The Wall Street Journal reports that Asustek Computer Inc. Â is in talks with Microsoft to license Windows Phone 8, and may use it in their Padfone hybrid phone/ tablet.
“With our Padfone concept, the phone plus tablet, I think it makes sense for Windows 8,” said Benson Lin, corporate vice president of mobile communication products. “There is no target timelineâ€¦but we are interested in making Windows phones.”
Like Nokia, part of his goal is to penetrate the US market. He said the company was in talks with US carriers to launch its phones by next year.
The current Padfone Â is a 4.7-inch Android phone that docks into a 10.1-inch tablet and sells for NT$19,901 (US$686) in Taiwan. Asus currently sells its phones in 20 countries in Europe and the Asia Pacific.
With Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 both running the same kernel on ARM the concept is of courseÂ imminentlyÂ doable, but a better candidate may be the upcoming version of Windows 8 designed for small 7 inch tablets code-named Windows Blue.
A Taipei-based Microsoft spokeswoman declined to comment.
Via The Verge.com
Windows Phone 8 rumors: Nokia prepping PureView and QWERTY devices, Lenovo and Asus to join the game
His self-appointed retirement from leaking Microsoft rumors later this month is apparently not stopping the MS Nerd from revealing some new tidbits concerning the upcoming Windows Phone 8 “Apollo” release in a series of tweets today.
He sheds some light onto Nokia’s WP8 devices, which will include a PureView flagship (albeit with the Nokia N8′s 12 megapixel sensor) with a ClearBlack 1280×720 display destined for Verizon, and a QWERTY landscape-slider with a traditional 4″ WVGA display set to arrive on Sprint. The rather interesting part here, however, is the chip these devices are supposed to be running on: the MSM8960, part of the Snapdragon S4 family. For readers unfamilar with Qualcomm’s product range, the S4 is the second generation dual-core Snapdragon that can also be found Android devices such as the AT&T version of the HTC One X; despite only sporting two cores, its CPU performance is actually comparable to â€“ if not better than â€“ the quad-core Tegra 3 from Nvidia, whereas its GPU performance falls short.
As for the other two major US carriers, MS Nerd claims that T-Mobile will get an HTC device for launch while AT&T is getting two Samsung devices.
Regarding hardware partnerships, Lenovo and ASUS are said to be joining the likes of Nokia, HTC and Samsung as Windows Phone OEMs, whereas there’s “no sign” of LG, Dell or Acer. Considering the latters’ spotty track record â€“ LG’s refurbishing of a first-gen device under a designer brand name, Dell’s failed execution of what seemed to be a great portrait slider, and Acer’s low-end second-gen offering â€“ that doesn’t seem entirely unlikely, although we would still take this with a grain of salt. On the other hand, the notion of Lenovo and ASUS as new hardware partners is much more plausible and corroborates earlier rumors.
So, what do our readers make of this? Is the strategy of seperate flagship devices for each US carrier sustainable?
Speaking to Pocket-lint, Asus said they were waiting for circumstances to be right to launch a Windows Phone.
"We are very close with Microsoft. When we think it is the right time of course we will do it," Benson Lin, the global head of Asus’ handheld division said at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
The company however remains focussed on Android handsets at present, but Lin was pretty familiar with Windows Phone.
"In my pocket, I always carry two competitor products. At the moment I have a HTC Titan and a Galaxy Nexus," he said.
"In the beginning our strategy is to focus and focus and focus," insisted Lin. "When the time comes we will do it," Lin added.
Read more at Pocket-lint here.
In an interview to hightech mail at CeBIT this year, Asus CEO Jerry Shen has told that Asus will release Windows Phone 7 device only next year. So this puts end to the Asus WP7 device rumours floating every month. Here is the excerpt from his interview,
As for the OS – as you think, whether Windows Phone 7 to compete with Android with Nokia and other resources?
We focus on Android, but the new Windows Phone is very promising, in particular through support for Nokia. We wait for the development of this platform, and next year may represent the smartphone and Windows. This year we will have only Android.
With Nokia joining the Windows Phone 7 party, there is a lot of questions of how this gigantic fish will affect the others in the small Windows phone 7 pond.
The answer is that it seems to vary very much depending on how much success an OEM has had with Windows Phone 7 and Windows Mobile in the past.
Motorola’s VP of Software and Services Product Management, Christy Wyatt, was pretty clear, saying "I don’t envision us using Microsoft. I would never say never but it’s not something we’re entertaining now."
Sony Ericsson was open, but still pretty married to Android.
â€œWe believe that the Android environment is the best and most mature ecosystem for us at the moment; but we have an open OS strategy, which includes OSE, Symbian and Android, and a good working relationship with Microsoft,â€ said Vautier in an interview with TechRadar.
Less sure, but still not committed would be Asus and Acer.
Asus said they produced the first prototype Windows Phone 7 handsets, but was unsure about demand for the handsets.
â€œThe operator voice will be the key factor to think of in our Windows Phone 7 strategy,â€ says Benson Lin, Asusâ€™ corporate vice president and the general manager of its mobile devices unit.
â€œFor the moment, we are all Android but we feel ready for Windows Phone,â€ says Lin. â€œAfter all, we have experience with it already.â€
Less positive was Acer’s Product Marketing Manger, Smart Handheld Business Group Dac Nguyen, who according to WPCentral had an internal WP7 prototype, but was concentrating on Android at present.
LG was of course already have devices on the market, but have complained of them underperforming, and did not even show their older WP7 handsets at MWC.
Samsung and HTC, who have been doing well in the Windows Phone 7 market, are much more positive.
Samsung Chief Strategy Officerâ€™s Omar Khan said, "You can continue to expect expansion in our Windows Phone portfolioâ€, adding that the current collection was selling well.
HTC president of HTC for North America and Latin America Jason Mackenzie said"Obviously Windows Phone 7 is a platform weâ€™ve invested tremendously on" and "weâ€™ll continue to support that."
All of the OEMs already invested in Windows Phone 7 promised a new bath of handsets later in the year, and it is likely that, because all of the current batch of devices were released at the same time, and the OEMs expect at least a year from each handset, they will be waiting till holidays 2011 to release new hardware.
Forbes blogger Elizabeth Woyke has interviewed Asus corporate VP and manager of mobile devices unit Benson Lin, with a focus on whether the manufacturer would be returning to the Windows Phone 7 fold. The upshot is: "maybe."
Asus is still assessing Windows Phone 7. Lin says the company hasnâ€™t yet decided how to proceed. He intends to spend the next several days at Mobile World Congress meeting with operators and gauging their interest in an Asus Windows Phone 7 device. â€œThe operator voice will be the key factor to think of in our Windows Phone 7 strategy,â€ says Lin.
The post includes a decent potted history of Asus’ early involvement in WP7 and eventual backing out. You can read the whole thing at Forbes here.
It never rains but it pours. No sooner have we posted about the Asus E600 hands-on when we received a tip with actual video, better pictures and more rumoured specs.
The handset has shown up in the Vietnamese Tinhte.vn forum where it is said to have an aluminium front, plastic back, and hard instead of capacitive buttons, with a real click, which may make many people quite happy, given the risk of accidentally exciting an app with capacitive buttons.
They also note the handset features video out via a composite USB port, and needs an application to switch the function of this port. It is not clear if this is a release feature or just due to the device being a prototype.
See some more pictures after the break.
We have all seen the Asus E600 before, but the handset keeps popping up in the wild, this time in the hands of a writer at Omnitechnews.net, who notes that the device does indeed have an AMOLED screen, and also has a 5.2 megapixel camera and looks similar to the ZuneHD.
The handset has previously passed through the FCC in December last year, where it was confirmed to have a 4 inch screen and 1300mAh battery. Given the timing it is not too much of a stretch to suggest the handset will be announced at MWC 2011.
Click for bigger versions.
See more of our coverage of Asus handsets here.
Thanks Kristoffer for the tip.
We all know Asus was working on a Windows Phone 7 device but the release date ofÂ the devices were not announced. Microsoft first demoed Windows Phone 7 at MWC using a prototype from Asus, then again an Asus device (E600) was used by a Microsoft Manager to demo Windows Phone 7 features (Find the video below after the break).
After that Windows Phone 7 devices were launched in US, Europe and many parts of world with devices from Samsung, HTC and LG. At that time many wondered why Asus, which was an announced launch partner, had not produced a device. Now the Asus E600 has finally passed the FCC, and based on the details it appears it will have 4 inch screen, 5MP camera with LED flash and a 1300mAh battery.
Of note is that the handset was spotted yesterday on DslReports speed test running at 3G speeds on AT&T’s network, which is good news for US readers.
537 kb/s 0.194s (1024k) Â mycingular.net Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows Phone OS 7.0; Trident/3.1; IEMobile/7.0; ASUS; E600)
Interestingly Asus ended the Garmin-Asus joint venture earlier this year and announced it will focus on Windows Phone and Android devices, but the device, at least at the FCC, still bears some Garmin-Asus branding.
Video after the break.
With the divorce between Garmin and Asus confirmed, the future of Windows Phone 7 handsets was in question.
â€œRegarding Windows Phone 7, we havenâ€™t yet decided yet we would like to do,â€ Jonney Shih, the Chairman of the Taiwan-based electronics maker, told Forbes in an interview, but continued â€œWe try to develop on different platforms.â€
The chairman of Asus however confirmed that a Windows Phone 7 handset was still on the way, albeit only in 2011, and will be branded solely an Asus device.
He also mentioned the company was looking at developing handsets supporting LTE
â€œWe hope to have some kind of lead in LTE phonesâ€¦We are still judging the best timing for that.â€ he said.
Read more at Forbes here.
That was quick. We have had some high quality pictures of the Samsung GT-i8700 today, and already it was followed up by a video a previously leaked Asus Windows Phone 7 device in action, demoed by none other than the Windows Phone 7 application manager at Microsoft.
The device shares the same sleek black looks of the GT-i8700, which goes nicely to complement the OS.
The video has been published by chris Pirillo.
Thanks Jin for the tip.
We know Asus is a Windows Phone 7 launch partner, but so far we have only seen the uninspiring demo unit in public.
The above picture, from a Pakistani twitterer, is the first outing of what appears to be a production device, and it looks pretty good.
Of interest is what appears to be a front-facing camera, something confirmed for the Samsung Cetus, and suggesting that the presence of underlying software to support the technology, possibly using Live Messenger.
The design is pretty business-like, and I feel quite appealing. Do our readers agree? Let us know below.
techradar have managed to get their hands on a Garmin Asus Nuvifone M10, and have put it through its paces.
The Nuvifone M10 is based on WM6.5.3, and itâ€™s main differentiator is the inclusion of a complete mapping solution (not some CoPilot trial as weâ€™ve had on recent HTC devices).
If your eye is taken by the idea of having a combined sat nav and smartphone all in one then the Garmin Asus NÃ¼vifone M10 might be an interesting choice.
There are enough extras to really differentiate it from Google Maps’ navigation element, though whether they’re expansive enough to lead you to shell out for them is really a matter for your personal choice. Certainly if you do a lot of walking you might prefer Google’s offering.
We’d have liked the bespoke software to have been put together with a bit more attention to detail too, and for features like an FM radio and the Opera browser to have been included.
Add to that the fact Windows Mobile 6.5.3 is sitting under the hood, with its bland, finger-unfriendly design and it’s hard to see what the M10 really offers.
It’s not the cheapest phone in the world, nor the most expensive – you can easily pick one up for between Â£300 and Â£350, and when a decent sat nav will only cost Â£200 we’d much rather pay that and have a separate mobile phone.
If the Garmin Asus Nuvifone A10 packs all the sat nav power of the M10 but with none of the Windows Mobile-y-ness, then it’s hard to see why on earth you’d plump for this offering.
You can get the full review from here, should it spark your interest.
The above video gives another look at the Asus Eee Pad EP101TC, whoâ€™s UI is certainly growing on me, and also makes the specs available.
The specs are as below:
|OS||Windows Embedded Compact 7|
|Processor||Nvidia Tegra 2|
|Storage||16, 32, 64 GB SSD|
|Screen||10 inch capacitive|
|Audio||Hi-def Audio Codec Steyreo Speakers|
|Connectivity||WIFI B, G, N, DLNA|
|TV-out||Via optional HDMI docking cradle|
|Size||264 x 160 x 12.2 mm
(10.4 x 6.3 x 0.48 inches)
|Weight||675 g (1.4 pounds)|
|Price||$399 to $449|
Of note is that HDMI out is available via a docking cradle, which with the right software will make the device pretty attractive as a media viewing tablet.
Some people are pretty serious about tweaking their desktop, and I suspect for the same reason many of these people may have a Windows Mobile phone.
Asus has now released a new motherboard, the Republic of Gamers Extreme Series, that features a variety of ways to make tweaking the settings easy. One of the ways is pretty innovative â€“ a bluetooth connection and associated Windows Mobile application which means you can tweak your bios in real time, all without having to actually access the host OS at the same time.
The ROG Motherboard is around Â£300 on Amazon.com.