LG

Well, well, well. After dropping Windows Phone a few years ago it looks like LG is set to return. The South Korean electronics manufacturer is prepping a Windows Phone 8.1 handset if a recent press render is to be believed. Serial leakster @evleaks has shared an image of an alleged LG handset with Windows Phone 8.1.

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In case you still didn’t agree that Windows Phone is the third ecosystem in the smartphone industry, the latest validation comes from comScore’s report of the U.S. smartphone subscriber market share ending January 2014.

While Blackberry's market share is on the decline, Microsoft held steady and found themselves holding the third spot in the latest survey behind Android and Apple.

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LG doesn’t get a lot of name drops here on Windows Phone Central. At one point LG was making Windows Phone devices, but stopped making them after poor response and sales. They haven’t been particularly strong in laptops or tablets either, but a few devices of theirs surprised us this week at CES. Their ultrabook, called the Ultra PC, left us with a good first impression. Here’s a quick look at another interesting machine from LG – the Tab-Book 2.

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We just stopped by the LG booth here at CES and we’re surprised by their latest ultrabook. It’s called the Ultra PC (model 13Z940) and we we’re actually blown away by the little machine. It’s super light, has a gorgeous display, and looks great. It’s only knock is that it lacks a touch screen, but that could easily be seen as a bonus by some (We’re looking at you Mary Jo). Here’s our hands-on with this interesting ultrabook.

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LG has informed CNET the company has no immediate plans to support Windows Phone 8 with new hardware. While the company remains open to using Microsoft's platform in the future, it doesn't see high enough demand for another smartphone to be released. This sounds odd since Samsung (also arguably a rather conservative OEM partner) is pushing its ATIV S and Odyssey Windows Phones.

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Could LG be releasing some new Windows Phone 8 hardware this year? According to the Korea Times, citing a senior executive from one of LG’s local partners, the answer is ‘yes’.

The paper reveals the tidbit under the bigger news of LGs ambitions for 2013, including the goal of selling 75 million handsets, which is no small feat even with Android seemingly doing so well.  

LG famously had cold feet with Microsoft last year over the new OS and although they were initially expected to release new hardware they backed out. That was even after Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer reportedly try to persuade the massive Korean company otherwise.

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The LG HBS-700 Bluetooth Headset is an impressive, yet odd looking, headset option for your Windows Phone. While the design catches your attention, the headset's performance makes a very good first impression that lasts.

The HBS-700 is comfortable to wear, has really nice sound quality, is water resistant, and has multipoint capability. While we had reservations on the LG HBS-700, it turns out to be an exceptional wireless headset for your Windows Phone and any other Bluetooth device you may have.

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Shed a tear for LG?

Back in April, we heard that LG was going to focus their efforts on making Android phones, prompting us to wonder if we would see any Windows Phone 8 devices from the Korean manufacturer at all. Today at their official Optimus G launch, CEO Park Jong Seok seemed to lean toward the negative, saying that LG has "no specific plans for other mobile platforms." While that doesn't completely rule out Windows Phone 8 all together, it sure doesn't sound promising.

LG made a couple of popular WP7 devices, the Quantum, which was one of only three QWERTY sliders to use Windows Phone, and the Optimus 7. Other LG models include the Jil Sander E906, the so-called "fashion phone" and the E740 prototype, which never saw the light of day.

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The team over at Plaffo have been experiencing issues with the LG Optimus 7. The Windows Phone would lock when booting and appear to 'freeze' on the LG logo, rendering the device useless. The problem is reportedly due to faulty boards in affected smartphones, but one would assume a simple return would solve everything with a shiny new Optimus 7, right? Wrong, or so it seems anyway.

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WPCentral's unofficial review of an LG Fantasy prototype phone with NFC. The phone that never was.

Although LG has announced its plans to not produce any more Windows Phones and then changed their tune a bit, we've managed to get our hands on one of their prototypes that may never see an official launch.

For months now there have been rumors of a new device from LG called the E740 'Fantasy' (and a presumably canceled CDMA variant for Sprint). The phone looks to have been prototyping in late 2011 with development abandoned in early 2012 when LG decided to focus on Android and take a hiatus from Microsoft.

The E740 looked to be another low to mid-range offering from the Korean company and we'll be honest, we're not that upset that it might not be released.

While it may make an 'ok' low-end Windows Phone, companies like Nokia and their Lumia 610 simply blow it out of the water in terms of quality. Still, like the Lumia 610NFC coming in the third quarter, the LG E740 has an interesting trick up its sleeve: fully functional Near-Field Communication (NFC) hardware.

We decided to document what we can from this device for posterity. Read past the break for our exclusive video hands-on and photos of the device.

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Yesterday we posted a story from the Korea Herald that quoted an LG spokesperson saying that they were backing away from Windows Phone and putting their efforts towards Android instead. LG did say they would “continue research and development efforts” on Microsoft's OS but had no immediate plans for any new devices.

Today, LG has reached out to Pocket-lint to clarify the message and they're taking a strong position that the Herald, who literally quoted someone from LG was speculating:

"None of it is true. Korea Herald is showing its speculative side again. We are still on board with Windows Phone, but right now, we're focusing on Android because that's where the demand is. Regardless of which OS, LG is committed to offering consumers as wide a choice as possible."

Pocket-lint is reading that as a denial but call us crazy, we're not seeing to be that different from what we reported yesterday.

The tone of the article from yesterday made it clear that LG is certainly backing away from Windows Phone and the fact they have had no new Mango phones and nothing launched here in the US backs that up. In fact, when we were at Mobile World Congress we asked an LG spokesperson where were their Windows Phones and they said they had none, just Android (there was one but it was in Microsoft's booth).

To us this sounds a bit like LG spin mode and they're downplaying those earlier comments as just being too strong. It's not that LG is abandoning Microsoft and Windows Phone, they're simply just ignoring them for an indefinite amount of time while they focus on Android, where the money is. That's a completely different message, right?

But the real question is do you think we'll see any new LG Windows Phones in the next six months? We don't.

Source: Pocket-lint

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This morning LG Electronics reported to the Korea Herald that they have no immediate plans to introduce new Windows Phone to the market. Instead LG are focusing on Android for their future smartphone releases noting that "The total unit of Windows Phone sold in the global market is not a meaningful figure."

The company claimed that the partnership between it and Microsoft remains good but the plan to focus on Windows Phone, announced in 2009, has not worked out for them financially. LG ended up losing money for seven straight quarters and only recently turned a profit. As a result they lost a lot of market share, especially with HTC and Samsung having a winning portfolio of Android devices.

Regarding Windows Phone specifically, a spokesperson for the company told the Herald that they will “continue research and development efforts” on Microsoft's mobile OS.

This news comes on the heels of an announcement of Steve Ballmer headed to Seoul Digital Forum on May 22 where he will be meeting with various business and developers. Though LG claims to not know his business schedule the implication is that Ballmer may meet with LGE for some damage control regarding their recent smartphone decision.

One can claim that LGs offerings for Windows Phone have been extremely lackluster with only the LG Quantum (review), limited to AT&T and a few regional carriers, showing any real innovation. And despite being only one of two hard-keyboard Windows Phone devices it never sold well anywhere. Even the LG Jil Sander phone was a bomb having its price constantly cut, in fact when we got our hands on it we panned the phone as feeling cheap and unexciting.

While prototype devices like the E740 remain floating around (we'll have our mini-review of it later today), the phone is a far cry from anything interesting and would do nothing for LG or Windows Phone were it to be released. It's one unique feature, NFC, has very little support in most major markets in 2012.

Clearly LG is facing stiff competition, poor R&D and they are feeling the pressure from the Microsoft-Nokia partnership which they commented on in 2011. Perhaps they will use this to leverage a favorable deal from Microsoft if Ballmer meets with them later in May. While it could look bad to lose a major OEM like LG, we're not exactly too saddened either.

Clearly Nokia, HTC and Samsung are the future of Windows Phone.

Source: Korea Herald

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There has been some confusion this morning surrounding a tweet that was published by the Italian LG Twitter account. The tweet in question was in reply to another user who queried whether or not the LG Optimus 7 would be receiving the upcoming Windows Phone "Apollo" update, which stated that the device would not be upgraded as confirmed by Microsoft.

Microsoft hasn't officially confirmed anything regarding the "Apollo" update, apart from app compatibility. LG has since published a follow up tweet explaining that the previous statement was made in error. It's still up in the air whether first and second generation Windows Phones will be updated to "Apollo", so we should all continue to await confirmation from the software giant.

Via: Plaffo

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Elgiganten, a Swedish electronics retailer, currently has an intriguing offer for those who are looking to move to Windows Phone. Should you pick up your own first generation LG Optimus 7 for 2390kr (approx. $360), you'll also walk away with a brand new Xbox 360 console to make use of that Gold subscription while on the go as well as on the big screen.

The website states that there's over 100 in stock so it would be unwise not to take advantage should you still be on the fence of making a purchase. 

Source: Elgiganten, via: WinGadget.se; thanks Peter for the heads up!

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An LG Miracle (E740H) has again been spotted in the wild, but this time it bares the flag of Canadian carrier TELUS. The handset, which was previously leaked, has been confused with the LG Fantasy but we can now clarify the differences in design with the LG Fantasy heading for Sprint and these new photos of the Miracle. We've been informed by our source that TELUS customisation present includes a custom welcome screen.

The LG Miracle is believed to be a mid-range phone equipped with a 4-inch WVGA NOVA screen, making it the first WP7 device of its kind. It will be powered by a 1GHz Snapdragon processor and sport 8GB of storage, and 1.3MP FF/5MP (LED flash) cameras.  LG's Miracle is also thought to connect using 14.4Mbps HSPA radio, 5.0GHz-capable 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 3.0. 

We're unable to confirm if this handset will be a TELUS Windows Phone available to consumers, but with the carrier personalisation included on the model our source had hands-on experience with, we can remain hopeful.

Thanks Jordan for sending the photos in!

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Is this Sprint's LG Windows Phone?

This isn't the first time we've seen the LG Windows Phone LS831.  It's appeared on WP Bench and we first caught wind of the device being at the FCC back in October 2011 but only had the FCC ID label to show for it.  There's even some speculation this is the LG Fantasy.  Now we have pictures (doesn't look like the leaked pics of the Fantasy) and more information that could make the LS831 Sprints new Windows Phone.

FCC documentation on the LG LS831 indicates this Windows Phone support CDMA in the EMSR 800MHz band. A band used by Sprint.  The LG Windows Phone also supports the 1900MHz CDMA band.  Along with the banding, you also have a Sprint/Nextel Waiver included in the FCC Documentation that ties the mysterious device to Sprint.  

As far as device specs, beyond the 5mp camera everything else seems to be a bit of a mystery.

The LS831 appears to have a front facing camera and the screen size could be, what?  Four inches?  There is mention of a microSD card slot in the owners manual along with instructions on how to check available storage and formatting your microSD card.  But based on the side images, I don't see a microSD card slot exposed. Maybe under the hood?

The LS831 definitely sparks interest with all the Sprint connections.  That and it's nice to see LG still working on Windows Phones. Could this be Sprints next Windows Phone?  Or could the LS831 swing in Verizon's direction?

source: FCC via: Phonescoop; thanks, mamacita42, for the tip!

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The LG Optimus 7 is available unlocked for an incredibly low price of just $159. The special offer is at Catch Of The Day, an Australian deal site, but you'll have to act fast should you wish to snap a purchase as the handset is only at this price for another 13 hours.

The Optimus 7 (some hands-on footage) is a solid first generation Windows Phone, packing a 3.8" display, 1Ghz CPU, 5MP shooter and 16GB storage. At this price, who could complain? The same Windows Phone experience at an incredible price. There is one slight issue, as WPDownUnder points out, this device is a 900 band 3G unlocked phone that will be restricted to Virgin and Optus (no Telstra NextG).

Source: Catchoftheday, via: WPDownUnder

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