Due to the seasonal upswing of iOS sales we expect Windows Phone to take a battering in Q4 2013, but surprisingly so far sales of the OS has held up surprisingly well in the latest Kantar Comtech numbers, of which we now have an early preview.
In UK Windows Phone has approximately 10.6% in the 3 months ending November, vs 11.9% for the 3 months ending October.
In Germany sales have held steady at 5.6%, while surprisingly in Italy Windows Phone has continued to outsell iOS, with 15.6% of sales, vs 10.6% for iOS over the same period.
In USA Windows phone held steady at around 4.6% while it slid in China to 2.6%.
We can expect to see the full and slightly more accurate numbers on the 3rd January 2014. See last month’s full numbers here.
The Times of India reports that Microsoft is in talks with the top 3 Indian smartphone OEMs, who between themselves have 32% of the Indian smartphone market, to release Windows Phones in 2014.
Vishal Sehgal, from Xolo, a subsidiary of Lava, has already agreed to release a device running Windows Phone. "We will come out with a WP device next year. The plan is to launch with Windows Phone 8.1," he said.
Micromax, who is the second largest OEM in India, has also admitted to be in talks with Microsoft, but the company is still haggling about the license fee.
"Talks are on but we need to agree on how we can do that. One of the contentious issues is the licence fee that has to be paid to Microsoft for using Windows Phone. Android on the other hand is free," said a Micromax official. "Given the tough competition, margins are low. If we also pay licence fee, it may make the device too costly for consumers".
Shashin Devsare, executive director of Karbonn, refused to confirm or deny that his company was in talks with Microsoft. But he added Karbonn was a hardware and software agnostic company. "Currently, all our smartphones are powered by Android. But we are talking with other companies and evaluating if their software will help us provide a different experience to consumers," he said.
The Windows Phone license fee is rumoured to be as high at $25, but there has recently been rumours of Microsoft planning make the Windows Phone OS free, and India is certainly one region in which this will make a tremendous difference in adoption, not just by consumers but also by OEMs.
Do our readers think Microsoft simply needs to bite the bullet and make the OS free? Let us know below.
Getting into the spirit of the season, Gameloft is offering a great sale in their Windows Phone Store where they are discounting 9 top games at least 50%.
Titles include Order & Chaos for $2.99, N.O.V.A.3 for $2.99, Modern Combat 4 for $2.99, The Amazing Spider-Man for $2.99, the The Dark Knight Rises for $2.99, Lets Golf 2 for only $1.99, Assassin’s Creed – Altaïr’s Chronicles HD also only $1.99, Brain Challenge HD for $1.99 and lastly Uno for $1.99.
See the whole collection in the Windows Phone Store here.
The IDC’s quarterly Appcelerator survey has found that in Q4 2014 Windows Phone developer interest has hit an all-time high of 37%. The number is near double the 2012 low of 22% brought on by the transition to Windows Phone 8.
Developer interest in the iPhone, iPad and HTML5 all saw a drop, as developers look to expand beyond iOS and HTML5 becomes increasingly fragmented.
As the Windows Phone installed base increase developers can expect to see a real return on their interest, which will hopefully result in a virtuous cycle of more apps and more users.
Appcelerator and IDC surveyed 6,698 mobile developers – the largest body ever – from November 14-30, 2013. See the full survey here (PDF).
The official 500px app is now available for download from Windows Phone Store. 500px is an online platform for photographers similar to Flickr to share their work and be inspired by their peers.
- Stay up to date on your friends’ activity using our innovative Flow.
- Sign up for 500px using your favorite social network or with your email address
- Explore the Popular, Editors’ Choice, Upcoming and Fresh feeds, as well as other feeds of amazing photography with the swipe of a finger
- Filter Photos using Categories
- Use the search capability to find photographs that match a specific search term
- Tap on a photograph and view it in full-screen mode. Tap again to display stats, comments or votes about this photograph
- Beautiful Lock Screen photo: Use Settings -> Lock Screen Settings to configure your background and view fresh and inspiring photographs
- Use Live Tile to customize your tile sizes and bring 500px photographs right to your home screen
- Interact with the community by commenting on photo, liking them, or adding them to your favorites for later viewing
- Receive and access notifications when the community members interact with you and your photos
Download it here from Windows Phone Store.
Nokia today updated their Creative Studio app for Lumia Windows Phone 8 devices. This is a minor update with no new features but with bug fixes and stability improvements.
General stability improvements and storage related enhancements.
Make more of your pictures with this quick and easy photo editor. Exclusive to Nokia Lumia, simply swipe through a series of creative effects, add focus blur or create an impressive color pop effect. With Nokia Creative Studio, you can also create a beautiful collage, quickly adjust color balance and remove red eye. When you’re done, share your pictures directly with friends on Facebook and Twitter. Nokia Creative Studio is also a great partner app for Nokia’s other Lumia camera apps.
Download it here from the Windows Phone Store for free.
Few months back, Microsoft announced that Citrix is working on GoToMeeting app for Windows Phone devices. Today, the app was released in Windows Phone Store and you can download the free app to join or start a meeting in seconds. View slide presentations, design mockups, spreadsheets, reports – whatever meeting presenters choose to share onscreen and communicate over the built-in internet audio or phone conference. It is also worth noting that Citrix has already released its Receiver app for Windows Phone devices.
- Start a scheduled meeting or launch an instant meeting on the fly.
- Join meetings and webinars in seconds by entering the Meeting ID or tapping a link in an email or calendar appointment.
- View presentations, mockups and reports – whatever the presenter shares on-screen.
- Connect to audio through your Internet connection or dial-in over the phone.
- Pinch to zoom meeting content.
- Switch to landscape or portrait mode to customize your meeting view.
Download it here from Windows Phone Store for free.
FB Pages Manager is a Windows Phone app that allows its users to control their Facebook Pages.
The app currently has more than 100,000 downloads, recently was the runner up on a Nokia Create mini mission and it is chosen by Microsoft as the best alternative to the official Facebook Pages Manager app. Thanks to our users the app is available in 17 different languages.
Today we announce the latest update the 1.7 version which new features include:
- Notification refresh (pull to refresh)
- Home button when entering in the app via Page tile.
- Multi Photo Upload on albums
- Photo on messages
- Ability to share photos directly into the app.
- Redeem codes support (WP8 only)
- Complete remake of the notification system
- Major bug cleanup
The app has two version, the free lite version has the basic features and some ads, the full version ($1.99) has all the features for an advanced Facebook page manager.
The Windows 8 version of the app is also on its final beta testing stage, if you wish to help us testing please send us a message to the app Facebook page.
Official NFL apps for the St. Louis Rams, Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers and Baltimore Ravens arrive in the Windows Phone Store
Yinzcam has released a number of new official NFL apps for a variety of teams to the Windows Phone Store.
Apps for the St. Louis Rams, Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers and Baltimore Ravens join the Seahawks, Cowboys, Packers, Chiefs, and Buccaneers already in the app store.
The apps are identical, but with localized content, and include:
- News: Real-time breaking news from the Seahawks, previews of upcoming matchups, post-game blogs
- Video: Video-on-demand clips of the Seahawks’ press conferences, coach and player interviews
- Photos: Gallery of game-time action
- Stats: Real-time statistics and scores from the official NFL stats engine, head-to-head stats of the matchup, player stats, drive-by-drive stats, box score, out-of-town scores around the league
- Standings: Division and conference standings
- Fantasy: Keep track of your favorite fantasy players
- Depth chart: Shown by offense, defense and special teams
- Social media: Aggregated twitter of the Seahawks’ official tweets, one-click tweet of all media items, one-click Facebook posting of all media items
- Schedule: Schedule of upcoming games, and scores/stats of previous games from the season, ticket purchase for games
- Evolving home-screen: Pre-game, in-game, post-game, off-season countdown, draft-day
All the official apps can be found in the Windows Phone Store here.
Just few days back we reported about Facebook beta app got updated with bug fixes and improvements. Microsoft today updated the Facebook beta for Windows Phone 8 devices to v188.8.131.52. This update does not include any new features, but it should include some bug fixes and performance improvements. Last update v5.2 brought lots of new features to the beta.
• Faster and more reliable notifications
• Toasts for Facebook chat
• Redesigned primary tile
• Redesigned secondary tiles for chat, events, groups, pages, and photo albums
• Messaging improvements
• Performance improvements
• Support for additional languages
Find the updated app in the Windows Phone Store here.
The official Vine app for Windows Phone devices just got updated to v1.1 with few new features. The most important addition in this update is the drafts support. Apart from usual performance improvements and bug fixes, it also has a new filter sensitive content option in the settings. If you notice any other change in this update, let us know.
• Unlimited uploads and free
• Instantly post videos on Vine, then share to Twitter and Facebook!
• Find, follow, and interact with people close to you
• Explore trending posts, featured hashtags and editor’s picks
• Pin search tags to your home screen
• Turn camera flash on and off
• Drafts mode
• Filter sensitive content in settings
• App Localized in 17 languages
• Vine tutorial
• Performance improvements and bug fixes
The updated app can be found in the Windows Phone Store here.
Along with the Xbox Video app, Microsoft also released a new Xbox Music app for Windows Phone 8 devices. The new Xbox Music app allows you to stream Xbox Music content to your Windows Phone device and you can download it for offline playback as well. Xbox team noted that this is a preview version of Xbox Music app and the full version will be released in 2014. And the app is only available in 22 markets where Xbox Music service is currently available.
Want the latest and greatest Xbox Music features on your phone? With the Xbox Music app and your Xbox Music Pass you can explore, stream and download millions of songs on your device. It’s the best way to get all the music you love on your Windows Phone.
- See artist details with pictures, bios, album lists, and related artists
- Manage your personal music collection, shared across all of your devices
- Explore top songs, featured artists, and recommended albums to easily discover new music
- Download songs for offline playback
- Create and manage playlists that automatically sync across your pc, tablet, Xbox, and the web
- Radio instantly creates playlists based on your favorite artists
- Stream ad-free music from a catalog of tens of millions of songs
Download it here from Windows Phone Store for free.
Besides the mainstream headline apps Windows Phone is now also starting to gather the rather niche ones.
The latest to arrive in the store is the popular cross-platform MouseWait app, which is all about making your visit to Disneyland as smooth as possible.
It features wait times, live pics, live videos, breaking news, food reviews, and more from any location. In addition the app features a professionally moderated social Lounge where users can make friends with Disneyland fans from all over the world.
The free app can be found in the Windows Phone Store here.
WhatsApp app for Windows Phone 8 devices got updated today with the ability to send multiple photos at once and also the ability to send pre-recorded videos to others. This update also includes few bug fixes as well.
* Send existing (pre-recorded) videos
* Send multiple pictures
* Bug fixes and speed improvements
Download it here from Windows Phone Store for free.
Strategy Analytics analyst Wei Shi yesterday published a report about Microsoft’s competitiveness in the mobile content and services ecosystem. The report was largely positive for Microsoft, thanks to acquisition of Nokia’s assets. The report also highlighted the confusion among consumers among Bing Maps and HERE Maps, poor advertisement services when compared to Google, etc,. Read the full press release below.
BOSTON, Dec. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — The multi-billion acquisition of Nokia’s devices and services business sends a strong statement of ambition to the industry that Microsoft is pulling no punches in its renewed vigor to push into the mobile industry. This is being supported by Microsoft’s own industry-leading cloud computing offers and the strong following enjoyed by Skype. App developer sentiment is also shifting in Windows Phone’s favor. However Microsoft needs to improve its assets and offerings in areas related to social and mobile payment, says the report “Handset Vendor Content & Services Strategies: Microsoft” published by Strategy Analytics.
The report is the second of a series published by Strategy Analytics to assess the strengths of mobile device vendors’ competitiveness in the mobile content and services ecosystem, following the report on Apple, published in October. Through a panoramic assessment of Microsoft’s key assets, the analysis recognizes Microsoft’s industry leadership positions in cloud computing and its strengths in communication and search & advertising. It also highlights Microsoft’s weakness in social aspect, and its almost complete absence from mobile payment.
According to Wei Shi, Analyst at Strategy Analytics’ Wireless Media Strategies (WMS) and the author of the report said, “The acquisition of Nokia gives Microsoft a significant boost in hardware, but a new challenge for Microsoft is integrating the new assets gained through the deal while, building on its position as the 3rd mobile ecosystem. If the integration is managed well, the addition of Nokia’s services, such as its highly regarded app developer program, strong imaging applications and competitive music services will give Microsoft a boost. A long term strategic partnership with HERE will bolster the mapping capabilities, although their is potential for consumer and advertiser confusion with HERE Maps being offered alongside Bing Maps. However, in the key apps battleground, while Microsoft remains clearly behind Android and iOS, developer sentiment is growing for Windows Phone with 32% of mobile app developers intending to support the platform in the coming year.”
Source: Strategy Analytics
MyNokiaBlog reports from “a source familiar with Microsoft’s licensing scheme” that Windows Phone’s license fee is $25 per handset, and Windows RT costs $90.
This is somewhat more than the $15 which has been rumoured earlier, and for cheap handsets put Windows Phones at a competitive disadvantage with Android.
There have been rumours recently that Microsoft will be making Windows Phone free, and at those prices we certainly think its a good idea, with Microsoft hopefully making up the difference from the sales of apps, music and other platform services.
Do our readers think a charge of $25 per handset is competitive or justifiable? Let us know below.