Samsung plans to take on Nokia with Windows Phone 8. Can they do it with Android hardware?

We've reported in the past that Samsung was sitting on the sidelines during the summer with Windows Phone, concentrating on their new Galaxy SIII release for Android (which so far has garnered negative impressions). Devices like the Mandel (SGH-i667) are believed to have been canceled or put on hold till Microsoft is ready to update their OS.

That's not to say Samsung doesn't have a strategy, one that takes aim right at Nokia. According to the site SmartHouse who spoke with a Samsung senior executive, Samsung will be introducing at least four devices that span the Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 spectrum come this fall. None of the proposed devices should be shocking as Samsung is one again sticking to what it knows:

  • 11" Windows 8 tablet
  • 14" Windows 8 tablet (+ dock and keyboard)
  • "Windows based Note offering"
  • Phone based on Galaxy SIII hardware/design

It's not clear if the Note device will be running Windows Phone 8 or Windows 8 (nor are we clear what the difference is yet either) but such a decision to offer such a design should not be surprising as the Note has sold better than expected. Coming in with a 5.3" Super AMOLED HD screen, the Samsung Note bridges smartphones and tablets in a form-factor suitable for literally taking notes on it with the return of a stylus. Throwing Windows 8/Windows Phone 8 on such a design seems like an obvious choice and one we wouldn't mind.

The Windows Phone based off a Galaxy S III design and hardware confirms an earlier story which suggested the same thing. Once again, this is what we expect Samsung to do at this point--recycle designs from Android to Windows Phone. Such practice allows them to presumably save on hardware, production and in theory, to have less issues as that hardware is already tried and tested.

Will all of that be enough to "take on" Nokia? Since we don't know hat Nokia is planning, it is certainly too early to judge but Samsung is not getting many accolades for its GSIII design with many calling it a disappointment. Though Samsung seemed to be on course to become a Korean Apple with their hit Galaxy series, the company had faltered with their latest Android phone and now many are wondering if have they really changed.

We're expecting Nokia to come out with some really cutting edge hardware this fall too, perhaps a 41MP PureView camera sensor for Windows Phone and even tablets. It will certainly be tough for Samsung to steal back that spotlight.

Source: SmartHouse; via WMPU

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • Not bad to have Samsung and Nokia battling it out; they are two of best hardware providers in the world. Sooner or later, WP has to grow.
  • I personally think (and the tech world appears to agree) that HTC with their "One" series have bested Samsung in terms of specs and design. Don't forget, the One series now also features a unibody polycarbonate body like some other company. Samsung is like Motorola. Get a hit, drill it to the ground till your stock flounders. I was hoping that changed recently but now I'm having doubts.
  • You may be right, Daniel, about this. However, recent articles around the web suggested Apple and Samsung make 99% of all profit of all manufacturers in this field. Others have miserable financial results.
    Samsung is just utilizing their existing hardware and going for another platform. Why not, I say. Makes sense as this gives Nokia harder time building itself up on WP platform.
    If Samsung does this right, Nokia will have very hard time to get back to black numbers, especially if users migrate from Android to WP as they will look for Samsung product if they used it on Android - in some situations.
  • I agree with you, but the thought of a Windows Phone 8 Note just makes me smile. Assuming they didn't literally use the exact same hardware, but instead made some nice changes, that certainly sounds like an amazing device.
  • Samsung are much more than Motorola. First of all they are really big. Big like no other company. Their wide range of products allows them to invest in R&D because they have many products on which to apply the result. Also due to sheer size they have ridiculous production capacity. Even Apple orders parts from Samsung for the simple reason that no other company has the capacity to produce them. This economy of scale allows Samsung to reduce production costs more than any other company and further more I feel like they have perfected the manufacturing process in terms of cost and reasonable quality. Samsung may be like Motorola when it comes to smartphone design but they are certainly more powerful and well-rounded company. Remember that chart about cell phone profits where everyone but Samsung and Apple are losing money and HTC are basically at zero? There is a reason Samsung and Apple are the only one who vendors making a profit these days.
  • Also a curved screen...
  • The actual internal stuff is great from Samsung. But their outsides are not the best... Its always light, plastic that makes it feel cheap...
  • They need to keep that Android crud over there.
  • If part of "taking on" Nokia involves increased marketing efforts, then this seems like a good thing to me.
  • I would be interested in a WP Note and will also be interested in what Nokia offers up. Yes, I think Samsung can compete with recycled designs. It's no different than a PC maker releasing a specific model available with either Windows or Linux pre-installed. For me it's all about who can deliver the features and reliability I want. I don't care at all if the WP I choose also has an Android version available. In fact, I'd prefer it if all OEMs did that. Then we'd have more to choose from than we currently do. There are several Android phones I wish were running WP instead!
    Me: I'm interested in seeing the HTC One X.
    Salesguy: Sure. Android or Windows Phone?
    Me: Windows Phone, please.
    Salesguy: Certainly. We have that right over here...
  • To be honest, for me it was gonna be between the lumia 900 and the gs3. When the lumia came out, I got a bit froggy and jumped on it since Samsung had pushed back their unveiling of the gs3. Now I feel like I made the right decision. Of course spec wise the gs3 wins hands down but at the same time it didn't feel like something special. Just more of the same. All the lumia handsets are beautiful. I can't tell you how many people always ask, " what kind of phone is that?". When I tell them its a Nokia, they all say the same thing. That they remember Nokia used to have some of the best phones ever and I say they still do. When the hardware restrictions are lifted with WP8 Nokia is going to be a beast.
  • Yeah Daniel! You came through with that juicy, hit story I was looking for for the week. Great job dude! Now I'm going to go tell my android buddies about a future WP note device coming out. They are going to be scared!
  • i guess i will wait to upgrade my phone until apollo is released and see what it offered. looks like some nice handsets are about to be on the way
  • Don't expect Nokia to win any spec wars they won't be able to produce the device at a competitive price compared to Samsung as they basically made all the components themselves.
  • My guess is that the Windows-based Note will be Windows RT and not WP8, if there's even any difference. The reason for that is that desktop Office / OneNote already has great pen support, as does the base Windows OS. Unless they outright make Windows Phone 8 be the desktop Windows plus a backwards compatibility layer, then it just doesn't make sense to abandon that. For the record though, I would be a first day buy of a Windows RT Note, and I'm most likely also buying the 11" Windows 8 tablet in an x86 model if they improve the build quality from the Series 7 Slate that I bought and returned.
  • Nokia all the way!
  • I think this will be a true comparison between android and WP as both run on the same hw. It will be very interesting... A HW vendor has grew big to stage a pure match between MS and Google this way. :D
  • What's up with all the Samsung bashing for recycling their industry leading hardware. Actually, I'm hoping that Samsung produces a WP version of the GS3.. or the WP version of the Note. One of these will be my next phone.
    41MP pureview doesn't make sense and will only attract consumers who want to show off and play the numbers game. " How many pixels does your phone have? Mine has 41MP..  sure I can only take 3 photos before my phone storage is full but FORTY-ONE!"
    I'm sure that once Samsung is convinced that WP8 can deliver, they will pump more money into marketing their devices.
  • i tend to agree.  I have had a samsung phone since before android and i have always enjoyed their devices.  i do enjoy all vendors though, htc, lg, nokia, etc...  i will consider them all.  but there is something about samsung mobles that draw me.  if they make a note version, it will be hard to guess what they put on.  it does point to reason that windows rt would be a logical choice.  basicly winrt or wp8 will work because the additing of mobile office would be its selling point.  i would be interested in a winrt/wp8 note because i for some reason want a very large screen on my mobile.  it would be a hard choice if they offer a note an gs3 option.  but 4.8" screen is also good to me.
    i am very interested in what nokia and htc will offer as well, but like i just stated, something about Samsung just draws me in.  
    as for as a win8 tablet, i would be open to a 11" or a 14" with dock.  i agree the x86/x64 option in the way to go for windows 8.  winrt although i can see being usable for everyday browsing, etc... i still need a machine that can run software.  yes, i have a decent desktop that can run win8 with out issues, but i like the option of the same software in a very mobile environment.
    time will tell. i am for one very excited and more importanly, open to the furute of windows devices.
  • Heck, I'll be all over a WP Galaxy Note. To me, the more, the merrier. Don't care about the design that much as I used to. I care more about what Windows Phone can and cannot do. Repeating hardware designs is good because it may get some Android fans to switch over to WP.
  • Couldn't agree more
  • I've been reading alot of reviews comparing the One X to the S3. All the chat is about spec, benchmark testing etc. If and when WP can bring out a comparably specced device, Android users may just sit up and take notice.
  • Its hard to out do Nokia they always come back with better
  • I think Nokia will have a different design than Samsung's regular every other curved Android...look alike !!