Samsung pips Nokia with first Windows Phone 8 handset
By Reuters and Nicole Kobie
Posted on 30 Aug 2012 at 08:07
Samsung became the first handset maker to announce a smartphone using Microsoft's Windows Phone 8, making its surprise, hurried announcement just days before the highly anticipated launch of Nokia's version.
The brief announcement of the Ativ S at IFA in Berlin comes amid expectations that smartphone makers may turn increasingly to Windows devices after a US jury decided many of Samsung's Google Android-based phones infringed Apple Inc patents.
"Microsoft or Windows never got their best teams, never got their best designs, just because Android was doing so well," Sid Parakh, an analyst at investment firm McAdams Wright Ragen, of the Samsung phone. "With the change in the legal environment, there's a case to be made that Samsung will likely shift some of those resources to broaden out or diversify their own exposure."
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Samsung's Ativ S was tacked onto the end of a long news conference in Berlin that focused on other products, including the Windows 8 Ativ Smart PC and Smart PC Pro tablets, and the Android based Galaxy Note II.
The 8.7mm thick Ativ S sports a high-end 4.8-inch display, 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm processor, Corning "Gorilla" glass, and an 8-megapixel rear camera and 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera, Microsoft posted on its official blog.
Samsung said the ATIV phone would hit stores in the October-November period but did not give an exact start date.
Analysts say the introduction of Samsung's Windows phone may be designed to assuage concerns that Microsoft will favor Nokia. "The fact Samsung was allowed to be the first to announce is Microsoft's backhanded way of letting other vendors know that Nokia is not getting special treatment," Current Analysis analyst Avi Greengart said.
Samsung's Windows-based smartphone marks the first in a "big lineup of new hardware" from the South Korean company based on Microsoft's software, Microsoft executive Ben Rudolph said.
It also showed off a slew of tablets using Windows 8 software and the second generation of its popular Google Android-based Galaxy Note phone-cum-tablet "phablet". Samsung has sold some 10 million of its original Galaxy Note devices.
"I am pretty confident it will even outsell its predecessor," said JK Shin, Samsung's chief of mobile business.
The new version of the Note features a thinner and slightly bigger 5.5-inch screen, quad-core processor, Android Jellybean, and improved stylus function.
Apple did not include the Note and other newly unveiled Samsung products in its original lawsuit. But the company and its lawyers are expected by many legal experts to try and use last week's legal victory to go after future gadgets, especially because the jury found infringing features in Samsung phones such as pinch-and-zoom and bounce-back - common in Android.
Nokia is due to unveil its new Lumia line of smartphones using Windows Phone 8 in New York on 5 September.
"Expectations for a 40 megapixel or possibly 20 megapixel camera model are running high. If Nokia does not unveil a monster camera handset next week, many will be disappointed," said Tero Kuittinen, analyst at mobile analytics firm Alekstra.
But Samsung's launch "leaves Nokia plenty of room to draw a clear contrast with its upcoming announcement".
Nice looking phone, from other pictures I have seen it looks a lot like the Galaxy SII which I have to say I prefer the styling of over the SIII personally.
Will be waiting to see what Nokia come up with first but am seriously considering a Windows phone when my contract expires in Oct/Nov... never thought that would happen!
By Deano on 30 Aug 2012
"The fact Samsung was allowed to be the first to announce is Microsoft's backhanded way of letting other vendors know that Nokia is not getting special treatment," Current Analysis analyst Avi Greengart said.
Has he forgot about the $1Bn yearly "platform support" Nokia is getting ????
Anyways, can see WP8 going anywhere, it will be another failure, people simply are not interested in Windows Phone and their market share spells that out.
By garyc2010 on 30 Aug 2012
Considering that Windows Phone 8 isn't even out yet, then yes I would say there is a pretty poor market share you stupid troll!
By MrKnowItAll on 30 Aug 2012
i'm going Windows
Having owned an HTC Desire and Samsung Galaxy SII I’m switching to Windows. My Samsung is back for warranty repair currently (5 months old) and as temporary cover I bought a Nokia Lumia 710 for a giveaway price of £89 quid from CarPhone Warehouse. I did this mostly out of curiosity and the fact I was getting bored of Android which broke various features as new updates arrived, the most recent of which caused the phone to hang at least once daily necessitating battery removal.
Well the Lumia/Windows 7.5 is a revelation. No crashes and it’s perfectly in sync with my Exchange account, a simple task seemingly beyond Android. Take into account an improving Office365 offering and the ability to edit my docs, I’ve now concluded that a Windows phone is for people who need to work and Android is for app junkies, gamers and kids.
By SparkyHD on 30 Aug 2012
No-one? well there's so far 3 for and 1 against here. Hardly call 75% in favour of WP no-one...
And that's here, on PCPro. Hardly the most smitten of WP sites
By nickallison on 30 Aug 2012
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