Daily Archives: March 15, 2011

Windows Phone 7 Marketplace breaks 10,000 app milestone

Microsoft’s fledgling smartphone operating system, Windows Phone 7, has just hit an important milestone: over 10,000 apps are now available from the Marketplace. Microsoft has managed to reach this impressive target in just four and a half months, faster than both Apple’s iOS App Store and Google’s Android Market managed, adding about 1,000 apps a week to its armory since the New Year.

While WP7 is still waiting for Microsoft to get its act together on its ‘NoDo’ update, let’s hope developers continue to pile in, and can produce another 10k apps in quick succession. No one can deny, Microsoft has done a few things right with WP7, and more competition in the space can only be a good thing.


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Posted by on March 15, 2011 in Android, Apple, Microsoft, Windows Phone


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HTC Thunderbolt vs Trophy, Android and Windows Phone 7 will compete inside Verizon this month?

Can the first-ever Windows Phone 7 device of Verizon Wireless survive the HTC Thunderbolt?

If you’re a Verizon customer, and you’re into buying an HTC phone this month (or next month) — then there are two phones that are most likely available when you visit your local store, the HTC Thunderbolt and the HTC Trophy. According to rumors, the HTC Thunderbolt might arrive on March 16, 17, while the HTC Trophy is scheduled to hit Verizon on March 24th.

Aside from the branding, these two phones have a lot of differences. The biggest, apparently, is the operating system. HTC Thunderbolt is pre-installed with Android 2.2 version, or popularly known as FroYo with HTC Sense blended, while the HTC Trophy is packed with Windows Phone 7, Microsoft’s mobile operating system.

The next difference is the network compatibility, HTC Thunderbolt is the first-ever 4G/LTE capable device of Verizon Wireless, while the HTC Trophy is a CDMA phone. HTC Thunderbolt is obviously faster when it comes to internet activities(without WiFi connection) like watching YouTube, data downloads and uploads, mobile browsing and more. But both devices will perform almost exactly the same if WiFi is turned on because both devices was created with 1GHz Snapdragon single-core.

When it comes to camera, HTC Thunderbolt is better because HTC Trophy doesn’t have a front-facing camera for video chat (or future Skype video calls). HTC Trophy’s rear-facing camera is 5 megapixel, while the HTC Thunderbolt will sport 8 megapixel rear-facing camera, with 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera.

Another little advantage of the HTC Thunderbolt over HTC Trophy is the capacitive touchscreen size. The Thunderbolt’s screen is 4.3 inches diagonal, while HTC Trophy’s touchscreen size is 3.6 inches. Both HTC Thunderbolt and HTC Trophy have the resolution of 480 x 800 pixels.

The only possible advantage of HTC Trophy is the price tag. If Verizon will adopt the pricing of the same phone model in U.K, then it’s highly possible that the Windows Phone will sport a tag price of less than $100 with a 2 year contract, and around $400-$500 off-contract. HTC Thunderbolt is reportedly scheduled to sport a tag price of $299 with contract, and $749 without.

Windows Phone 7 (or Microsoft) obviously needs Verizon (as well as Sprint) to sell more units, and to get more market share if they want to beat iOS and Android. But launching an LTE phone first than a regular CDMA phone is a little bad news for Redmond.


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Posted by on March 15, 2011 in Android, HTC, Verizon, Windows Phone 7


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iPhone 5, in Droid era, more dependent on carriers than specs, features

As Apple prepares for the launch of the iPhone 5 this summer, the company finds itself in the odd position of needing to contend with a mainstream competitor which should never have existed. The iPhone is still the only smartphone which anyone outside of geek circles cares about, but it’s far from the only smartphone in popular use. The long-languishing BlackBerry is losing marketshare and has become the AOL of its industry. Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 is as obscure as Windows itself is mainstream. The HP Palm Pre doesn’t have a chance. The iPhone still has no competition except for one platform, which has roared into popular usage in much the same way cockroaches take over a house: unwanted, ugly, and leaving most folks eager to rid themselves of it if feasible. Apple’s mistake, of course, was in launching the iPhone in such a manner in which the door for a cockroach like the Droid was left wide open, a vacuum to be filled by anything which came along, and now Apple is left cleaning up its own mess as it heads into the iPhone 5 era.

Features and specs aren’t the iPhone’s problem and never have been. Outside of geek circles, the only segment of the population which actually prefers the Android OS to the iPhone, no one cares that there are Android phones available with built in 4G. Come to think of it, almost no one cares that the iPhone has FaceTime either. Greater than ninety-nine percent of smartphone owners can’t name the processor speed of their phone or that of any other phones they may have considered. Usability, more specifically a positive ratio of frustration-free use to frustration-filled geekiness, is the only real litmus test the mainstream has when it comes to such devices. It’s why the iPod won the MP3 marketshare battle hands down. It’s why the iPad is doing the same in the tablet market. But because of an iPhone original sin, Apple embarks on the iPhone 5 era with a fraction of the marketshare it should have, and more problematically, a statistically significant competing platform in Android which almost no one (outside of the geeks) has anything positive to say about, but which plenty of them are willing to settle for if it means being able to stay with their preferred carrier.

For a brief moment there, it appeared Apple was going to win the battle when it came to making the iPhone an AT&T-only product in the United States (and tying the iPhone to one carrier in each other nation) in the hopes of getting the public to mass migrate to that carrier. But even as Verizon’s internals show that was bleeding enough customers to AT&T over the iPhone prior to the Verizon iPhone 4 launch that the carrier’s growth had all but stalled out, that was more of a defeat for Verizon than it was a victory for Apple. Even as each non-iPhone carrier got its lunch individually eaten by the AT&T and the iPhone, with each carrier’s pet Android phone not being enough to keep customers from leaving in favor of the iPhone, that hasn’t been enough to keep the iPhone firmly atop the overall marketshare battle. And that’s shocking when one considers that none out of ten random non-geek consumers on the street will affirm that they want an iPhone, but perhaps only three out of ten actually have one. Ask why they’re using an Android based phone instead of the iPhone they say they want, their answer is straightforward and has nothing to do with Android. “I’m on Sprint,” they’ll say, as if that’s not a condition which can be corrected. “Our family uses T-Mobile,” they’ll protest, making it clear that they’d rather have a phone they can’t stand than a carrier they can’t trust. “I’m on Verizon,” they’ll retort, “and I skipped the Verizon iPhone 4 because it’s old news and I’m not eligible for upgrade pricing yet anyway. I’m waiting for the Verizon iPhone 5.”

So half the battle is won. The mass migration among Verizon customers from the Droid to the iPhone has begun in earnest, and will evolve into a tidal wave the moment the iPhone 5 surfaces. But if Apple wants to actually win the smartphone marketshare battle instead of continuing to fumble it away, the iPhone 5 must surface on Sprint and T-Mobile as well, along with every major carrier in every nation in which the iPhone 5 is offered. Years ago, it was a cute experiment to see whether Apple could use the leverage of exclusivity to motivate AT&T into becoming a carrier which iPhone users could be proud of. The results of that long term experiment speak for themselves. And now Apple must deal with a competing platform which no one seems to even like but which far too many people appear to be perfectly willing to settle for. Here’s more on the iPhone 5.


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Posted by on March 15, 2011 in Apple, Blackberry, iPhone, Windows Phone 7


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