Speaking to the Economic Times of India, Karbonn revealed that they would be launching 3 affordable Windows Phone 8.1 handsets this quarter costing between 8,000 and 15,000 INR. The handsets are to be completely localized and packed with Indianised applications and services.
“Microsoft sees great value in developing an ecosystem through partnership with local players like Karbonn,” said Karbonn executive director Shashin Devsare.
Economic Times notes by Market Share Windows Phone is the second largest operating system in the Indian market after Android with 5% of the market.
Karbonn Mobiles itself is growing aggressively and is aiming for a 17-18% marketshare of the smartphone market by March 2015 and 25% in the next financial year. The company had a 10% share of the Indian smartphone market at the end of March, according to IDC.
They are also looking to expand into CIS countries such as Russia and Ukraine and will soon launch its customised products in both these countries, Devsare said. It is aiming to export 12 million devices in 2015 and plans to enter China next year.
Read more at economictimes.indiatimes.com.
Vodafone Australia has been one of the first to publish their WP8.1 update status, and they have now revealed on their software support and update blog that they Windows Phone 8.1 update for the Nokia Lumia 925 has completed testing, and was now “awaiting rollout details.”
Its not exactly clear what that means, except to suggest that it will not be long before the software lands on the devices of Australian Nokia Lumia 925 users.
Nokia and now Microsoft loves their photography apps, with Nokia publishing several in the past, including Nokia Creative Studio, Nokia Refocus, Nokia Cinemagraph, Nokia Smartcam, Nokia Story Teller and more.
It turns out there is method to the madness, as Microsoft believes photography apps are a major draw to the Windows Phone platform.
Speaking to TrustedReviews, Matt Collins, Global Director of Applications and Partner Marketing at Microsoft, revealed customers love the photography apps available on Windows Phone.
“When we ask consumers what segments [of the Windows Phone store] they associate [with Windows Phone], without any kind of a lead from Microsoft or a nudging, they come back to imaging applications,” explained Collins.
If you have been waiting to get your hands on the Nokia Lumia Icon, exclusive to Verizon, now would be a good time to jump in, as the handset has just dropped to $49.99 on contract.
The handset is nearly identical to the Nokia Lumia 930, and still features the current high end of the Windows Phone range, the Snapdragon 800 processor, and of course has an amazing 20 megapixel camera.
Pick up the device at Verizon here.
China will be one of the first countries to receive Cortana support after it escapes from the USA, and Windows Blog Italia reports that work is already well underway, with a simple (unrevealed) hack allowing users to download the Chinese language pack and let Cortana start speaking in Chinese.
Unfortunately questions still have to be asked in English, but I suspect it will not be long before the hack becomes official and this will stop being an issue.
If you manage a Facebook page from your Windows Phone, we have some great news for you. The FB Pages Manager for Windows Phone is now only half price.
The app lets you post, delete or share your pages status, upload photos, send and receive messages from your pages, comment on your posts or reply to a comment and a lot more.
You can also view all your page insights, like or unlike and pin your pages to your start screen and get notifications even when the app isn’t open.
The app is now only $0.99, down from $1.99. and is available in a Full and Light version and also for Windows 8.
Download the app from the Windows Phone Store here.
The BBM for Windows Phone app is now in private beta, and if you want to be one of the few to test it before its release by the end of July, you can now sign up for the beta at Blackberry here.
Space is limited, so act fast!
Satya Nadella has been doing a lot of talking about their strategy going forward, and in speaking to the Verge today he confirmed his commitment to winning with Windows Phone.
When asked how he would change the mindset that Google and Apple has won already, he said:
We’re going to change it by producing phones — where we grow in countries where we’ve grown from 3 to 10 percent, celebrate that. And then have higher ambition. There are many countries, even in Western Europe, where we have over 10 percent share, and I completely recognize that if you are not growing in the US, for you we are nothing, and I’m grounded in that reality. But at the same time, [we will] keep coming at it and keep coming at it, but have a core which you really are using to differentiate what your value proposition for the user is.
He continued, saying:
The thing is, any current market share is not a marker for our future ambition. So the way I look at it is, you’re pointing to the right challenge. And the solution to that challenge is to say, "First, why would you want to pick one of our devices?"
You’re defining the market as "It’s already done, Apple and Google have won, because they won the consumer side." And I’m going to question that. I’m going to say "No, any thinking consumer should consider Microsoft because guess what, you’re just not a consumer. You’re also going to go to work, you’re also going to be productive and we can do a better job for you in there." And that’s what I want to appeal to.
From Nadella’s comments he appears to be both realistic and ambitious. What do our readers think?
Read the full interview at the Verge here.
New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is in the process of making his own stamp on Microsoft, which appears to herald a new restructuring of Microsoft, just months after their last one under outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer.
He posted an open letter, ostensibly for employees, and for those focussed on Windows Phone he writes:
Device OS and Hardware: Our Windows device OS and first-party hardware will set the bar for productivity experiences. Windows will deliver the most rich and consistent user experience for digital work and life scenarios on screens of all sizes – from phones, tablets and laptops to TVs and giant 82 inch PPI boards. We will invest so that Windows is the most secure, manageable and capable OS for the needs of a modern workforce and IT. Windows will create a broad developer opportunity by enabling Universal Windows Applications to run across all device targets. Windows will evolve to include new input/output methods like speech, pen and gesture and ultimately power more personal computing experiences.
Our first-party devices will light up digital work and life. Surface Pro 3 is a great example – it is the world’s best productivity tablet. In addition, we will build first-party hardware to stimulate more demand for the entire Windows ecosystem. That means at times we’ll develop new categories like we did with Surface. It also means we will responsibly make the market for Windows Phone, which is our goal with the Nokia devices and services acquisition.
The post appear to confirm an ongoing commitment to Windows Phone, and earlier in the letter Nadella talks about an platform approach which seems counter to the idea that Microsoft will dump their own platform for Google’s for example.
Microsoft did however promise cross-platform apps and apps which partition between work and life. He also promised Microsoft will work faster and more efficiently, and he concludes:
Nothing is off the table in how we think about shifting our culture to deliver on this core strategy. Organizations will change. Mergers and acquisitions will occur. Job responsibilities will evolve. New partnerships will be formed. Tired traditions will be questioned. Our priorities will be adjusted. New skills will be built. New ideas will be heard. New hires will be made. Processes will be simplified. And if you want to thrive at Microsoft and make a world impact, you and your team must add numerous more changes to this list that you will be enthusiastic about driving.
Do our readers think the news bode well or ill? Let us know below.
Kiloo has updated their Subway Surfers endless runner and has now finally made the device available to 512 MB handsets.
In this version the Subway Surfers World Tour visits France
Players can take Coco, the lovable mime, for a surf in the stunning metro of Paris, zap from side to side on the new sci-fi Teleporter board and add colour and style to your collection with new Outfits for Coco and Prince K.
Download it here from Windows Phone Store for free.
Clove has announced their price for the new Nokia Lumia 930. The new Windows Phone flaghship will be on sale from the 17th July and retail for only £435 (VAT included). As some-one who paid more than £500 for my Nokia Lumia 920 this seems a great deal.
To sweeten the deal even more Nokia is offering £130 worth of wireless kit free, which includes a wireless charging plate that matches the colour of the phone in the box, and in a seperate shipment a MD-12 wireless speaker and DC-50 portable wireless charger, both of which will be white in colour and a £20 voucher for use on the Windows Phone app store.
The handset is available in Black, Orange or Green and can be pre-ordered from Clove here.
LG has renewed its Windows Phone commitment, and was one of the new OEMs Microsoft announced at BUILD 2014.
Despite rumours that they have ordered 2 million handsets, we have however not however seen any results from the announcement, making it difficult to know if they are in fact producing any devices.
Now a post on LinkedIn by a Microsoft program manager in South Korea has confirmed that LG is indeed working on Windows Phone 8.1 handsets and also the next generation, Windows Threshold.
Windows Threshold is expected to unify Windows Phone and Windows, so Threshold devices could as easily be tablets, desktops or phones.
Either way, it is good to see another large Windows Phone OEM ready to get back into the market, which will hopefully help drive the OS out of its 3-4% doldrum.
Rudy Huyn’s 3rd party Tinder app 6tin is back in the Windows Phone Store.
The app was initially unpublished, presumably due to a trademark complaint by Tinder. Rudy then updated and removed all reference to Tinder from the description of the app, and then was rapidly returned by Rudy to the store, but then disappeared for an extended period.
It appears the second removal was a mistake by Microsoft’s legal department, as they did not see the update which brought the app into compliance.
Of course creating an unauthorised 3rd party app is fraught with difficult, danger and risk, so there is really no guarantee the app will remain available.
We therefore suggest prospective singles download the app now while it is still in the store.
Grab it while it lasts from the Windows Phone Store here.