Samsung officially announced it will manufacture Windows Phone 7 smartphones, which it will launch before the end of 2010. Microsoft is expected to formally launch Windows Phone 7 in October.
Samsung plans to manufacture Windows Phone 7 smartphones,
which it will launch before the end of 2010. That official announcement follows
months of widespread speculation-backed by leaked photos and video-that Samsung
would produce the devices.
Samsung already produces several smartphones that run Google
Android, one of the major competitors to Microsoft's Windows Phone 7. For its
part, Microsoft hopes that a healthy number of devices running the operating
system, combined with a wide variety of mobile apps and services, will help it
re-establish a position in the smartphone market. Unlike Android and the Apple
iPhone, which rely on grid-like screens of individual apps for their user
interface, Windows Phone 7 aggregates Web content and apps into a series of subject-specific
"Hubs" such as "Office" and "Games."
Microsoft is expected to formally launch Windows Phone 7 in
"The addition of Windows Phone 7 devices to Samsung's
smartphone portfolio is a significant milestone," Simon Stanford, head of
Mobile for Samsung UK and Ireland, wrote
in a Sept. 30 statement
. "Samsung's new Windows Phone 7-based smartphones
will play a key role in reinforcing Samsung's leadership in the smartphone
market and commitment to providing a range of devices across a variety of
Samsung's statement failed to mention the exact number of
Windows Phone 7 smartphones it plans on launching; but Europe, the United
States and Asia will apparently receive devices during the 2010 rollout.
"For years, Samsung has been a key partner in bringing new
Windows phones to customers all over the world," Steve Guggenheimer, corporate
vice president of Microsoft's OEM Division, also wrote in a Sept. 30 statement.
"Windows Phone 7 is an important release and we look forward to deepening our
collaboration with Samsung on mobile devices and beyond, with our multiscreen
Windows Phone 7 reached its release-to-manufacturing milestone
Sept. 1, after which Microsoft's OEM partners began integrating the software
with their devices. That followed a summer of extensive internal testing, with
more than 1,000 Microsoft employees evaluating the platform's battery life,
usability, and network connectivity.
Microsoft will spend nearly a half-billion dollars in
marketing during Windows Phone 7's initial rollout, according to Deutsche Bank
analyst Jonathan Goldberg. "This is make-or-break for them. They need to do
whatever it takes to stay in the game," he
told the blog TechCrunch Aug. 26
. "They don't have to take share from
Android or Apple, so long as they can attract enough consumers switching from
Goldberg estimated Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 marketing tab
at $400 million, but that doesn't include the already-substantial development
costs for the platform. Microsoft is reportedly offering financial incentives
to mobile-applications developers, as part of its bid to develop a robust apps
Microsoft hopes that Windows Phone 7 will reverse the
company's mobile market-share slide. In addition to the Apple iPhone and Google
Android, the company also faces competition in the enterprise from Research In
Motion, which seems determined to revive its own fortunes with new devices such
as the BlackBerry Torch 9800.
"We missed a generation with Windows Mobile. We really did
miss a release cycle," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told
the audience during his July 12 keynote at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner
. However, he promised, "We will give you a set of Windows-based
devices that people will be proud to carry."