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Samsung joins forces with Microsoft

Samsung has announced today an agreement to use Windows Phone 7 as a key component of the Samsung smartphone line-up. While this isn't exactly earth shattering news, it should dis-spell any lingering rumors that circulated back when Samsung said it was prioritizing Android.

In the press release Samsung's Mobile Division head in the UK and Ireland, Simon Stanford, stated, "“The addition of Windows Phone 7 devices to Samsung’s smartphone portfolio is a significant milestone. Samsung’s new Windows Phone 7 based smartphones will play a key role in reinforcing Samsung’s leadership in the smartphone market and commitment to providing a range of devices across a variety of platforms.”

Samsung did add that plans exist to launch several Windows Phone 7 devices this year in Europe, the U.S. and Asia. There were no mention of how many devices is considered "several" or what additional devices we may see.  So far we have seen the Samsung Cetus, i8700 and the mystery Focus. Maybe we'll see Samsung move into the other chasis styles (sliding and front facing keyboards) later this year.

via: Pocket-Lint, Samsung

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A recently Broadband report over at DSLReports.com is generating two Windows Phone 7 rumors.

The first has the Samsung GT i8700 becoming part of the Omnia line as the Samsung Omnia 7. This isn't too far of a stretch seeing that Samsung has had good success with previous Omnia Windows Phones. 

The second rumor has an interesting twist. The HTC T8788 is rumored to be headed to AT&T (no surprise there) but the reports shows the phone on the provider myvzw.com, which is indicative of Verizon phones. Verizon fans shouldn't read too much into this. As many have already reported, this anomaly could easily be the T8788 piggy-backing on a Verizon hot-spot.

via: wmpoweruser.com

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Review: Samsung Hartmann Luxury Leather Case

While Samsung has built a reputation for quality electronics, they also offer some decent cases for your Windows Phones. The Hartmann Luxury Leather Case is a quality built, uniquely designed case for the Samsung Jack. It will also accommodate the Sprint Snap and Verizon Ozone.

What sets the Hartmann case apart from others is that lack of a case flap. It's more of a horizontal pouch than case. I have reservations about how secure the Samsung Jack would ride in the case.

Ease on past the break to see how well the Samsung Hartmann Luxury Leather Case measured up.

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Samsung GT-i8700 get GCF approval

While the Cetus may be the more visible Windows Phone 7 from Samsung, the GT-i8700 has recently received the Global Certification Forum's seal of approval.

No details on the phones specifications beyond it's radio bands. The i8700 supports GSM/GPRS/EDGE and UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA at 900/1900/2100mhz.  This will make it a European release and possibly one of the phones headed to shelves in late October.

via: the::unwired

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A Samsung Windows Phone 7 was recently caught up against an iPhone, giving us a little size comparison. What appears to be the Cetus is just a smidgen longer and wider than the iPhone and maybe even thicker.

What's a little confusing is that we've known the Cetus to be tagged the Samsung SGH-i917. The Windows Phone 7 device pictured is tagged the SGH-i916. The distinction is likely that the i916 is headed to the Canadian wireless provider Rogers, while the i917 is AT&T bound.

via: Engadget

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Samsung Cetus i917 caught on tape

The Samsung Cetus i917 was caught on tape recently during a Channel 9 "Inside Windows Phone" taping. Charles Kindel, Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 program manager, shows off the phone during the brief interview.

The Cetus is reported to have a 4", 800x480, AMOLED screen and looks really nice in the video. The Cetus is thin enough to be carried in your front pants pocket but does the phone looks small for a 4" screen?

While the appearance was brief, the video of the Cetus also reveals a home control system app that can control lights, thermostat settings and garage doors. 

You can catch the full video excerpt featuring the Cetus after the break and the full, seventeen minute video of Channel 9's "Inside Windows Phone" video here.

via: wmpoweruser.com

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Samsung GT-i8700 pics surface

Courtesy of Gizmodo, we give you the Samsung GT-i8700 Windows Phone 7. Samsung dropped the chrome trim we've seen on the developer's unit which gives is a cleaner, sleaker look. Beyond what little information is displayed on the screen shot, we don't know much about the specs of the GT-i8700.

The matte black backside adds to the clean look and the curved backing likely takes away any boxy feel the phone might have.  But I'm wondering what the two notches are in the upper left corner? Microphone? A place to attach a carry strap?

Another observation is that the GT-i8700 looks a lot like the Samsung prototype we ran across last month. If the GT-i8700 and the prototype are one in the same, how the heck does the Cetus SGH-i917 fit into the picture?

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Verizon has released a software upgrade for the Samsung Omnia II (SCH-i920). The upgrade contains a handful of enhancements including Windows Mobile AKU Update to 5.0.93, Qualcomm updates, Widgetplus updates, and Facebook app updates.

You can find the Upgrade Too here with step by step instructions. Remember, upgrading your Omnia II will erase any data you have on your Windows Phone. It is important to backup your data before upgrading.

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17

Sprint Samsung Intrepid hands-on

Here was the big surprise today! The Sprint Samsung Intrepid is basically the Jack but for CDMA.

The keyboard was pretty good on it, though there is no space between the keys, so it is a bit cramped. The screen is a bit odd at that resolution, but it seems to work. The Start menu has four rows, allowing it a lot to fit on the screen.

The device was speedy to use and seemed like a nice middle of the road front-facing QWERTY device. Will it beat out a Treo Pro? Tough call, but I do like the minimalist look of the Treo Pro better. Still, this seems like a compelling device and Samsung has been quite successful with this line so far.

This particular Windows phone will be available Oct. 11 on Sprint.

More pics after the jump!

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Sprint announces the Samsung Intrepid

Sprint this morning announced the addition of the Samsung Intrepid to its Windows Mobile lineup as a follow-up to the Ace. Here's what's we know thus far:

  • Windows Mobile 6.5 Professional.
  • 2.5-inch touchscreen at 320x240.
  • WiFi b/g.
  • 3.2MP camera.
  • World Phone.
  • Microsoft's Tell Me service is on board!

Other rumored specs were a 528MHz Qualcomm processor, with 512MB ROM/256MB RAM.

The Intrepid will be available Oct. 11 for $149.99 after contract and rebate.

Full presser after the break.

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When it's a slow news day and you have a quote from an official at a company, you can quickly make a mountain out of a molehill.

In an interview with Reuters, Samsung was quoted as saying

We are prioritizing our Android platform. Android is very open and flexible, and there is a consumer demand for it

Translation: Android is selling very well for us, we're going to continue to do that. We're not sure when it became news that a company who is having success with a 2+ year old mobile OS decided they will continue that path, but evidently that's the case.

Of course, the other half of the non-news news is what YH Lee, head of marketing at Samsung Mobile said about the upcoming Windows Phone 7, namely that "There is still some professional, specialized demand there", which is also not so controversial. Sure, it's not hurling accolades either, if anything it is sort of vacuous marketing speak that dominates 90% of business dialog.

Samsung is, for the first time in a long time, making big strides in the smartphone market, actually challenging HTC with their Android offerings (specifically the Galaxy S series). All of those silly iPhone knock offs that Sprint and other had, their mediocre Windows Mobile offerings, etc. never really paid them and now we're supposed to feign surprise that they want to keep with this Android thing? Feh.

And what of Windows Phone 7? It's an unreleased OS, not tested in the finicky, volatile market. Despite how good it may or may not be, how much money MS throws behind it, there are no guarantees and to think Samsung would put everything behind it and not the current money-maker Android is just bizarre. If WP7 is popular, Samsung will no doubt "prioritize" it. You know, follow the money.

This is capitalism 101, not news people.

[Reuters]

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WP7: What are the carriers up to?

Windows Phone 7 is, likely, just over a month away from hitting the store shelves in Europe and just over two months away from seeing the light of day in the States . We've seen manufacturer devices, app development, and (obviously) development of the OS itself over the past several months.

The one thing we haven't seen much from is the wireless providers. Who's getting what and how much is going to cost us when it gets there? While the "how much" is well in the shadows right now, we do have some idea on the "who" with respect to wireless providers. Here's how we see it breaking down.

AT&T: Billed as one of the "premiere launch partners", AT&T appears to be in a position to offer the largest selection of Windows Phone 7 devices. We've heard rumors of HTC (T8788 or HD7?), Samsung (Cetus), and LG (C900 and GW910) devices headed to AT&T. Our count shows as many as four Windows Phone 7 devices hitting AT&T's shelves this Fall.  Unless something changes over the next two months, AT&T will be at the forefront of Windows Phone 7.

T-Mobile: We are confident that T-Mobile will have a Windows Phone 7 device on the shelf at some point and the HTC Schubert has been quietly rumored to be that device. 

Verizon: Verizon and Microsoft may not be on good speaking terms these days after the KIN adventure. Rumors are that Verizon is simply not interested in Windows Phone 7 and a leaked "end of life" report has Verizon removing any existing Windows Phones from their line-up by March of 2011. Coupled with the signs that Verizon doesn't have any Windows Phones on their2010/2011 product road map, we won't be shocked if Verizon shifts their smartphone focus from Windows Phones to Android or Blackberry.

Sprint:  Listed as a launch partner when Windows Phone 7 was announced back in February (but that was a non-binding agreement), Sprint could go either way with Windows Phone 7.  They could keep everything under wraps and surprise everyone with a Windows Phone 7 or simply taking a "wait and see" approach (as they did with Android). Fared Adib, Sprint's Vice President of Product Development did say back in February, "Sprint and Microsoft have had a 15-year-plus relationship together. And we believe that the Windows Phone 7 Series will continue that relationship into a new decade." Our guess, Sprint will let Microsoft work out the kinks with Windows Phone 7 and eventually have a Windows Phone 7 device in their line up.  Maybe the Dell Streak Lightning?

Granted all this is speculation and the carriers still have plenty of time to throw in a few twists before Windows Phone 7 hits the shelves. 

We still have the nagging questions of "when will the carriers get these phones?" and "how much will they cost?". The OS was just released to manufacturers and best guess is still seeing mid-to-early November for availability. Pricing points are still anyone's guess. 

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In an interesting and somewhat unexpected decision, Intel has gone ahead and reportedly bought mobile-chip maker Infineon for $1.4 billion. Infineon makes mobile chips for all sorts of devices, including mobile phones. The latter business they got into after buying up LSI Corporation in 2007, with the Samsung Galaxy S series featuring their work.

The deal will let Intel use Infineon's mobile tech in "...Core processor-based laptops, and myriad of Intel Atom processor-based devices, including smartphones, netbooks, tablets and embedded computers". In addition, we can see Intel strengthening their "Wi-Fi and 4G WiMAX offerings".

All of this seems to set up Intel against Microsoft favorite Qualcomm, who's all-in-1 chipset solution seems to be very tempting for OEMs. The move, according to FastCompany, is due in part to off-set Apple's recent push in the mobile space with their A4 CPU which was developed in-house. Basically Intel is losing out in the mobile phone/slate area and is looking to cozy up with Microsoft through this purchase.

Of course, all of this is sort of funny knowing that Intel sold off their mobile division only a few years ago to Marvel for $600 million--while not 100% the same business, certainly Marvel and Infineon overlap quite a bit.

Will Intel succeed in cracking the mobile market and dislodge Qualcomm? Anyone want to ask Nvidia?

[Read Fast Company/Bloomberg]

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A leaked "end of life" list has surfaced from Verizon Wireless that takes every Windows Phones off Verizon's shelves.

According to the document the HTC Touch Pro 2 has seen it's last days (EOL 6/29/2010) while the HTC Imagio, Ozone and Samsung Omnia 2 have their days seriously numbered (EOL 3/31/2011). All of which essentially wipes Verizon's slate clean of all Windows Phones.

Verizon isn't just axing Windows Phones. Android, Blackberry and Palm devices also make an appearance on the list. However, with Verizon rumored to be giving Windows Phone 7 the cold shoulder, could this be the end of a Verizon Windows Phone?  Or is Verizon warming up to Windows Phone 7 and simply cleaning off the shelves to make room for WP7 inventory?

via: precentral.com source: phonedog.com

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Samsung Omnia Pro 4 released

Samsung has announced the release of the Omnia Pro 4 Windows Phone today for European markets. It will sell for 300 EUR (about $380 USD) and it's not running Windows Phone 7. Instead, it is running Windows Mobile 6.5.3.

The phone was announced back in June and sports a 320x320, 2.6" QVGA touchscreen, 3.2 megapixel camera, Wifi connectivity, GPS, 3.5mm headphone jack and a microSD card slot.  It's a nice looking Windows Phone and while the Omnia Pro 4 won't see a Windows Phone 7 upgrade, it's nice to see Windows Mobile getting a little attention.

via: Unwired.com

 

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Samsung Cetus Pictured

Finally, details are starting to leak out regarding some hardware for Windows Phone 7. Although we don’t get much more information about Samsung’s Cetus than we did from the Bluetooth SIG we do get some (blurry) pictures courtesy of Engadget.

We do know from previous leaks that we’re looking at a 4” WVGA AMOLED screen and the minimum 5MP Camera; and if you squint just right you can make out the rumored front facing VGA camera. Current rumors are putting this phone as one of AT&T’s launch devices. These pictures do show a much more curvy profile than the other Samsung WP7 device we saw floating around last week; perhaps we’re looking at a couple of Samsung phones in the not-too-distant future?

Is the sleek black slab look enough for you? Watcha think? See more pictures after the break.

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Not much is known or evidently can be said about this device, but it appears Samsung is tossing around another prototype device featuring Windows Phone 7.

Perhaps it's the Cetus (SGH-i917)?

Though rather large and blocky, the device seems to feature, unsurprisingly, an AMOLED screen. Due to the Twitter's location, we're betting this isn't necessarily a device for the U.S., but who knows what Samsung has up their sleeve.

Our overall reaction: meh

[via @andrejt; pic]

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With the October (or late September) release of Windows Phone 7, we’ve heard very little about what hardware is going to be available before the holidays. We’ve heard from LG, that they will have multiple devices out by the end of the year. Now Samsung has a device jumping through the hoops to get certified.

The Samsung Cetus (SGH-i917) is listed by the Bluetooth SIG (Special Interest Group) as a Windows Phone 7 device with a 4” WVGA AMOLED screen, 5MP Camera, and a secondary (front facing) VGA camera. Though most of the specs given merely meet the minimums set forth by Microsoft and the given specs have some glaring holes (processor, memory?), it’s still nice to start seeing some real details about what Microsoft’s Partners have in store for us.

[Bluetooth SIG via Engadget]

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As some of you may have heard, Apple held a press conference today in an attempt to get ahead of the ongoing 'antennagate' controversy surrounding the iPhone 4 (see TiPB's ongoing coverage here). Basically once Consumer Reports did their story, all heck broke loose and the usual Apple-friendly media turned a bit on Cupertino.

Although the iPhone has a clear, demonstrable antenna reception issue when held a certain way, Apple went ahead and tried to downplay the controversial design by pointing out that their competitors often suffer from the same reduced-bar problem.

Here, Steve Jobs cites the Samsung Omnia 2 on Verizon (see our full review) as having the same reception/grip issue. While not exactly the poster board Windows Mobile phone (that would easily be the Touch Pro 2 and HD2), the Omnia 2 is a decent piece of hardware, despite being pretty much forgotten by most of the world, including the WM community.

Any validity to Jobs' claim? A cursory search of various forums and sites would suggest that the Omnia 2 (both on GSM and Verizon's CDMA) is not the best of the world, but neither is it the worst. In fact, it doesn't come up even as a recurring problem or complaint. Having said that, we did find this video of the Omnia HD (i8910), which basically demonstrates the same phenomenon, lending credence to the claim by Jobs.

Bottom line: Windows Mobile and Windows Phone may suffer from such occasional hardware inconsistencies (CDMA Palm Treo Pro is just awful for reception, see this doozy of a fix), but having multiple devices for consumers to choose from, instead of just one-flagship phone, gives consumers options. If you're going to put all of your eggs into one basket, you better make sure that basket is 100% perfect or nearly so. Kudos to Apple for giving away those free cases, but we think that this problem should have never had happened in the first place. 

See Omnia HD i8910 reception video after the break.

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Yesterday, Samsung announced a few phones, two of which are Windows Mobile. While nothing earth-shattering, new Windows Mobile phones are becoming a rare thing these days and messenger-devices even more so.

Mobility Minded got their hands on the new Samsung Omnia Pro 4 (B7350) which features Windows Mobile 6.5.3

  • 320x320
  • 2.62" screen (AMOLED?)
  • 3.5mm headset jack
  • 3.2MP camera
  • Quad-GSM/dual-band 3G
  • WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1, GPS
  • 1500mah battery
  • CPU = ? 

Mobility Minded seemed to like the device noting

My first impression was a very responsive Windows Phone that combines the versatality of a touchscreen and Windows Mobile 6.5.3 with a full QWERTY hardware keyboard, that makes e-mail, sms and text-input on Twitter, Facebook or other social media clients extremely easy.

While still not the power-house messenger-device we dream of, the Omnia Pro 4 looks decent enough for those of you still attached to that OS and form-factor--both of which we fully understand. Read the rest for the full report.

[Mobility Minded via WMPoweruser]

 

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