With Windows Phone 7.5 Mango, Microsoft is sending a clear message that its mobile ambitions are moving full steam ahead, but can they hope for more than third place?
Windows Phone 7.5 Mango review: Up to speed Ambitious Microsoft heaped up 500 changes in the Windows Phone update, many of which give the underdog mobile OS a fighting chance against Android and iOS, at least when it comes to features. (Posted in Dialed In by Jessica Dolcourt) September 27, 2011 10:00 a.m. PT
Amazon didn't disappoint tech enthusiasts this morning at its big press conference in Manhattan.. The company announced not one, but three new devices, all below the $200 price point.
As Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said more than once during the presentation, the company is all about "making premium products at non-premium prices." The new products included three new e-ink e-readers and the much-anticipated Kindle Fire, a tablet for enjoying all of Amazon's multimedia content.
Amazon today showed off three new versions of its Kindle e-ink digital book reader.
The company unveiled the Kindle Touch for $99. It also showed off a 3G version, which will sell for $149. A cheaper and smaller non-touch-control Kindle will sell for $79, and will be supported with ads.
Amazon unveiled the Kindle Fire, an Android-powered tablet that acts more like a color e-reader on steroids and will retail for $199.
"We're building premium products at non-premium prices," said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos during the presentation.
The Kindle Fire will be available on November 15 and is available for preorder now. Bloomberg earlier reported the $199 price point and details on the device.
The Kindle Fire marks Amazon's first foray into the tablet market, which has so far been dominated by Apple's iPad. But with its low price--most tablets retail for around $500--and the established Kindle brand, analysts believe Amazon's product could represent the first legitimate competitor in an area where many other high-end Android tablets have missed the mark.
"We believe that the launch of an Amazon tablet will significantly boost the tablet market and inject a much needed competitor to Apple's iPad," Adam Leach, an analyst at research firm Ovum, said ahead of the event.
The specifications, however, are lower than other comparable high-end tablets. While it has a dual-core processor, it lacks many of the other typical features found in a tablet, such as a camera, microphone, and 3G wireless access. It also only has 8 gigabytes of storage space. The device is more intended to compete with Barnes & Noble's Nook Color, which is essentially a stripped down Android tablet. … Read more
Microsoft and Samsung Electronics said today that they had struck a cross-licensing agreement, avoiding the potential litigation that has plagued most technology companies.
Under the deal, Samsung has agreed to pay Microsoft royalties for technology used in its Android-based tablets and handsets. In addition, the companies agreed to work together to further develop and market Windows Phone devices.
The deal represents a rare example of compromise in an industry where lawyers have been the preferred weapon. Over the past few years, Microsoft has been more aggressive in extracting licensing agreements with electronic manufacturers using any kind of smartphone technology. It … Read more
LA DEFENSE, France--"Mobile devices"? Smartphones and tablets might better be called just wireless devices, because people use them while out and about comparatively rarely.
So said Olivier Baujard, Deutsche Telekom's chief technology officer, speaking here at the Broadband World Forum. He based his conclusion on data from the Netherlands, where 45 percent of traffic is from home, 45 percent is from work, and only 10 percent is while "walking, driving a car, taking a bus, or things like that."
"It's more a wireless experience than a true mobile experience," Baujard said. &… Read more
The question on everyone's lips isn't so much if the more than 500 changes to Windows Phone OS will satisfy current Mango users; they will. It's a good release, on one that proves Windows Phone is maturing, however gradually. With it, Microsoft will continue to keep its current customers. After all, that set is already committed to the platform, at least for another year or so until their contracts expire.
The more crucial point is whether Microsoft's new and improved OS has charm enough to draw new takers, especially those from the legions of Android who may be curiously casting sidelong looks at Windows Phone. In that we're much less certain.
Operating System We said it in our hands-on review: Mango is a good update. It adds many new, useful features and expands upon others that are already there. Besides that, Windows Phone itself has a certain elan. The Metro UI, as the brightly colored, pleasantly blocky interface is known, is clean and straightforward. The way information is organized liberates us from the clone-y sameness of tiny icons in grid formation.
Microsoft thought out of the box when creating a few new features and did a good job integrating others directly into the OS, like barcode scanning, song ID, and automated playlist creation in the music library. Not all of these are of Microsoft's own invention, but not all of them need to be. Most importantly, they need to make the Windows Phone experience satisfying and full.… Read more
There is plenty of wireless spectrum available to meet the demand for wireless data services, but the problem may be that too much of it is in the wrong hands, according to a recent report from Citigroup.
A recent report from analysts at Citigroup, titled "Wireless Data: Supply and Demand Spectrum Control, Not Availability, Is the Real Constraint," suggests that the wireless industry already has a significant amount of wireless spectrum available. The problem, the analysts argue, is that the operators that control the greatest amount of unused spectrum may be under-capitalized or unwilling to build out networks … Read more
The U.S. International Trade Commission announced today that its members have voted to begin an investigation on HTC's behalf into whether Apple infringes on HTC's intellectual property with its mobile phones, tablets, and computers.
HTC first filed its complaint, the latest against the Cupertino, Calif.-based consumer electronics giant, last month, saying Apple was infringing on two of its patents. The Taiwanese handset manufacturer seeks to halt the importation of Apple products into the U.S., as well as compensatory damages, and three times the normal damages for willful infringement.
If there was any lingering hope that T-Mobile USA would start offering the iPhone soon, the carrier's marketing chief just killed it.
T-Mobile Chief Marketing Officer Cole Brodman posted a letter to customers on the company's blog yesterday, saying that while he would love to carry the iPhone, the company is currently focusing on "the best that Android has to offer." Translation: T-Mobile is definitely not getting the iPhone in the near future.
T-Mobile now stands as the only national carrier left out of the iPhone game, with all indications pointing to Sprint Nextel joining AT&T and Verizon Wireless as an Apple partner. That's a significant disadvantage for the company, which is already struggling to return to growth and stem customer defection.
"We've heard from many customers who love their T-Mobile service but are disappointed that we don't carry the iPhone," he said in his letter. "To these customers, first, thank you for your business."
He did note that more than 1 million T-Mobile customers use an unlocked iPhone on its network. The GSM version of the iPhone--which is what AT&T uses--can be moved on to T-Mobile's network but can only access the slower 2G network. Brodman reiterated his interest in a "no compromise" iPhone experience on its network. … Read more