced earlier this year that it would move away from Symbian and MeeGo, and instead build smartphones based on Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform. ”Our belief is that there is a clear opportunity for an alternative ecosystem,” Elop told Reuters just ahead of Apple’s iPhone unveiling on Tuesday. Nokia is expected to introduce its first Windows Phone devices later this month at its annual Nokia World event in London.

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Microsoft: Windows Phone Mango rolling out ‘in next week or two’

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Microsoft general manager Eric Hautala wrote a blog post on Microsoft’s official Windows Team Blog on Wednesday in which he confirmed the Windows Phone Mango update will begin rolling out to devices “in the next week or two.” Hautala said Microsoft has been making solid progress on the update and advised any Windows Phone users not to install unofficial or leaked copies of Mango. “During the official Windows Phone 7.5 update process, every Windows Phone will also receive software from the handset manufacturer,” Hautala explained. “This matched and paired firmware has been painstakingly tuned so your phone—and apps—work with all the new features of Windows Phone 7.5.” HTC recently unveiled the Titan and Radar, two of the first Windows Phone Mango devices, and we are expecting fresh phones from Samsung, LG and Nokia in the coming months, too.

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Microsoft outs Windows Phone ‘We’re in’ location sharing app

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Microsoft’s Bing team took the wraps off of a new location-sharing application for Windows Phone on Thursday called “We’re in.” The application is similar to foursquare and Latitude in some respects, and yet still very different. The idea is simple: you can create an invitation that will allow your friends to share their location for a specified amount of time. Say, for example, you want to share your location and see where four of your friends are, for one hour, while you all head towards a local restaurant. You can create a quick event with “We’re in” and then send it to those friends. Once they accept, their pictures and locations will appear on Bing Maps. If you hit traffic or the train is late, you and your friends can update your status as you make your way to the restaurant. Unlike Latitude, which some people avoid for fear of location privacy issues, you can always leave the party. Better yet, when the allotted time is up, your location is automatically turned off. The application is available in the Zune Marketplace now and Microsoft says it plans on delivering it to other platforms soon, too.

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Nokia to undercut Android prices to gain U.S. market share

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Nokia’s head of North American sales Chris Weber sat down in an interview Business Insider recently and explained how the Finnish company will regain its market share in the United States by writing “one of the greatest turnaround stories in history.” Weber said that Nokia will release a number of new smartphone models running Microsoft’s Windows Phone Mango operating system and will compete with Android by pricing several of them lower than the cheapest Android models. Weber reconfirmed that Nokia is still on track to release its first Windows Phone handset this year, likely the SeaRay device we’ve seen leaked, but said the majority of its phones will begin to land next year. Business Insider also said that Nokia is deeply integrated with Microsoft’s plans for a complete tablet, PC and mobile phone ecosystem, which loosely suggests Nokia may have a tablet in the works, too.

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Windows Phone Mango devices could be unveiled beginning September 1st

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Microsoft will begin rolling out Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango” to last year’s Windows Phone lineup beginning September 1st, Pocket-lint reports. The British tech blog cites multiple trusted sources with its report, and it says September 1st will also mark the start of device announcements touting Microsoft’s Mango OS. The date just one day ahead of this year’s IFA trade show in Berlin, where Pocket-lint says Microsoft may have Windows Phone 7.5-powered devices on display alongside manufacturers like Samsung ZTE and LG. Nokia is not expected to unveil its first Windows Phone until its annual Nokia World event in October. Microsoft’s Joe Belfore addressed the rumor without confirming or denying it early Friday morning, saying only that it is, in fact, a rumor.

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Toshiba-Fujitsu announces world’s first ‘Mango’ phone in Japan

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Immediately following news that Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango” has been released to manufacturers, Toshiba-Fujitsu became the first vendor in the world to announce a Mango phone. The stylish smartphone will launch with a less-than-memorable IS12T moniker in September, and it will be a KDDI exclusive in Japan at that time. Beyond being the first Mango phone announced, the IS12T will also be the first Windows Phone-powered smartphone to launch in Japan. Spec highlights include a 3.7-inch WVGA display, a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 32GB of storage and a 13.2-megapixel camera. Toshiba-Fujitsu’s announcement is the first in what we hope will be a long line of new smartphone announcements from Microsoft’s Windows Phone partners. New devices are expected later this year from vendors including Samsung, HTC, Dell and of course Nokia.

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