It was bound to happen (and we predicted it last year), but Microsoft has gone ahead and bought Nokia’s devices and services division. The move, while not unexpected, is an interesting one for Microsoft. Although Microsoft does manufacture some of their own devices they have mostly stayed out of production until now. With the move to buy up Nokia’s production facilities including the Lumia line. This puts Microsoft in the driver’s seat for the largest manufacturer of Windows Phone devices. Will Microsoft be able to get around their apparent curse when it comes to making (and marketing) mobile devices with this move?
According to data collected by the seller company Adduplex, Nokia has huge 85.4% of the market of devices based on Windows Phone. In Adduplex also point out that Nokia has in the previous month increased its dominance in this market, and increase the share by one percentage point.
So far we've heard some rumors that the Samsung should issue in the near future a new Windows Phone 8 smartphone that carries the code name Cronus, but the South Korean company has so far declined to comment on this matter.
According to market research firm IDC, during the first three months of this year on a global scale 216.2 million "smart" mobile phones were delivered, which is 41.6% more than in the same period a year earlier.
When introducing Windows Phone 8, Microsoft announced four manufacturers that will have devices in its range; Nokia, HTC, Samsung and Huawei. While the first three heavyweights already introduced their devices before the unveiling of the OS, Huawei decided to wait to release their Windows Phone.
After Nokia announced a deal in which they are seeking Linux specialists, many of the "experts" interpreted this as a sure sign that the company might cross over, or at least be planning to switch to Android. However, no matter how much we want to see Lumias running Android it looks like that will not happen.
HTC prepared for the Windows Phone 8 platform with their 8X and 8S models. The 8X, a higher end device, which is already sold in the U.S. HTC has now said that the more affordable model 8S won’t be arriving in the U.S. market, at least to the telecom operators. HTC has not given any explanation for this.
The Windows Store has over 20,000 applications as announced by the Win App Update on their twitter feed. Of this number, according to the unofficial data, 87% are free of charge. Speaking at a London Game Conference, a Microsoft marketing manager Andrew Webber revealed another fact - until recently the Windows Store had fewer than 1,500 games (at the time of writing the text 1,615), in the category of racing there are only 13 of them.
In San Francisco, a little after 10 o'clock local time, Microsoft began formally presenting Windows Phone 8. This is Microsoft’s new operating system for mobile devices which is a direct successor of Windows Phone 7, but also the link between Windows 8, Windows RT computers, and handheld devices. Although for now only three device manufacturers have reaffirmed their support for the new mobile OS (Nokia Lumia 920 and Lumia 820, HTC Windows Phone 8x and 8S and Samsung Galaxy S Ativ), for Microsoft this is the most important event of the year after they launched Windows 8 and their Surface RT tablets. In addition to the big three mentioned earlier, it is expected that Huawei will launch smartphones with WP8, presumably the Ascend W1 model, designed for the lower segment of the smartphone market. ZTE also plans to release their model next year.
If Microsoft was expecting a mass of people running out to buy Windows 8 devices or to suddenly feel the need to update their machines to Windows 8 they were let down after the launch. Although Microsoft and their partners were playing up Windows 8 and the new class of “touch first” products they failed to capture the markets imagination. Instead, like the Zune HD they have a nice array of positive reviews, but little sales to show for it. We spoke with a few retailers who have stated that Windows 8 interest was flat this weekend. Instead they had questions about if older Windows 7 based devices were going to go on sale soon now that new models were out.