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AT&T’s Windows Phone 7 lineup: HTC Titan, Samsung Focus S & Focus Flash (first look)


Summary: Will these Windows Phone 7 “Mango” phones from AT&T make it to a stocking near you this holiday?

Microsoft’s Phone President Andy Lees showed off  three AT&T-branded Windows Phone 7 (Mango) phones at the All Things Digital Asia conference in Hong Kong this morning.

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While you may be able to recite the features of Mango by heart, you probably couldn’t tell these WP7 handsets apart, especially when they’re all displaying the same ‘Metro’ home screen (see right). Well, consider this as your cheat sheet to AT&T’s upcoming WP7 offerings: the HTC Titan (left), Samsung Focus S (center) and Samsung Focus Flash (right).

HTC Titan

True to its name, the HTC Titan from AT&T has the biggest display of the bunch at 4.7 inches, which beats yesterday’s largest phone, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, by 0.05-inch. According to the Window Phone Blog, it has a 9.9-mm profile, a 1.5 GHz processor under the hood, an 8-megapixel rear camera with dual LED flash (plus a front cam), and offers a brushed aluminum back with the curves (and build) that HTC phones are known for.

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Samsung Focus S

The Samsung Focus S may be the middle child in AT&T’s WP7 portfolio but there is nothing middling about the phone. It serves up Samsung’s specialty: a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, powered by a 1.4 GHz CPU that is capable of 4G speeds, along with a 8-megapixel rear and 1.3-megapixel front camera, in a svelte 8.55-millimeters package. What’s not to like about these specs?

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Samsung Focus Flash

It’s easier to differentiate the Samsung Focus S from the Focus Flash as the latter has a more modest 3.7-inch Super AMOLED screen, sharper lines and a slightly slower 1.4 GHz processor under the display. It’ll likely be the most budget-friendly WP7 from AT&T so bargain hunters should keep their eye out on the Focus Flash rather than its flashier brothers.

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AT&T has yet to announce a ship date or pricing for these phones so no need to lineup at your local store for now. There’s still plenty of time until the holiday.

Source: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/gadgetreviews/at-ts-windows-phone-7-lineup-htc-titan-samsung-focus-s-focus-flash-first-look/27934

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Posted by on October 20, 2011 in HTC, Mango, Samsung, Windows Phone 7, WP7

 

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Android Already As Profitable for Microsoft as Windows Phone 7


Microsoft makes almost as much money licensing patents to HTC, Samsung and other companies as it does selling Windows Phone 7 devices.

Yes, you read that right, Microsoft makes almost as much from Android sales as they do through sales of their own Windows Phone devices. That’s more than Google makes from the Android, which the company gives away to manufacturers. It is worth noting that Android users generate ad revenue for Google, which could add up to $1.3 billion in 2012.

Goldman Sachs estimates Microsoft will make $444 million annually from Android patent settlements for the current fiscal year. This is just slightly less than the estimated $600 million that Microsoft makes annually from the Windows Phone business.

Goldman Sachs pegs Microsoft’s earnings per Android sold at $3 to $6 per device. For comparison, Microsoft is estimated to take in about $15 per Windows Phone 7 device sold by HTC. This comes from settlements with Samsung and from a settlement with HTC made earlier this year, and match up with those from a Citi analyst earlier this year. Estimates suggest that over this same period, Google will earn about $10 per Android users in the form of ad revenue.

As Business Insider points out, this $444 million is a drop in the bucket, when you compare it to the estimated $75 billion in revenue for the same fiscal year. Unfortunately for Microsoft, patent settlements aren’t adding to the bottom line, and they aren’t slowing down Android either.

Nielsen’s analysis of smartphone purchases in the last 3 months showed that Android took 56% of the purchases, iPhone had 28% and RIM had 9%. Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 didn’t even make the list, aside from being lumped into 6% of other smartphone purchases.

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Despite dire beginnings, Windows Phone 7 has a chance at coming back in 2012. Windows Phone 7.5, better known as Windows Phone Mango, has been released and will being many improvements to the Windows Phone devices. If we can get a helping of high end Windows Phone 7 devices with 4G LTE in early 2012, Microsoft might be able to get out of this slump.

Source: http://www.gottabemobile.com/2011/09/29/android-already-as-profitable-for-microsoft-as-windows-phone-7/

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2011 in Android, Google, IDC, Microsoft, Samsung, Windows Phone

 

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Windows Phone 7 Mango Update Next Week?


Windows Phone 7.5 adds long-awaited features like multitasking and native 4G support to Microsoft’s mobile platform.

A Microsoft official said the company may begin distributing the widely-anticipated Mango update for Windows Phone 7 as early as next week.

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“For months, we and dozens of partner companies have been laying the groundwork for the Windows Phone 7.5 update–and making solid progress. As a result, we now expect to start rolling it out in the next week or two,” said Eric Hautala, general manager for Customer Experience Engineering in Microsoft’s Windows Phone group.

Mango is officially known as Windows Phone 7.5. It adds more than 500 new features to the Windows Phone platform, including multitasking and 4G support. For those who can’t wait to get their hands on the official update, Hautala cautioned against downloading and installing pre-release versions that have been circulating on the Web.

“During the official Windows Phone 7.5 update process, every Windows Phone will also receive software from the handset manufacturer,” Hautala said, in a blog post. “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. Since your phone requires the proper firmware to function as designed my advice is simple: steer clear of bootleg updates and homebrew tools.”

Users of the current version of Windows Phone 7 will need to update their devices through their personal computers. Windows PC users will need to install the latest version of the Zune software for PCs, while Mac users, if there are any that use Windows Phone, will need Windows Phone 7 Connector for Mac. Windows Phone devices are available from HTC, Dell, Samsung, and LG. Nokia will join the group later this year as Microsoft’s go-to partner for Windows Phone under a strategic alliance.

Mango adds numerous improvements to Windows Phone, from new end-user features to transparent back-end services, according to Microsoft.

A feature called Threads lets users glide between text, Windows Live Messenger, and Facebook chat within the same “conversation.” Groups lets users receive and send messages from predefined social or business circles directly to and from the Smart Tiles home screen. Contact Cards have been enhanced to include feeds from Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as previously supported networks.

Local Scout, which is integrated with Bing, yields hyper-local search results for dining, shopping, and entertainment. Mango also adds long-awaited multitasking capability, which lets users move freely between applications and pick up and resume where they left off. 4G wireless support is embedded.

For security-conscious enterprise customers, Mango adds support for various rights management technologies. For example, it lets authorized users open emails tagged with restrictions such as “do not forward” or “do not copy.” Additionally, it beefs up integration with authoring and collaboration tools like Lync and Office 365.

In the U.S., Windows Phone is available on the AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile networks.

Source: http://www.informationweek.com/news/windows/microsoft_news/231601976

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2011 in AT&T, Dell, HTC, Mango, Microsoft, Samsung, Windows Phone 7

 

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Samsung Focus S Windows Phone Mango Stops Over at FCC en Route to AT&T


On its way to landing on U.S. carrier AT&T, the Windows Phone 7 Mango-powered Samsung Focus S has stopped over at the FCC for a brief layover for regulatory approval. The device is considered one of the most feature-rich Windows Phone Mango devices on the market and it will differentiate itself from other offerings with a Super AMOLED Plus display, similar to those found on the company’s flagship Galaxy S II series Android smartphones, that will offer high contrast, vibrant colors, and deep blacks.

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The Focus S is one of three new Mango-powered phones for AT&T’s U.S. network and features the same 4.3-inch WVGA resolution Super AMOLED Plus screens that are found on the Android Galaxy S II smartphones, along with an 8-megapixel rear camera and front-facing camera, a 1.4 GHz processor, and support for AT&T’s 4G HSPA+ network–unfortunately, Windows Phone 7 still doesn’t support 4G LTE as of yet.

Pricing and availability still is not known at this time. Given the device’s close resemblance to the Galaxy S II smartphone, it may be priced in the same range as the high-end Android handset.

The Focus S will be joined by thee larger 4.7-inch HTC TITAN and the mid-range Samsung Focus Flash smartphones.

Source: http://www.gottabemobile.com/2011/09/20/samsung-focus-s-windows-phone-mango-stops-over-at-fcc-en-route-to-att/

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2011 in AT&T, Mango, Samsung, Windows Phone 7

 

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Windows Phone 7 gets new Xbox Live features and 14 new games


Microsoft previewed some new Xbox Live games and features for its Windows Phone 7 platform today at the annual Gamescom event in Cologne, Germany.

The announcements are part of the company’s plan to build enthusiasm for its mobile games — which are one of the best ways to show off its mobile platform — and the upcoming Mango release of the Windows Phone 7 software. Mango, which includes a major update for the phone software, is expected to debut in September.

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It’s a small set of new features and titles, but the kind that Microsoft increasingly needs to make as it competes with rivals including Google (soon to be acquiring Motorola Mobility), Research in Motion, Nokia, Apple and Samsung in the mobile operating system market.

The new announcements include Xbox Live Avatar Awardables, which are wearable achievements for your Xbox Live avatar, or virtual character, which is visible on your phone. The first game to feature them will be the upcoming Chickens Can’t Fly.

There will also be game add-ons, such as the ability to purchase extra mushrooms and other goods in games such as Beards & Beaks. You will be able to buy more in-game add-ons and downloadable content such as extra weapons or levels in the coming months. That’s a critical feature to generate revenues for game developers.

Windows Phone will also have parental controls, where parents can set the content that kids can view. You can restrict a child from playing a mature-rated game such as the upcoming Splinter Cell Conviction game. And players will be able to do a Fast Async, which improves game play for multilayer turn-by-turn games.

Upcoming titles include Beards & Beaks: Cave Area; Bug Village (pictured); Burn the Rope; Collapse!; Chickens Can’t Fly; Gravity Guy; Farm Frenzy 2; Fight Game Rivals; IonballEX; Kinectimals Mobile; Mush; Orbital; TextTwist 2; and Toy Soldiers Boot Camp.

Source: http://venturebeat.com/2011/08/16/windows-phone-7-gets-new-xbox-live-features-and-14-new-games/

 
 

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Motorola wants Nokia-style deal on Windows Phone 7


Motorola Mobility would consider adding Windows Phone 7 to its OS roster, CEO Sanjay Jha has revealed, but only if Microsoft could deliver a similar deal to which it agreed with Nokia. Speaking at the at the Oppenheimer Technology & Communications Conference this week, FierceWireless reports, Jha reiterated earlier comments that the company was still evaluating Windows Phone’s long-term viability, and suggested that he did not believe that it, webOS and BlackBerry would all survive.

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“Clearly, all of our focus today is on Android” Jha pointed out, going on to address concerns regarding the patent struggle facing many OEMs using the Google platform. While Samsung may have been blocked from selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Europe, and HTC found guilty of copying Apple technology in its range of phones, Jha says Motorola’s “very large IP portfolio” will protect it. “I think in the long term as things settle down, you will see meaningful difference in positions in Android players both in terms of avoidance of royalties and the ability to collect royalties” he suggested.

Microsoft agreed to pay Nokia several billion dollars and support the company’s R&D efforts and marketing, as well as give the Finnish company unique flexibility in modifying the Windows Phone platform, in return for Nokia bypassing Android. The uncertain legal situation around Android has led to reports that would-be OEMs are considering adopting Windows Phone or MeeGo in an attempt to hedge bets on which platforms may eventually make the cut.

Source: http://www.slashgear.com/motorola-wants-nokia-style-deal-on-windows-phone-7-10170743/

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2011 in Android, Motorola, Samsung, Windows Phone 7

 

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Mobile Market Share: Windows Phone 7.5 Is Just the Beginning


The often maligned Steve Ballmer recently quipped that with Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows Phone 7 gambit, Microsoft improved its mobile market share from very small to very small. Although reviewed relatively well in the press and online, the release suffered from a large number of small but vexing usability issues. Consumers balked, and Windows Phone 7 failed to make a dent in a highly competitive and increasingly fluid sector.

Data from last quarter on domestic smart phone subscriptions confirms a veritable onslaught from the Apple (AAPL) iOS and Google (GOOG) Android juggernauts:

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More recently, a Canalys worldwide survey claimed that Google’s OS now makes up about 50% of global smart phone sales thanks to broad support from a variety of vendors and wide selection of entry-level devices, boasting over 550,000 new unit activations per day. While Microsoft has done a good job leveraging its patent portfolio and legal standing to monetize its stake in Android through direct OEM agreements, there’s no question that the Redmond behemoth remains a spectator instead of a brawler in the all-out war between Apple and Google for minds, hearts and wallets.

But it’s too early to write Microsoft off, and I believe the company, already undervalued on a sum-of-components basis, sells at a further discount that ignores long-term prospects in a space which has been and will continue being volatile. One-time winners have turned into today’s losers, and those sitting on the sidelines today may yet turn out to be tomorrow’s players. With the official RTM copy of Windows Phone 7.5, codenamed “Mango,” being released into the wild, there are signs that bode well for Microsoft and its manufacturing partners:

* Microsoft’s commitment to incremental updates and functionality improvements represents a serious shift — a late one, perhaps, but critical nonetheless. When Windows Phone 7 failed to make an impact, it would’ve been easy to pull the plug on Mango and instead focus on the radically redesigned Windows 8 platform due next year, a kick-the-can strategy Microsoft has been known to use before when confronted with lackluster launches. It didn’t happen. Redmond appears to be finally taking into account that year-long release cycles do not belong in such a fluid marketplace. Smart phone users expect and demand updates in days rather than months, and Microsoft is showing signs it understands this. This is non-trivial, as the company has been out-maneuvered before by faster development cycles; witness Internet Explorer’s astonishing collapse in users as Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome offer faster updates and more rapidly expanding feature sets.

* Microsoft is investing serious resources into comprehensive support of current and future developers. Windows Phone programmers have been treated to consistent access to Mango beta builds, free toolsets and sneak previews into what writing Windows 8 applications will look like. With Windows Marketplace expanding gradually and showing signs of evolving into a truly viable ecosystem, handhelds operating Windows Phone will look more appealing to discerning consumers.

* A whole slew of support has been announced from existing major OEMs. Fujitsu, Samsung (SSNFL.PK), HTC (HTCXK.PK) and LG have all broadcast their intentions to offer Mango devices, and former leader Nokia (NOK) has already showcased a working prototype based on the appealing but Symbian-crippled N9 design. I believe Nokia’s all-in bet with Windows Phone may be a decisive point not just for the floundering Finnish giant but also for Microsoft. Nokia’s technical and design expertise is not negligible.

* Finally, the sheer quality of the Mango updates is impressive. After having an opportunity to interact with the RTM version of the OS, I walked away pleasantly surprised by the overall responsiveness on a single-core phone and lengthy list of bug fixes, enhancements and functionality tweaks. Most of the changes are subcutaneous rather than obvious, but the end effect is a “it just works” feeling that’s hard to quantify.The pane interface is streamlined and intuitive, a welcome departure from iOS and Android implementations of the touch interface. Engadget’s popular preview sums it all up rather well:

Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles, Windows Phone is developing into the OS we’ve been asking for since we first used it last year. By adding in crucial elements like multitasking, groups, social network integration and more, it’s starting to play catch-up to the other big names in mobile. Not overcome — catch-up. Mango hasn’t shown us anything truly groundbreaking yet. At least this platform, still in its youth, is stepping onto the same playing field as hard hitters like iOS and Android, though. One thing that surprised us was how few bugs or choppy effects were present in this build, an impressive feat considering we’re still a few months away from completion. Overall, we’ve come away with a positive outlook on Windows Phone’s newest iteration, and are very eager to see the finished result

These factors point to this quarter as the first of many during which Microsoft seriously establishes itself as a contender in the smart phone space.

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MSFT doesn’t look as cheap as it did three months ago, after outperforming the Nasdaq by a full 11%, but it’s still historically undervalued. As the market continues to be rattled by cyclical worries, this appears to be good opportunity to establish or expand exposure.

Source: http://seekingalpha.com/article/284173-mobile-market-share-windows-phone-7-5-is-just-the-beginning

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2011 in Android, Google, iOS, Nokia, WP7

 

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