Worthy Smart Phones Get Lost Among All The Tablet Headlines
You may have missed some interesting news about upcoming smart phones among all the recent hype about Appleís iPad mini and Microsoftís Surface and Windows 8. I havenít taken the plunge and gotten a tablet yet, so the smart-phone news was far more relevant to me and perhaps to you as well.
The big news is Microsoftís Windows Phone 8 OS. Windows Phone OS-based smart phones have been around for years, but none have been a big success. Nokiaís Lumia line from earlier this year used a 7.5 version of Phone OS thatís close to Windows 8. Next, Windows Phone 8 will be on the Lumia 810, 820, 822, and 920, which is an LTE phone (see the figure).
Phone 8 has lots of new features, including access to more than 120,000 apps, near-field communications (NFC) digital wallet where available, and Skype. The unique tile-based user interface (UI) is striking, and its touch action is flawless.
Other new Windows Phone 8 phones include HTCís 8X and 8S and Samsungís ATIV S. These phones will be available in some mix from AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon in the U.S. and other carriers throughout the rest of the world. Most will be available in mid-November. Google announced its Nexus 4 smart phone and its Nexus 10 tablet last month. Made by LG Electronics, the Nexus 4 adds to the huge number of Android phones on the market.
RIM has released its forthcoming BlackBerry 10 to 50 carriers worldwide for testing. Despite RIMís problems and downturn, there are still millions of loyal BlackBerry users. Some enterprise users prefer its form factor and design. While RIM has lost millions of customers to iPhones and other smart phones, many customers are looking forward to the BlackBerry 10. It will make or break RIM when it emerges. RIM plans to launch it within the first quarter next year.
Perhaps the biggest news of all is that Microsoft is working on its own smart phone. The company is going its own way with tablets that compete directly with its software customers, so maybe Microsoft believes its own smart phone can be competitive. Microsoft is moving toward the Apple model of business, which is making the software and hardware alike.
Maybe itís time. The Microsoft smart phone isnít a sure thing, but it could happen. Itís a huge market. The latest surveys indicate that Android phones represent 75% of all cell phones today, with Samsung dominating. Apple has only 15%. Everyone else has 10%. At this point, is there really room for Microsoft and RIM?
While tablets got all the attention last month, more smart phones are sold than tablets. Tablets are hot right now and will continue to get all the attention as consumers shift their loyalty away from their beloved laptops. However, a smart phone does everything a tablet can do and more, and you can still put it in your pocket or purse. You canít even do that with one of the new 7-in. tablets.
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