In some parts of the world Windows Phone’s market share is much higher than in USA, meaning vendors are much more likely to support the OS with new services and innovations.
The latest example of this is the LifePay cardswiping mobile retail system coming to Windows Phone in Russia, unlike the US-based Square card reader, which after many years is still to support Windows Phone.
The app lets small retailers and service providers such as taxis and coffee stands accept cards instead of just cash and supports MasterCard and Visa, and also signature capture, and allows dealers to confirm transactions via email or SMS.
The free app can be found in the Windows Phone Store here.
See a video demo of the app after the break.
The handset will be available in black, blue, yellow, and red, and has a unique feature where the colour of the capacitive key backlight changes to match accent colour of the handset.
The smartphone otherwise features a 4.3-inch 800 x 480 WVGA IPS display, 1.4 GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, 512 MB RAM, 8GB of built-in storage and a micro SD expansion slot. It also has FM radio support and 5 MP camera that supports 720P video recording and playback. The screen also works with gloves, and the handset’s 1700 mAh battery claims up to 16 days standby time.
“We’re excited to build on our partnership with Huawei to launch another unique handset that will delight customers around the globe,” said Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft’s recently-formed Operating Systems Group.
The middle of the road handset features a 4.3 inch WVGA screen, 1.4 Ghz dual-core processor, 512MB RAM, 8 GB internal storage, a 5 megapixel rear camera and also a front-facing camera and a 1700 mAh battery.
It also supports microSD card storage, and there is has a special trick not seen in other Windows Phones.
The handset can be flashed by placing ROMs on the microSD card, a process that may be familiar to long time Windows Mobile hackers, but which has not been seen on Windows Phone ever.
The feat removes the dependency on having the right software on your PC, and therefore achieves more reliable results. As a rescue procedure it should probably be available on all Windows Phones with SD card access.
This does not mean the handset is hacked off course – ROMs are still signed, but WindowsMania.pl, who made the discovery, does have the first official ROM available for the handset, version 3039.0004.01000.00600.
Read more about the flashing procedure at their site here.
The Nokia Lumia 1020 is designed for those who love taking pictures, but I think most people know it takes a lot more than a great camera to get great pictures – you also need quite a bit of skill and knowledge.
Nokia already makes a great camera phone, and for Russian Nokia Lumia 1020 owners they are also filling in the other bits of the equation by offering free online lessons worth 1,200 roubles (around $40) with leading Russian photography school Fotoshkola.net.
Buyers will receive video and written tutorials from Vladimir Kotov , a professional photographer of 13 years, homework assignments and have their photos reviewed by the team. Students will also be able to chat with their fellow classmates.
To take advantage of the offer Nokia Lumia 1020 owners have to install the Fotoshkola app in the Nokia collection, which will offer them a PIN which can be redeemed for the free lessons.
The offer is available until the 1st January 2014.
See a video showing the lecturer in action after the break.
The Nokia Lumia 1020 has continued its roll-out around the world, and is now available in both Russia and India.
In Russia the smartphone will be selling for 26,990 rubbles ($835)and will be sold by the MTS network there.
In India the handset is retailing for a massive 50,000 INR (around $820) but it is likely this price will drop over the next few months.
While pricy, there is little to argue with in terms of quality. The handset has won several plaudits for being hands-down the best camera phone on the market, besting all comers in several trails, and delivering quality certainly on par with the average point and shoot, and well above other camera phones.
Hi-tech.mail.ru reports that Huawei is getting ready to ship its second generation low-end Windows Phone to the Russian market in October.
The inexpensive device will cost 8990 rubbles ($278) and will feature a 4.3 inch WVGA screen, dual-core processor and 512 MB RAM and 8 GB internal storage with microSD card expansion.
The main differentiator of the device is that the capacitive key backlight can change colours to match the accent colour of the phone, which does not seem like the most useful feature ever.
Huawei has sold only around 1% of Windows Phones, but has a relatively strong brand in Russia. They intend to develop a high-end version of the handset for 2014.
According to preliminary data by Euroset, Russia’s leading electronics retailer, Nokia has regained the first place in the Russian phone market in Q3 2013, helped by the sale of cheap Lumia handsets.
Nokia gained in the budget segment – due to prices lower than competitors, said vice-president of Commerce for Euroset Victor Lukanin , especially in the cheapest segment where devices cost up to 2,000 rubbles ($60).
Nokia held 29% of the market, ahead of Samsung’s 27%. In terms of revenue Nokia had 15% of the market, vs 32%, indicating the greater proportion of feature phones in Nokia’s portfolio.
Carrier MTS agreed with Euroset’s numbers, with Nokia having 29% of the market, vs 27% for Samsung.
“I agree Nokia is really the first place,” said MTS spokesman Dmitry Solodovnikov . “It’s because of the aggressive sales of low-end models Nokia.”
Maria Zaikina, from analyst company Coherent, however notes it is not just due to feature phones. She said for the past six months, the popularity of Windows Phone has grown significantly due to it Nokia. She notes the average price of Nokia smartphones dropped 15.9% YoY, while prices in the market increased by 14%.
Denis Kyckob from TelecomDaily said Nokia’s improved performance was aided by focussing only on Asha and Windows Phones, and he notes similarly that last year the cheapest Lumias started at 18,000 Rubbles, while it now started at 8,000 Rubbles. He notes even Apple was now adopting some of Lumia features, such as the colourful phones.
Ultimately the success of Windows Phone will depend on Nokia transitioning their feature phone buyers to their Windows Phone smartphones, something they are having some success with, but an effort which will need to be stepped up going into the future.
The Starbucks Company has expanded their Windows Phone presence to another market, from Mexico to now Russia.
With the new official Starbucks application you can now find your local shop, see what drinks and beans are in stock, create and name your own drink and add your Starbucks card and pay for drinks directly, collecting rewards, which can include paid applications, along the way.
The free app can be found in the Windows Phone Store here.
Now when will this show up in the UK ….
Thanks Aleksey for the tip.
Nokia has announced a new world premiere of new Nokia device on August 28th in Russia. According to Hi-Tech.Mail.Ru, Nokia has sent out the above invitations to press in Russia. While the invitation does not indicate anything, we can speculate on various things. One could easily guess that it might be related to Nokia Music service, but Russia already has Nokia Music service up and running. If it is not a Lumia device, it could be a new Asha device. Last time, Nokia held an event in India to release a new Asha device.
What’s your guess?
We posted recently on the largest Russian carrier MTS dropping the iPhone in favour of promoting Windows Phone, and now it has emerged that the other two, MegaFon and VimpelCom, have also stopped promoting phones from the Cupertino company.
The decision is blamed on “harsh” marketing requirements by Apple which often meant carriers lost money on selling the handset.
Vimpelcom’s Beeline is rumoured to have made a deal with Samsung to promote their handsets instead, but the carrier does still sell a range of Windows Phones which will likely equally benefit from the absence of the iPhone.
In Russia Windows Phone is poised to overtake the iPhone in market share, rising from 5.1% last year to 8.2%, according to the IDC, while Apple dropped from 9% to 8.3%. Around 80% of handsets are sold through Russian carrier stores.
Around 4.5% of MTS Ukraine’s smartphone subscribers already use Windows Phones, up 119% from a year ago, and with all phones being sold unsubsidized in the region I expect the good value for money Windows Phones offer will only lead to more growth there.
Via Rethink-wireless.com, thanks Jobo and JamesSB for the tip.
The Huawei Ascend W2 Windows Phone may not be the high end device we have been hoping for, but it does have one Unique Selling Point not found on any other Windows Phone – colour changing LEDs behind the capacitive buttons which will automatically match the Accent Colour of your Windows Phone.
The feature also goes pretty well with the very vivid colours of the handsets, as can be seen to the right.
The handset features:
- 4.3 inch WVGA screen;
- dual-core processor with a frequency of 1.4 GHz;
- 512MB of RAM;
- 8GB of built-in memory;
- dimensions of 134 x 66.7 x 9.9 mm.
The handset is expected to hit the Russian market in a few weeks.
Russia’s largest network MTS stopped selling Apple’s iPhones in its stores at the end of 2012 and has strengthened its relationship with other device makers, including Microsoft and Nokia, and agreed to promote Windows Phones and opened Windows Phone zones in its flagship stores.
Now Windows Phone is poised to overtake the iPhone in market share, rising from 5.1% last year to 8.2%, according to the IDC, while Apple dropped from 9% to 8.3%.
“Apple wants operators to pay them huge money, subsidizing iPhones and their promotion in Russia,” OAO Mobile TeleSystems’s Chief Executive Officer Andrei Dubovskov said in an interview in St. Petersburg. “Now it’s not beneficial for us. It’s good we stopped selling the iPhone as these sales would’ve brought us a negative margin.”
“When a handset producer is ready for co-promotion and offering special conditions to our customers, its share in our sales increase,” Dubovskov said. “As a result of such co-operation, sales of Windows Phone and Android devices in our retail chain grow faster than in the Russian market in general.”
“The MTS (MTSS) bet on Windows Phone and its decision not to sell iPhones is clearly contributing to this trend,” said Simon Baker, a Moscow-based handset analyst at IDC. The historical strength of Espoo, Finland-based Nokia’s brand in Russia also helped, he said.
The market share of Windows smartphone sales in MTS’s retail network is “probably two times higher than its share in Russia in general,” Dubovskov said, declining to disclose precise numbers.
“Those MTS users who need the iPhone are buying it one way or another — in a grey market or from independent retailers — and are still generating data revenue for us,” Dubovskov said.
Around 315,000 Windows Phones were sold in Russia Q1 2013.
Globally in Q1 2013, Windows Phone had 3.3 percent market share among smartphones in the quarter, compared with 17.3 percent for Apple’s iPhone. In many regions however Windows Phone is now outselling the iPhone, and the trend appears to be for the number of regions to increase, as Windows Phone sales rise and the iPhone is increasingly challenged by the commoditization of the smartphone.
WinPhoneLive.ru reports that Nokia has slightly lowered the official price of Nokia Lumia 920, Nokia Lumia 720 and Nokia Lumia 620!
Prices on smartphones lined up for next level:
Nokia Lumia 920 – 19 990 rubles ($634) (-2 000 rubles)
Nokia Lumia 720 – 13 990 rubles ($439) (-1 000 rubles)
Nokia Lumia 620 – 9 990 rubles ($313) (-500 rubles).
The Nokia Lumia 920 after 8 months has finally caught up with the cost of Nokia Lumia 820 at launch in Russia.
The smartphones above can be purchased at the official online store of Nokia and in the mobile phone stores of "Euroset" and "Svyaznoy".
While Windows Phone only had around 3% market share worldwide in Q1 2013, in some regions the OS is doing a lot better.
One of those is Russia, and the IDC reports that in Q1 2013 Windows Phone had 8.3% market share there, up from 5.1% a year ago.
This number was pretty close to that of the iPhone, which had 8.4% market share, down from last year.
Symbian suffered the biggest drop, from 33.7% of the market last year to only 1.9%, while Android filled the gap with 70.9% of the market.
While more than 60% YoY growth is good news for Windows Phone, the report had even better news – Prospective buyers were asked which OS they were interested in for their next smartphone.
Just over 50 percent said Android, 25.3 percent want a Windows phone, and 16.8 percent are interested in an iPhone.
In total 3.81 million smartphones were sold in Russia in Q1, up from 2.26 million a year.