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WhartonBrooks Part II: CEO Greg Murphy on his upstart Windows Mobile company [Exclusive]

So what is it about this Connecticut-based smartphone manufacturer that has garnered both the praise and the ire of some in the industry? First and foremost its CEO Greg Murphy has invested in what a small but passionate group of enthusiasts hail as the best mobile platform, critics describe as a dead platform, and others barely acknowledge as they enjoy their iPhones and Android phones. Yes, WhartonBrooks is making Windows phones – and only Windows phones. So help them God; is the prayer of the fans.

Social media and comment sections of articles have been the battleground where supporters of this fledgling company, armed with tidbits of information and hope, have dueled with critics garnishing just as little data and cynicism. The mystery surrounding this firm combined with the bold confidence that saturated its initial press release are enticing characteristics that are hard for both the hopeful and critics to ignore.

The mystery surrounding WhartonBrooks is hard for fans and critics to ignore.

In the absence of a phone, a canceled Meet & Greet, a name people don't understand and an apparent arrival out of the blue some have questioned the legitimacy of the company. Does it actually exist? It does. Are they really going to release a Windows phone? They are. When? Soon. Who exactly are WhartonBrooks? - is a question this series and particularly this piece seeks to answer through the voice of its CEO.

On with the show (or Two Huskies and a phone)

I reached out to Greg Murphy a fellow University of Connecticut graduate (Go Huskies!) to see if he'd be willing to answer a few questions. He graciously complied. Through the following piece, we learn a lot more about Greg Murphy, WhartonBrooks and his plans for Cerulean Windows phones. Buckle up and sit back you don't want to miss this!

Who is the man behind the plan?

Greg describes himself as a husband first, then a father and added with quite a bit of confidence that he is the world's biggest Windows phone fan. I'm sure many fans might contend with Murphy for that title (I'm looking at you Sean Johnson aka @TheWinPhan) but this is Greg's story.

My daily driver is my 950xl and our prototype.

Titles aside, he is indeed quite the fan. He has owned one of every Lumia model ever sold and says he's always been a Windows phone fan. He's also owned and loved the HTC Surround, which he bought on launch day, the Samsung Epix and the LG Incite before that. Though he did use Android for a while, he hated the experience and returned to Windows phone. Apple products, he shares, "don't excite me."

His daily drivers today include a Lumia 950 XL (though he prefers the 950), and the prototype of his first Cerulean Windows phone. He also carries a Lumia 1020 in his bag which he describes as "the most important Windows Phone ever. It is truly our aspiration." It will be interesting to see what WhartonBrooks will focus on or zoom into as key attributes for Cerulean phones.

I've spent that last 20 years working with Microsoft enterprise technologies.

Given Murphy's Windows phone history it is certain that many fans can relate to him and the passion he has for the platform. What we might not have, however, is the combination of experience, drive, discipline, courage and will to embark on what is undoubtedly a challenging endeavor: making Windows phones. Of course, being a fan alone wouldn't equip a man to become a Microsoft Windows phone manufacturing partner.

Murphy's professional credentials include an undergrad in Economics with a focus in Health Policy and a Masters in Public Health. He adds:

I have spent that last 20 years working with Microsoft enterprise technologies in various leadership positions. I have also led programming and software development teams at healthcare institutions in CT. I decided to use my skills to develop something new for my own venture instead of someone else's.

This combination of passion, experience and personal character may or may not be sufficient to help this self-proclaimed introvert succeed. But if an OEM founded by a Window phone fan for Windows phone users is as natural a fit as Murphy's affinity for talking with individuals (versus large groups) and working with tech, it just may succeed.

Why are you making Windows phones?

I'm sure that many Windows phone fans have had more than a passing thought about what type of phone they would love to see represented on the platform. Murphy, however, has put his thoughts into action. When I asked him why he is making Windows phones he replied:

I am a Windows Phone user and wanted the platform to reach higher levels. So, I thought no one would care like I would. No one would be driven like me. To everyone else it is their job to make a phone – for us, it is a passion.

It is admirable to hear of such a commitment to enhancing the entire Windows platform. I'm sure many fans are hopeful that Microsoft, the other half of this partnership, will provide WhartonBrooks with all of the support available to a multibillion-dollar firm.

I decided to use my skills to develop something new for my own venture.

WhartonBrooks is a very small company comprised of just six individuals representing varied backgrounds after all. The firm relies on a network of support including manufacturers, software developers, suppliers, and others. When I asked Murphy if his entire team uses Windows phones in their daily lives he responded:

Our team uses a broad range of technologies to ensure we research the competition thoroughly. They are Windows Phone fans and want to bring to life the one device for your computing needs.

Derek Egerman the company's Chief Strategy and Planning Officer, pictured above, can be seen sporting an iPhone as evidence of that statement.

Though some of the more passionate fans out there will pitch a fit at somebody who makes Windows phones using a rival platforms, it's an important thing to do. From a business perspective it's always smart to be familiar with the pros and cons of other platforms. That knowledge informs the work done on the company's devices, in WhartonBrook's case supplementing the user experience on Windows phones.

We have additional technologies that we'll put into place for the consumer market.

Of course, there isn't much an OEM partner can do to modify Windows 10 Mobile, aside from including exclusive apps, but Murphy alluded to a "product" that he is bringing to his Cerulean phones which will enhance the experience. He also stated that we have additional technologies that we will, over time, put into place for the consumer market. It is a small and shrinking market, however.

Murphy, though, seems unconcerned about the small 1% market share Windows phone currently holds:

Since the beginning, we wanted a Windows phone that was accessible to all of us. We don't need the whole pie, just a slice. We care about our market share among Windows Phone makers. As long as Microsoft is making the OS, then we will make a smartphone and push the size of the market.

Of course, we know that Microsoft is committed to the continued evolution of the Window Mobile OS albeit with an apparent focus on the enterprise for the immediate future. This fact brings us to another point.

Tell us about the phone!

WhartonBrooks is making Windows 10 Mobile smartphones for consumers. Murphy sees a market there that he can serve.

This focus is likely good news for the fans that feel Microsoft's vacillation between the consumer and enterprise space is disconcerting.

Murphy puts it this way:

We are consumer-centric with an opportunity for businesses. Cerulean Mobile is the consumer-centric business while WhartonBrooks is for business. For consumers, we need people to enjoy our smartphones and become fans of our company. We have competencies in project management, performance improvement, and software development – these are important to businesses.

Windows 10 Mobile and its capabilities, such as Continuum, are a known entity among enthusiasts. Many fans have wondered what "disruptive technologies" Murphy was referring to in his press release. It's worth noting that the Windows phone fan's knowledge about Windows 10 Mobile is not common knowledge. When I asked Murphy about these "disruptive technologies" he waxed philosophical; literally:

We can't reveal too much here, but let's talk philosophy. Our story begins with our first smartphone; there are important aspects we need to bring with our first entry – light, thin, highly portable, and beautiful smartphone. It has to be a smartphone that people want. There are other aspects that we will propose like a kickstand (i.e., HTC Surround), and wrist strap (i.e., Lumia 1020) are essential, but we need to test this with our future customers.We have important smartphone-centric technologies in the works, but also we believe that the broader opportunity is how the smartphone can be the one device for all your computing needs. We think it should be untethered. In our press release, we stated that we want to enable computing to be more personal, flexible, and secure – that is the smartphone. People on other platforms don't know about Window 10 Mobile and the disruptions that it brings – the break from current thinking to create a new path. We explored some of that path and envisioned a whole new suite of opportunities that no other platform is capable of. It is the future.Others want you to buy a separate computer for every function – we think people are not that rich and to be honest wasteful. A CPU for your phone, tablet, laptop, streaming stick, and desktop, really? That does not seem futuristic; it seems more profit driven to me. We think the screen goes into ubiquity, and the pocket computing device becomes the hub for your digital life. Now that, we think is disruptive.

Much of what Murphy states here echoes the analysis that both myself and Daniel have presented as "tomorrows" personal computing experience. There is a paradigm shift on the horizon that will affect both the consumer and enterprise environments. If Microsoft has their way according to the latest information, however, the evolution of Windows Mobile toward that shift will occur under the stoic shadow of the enterprise.

Evolve or die: This is the age of the ultra-mobile PC

The matter of marketing

One of the primary complaints fans have hurled at Microsoft is that Microsoft has not adequately advertised Windows phone. We do acknowledge several ads for the Lumia 1020, 928 and the hard to forget "The beta test is over" campaign.

These and a few other ads have been far and in between and lack, at least in my opinion, the sensory and emotional connection often found in Samsung and Apple ads.

I asked Murphy how he planned to make Cerulean phones "noticeable" through all of the "noise" Joe Consumer is consistently hit with by Samsung and Apple. Murphy replied:

We are looking for people who enjoy Windows. We look to be a presence in the places where they are. We have information to share about us and how to take advantage of our platform to create, have fun, and be an adventurer.We will be assertive with our marketing to show the strength of Windows 10 Mobile and to move Windows users to Cerulean Mobile. We are not looking to get people to switch from other platforms – we lost many investors with that statement. We look to grow our share of Windows phones users. The rest will take care of itself.

Naturally, any OEM must have a plan on how they hope to market their product. As a partner to Microsoft, however, support from Redmond would be expected. Murphy shared that Microsoft provided the relationship and partner connections to begin the process.

We are not looking to get people to switch from other platforms.

I wondered if Microsoft would support WhartonBrook's marketing efforts going forward, however. Murphy assured me that Microsoft is holding the company's hand through this process. He also stated that Microsoft is their most important partner and he is grateful for their help and support.

What market segment are you targeting?

Windows phone fans have been itching for high-end flagships ever since Microsoft's low-end assault a couple of years ago. The 950 and 950 XL are spec-wise, undeniably high-end devices. The not-so-exquisite build, however, has left some fans asking for more. The all-business HP Elite x3 has turned some heads, but the steep price tag and troubled roll out have caused many to turn away.

Murphy promises a beautiful device that won't break the bank. As a matter of he is targeting a high growth market, with a phone that has all of the rich features of Windows 10 Mobile including Continuum. As he puts it:

We seek to leverage emerging technologies to create high growth opportunities. An $800 phone is not high growth. We want our technologies to be accessible to everyone. Your computing device needs to function well and be beautiful, elegant, and highly portable. In order to achieve our goal of high growth and still be on the leading edge, it will require what is not available from other makers.We will start small and everything we do will push the edge of accessibility, computing power, and utility.

It sounds like WhartonBrooks wants the best of Windows 10 Mobile and device quality for the most affordable price. Moreover, "starting small" is likely an initial order of 10,000 phones based on information Murphy shared in his podcast. Murphy knows that the entire market is tens of millions, but doesn't yet know what his initial sales will be. This small initial order may help Murphy get the phones on carrier shelves — but he also acknowledges the importance building their unlocked phones to be as compatible with as many carriers as possible. This isn't just for networks in America — he has global ambitions:

Day one is the U.S. The rest of North America is next. Brazil, UK, and Germany are strategically important. Australia and India are high on the list too.

Going forward

WhartonBrooks is planning a series of Meet & Greets leading up to the release of their smartphone. Of course, the question on most of our minds is, will we see the phone at these events? The response:

We will use the Meet & Greet events to give people a chance to meet us, connect with fellow fans, and to show people who we are. We are an unknown entity, and we are a new brand. In order to make an impact, we need people to get to know us and understand where we are coming from. We will be a very active participant in the platform. We will overwhelm the competition with our presence.

In case you missed it, the answer is no phone, but you get to meet the folks behind the phone. Murphy feels that it is important to connect with consumers and to listen to what people want from future smartphones.

I want them to have a hand in building it. I also want to build our team to help people take full advantage of our platform. Post-sales are the most important aspect of our sales strategy…Being a user and a fan of the platform, puts us at an advantage over all other makers. We feel like we know exactly what to do and what people want most from their Windows Phone. We will enjoy bringing new features and enhancements to the platform….I'm in love with our first smartphone, but we want to grow from here, and we need Windows Phone fans everywhere to join in and make this a story for all time.

Wrap up

We are very appreciative of the time Greg provided us. WhartonBrooks is in its very early stages, and we have yet to see the phone, though Greg assures me that it will be here before Christmas.

You should be able to buy a Cerulean mobile phone by Christmas.

The strengths WhartonBrooks brings to the table are a laser focus on Window phone fans which no other OEM is doing. Murphy had strong language for critics who claim Windows phone is dead:

They are not using Windows phones, and they don't want to…so they are irrelevant to us. We are making products for people who find Windows Phone a pleasure and want a company dedicated to the platform.

Sure, the quality of the phone, support and other factors will affect success, but the model is a unique and solid one. If WhartonBrooks can deliver on an attractive, and accessible phone on which the unique features of Windows 10 Mobile, like Continuum, can shine Lumia fans may embrace Cerulean phones. This, of course, is Murphy's goal.

We will be assertive with our marketing to show the strength of Windows 10 Mobile and to move Windows users to Cerulean Mobile.

If WhartonBrooks is able to deliver are you willing to embrace Cerulean phones as the next "Lumias?"

So what are your thoughts? There's a lot to talk about, from their launch strategy to price range to the target of existing Windows fans! Sound off in comments, forums and on Twitter!

Jason L Ward is a columnist at Windows Central. He provides unique big picture analysis of the complex world of Microsoft. Jason takes the small clues and gives you an insightful big picture perspective through storytelling that you won't find *anywhere* else. Seriously, this dude thinks outside the box. Follow him on Twitter at @JLTechWord. He's doing the "write" thing!

228 Comments
  • Thanks for reading folks! We have a bit more of a peek behind the WhartonBrooks curtain thanks to Greg. Still we have many questions. We do know that he carries the prototype with him and based on a high growth strategy the phone is likely looking at a midrange price tag. Full Windows 10 Mobile features like Continuum are his goal on this first phone (there will be others built based on customer input) with beautiful design. Let's hope he can reach that delicate balance of price, functionality, and beauty. There's also the issue of carrier support. Finally, we're looking at a launch before Christmas. So are you Lumia lovers curious? By the way Greg and his team visit comments on posts across the web, as he mentions on his podcast as well, to get a feel of the potential audience. Well you know the drill - LET'S TALK!!!
  • really hope they launch in india were there is a good share of windows phone users.
  • That was a good interview. Greg's excitement got me excited. I truly wish them luck. Now Jason, be honest, did you at least get a sneak peek at the phone?
  • "WhartonBrooks is one of the newest smartphone manufacturers on the scene" Before they become a 'smartphone manufacturer', don't you think they need first to, you know, actually manufacture a smartphone?
    I always enjoy your articles, even if sometimes they seem written after a big dose of Microsoft branded Kool-aid, but hey, this is a site for Microsoft fans. But this reverence and fascination with a '"smartphone manufacturer" without any track record or a prototype, or even a hint of an actual work in progress device (apart from the pictures on the website, which are crude Photoshopped images of an existing cheap device from an obscure Chinese manufacturer) is beyond silly, and it threatens any credibility you might have when the most likely happens:
    a) they stamp their name on some cheap Chinese inconsequential phone
    or, even more likely,
    b) they release nothing, and they become yet another one of the thousands upon thousands of vapourware companies that litter the tech landscape.
    If you could give them even a grain of the benefit of a doubt just as they were about to have their event, the fact that was clumsy cancelled just before it was due to happen speaks volumes.
    If this was a legitimate company aiming to build a W10M for fans, wouldn't it make much more sense to, for example, crowdsource it?
    I hope that I'm wrong, but the chances are extremely low. Do yourself a favour and stop hyping this "manufacturer". It's very unlikely to end up flattering you or WC. No saviour or messiah is likely to come from here.
  • The messiah came 2000 years ago.He is the LORD!
  • For you, not me. :-)
  • Even knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the Glory of GOD the Father.
  • Go right ahead. I aim my spirituality in a different direction.
  • Idkwtf is going on in this thread. Whether jesus is the messiah is irrelevant to this site
  • Haha I think it's just jokes :-)
  • Amen
  • Really?
  • Proof please.
  • They should add that as the tl,dr! :-D
  • They should add that as the tl,dr! :-D
  • And yet if they didn't produce an article they would also get criticised.
  • There's nothing wrong with producing one or even several articles - this is a site for windows news, particularly in the phone side and i expect them to report on any related, even tangential news. Moreover, being a fan site I expect, heck, even demand that they take a biased, always-look-at-bright-side point if view in their reporting. An app has been pulled out of the Store? Well, maybe, just maybe they're preparing a W10 version of the app. That sort if thing.
    My issue is that they seem to take anything this company says at face value, despite the lack of any evidence. The Smartphone hardware industry is a cutthroat business with only 2 players making any money - even big names, with economies of scale in production and marketing as well as decades of electronics R&D, manufacturing and distributing experience (Sony, HTC, LG, Nokia, Microsoft, BlackBerry, etc) make no money, many have laid off thousands of workers and scaled back smartphone operations - some of these despite using an OS with stronger share of mind and app ecosystem. The idea that a half a dozen people will come up with a breakthrough smartphone despite having nothing to support that claim is just plain wishful thinking. Yes, we are fans and thus committed to eternal irrational optimism - but even fanboys must draw a line somewhere.
  • But if they wait for the phone to be produced then there is no story. The story is the uniqueness of the company and the passion of the guy behind it.
    Doesn't matter if it's 6 guys or 600, it's a worthwhile story.
    And that's probably 6 permanent staff.
    And why shouldn't a new company try and produce a new Windows phone? They all have to start somewhere, or are you saying that only "big" companies should make one?
    Comparing the Windows market to the Android/Apple one is also misleading as that's not the market they are initially focusing on. Just sit back and enjoy the ride...
    If they produce an interesting product then good.
    If they fail then it's sad, but at least they would have tried :-)
  • "But if they wait for the phone to be produced then there is no story.​" So the story of someone who has yet to prove that he is even worth of a one line article is interesting but the story of someone who had produced a successful windows phone wouldn't be interesting? "If they produce an interesting product then good.
    If they fail then it's sad​" nobody is saying that this is not true, if you see people is not agaist this wannabe windows phones seller, we are against the cerulean lover that writes these strange articles (I always defended his articles so....)
  • @paolo Unmet expectation is usually the source of disappointment. What I believe is part of the issue with some of the dissent on this series by the small minority who find issue with it is the fact that the company has not publically manifest a phone yet and therefor dissenters are not classifying them as a Windows phone OEM partners to Microsoft for that reason. One, the application for becoming an OEM partner precedes the actual production of a phone. It is a fundamentally necessary prerequisite. Two once that piece is done, there is a slew of paperwork and agreements that must be completed and understood. There's a large amount of personal capital that must be brought forward on the OEMs side which Murphy did by getting investors'. Microsoft, connects the OEM with manufacturers' to work out a design based off of certain parameters etc. A prototype of the phone, such as the one Murphy carries is sent to him to evaluate and critique to further conform to specifications. These are broad scope details, there are many specifics that brought Murphy to point he is now, still asserting his Fall timetable. Anything can go wrong, things can change, the McLaren was cancelled months before release, the surface Mini pulled at the 11th hour. The point of this series is not to say everything WILL go as planned, though I sincerely hope that it will. The point of this series, as repeatedly stated, is to tell the story. Hopefully to a happy and successful ending. But if it results in bad ending, it is still a relevant and unique story of an individual fan, becoming a Microsoft OEM partner, connecting with manufacturers, designing the prototypes and reaching for a Fall 2016 launch. It speaks to the passion of the enthusiasts of this platform, and the potential inherent in Microsoft's OEM portal that was announced in 2014. It is a unique story that will never be able to told for iOS, or of it's fans and will likely not be told of Android. It is a unique story for our platform, and it is worth being told AS it unfolds. I am not writing about a device. I'm writing about the man behind the company bringing the device; the birth of the team, and the development and hopefully the realization of the dream. If that is not your expectation as you read this series you WILL be disappointed. But if you read the titles and understand I'm sharing the DEVELOPING story, the entry of the phone, into the "plot" at this point is understood as not central to the flow. We will get there when the story brings us there barring any unforseen occurrence's which are no stranger in tech.:-)
  • Maybe you are right. It's just that there isn't much story to be told here so this is just free(?) advertising for a company that has the only merit of having done some bureaucracy and prototype evaluation.... Good luck to them but there is no merit and no plan. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • That is a great summary. I was not aware that was your intended goal. You should try and summarize this better at the beginning of your articles. I often get a sort of "learn as you read through the article"-vibe from your articles, like you know more than you want the reader to know initially. This is the perfect form for storywriting, but in my Humble oppinion, not in tech articles.
  • The story is the uniqueness of the company 
    Their "uniqueness" is exactly the reason why they don't deserve tihs kind of attention - the lack of any credibility in their claims and some strong circumstantial evidence that this is vapourware.
    But if they wait for the phone to be produced then there is no story.
    By that logic everyone should get their own series here on WC - who knows, I could be the next Smartphone manufacturer success, the fact that I have no experience, plan, resources or antying that makes me likely to crack an industry littered with the corpses of companies which have or had those things I lack and still failed just makes my story even more "unique".
  • I disagre with this. By the sound of the article, Greg has a past, experience and way of thinking, which equips him better than the rest of us to make a Windows Phone-only company and be sucessful about it. Personally I don't think physical proof is needed before you can start to see some tangible hope that this is possible. And as Jason states, it's not about the story of the phone, but the story of a may-be-company which is the first of it's kind , in the sense that their only focus is to create what is, in their mind, the ultimate Windows Phone based on their own expectations and hope among other factors :)
  • I agree. I wish them luck, but this didn't appear to be going anywhere. It's been a month since their launch was planned, cancelled abruptly, then silence.
  • @infosage Actually the phones launch was not cancelled. As a matter of fact a launch date for the phone was never announced. We've only gotten general information - This Fall, in relation to the phones launch. What WAS postponed was the first Meet & Greet, which was scheduled at a Microsoft Store in the West Farms Mall in CT; where the public could meet with Murphy and his team. That's what was postponed because an important partner, per official announcement, wanted to be part of the event and they needed to align schedules. Hope that information helps. Sure it'd be great to have another Meet & Greet date announced sooner than later, but this information is the actual context of what was canceled. Thanks for participating!:-)
  • Who knows, maybe they were invited to participate in the rumored Microsoft meeting in late Oct., I don't know. But when even a long time partner like Lenovo can't detect any commitment to Windows 10 mobile from Nadella, it seems silly to think a 6 person startup would gain any traction. Again, I wish them luck.
  • Lenovo decided they weren't going to make Windows phones, they are hardly going to say anything nice about their perception of Microsoft's commitment to a competing platform.
  • You mean Lenovo, who owns Motorola and is heavily invested in Android in mobile THAT Lenovo? They don't want to see a commitment to windows mobile.
  • This Fall, in relation to the phones launch.
      Google just announced their new smartphone, which will be manufactured by HTC, a company with many years in manufactoring smartphones. Google said they have been working on these phones for one year. So on one side, you have a multi-billion dollar company with almost unlimitted resources partnered with what is probably the most experienced smartphone manufactorer in the world - and it still took them 12 months to bring the phone to the market (despite being a pretty standard smartphone design). On the other side, you have a mum and pop operation, without any manufactoring experience or even resources that decided last week (I'm exageerating for effect) that they will be in the smartphone market - and they will have a "revolutionary" device by the Fall.  Everyone should draw their own conclusions. The evidence speaks for itself.
  • He started this journey in 2014.
  • "He started this journey in 2014" Jadon, I assume you have seen some concrete evidence of this, right? Or are you again taking anything he says at face value? And by journey, what exactly it's meant here? Did he woke up in the middle of the night in 2014 with this dream about a Windows phone, then did nothing about it for the next two years until 3 weeks ago when he decided to have an event? Or by journey you mean actually working on a prototype of sorts, in which case
    a) why, after a 2 year journey there isn't any prototype to show? Why are the photos on the company's website of a photoshopped existing phone from a Chinese manufacturer?
    b) why all the information produced by the company on this phone points to it being a device that leverages continuum - something that didn't even exist back in 2014, long before W10M itself came into being?
  • @Cortana is Skynet
    It's ok. You don't have to accept or believe any of this. His efforts and the chronicling of them here is not a personal affront to you. I get the feeling no matter what I say, you'll just come back with "But...something..." I appreciate your support of my articles. But if this topic is not one that really interest's you or simply rubs you the wrong way, you are by no means obligated to read this series. I have another piece in the works now that may be more your flavor!:-) Simple response to your questions:
    1. He conceived the notion to make Windows phones in early 2014.
    2. He began doing a lot of research after that point so that he could learn how to become a smartphone company.
    3. He applied through the OEM portal 2014.
    4. He got a call from MS 2 weeks later.
    5. He then signed up with all the legal documentation and NDA's agreeing not to talk about a lot of the behind the scenes stuff.
    6. He received a bunch of info from MS giving him a bunch of parameters and data about how to do things. MS branding etc..
    7. Got in contact with MS again to take the step with manufacturers.
    8. Set on an approximate number of phones to start with.... That's a nutshell overview.
    Thanks
  • @Cortana is Skynet Hi thanks for your reply. Just a reminder, this series is meant to tell the unique story of a Windows phone fans journey to bring Windows phones to market. This story, of course, could begin to be told after the fact when a phone is on the shelves, but then we'd have to tell the tale retroactively and it doesn't carry the same force. I have chosen to chronicle the journey, to some degree, as it unfolds. It’s a unique approach I know, but I am proud that I don't fit the mode. I'm not the typical tech writer in my writing style nor analysis, and I believe my work stands out because I'm confident enough to be me. :-) That said whichever way this story turns out, it’s a story relevant to the platform and the industry, and I'm committed to telling it as it happens. I am optimistic, but if you look through the piece again you will see where not everything is considered rosy. You might also find this following paragraph from part one which sets the tone and purpose of the series helpful: "If you're a critic who can't reconcile why an OEM or consumers would invest in Windows Mobile, WhartonBrooks' story just may intrigue, enlighten or at the very least entertain you. Everyone loves a story after all. Whoever you are, this is the first in a series of pieces that I will bring you as this incredible story of the only Windows phone OEM birthed by a Windows phone fan unfolds." Also to your point, When Greg applied to become an OEM and was accepted by Microsoft as such and began designing the phones and using prototypes and such he became a Windows Phone manufacturing partner to Microsoft. Microsoft identifies the company as such. Finally, whichever way it turns out Windows Central is, true to our fashion, producing unique content. I'm very proud of that. :-) Here are a few examples of where I tempered my optimism with the possibility that things may not go as planned, or conditions may not be optimal in the industry or from Micrsosoft's perspective given their strategy and track record with marketing. Though I indeed hope that they will. In your enthusiasm you may have missed them: 1. "As a small OEM championing an underdog platform, they will need all of the support that Microsoft, a multi-billion dollar company with an innovative, pioneering universal platform, can offer. Even then there are no guarantees" 2. Candidly speaking, Microsoft's smartphone marketing and distribution strategy, even when they were "all in" in the consumer space, seemed to lack the aggressive commitment that Apple and Samsung consistently bring to the table 3. "This combination of passion, experience and personal character may or may not be sufficient to help this self-proclaimed introvert succeed.." 4. "Of course, there **isn't much an OEM partner can do to modify Windows 10 Mobile**, aside from including exclusive apps," 5. "He also stated that we have additional technologies that we will, over time, put into place for the consumer market. **It is a small and shrinking market, however.**" 6. "Candidly speaking, Murphy is facing a daunting challenge. The smartphone industry is fiercely competitive, saturated and ruled by the iPhone and Android phones which combined dominate nearly the entire market. Even Microsoft, a multi-billion global firm has temporarily retrenched from a consumer space that WhartonBrooks is venturing into with their enterprise and explicitly expressed consumer-focused phones:" 7. If WhartonBrooks ultimately delivers on their goals, the increasingly disenchanted fan base may, at least in part, be somewhat revitalized. **If they fail, given the hype they've generated, the opposite most certainly is likely to occur.** 8. Ideally, as WhartonBrooks is building relationships with users, Microsoft will be aggressively supporting this and other OEM partners. Simply put, without Redmond's diligent support OEM partners will not be able to thrive. 9. If Microsoft has their way according to the latest information, however, the evolution of Windows Mobile toward that shift will occur under the stoic shadow of the enterprise. So yes I am definitely optimistic, and believe that this company can indeed succeed, but I have clearly identified some of the challenges facing the company in the presentation of its story. Thanks for participating and I hope this isolating of the content contained within the first two pieces of this series helps to highlight information you seem to have missed.
  • Ah yes, it wouldn't be a Jason Ward article if he doesn't come to the comment section to tell every commenter to reread his article and then insist that he has covered everything while cherry picking a few quotes from his article out of context to reinforce his point. And just so you know, you have not answered a single point the OP has made in this lengthy reply you have written.
  • Maybe because the OP missed the whole point of the story and it appears you have missed it too.
  • Maybe because the OP missed the whole point of the story and it appears you have missed it too.
      Maybe you missed the whole point of the OP comment and it appears you have missed the point in percle's comment too. See how easy it is to play this silly game?
  • That's weird because I think he nailed it. Someone complained because articles focused on a company that has produced nothing to date. Yet it is clearly stated that the purpose of these articles is to follow the journey of a startup oem as they attempt to bring a device to market. Some people just need to complain I guess, but having crack at someone because they politely point out the flaws in the criticism is just juvenile and speaks largely to peoples misguided belief that its their right to complain unchallenged on the internet and that authors have no right of reply.
  • [P]eoples misguided belief that its their right to complain unchallenged on the internet and that authors have no right of reply.
    That's weird... you are complaining that readers of the article do exactly what the article's own author invited them to do i.e.., discuss the article? Bizarre, considering Jason even goes further and comments on his own article again inviting the discussion.
  • he writes tech articles not books.
  • You got that wrong...all of Jason's articles are books...I print them out and I'm starting a library;)
  • Ha Ha, very funny.
  • @habibiul I want my royalties! :-)
  • @Jason, thank you for your reply.
     this series is meant to tell the unique story of a Windows phone fans journey to bring Windows phones to market. 
    Well, I would argue that the right way of going about doing this would be to collect all the material as it unfolds and when\if they release the phone, put out the story of how they brought it to the market. Telling the story of how the phone was launched when it most won't doesn't seem to make sense. You are assuming it will, but that is a far cry from make it likely that it will. Moreover, even it they do launch a phone, we should reserve any praise until we see it - if they stamp 'Cerulean' on a Moly phone  - will that be worth all this fawning? Like I said, there's nothing stopping you from collecting material and then being the first to put out the story once the phone debuts.
    This story [Snip] could begin to be told after the fact [Snip] it doesn't carry the same force 
    I've already written why I think this is a flawed argument - by that reasoning anything and anyone should get their own series because, in theory, they could potentially be the next manufacturer to bring a Windows phone to market.  I have not yet received an invitation from you to be part of a series of how I will bring a revolutionary Windows phone to the market even though there are no physical laws in the universe that would have to be broken in order for that to happen. Of course you will claim that it's very unlikely that I will be launching a Windows phone and therefore the risk of you losing this big scoop of interviewing me before my phone comes to the market, is one you are willing to take based on statistical evidence. Well, same applies to WhartonBrooks on the available evidence.
    I'm not the typical tech writer in my writing style nor analysis, and I believe my work stands out because I'm confident enough to be me. 
    Which is fair enough - as I said, I enjoy your writing and your articles - even when they stretch credibility - are one of differentiators of WC vs. other Windows and tech sites. My memory is a bitty fuzzy, but I believe I first stumbled on WC via one of your articles. So thank you for destroying that strawman of your own creation. But this is part of my issue with the attention to this company - your articles are not usually of the "app XYZ has been updated on the Store to version xxx.xxx.xx" type - you usually go behind what is "visible" and ignore the obvious, and make some (occasionally spurious) connections between different pieces of information - and that is what makes your articles stand-out. Sure, some people might not like that style and accuse you of apophenia - but at least you bring something different to the discussion. And granted, I am no big fan of interview articles (see the recent Ybarra's interview on this site as the typical example of the weakness of this format: Ybarra uses so many words, and yet he manages to say absolutely nothing - quite an achievement, but fairly typical of interviews) but this article is just parroting press releases in Q&A format - there is none of your usual insights, or what-if questions, nor the usual stimulation of new ideas. Instead you have cringe-inducting gems such as this:
    [Snip] [T]his [Snip] smartphone manufacturer that has garnered both the praise and the ire of some in the industry?
    I mean, really? Who exactly, besides you, has praised this company? And again: you can't call them a smartphone manufacturer since they have never manufactured a smartphone. As far as I know, they don't even have the resources (factories, for a start)  to manufacture a phone!
    When Greg applied to become an OEM and was accepted by Microsoft as such and began designing the phones and using prototypes and such he became a Windows Phone manufacturing partner to Microsoft. Microsoft identifies the company as such. 
    And from an earlier comment from you
    [Snip] [T]he application for becoming an OEM partner precedes the actual production of a phone. It is a fundamentally necessary prerequisite.
    So, on one hand you point to the fact that they have been accepted as an OEM by Microsoft as part of their credibility; on the other hand you say that one needs first to apply to be an OEM before making a phone. So really, being accepted as an OEM is no evidence whatsoever of their credibility. As far as we know, all that might be need to be accepted as an OEM by Microsoft is to ask.   
  • Hi Cortana as Skynet. Thanks for the discussion:
    1. The purpose of the series is to tell the story AS it unfolds. Therefore, following your suggestion and alternative to wait until a certain point to tell it retroactively precludes that goal. So though, I or any site can do as you suggest, I've chosen to tell it as close to "current" as I have been.
    Much of foundational activity, such as the becoming established as a company, getting investors to help fund his company, meeting with Microsoft, communicating with manufacturers to produce the phone, designing the phone and more has transpired, and I'm picking up from here and telling the story from what has occurred, what's occurring and forward.
    2. Also, I haven't reached out to you or anyone else for an interview for a potential phone you or anyone else plans to release because you haven't done done nor has anyone else (to my knowledge) done any of the above. Just so you know becoming an OEM partner is NOT as simple as applying and all is well. (As you cynically allude to.) Microsoft is very, "unresponsive" in a sense to those who apply and pursue this goal at various levels in the process. The fact MS doesn't just pull applicants in with open arms and give them "the keys to the kingdom" is apparently intentional to ensure the seriousness and integrity of those who are trying to become partners. I couldn’t put every step in the pieces because length is already a challenge, but I summarized the challenges of just being regarded by MS as a serious applicant and becoming a partner that Murphy had to go through in part one. He met with barriers at various levels of the process even after completing initial steps:
    "En route toward that goal, Murphy had to press through many barriers. A great deal of research, forceful emails to Microsoft, unending questions, persistent phone calls, the memorization 3GB of documentation — and the convincing of a Microsoft rep that he was serious about making Windows phones — were all part of Murphy's journey." That’s a summary of a bigger picture, but your possible missing that or not knowing of the challenges of just getting MS to acknowledge an individual my be a reasonable foundation for your doubts. But I did include it. As a side note, I would encourage you that if you have a question, rather than assuming my answer, then cynically responding to your own assumption (and not my answer which you had not received) as if you were actually responding to me, maybe you should await my response first.:-) The whole scenario of you applying to be an OEM and cynically answering your own version of my presumed response is not the most effective way to have a two way discussion At that point your are in effect quite literally debating with yourself..:-)
    3. Also this article is not just press releases in Q and A format. Also because of the length of this piece because I actually asked Greg over 20 questions of which most of the answers were interwoven into the prose of this article and quotes with some of my commentary and limited analysis, morein depth analysis of some of the highlights of this piece are in Part 3. The benefits of a series.
    4. Who has praised this company? I direct you to the comments in this article, the 237 in the first article, the comments in other articles about this company, various tweets, the comments on their sound cloud account, our own forums here at WC and the limited comments on their Facebook page. All of these places have a mixture of both praise and criticism. Hopefully you'll find these an adequate resource to answer your question.
    5. Finally to reiterate, Microsoft has accepted them through their OEM application portal(not an easy task as in shared above), and as I shared in this piece Microsoft provides the necessary connection which includes the connections with the factories to produce the phones, like the prototype I shared he carries as a daily driver. Hope this helps to clarify.
  • Jason, for our benefit, can you tell us where you got your insights about how difficult or not and what kind of hurdles and difficulties Microsoft throws on the way of wannabe OEMs? I'm genuinely curious to know, and given that you seem to have good insight into the process and requirements I think it would be helpful to know what these are. Since, as you wrote, you need to be recognised before you can start manufacturing a phone, what exactly are the requirements? Doesn't need to be full details, but a bit more fleshed out than the above"It's very complicated, trust me" hand-waving. And preferably a different source from "Murphy told me". Sorry, Jason, "some in the industry" might leave some room for interpretation, but in no one's definition would some random people that leave comments on Facebook and WC qualify as such. "People in the industry" as used by you in the article was a sly attempt to lend credibility to the company (if people in the industry were talking about it, even if negatively, it would necessarily mean that they were paying attention) but when pressed for the evidence you point at clouds.
  • Dude, this is a comments section, not your personal blog. If you have that many opinions you think others are so Interested in hearing, go to word press and start your own blog, my thumb is getting sore scrolling past all if your dribble.
  • Dude, thanks for confirming that this is indeed a comments section.
  • I'm not reading that!
  • waaaah waaaah
  • Yeah, I see your point... But look, I don't see an article about an OEM without phones that could became a extreme joke. I see an article about hope. Every windows fan out that, and I mean everyone, is wishing for hope. Hope that the platform will be a great competitor (in numbers). Hope that they will see new features every single new fast ring build. Hope that some company just unveils an awesome jaw dropper windows 10 mobile smartphone. I know that they have some risk ahead of them, as well as the whole platform. But hey, without hope, we're nothing. So let's watch closely this new company, and hope that they will make us prouder!
  • What else are they going to report here? Not much news for WP fans these days.
    Your right tho, with MS killing off consumer phones this is DOA
  • You're right to be suspicious. This has scam written all over it. Company name sounds like a hedge fund, less than 10 employees, subtly trolling for capital. It's shameless.
  • The fact that it is written by Jason should make it somewhat credible.
  • Crowdsourcing is a relatively new concept. how do you think companies got started before crowdsourcing? To start a business, any business someone has to take a first step, and crowdsourcing is hardly the measure of whether a start up is successful or even legit.
  • You missed my point about crowdfunding, though it's probably my failure to communicate it properly. I'm not arguing that crowdfunding it's the correct way to raise capital - that would be silly. But crowdfunding would be the ideal way for a company started by a fan and without a strong track record and that it's not necessarily hoping to start producing on a mass scale but rather target a very small but potentially very loyal niche market which the company will listen to in order to cater to unmet needs - which describes perfectly the company featured in this article. I would argue that not going the crowdfunding way when the stated objectives fit so well with the crowdfunding model is reason to be suspicious (even ignoring all the other huge red flags). Someone comes to you and asks you for money to start a mining company; are you interested? How about simeone that comes to you and asks you for money to build your dream phone, and you'll get a say on what the specs and design of the phone will be, and in addition you'll get one before the phone goes officially on sale? If you think you're more likely to part with your money in option 2, then you agree with me that crowdfunding would be the ideal funding method for the featured company.
  • IftWhartonBrooks had crowdsourced it, would this crowd not be expecting to get it on a global scale? As I understand, this is not the promise they want to deliver on. They want to sort of take the iterative approach and slowly roll out.
  • If they can deliver a $200 Continuum phone, that will be a good start.
  • truly wishful thinking
  • I was a Lumia lover because Nokia GOT it. They approached it with a level of excellence and uniqueness that Microsoft completely lacks the ability to comprehend. The 950 has been a complete and utter disappointment to me. Murphy, I'm convinced, totally gets what Nokia's approach was about and I genuinely believe he's going to shoot to recapture that.  The big question is, as you correctly pointed out, can his company do that and balance price, functionality and beauty.  I guess we'll see around Christmas time.  I'm anxiously awaiting the first reveal.
  • Curious to know what was so disappointing about your 950?
  • Boring and poor build quality (creaky plastic) that rivals that of generic $100 phones. Lumia builds weren't flagship quality IMO but  most of them were fitting of $300-400 price tags.
  • Agreed that they're not worth $650. But just about everyone knew the price would drop drastically, and it did. I waited a few months for a good promotion, including the student discount, traded in my 925 for $150 and paid just over $300 also with free continuum dock. A lot if fantastic tech for dirt cheap. As far as the "boring" look of the phone, I value the durable and removable polycarbonate cover over some fancy aluminum that's going to get covered up anyway with a case. IMO it's a beautifully designed phone. I've read about the creaky plastic cover, but if the cover is removed carefully using the built-in notch on the bottom, the cover won't creak. This phone is snappy, has a beautiful screen, perfect size, amazing camera, removable storage/battery, Qi, etc. I think the iris scanner is a bit gimmicky, though much improved after the anniversary update, and would prefer a fingerprint reader, but I also like the ability to hide the start buttons for more screen real estate.
  • My Iris scanner has always worked perfectly damn near every time. I got my 950 for free as an insurance replacement for a 1520 that went out after 2 years. It like the 1520 has been a great phone, and I love the fact that I can get to the battery easily. No matter how nicely a phone originally looks, the necessity of a case defeats the purpose.
  • It will be interesting to see what a fan of the platform produces. Also remember his first phone will be the first in a series of devices. Subsequent devices will be "tailored" by customer feedback
    this is another unique approach that may help them succeed in this niche space.
  • I admire his passion, although I disagree with his statement - him being the biggest Windows fan- that title belongs to me! I wish if I could work with them on bringing this fan made phone to life, I am a mechatronics engineer and I've loved Microsoft's gadget since forever. One thing to keep in mind though, lower and more competitive prices come with higher production numbers. If they want to make an affordable good phone they have to produce (and sell) a larger number of phones. I hope they know they have to make it a flagship phone. A killer one to be specific, more akin to the Elite X3 but with a much better camera and build quality. It has to come with a Snapdragon 830, AND if they put a faster storage like Apple does, it will be the talk of every techie out there, cause it will be damn fast! My dream Windows Mobile device is:
    - 5.5 inch double curved Amoled (non-pentile) display that is very bright (more than 650 nits). 1080p.
    - Almost Bezel-less design.
    - Front firing stereo speakers.
    - Aluminum high build quality with chamfered edges and drill holes).
    - A Snapdragon 830 processor clocked with higher speeds.
    - 4 GB of fast RAM (akin to Apple's)
    - 64 GB or 128 GB of SSD or faster memory (akin to Apple's).
    - SD card slot.
    - Dual-Sim.
    - Dual back camera with Xenon flash and OIS.
    - Great and wide-lens FFC with front flash.
    - LED indicator for charging and notifications.
    - Color options including Cyan.
    - Dust and water resistant.
    - 4000 mAH battery.
  • Sound like a great phone!:-)
  • You need to understand tech really not just throw stuff around.
    Non-pentile, say hello to "burn in". Screen size and resolution become really important because full rgb strips take up more space. And when your blue oled burns out oh man it's noticeable.
    5.5 "? That would be ok.. But I've used the 5.7 inch on the 950XL and honestly I can't see myself going down.
    650 nits? Cool 950 XL produces 705 nits, refer to gsmarena review.
    snapdragon 830 doesn't exist yet and MS removed it from supported list of chips.
    64-bit OS would help if you want 4gb or higher. It's part of why 950's came out with only 3 gigs. 3.5 is theoretically what you can get depending on a bunch of stuff.
    Loud colours should be banned. Should be accessories.
  • Stuck in same boat, on 5.7" Lumia 640XL, all flagships this year are 5.5", I want to get a new phone but have no options other than Android.
  • Sounds good. Affordable? No.
  • not exactly a device for the mass...but really good...don't forget fingerprint or iris scanner and double camera!  
  • The way that you claim Greg is not fit of that fan title, but you are, was not a good argument. It made you look like a selfish person, hurt by his claim and nothing more. Instead of writing you wish - DO. Take contact and prove that you deserve to be among the greatest of Windows fan title-bearers :D I really liked your vision of what makes a Windows Phone great, you clearly have mused over your perfect Windows Phone and I agree on many of those aspects :)
  • Looking forward to the phone here in India...thanks for the article Jason, this gives me hope...:)
  • "So what is it about this Connecticut-based smartphone manufacturer that has garnered both the praise and the ire of some in the industry?" LOL who?
  • Can I have the green wallpaper please?
  • Love u Gregg thanks for believing in Windows
  • Jason, I'm sorry but the minute he said that a kick stand and wrist strap were essentials. I would have ended the interview right there and forget I even met the person. I really doubt these items feature high in a buying list for a smart phone. If they do someone should tell Apple so they can sell more.
  • Please tell him to source purview cameras from Microsoft. Lumia fans like myself love our purview ziess cameras.
  • Okay but wasnt they supposed to reveal the phone in September ? And then they postponed it to late September and now its October and we still havent heard from them. Would like to know what happened there, from September to Christmas.
  • No, at the end of the piece Murphy talks about the purpose of the Meet and Greets and that they aren't meant to introduce the phone. It's there in the text:-) The postponement was because an important partner wanted to be part of the event. Thanks for asking. :-)
  • Thanks for the reply :-)
  • Who is the partner?  Murphy only discusses HIS Team at the Meet-n-Greet.
  • Probably has a whole stack of NDAs
  • He does.
  • I think they are back on drawing board(for the next series of phones), trying to see what features to bring and hence the fans connect.
  • Actually, they are on target based on my conversation with Greg for a launch before Christmas. They do want to connect with fans to introduce who they are since they are an unknown entity and moving forward get feedback for future phones.:-)
  • Thanks for asking this important question.  We announced the Fall season because it gave us time to to build our connection with the Windows phone fans and to make sure we had all the pieces in place to have our first phone available to as many people as possible.
  • I'm excited. I don't mind the slow build up at all. You have to "knock on some doors" and get out there with your message. It only makes sense.Get the attention of the factions before you call them in to the enclave for a reveal and a palaver. I'm faithful to the platform for a reason. It fits me best for how I use a mobile device. I'm sure that the first entry will bring something to the table and together with support from the community your vision can begin to grow. It's all about expectations. I want a solid device that let's me perform and achieve in my daily life.The moon and the stars can be captured later. This feels firmly grounded in the platform we know and love. A chance to start right and move forward. Best wishes as we begin the journey with you...
  • MS killed off the consumer phone, that would have taken the wind out of their sails/sales for sure.
  • I dont think they will be next lumias but they might satisfy the fans to look upto to cerulean as their next Windows phones. They need to target countries where erstwhile Lumia rules, MS did big mistake to retrench from markets where they had crossed 10% share.   Wish them good luck.
  • I also wish them a lot of luck too!, they could partner with venture companies that have the cash + the talent of Whartonbrooks engineers to make really good innoivation on Windows Mobile hardware thinking in business side first.  We know both Apple and Google have won in the consumer side of things, so its time to move ahead with life and make Windows Mobile a great business platform.
  • Well there are a lot of Windows phone fan (consumers) that are still ot there. This is the group WhartonBrooks is targeting. As he stated im the piece, he's not trying to convert anyone from other platforms.
  • I know he stated that he isn't trying to convert anyone from other platforms, but is he saying that as a short term? In a long term isn't it the goal of any business to convert users from a competitor's product?   Right now it seems he is trying to fill a gap left by Microsoft, and I'm not sure how well that will work in the long term.  I can completely agree with him that not trying to convert anyone is the right thing to do right now.
  • My feeling is that he will grow as much as the market allows. He is very small right now and as you note, the immediate target has to be just those that are using the platform, which is 10s of millions (of course not all enthusiasts) but a sizable market for someone with a very focused niche can ideally succeed in. Particularly since he has virtually no competitors in the space who are laser focused and exist for that sole demographic. Now as time goes on the company may find it is well-grounded a few years down the road when MS themselves will be more assertive with thier Universal platform and the place Mobile fits therein. If MS efforts and the evolution of the industry begin to plow more fertile ground for WhartonBrooks to plant seeds, maybe entice other users, with more devices that fit well within Microsoft's (then) more established and relevant ecosystem, they just may be more intentional thier growth efforts., beyond thier current target. Granted this is just my assessment based on how things MIGHT potentially roll out. Circumstances may go in an entirely differnt direction. Let's wait and see.
  • agreed, i have friends who were forced in Brazil to switch platforms since there were no more Windows Phones to choose from in Brazil, and to purchase online and ship in would kill them, import taxes in Brazil are nuts.
  • It does sound like there is a passion there, along with interest. I'm curious about what will come out of this company.
  • Would be great if Whartonbrooks could ask for angel investor money and make a prototype of modular Windows Mobile device that runs Snapdragon 650 on the phone and a module that runs Intel Core M3 with 128GB storage and 8GB RAM, that could be the next step in gadget innovation that could attract a lot of attention from business side/education side.
  • Ha, nice wishful thinking
  • his statement is a true definition of wishful thinking
  • what would you do with a device like that? Its still limited by many many and many more factors: the M3 with 8GB ram would kill your battery within 1 - 2h, the display 5 - 6inch is very small for productive work so again WHAT would you do with such a device? Its useless. If you want a mobile phone buy a phone, if you need a ultrabook use an ultrabook if you need a tablet use a tablet. No need for such a hibrid nonsense
  • Thrilled to check out this phone when I can!
  • They certainly have my attention. For me, I like the Windows Mobile experience and personally have no benefit I can see to start using iOS or Droid devices unless WM10 would cease to exists. It does what I need with room to grow. I say, bring it on, let's see what they have to offer with an open mind and willingness to listen.
  • I wish them well, the ONLY thing i dislike (im nit picking here) is the name WHartonBrooks, sounds like an investment bank or an estate agent :P  I will buy thier phone though.
  • Lol
  • Yeah, the name he did say is flexible. But check out the next piece, where i mention how he came by the name or forums where I'm posting the RAW Q and A! :-)
  • Here's the raw Q&A: http://forums.windowscentral.com/cerulean-mobile/441579-whartonbrooks-ra... Thanks for posting that Jason.
  • Thanks :)
  • Read the Q and A, I for one will be suppporting them.  As a business owner as well I have to mention that he is clearly not a marketing man, the names he has chosen are very far away from being a recognisable brand.   How many people know how to spell Cerulean? what will come up with a misspelt word in Google?  Needs something much easir and simpler and rolls off the toungue.  Reminds me of Devil Wears Prada when I hear that name :D  Im interested to hear what his mission statement is, his values and beliefs reflected throughout the business, device and marketing.  As a self confessed introvert he HAS to become an extrovert and push push push like mad.  I love seeing a fan creating something and giving back to fellow fans, you have my support!
  • Sounds close to The Wanton Bishops.
  • Excited. ....a flagship device that is affordable too...sounds like what happened to android with Chinese oems will now happen with w10m...super excited..alll the best wishes...!!! Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Sounds really good so far, without passion it's not possible to succeed. As long as they think outside the box, produce top notch handsets that stand out and aggressive marketing at the masses, not just handsets bought at Amazon etc but consumer network contracts for everyone they might just succeed. The only massive drawback they have is Microsofts platform in it's present state which leaves a lot to be desired, (reliability wise).
  • He definitely has a lot of passion and I agree it is very important!
  • I don't know sounds like a side project to me. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android (LG V10 or Nexus 5x)
  • Based on recent forum legislation, this is an android post, and declared as a troll. ;-)
  • I was only a troll last year haha because MSFT made lose faith in their business practice but alas idc anymore. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android (LG V10 or Nexus 5x)
  • This is all great and it's wonderful to see a company so bullish on W10M, but what can they really do? High spec windows phones are already out. Cheap windows phones are already out. Apps are not going to come because a new windows phone comes out. None of these things have sparked an outpouring of apps. The only thing that would get me (and I think many others) reinterested in W10M is a way to run X86 consumer apps on a W10M handset. Something like how the HP X3 is supposed to do it for buisness apps. That would free W10M from the "it's got no apps" shackles without having to have all the devs rewrite thier X86 apps into UWA. Much praise to you Jason and your articles, you are a true believer!  
  • Lol...thanks man! Definitely an uphill battle for any OEM and the platform. But as I share in Smartphones are Dead, Microsoft's Mobile Offensive is about changing the game, Windows Phone isn't dead, The Untold App Gap Story and AI, bots and canvases, Microsoft is playing a long game and betting on an industry shift that is happening organically and is being pushed by Redmond as well. Let's hope thier strategy pans out and things evolve to where they seem to headed.:-)
  • Lol...thanks man! Definitely an uphill battle for any OEM and the platform. But as I share in Smartphones are Dead, Microsoft's Mobile Offensive is about changing the game, Windows Phone isn't dead, The Untold App Gap Story and AI, bots and canvases, Microsoft is playing a long game and betting on an industry shift that is happening organically and is being pushed by Redmond as well. Let's hope thier strategy pans out and things evolve to where they seem to headed.:-)
  • MS got it spot on with the 2 in 1 / Surface. Now the world and his wife produce one, so it can be done! And they did it after earlier errors, RT for instance
  • It never existed in the eyes of the Nadella one
  • I'm excited and looking forward for their success =)
  • If only Microsoft still employed leadership as passionate about Windows phones and W10 for mobile devices and showed that passion to the world, or at least its fans and current user base. Hoping the best for you WhartonBrooks and eagerly awaiting your product reveal.
  • Maybe that's why Belfiore hasn't emerged again. Passion is gone, even laughed at, today Microsoft. Want to look like an idiot at a Microsoft meeting, just carry a Windows phone.
  • yeah, over past few months i really see how and why people hate Nadella so much, no effort in mobile one bit
  • Well wish them good luck :D hope they make great mid range phones !! something i would love to see on W10M phones that are sold is the use of fingerprint scanner(like hp elite phone) not just for  secruity but for how fast you unlock your phone using it :) as i have seen on other 150€ android phones!!!
  • Great piece and it is good to see the phone ecosystem grow with new companies. I am more worried about the apps ecosystem and would be nice to see some push there from the hardware vendors.
  • Thanks and yes, it would be great to see more of a push all around.
  • Will their phones work on Verizon's network? :)
  • Great question. He's pushing for broad carrier support. Let's hope it succeeds!:-)
  • @Jason Ward, thanks for the great article, detailed analysis, and time participating in the comments. This Verizon issue is a huge question. I admittedly have a personal bias, because Verizon is the only carrier that has service where I live (well, also carriers that roam on Verizon's network, like Sprint and US Cellular). But I am also intensely curious why NONE of the new Windows phones support CDMA. Even the Elite X3, targetting business where Verizon is a critical carrier, only runs on GSM. None of MS' own phones work off of GSM. None of the other third-party phones run on anything but GSM. Is it, as @rinosaur suggests, because Verizon makes it tough so no one bothers? I've also heard that Microsoft has not made Windows 10 CDMA-compatible or CDMA-friendly. At the very least, if WhartonBrooks cannot put out a phone on Verizon to replace our Icons, could you try to find out why? I think there's a story there too.
  • That is what I want to know.  I truly hope it supports Verizon because, as an employee, there really isn't a worthwhile phone to transition to and replace my Icon.
  • I kind of doubt it. I work as a vendor to VZ and I know the rigorous testing that anything coming on their network goes through. I don't think they will waste their time/money on certifying some no-name Windows phone.
  • i think for the restart we need some solid, low/mid priced lumia 650 kind smartphone(s) with extended battery life and a fingerprint scanner to flood the market from the ground up with windows 10 mobile. 2 or 3 years later we can maybe speak about mobile business with windows 10 mobile os. the strategy now with all this high priced premium smartphones has no future for our beloved platform.
  • Well, WhartonBrooks goal is a high growth, accessible to everyone model. Let's hope the cost and device design, build balance can be met to bring an awesome phone at a reasonable price.
  • I'm very interested in this company now,I can't wait to see what they have to show as,keep up the good work guys.
  • "WhartonBrooks is a very small company comprised of just six individuals representing varied backgrounds after all." that is a lean company!  
  • I hope they are better at it than MS. Of course, that wouldn't take all that much.
  • Minimal effort would exceed Microsoft at this point. Nadella is the philosophic coach that everyone likes but no one puts in real effort for. He painted a beautiful verbally picture, that doesn't have real strategy, and has no real tactical roadmap. That's why he earned a bonus based on subjective items, and missed on the objective measurables.
  • There are some interesting shots of phones on their main site. Does anyone know if those are existing phones or if they may actually be shots of parts of how the Cerulean phone will look (I'm guessing they are just CAD drawings of ideas that were used to create the phone)?
  • I wish them all the best, I will certainly be interested in getting one if they are that passionate and the support is there.
  • I think the lack of comprehensive high quality devices have certainly hurt the Windows Mobile ecosystem market share but there are so many more catastrophic issues that will not be resolved with device h/w. That includes Surface Phone. If Microsoft releases a high end, high build quality, Surface device with Qualcomm ARM based SOC, running Windows 10 Mobile as RS 2 is now, it will fail miserably with regards to sales numbers. What would a device such as that do that has not been done other than having great build quality? It could even hurt the Surface Brand. MS has done very little to fix the core problem of ecosystem content disparity. Their retrenchment and complete disappearance from marketing, carrier relationships, and user perception of support has only hemorrhaged content and users from the ecosystem. It's a vicious Catch 22 cycle. Unfortunately, all Mobile devices derive majority value from the greater ecosystem that they deliver the Mobile experience for. Without market share there is no developer support for bringing content into the ecosystem. Without user share there is no third party accessory market, etc., etc., etc. I am a Windows Mobile enthusiast to the Nth degree and my experience with Windows Mobility stems back as far as the WindowsCE Casio Casiopea\HP Jornada days, Windows Mobile Motorola Mpx, Compaq iPaq days. I've seen, and used them all. I've always seen the potential that Microsoft has had with UWP to release Windows from it's desktop Win32 tether. However, the devices are a very tiny part of the equation and any Mobile "phone" h/w only has 12 months of relevancy to contribute. If an ecosystem lacks content then device value suffers and it has nothing to do with the device. I hope Microsoft seior leadership truly has an upwardly "mobile" transformative 2017 planned, because the dismal 2016 slide has been difficult to endure. I also hope that a transformative Microsoft brings opportunity to companies like Wharton Brooks who want to be the Heart and Soul of a highly engaged enthusiast customer base.
  • "WhartonBrooks is a very small company comprised of just six individuals" <-- Should be either "comprising just six individuals" or "composed of just six individuals", but not "comprised of". Anyway, if he's creating a company that releases Windows phone and only Windows phones, then he  wins the award for biggest Windows phone fan.
  • This guy should certainly not forget France which is—along with UK—the largest tech market in Europe and was, with Italy, the largest Windows Phone market too!
  • Again, where are the products that warrant this SERIES of articles? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • 3 articles is a series?
  • Hi coolj40041. I think I shared last time, but it bears restating, this is the story of the journey, AS the story unfolds, and when the product is available, and is not covered under the shadow of non-disclosure agreements(NDA's) it will be presented. Enjoy the ride.:-)
  • Just think of it as a written documentary on a startup company that is aiming to release a device pitched at the target audience of this site and relax. I have no idea why people would take issue with this sort of content.
  • That's a great way to look at it :)
  • I'll buy one if they improve on Lumia 950/XL in imaging quality and keep the same form factors. If possible they should offer us second option: gesture based system navigation for Windows 10 mobile just like Nokia N9. Something Microsoft is unwilling to do.
  • He mention "1020" as the most important phone and that give me hope unlike the MS CEO.  I am all for supporting WP and startup, if it come with decent camera - 830 and up, CAMERA BUTTON, 5"+ FHD, good battery, SD slot and unlock.  I will buy one at $300-350cad, consider some good chinese phone cost $200cad or less.  I think  I am very reasonable on the spec, lets make it happen. 
  • Haha, mentioning the 1020 as a metric for their phones and commenting with "It will be interesting to see what WhartonBrooks will focus on or zoom into as key attributes for Cerulean phones"... Cheeky ☺
  • Lol...glad you caught that :-)
  • Selling rebranded Chinese OEM phones (Moly X1 and Moly PCPhone) is really nothing interesting.
  • That is not what they are doing.... not sure why you would even say that. These are being designed from the ground up
  • Rumour from another website which the Android fans immediately latched onto.
  • Ah! Now I understand
  • "Since the beginning, we wanted a Windows phone that was accessible to all of us". That sentence echoes of the statement Joe B made "we didn't design Windows Phone for all us but each of us" when Windows Phone was launched. Therefore I am eager to see what they bring to the table.
  • Just please give it a great battery. I'll give up my XL just for that.
  • I wish them the very best of luck and hope they come through with their goals and visions.
  • it's good to see that level of passion and commitment to the Windows phone platform. if this pans out (right price, right amount of features, and **beautiful** design) I woud love to get their phone this christmas!
  • The way he spoke of the 1020 and it's place in all this gives me some hope.  I still use my 1020 and I believe it was the most unique device ever.  I have the camera/battery shell and love that it added extra power in addition to really allowing me to use it very much like any other camera.  I also use the lanyard.  The only downside that existed in this device was that AT&T insisted that wireless charging NOT be built-in, forcing me to also have the charging shell.  If Greg Murphy is using the 1020 as an example of the idea he's shooting for, then he's absolutely on the right track.  I'm cautiously optimistic of what his company will come out with.  I'm tired of so-called high-end phones that have also-ran cameras. I'm tired of devices that look like every other device out there. I'm tired of devices that come at a premium cost but perform like garbage.
  • yeah 1020 indeed was that different device that was camera first then phone, i still have mine, it's great phone indeed, i also have same camera/battery shell which made it a beauty to hold
  • Maybe Microsoft can license them their camera module from 950 series? Add finger print sensor, and a nice overall design -- that'd be a good start.
  • Maybe they can't as MS can't lisence tech owned by Nokia to others.
  • This is really encouraging news. A true catch 22 for the platform though as the masses aren't going to buy a Windows phone without the apps, and developers aren't going to produce the apps with such few users. Perception is also part of the problem also as there are plenty of people, myself included, that love the platform despite missing many handy apps. Despite it's perceived shortcomings in comparison, I'll take my 950xl any day over my work iPhone 6 and is a testament to how good the OS really is and how good it can be.
  • Consumers aren't going to buy Windows phones even if they have apps. The lack of apps is a symptom of being unpopular, not the cause. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Best of luck to this company! I truely hope they produce something beautiful. Unfortunately the fact that it will be affordable concerns me in a number of ways. Even if they come out with the best hardware it really is the lack of apps that is killing Windows 10 mobile. Unless they can somehow run Android or Apple apps I don't see much hope for W10M in the short term. I have resorted to also having an iPhone and a 950 XL in my pocket at this point....so sad.
  • Jolla and Sailfish spring to mind while reading this.
  • This is probably for old school windows fans. I dislike the look of the 1020 and prefer more modern phones. He also prefers the 950 to the XL so likely I won't really be into what he creates if it comes from his own vision.
  • I hope Windows Central didn't waste resources paying you to be a hype man for a vapourware company.  More no information about nobodies at a company that has nothing to show.  I get how an in-depth article about a real tech inovator might be interesting, but why are we supposed to care about these guys that haven't actually done anything?  I wish you would stop using terms like "Windows Phone manufacturer" and "bring Windows phones to market" when neither apply to this company.
  • Given that MS partner lenovo believes Windows mobile is dead, why jump in now?
  • Who cares what Lenovo believes. They don't know what Microsoft has planned and they have their own agenda anyway.
  • They don't? Lenovo must work quite closely with a Microsoft as they are one of their biggest clients. They wouldn't say that for no reason. Would it really surprise you if Microsoft kills mobile in the near future? It wouldn't be the first time they have done such a thing. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • They're actually now the largest pc oem in the world. Ignoring them would be foolish idk what this guy is smoking
  • Lenovo has no interest in building smartphones with a different OS, and they have no interest in building notebooks with a different OS. They have an interest in luring Microsoft to ditch their smartphone business to kill a competitor, by offering tradeoff preinstall deals and promising a Windows phone they never intended to build. This has nothing to do with Microsoft developing their ARM-based efforts, which is currently mobile, IoT and embedded. Those systems are more or less interdependent, and it would be a very dumb move to kill either of them. But, hell, who knows what is gonna be sacrificed in the still not solved division mess @MSFT?
  • Where in the near future? U fanboys have been echoing this shxt since windows phone 7, the evolution from windows mobile 6, 5, 4, 3.. We are now on windows mobile 10, and outlived Palm, and blackberry. Giving up mobile would be suicide. If they have money, they'll stay in 3 man race. Give it up, you will see windows 11 mobile in a few years even if it meant 1% market share. That 1% still translate to a few hundred thousand customers.
  • Or Lenovo is saying that to undermine an enterprise sales tool of their chief competitor -- HP. HP is pushing an integrated solution around Windows, including the Elite X3 and touchdown stations. It appears HP is offering this to go directly after some of Lenovo's bigger accounts. In that context, Lenovo's statement about Microsoft not being serious about Windows 10 on mobile makes perfect sense as a way to discourage those defections.
  • Although I am not in the market for a mid-range phone, I would love to support this company. Perhaps their future plans will include a beautifully designed, no compromise flagship phone. I know the market is small but I would gladly pay the premium price for that phone. I just wish that MS would go all in and create the necessary apps to make these truly useful at work ( and by that I mean in my daily use of EMR software ).
  • Nice piece as always Jason. I like their attitude, but sometimes it comes across as spin. They have got a huge uphill struggle and this definitely isn't going to be an overnight success story. Whilst they are committed ( or should they be committed? ), is enthusiasm enough? They are going to need to lean on MS quite a bit, but the elephant in the room is MS. If they are so wrapped up in enterprise, can they afford a small OEM any time? I hope they do OK, and if they need a UK tester......;-)
  • I want this to succeed. I want to see WhartonBrooks succeed more than any other tech company right now. Apple bores me. "Phones by Google" literally depress me. What can I do to help?
  • Yep! Yep! YEP!
  • Hey Jason.  I will purchase every model WhartonBrooks pushes out.  I want to support Greg and his team for having the "COJONES" to believe in the platform and go ALL-IN...ohhh and MS better support WhartonBrooks Team every step of the way!  Go WhartonBrooks!!!!
  • Couldn't agree more!!!!
  • Can't wait! Loving his passion for Windows Mobile. If I had the money I'd do the same thing...100%. I will buy this phone. Then I will buy the Surface. I might even buy the HP as well because I like it.
  • I am willing to invest in their idea/plan for Windows Mobile. Hope they release the first device soon. I'm getting impatient waiting for the next device since the elite x3. My take is that they will be filling a need in the Windows Mobile market, and in that may end up building their own niche. 
  • The camera is the most important feature in the phone.   Lumia 1020 is also my favorite. ;)
  • If they can make a phone that's more comfortable to hold - no sharp corners and edges - then, I'm in. The time I spent holding my L950 while reading the interview and the comments which followed was a real pain in the...hand. The 950XL has the same problem.
    The L625 was a comfortable phone to hold.
  • all he needs to do is deliver a TRUE LUMIA REPLACEMENT, literally, 930-1520 build, modern soc, pureview cam, glance, DDTW and so on, if his phone has a xenon flash I will probably jump right away
  • I'm curious to see what this phone is all about. That I will say...
  • I think a good Windows Phone need a down-to-earth marketing approach. The usual flash-boom-bang-magic-superior-premium-world beating-fantastic-celestial-awesome crap is out of place. Do not (over)promise, make a polite offer.  Many people are sick of all the marketing- and feature clutter
    they are inundated with by all parties involved, including media. Most of the people I know that are unrelated to the IT business 
    don't even know what their costly gadget potentially could do for them. 
    And if they try, they are fed up pretty quickly
    because they have to spend way too much time to get things working the way THEY want,
    or get confused and just let it go.
    Way too many slings and arrows that need to be paid attention to. If there is a "straight" , honest and un-convoluted and sturdy product offering
    that does what is says without constantly trying to trick you into something 
    that is intended to part you from your money via a monthy subscription fee and what not,
    it will find a stable customer base. People have a life,
    and they need a tool that just simply is supportive
    for some tasks they need to get done 
    and does not behave intrusive or burdensome otherwise
    or force you to become some kind of expert or even a fanboy
    in order to really take advantage of what has been promised and sold to you. Some people do not want a bitchy and delicate high-tech version of a princess-on-a-pea
    but a device that works for them rather than for the company that is behind the OS. This means, that one should not even try and compare such a product with an iOS or Android product.
    Trying to play the compare-game delivers the kiss-of-death.
    Refuse to engadge into any discussion that tries to do just that, it does not lead anywhere but to doom. This needs to be a product offering that stands for itself, period.  
       
  • That's a beautiful way to expres it :)
  • So, their strategy is like Jason's articles - vague and full of wishful thinking and hopeless hope
  • I appreciate their enthusiasm. I'll have an opinion when there is an actual product.
  • I'll believe it when I see it.  Hanging onto my Icon as long as they are still available for replacement.  Some days I wanna smack Microsoft upside the head.
  • They can basically continue the Lumia line for consumers, and fill the vacuum that is left behind with the last Lumia (950, 650). So there is a market share that they can compete in, since there will be no other windows phone to compete with in the consumer segment.
  • Greg seems like a person who is willing to change something, and that's what we need these days.
  • Dream windows phone : how I change Lumia 950/XL 1.No creaky Lumia 950/XL battery back cover 2.giving away decent Matte clear TPU protective phone cover for free. The reason is it is hard to get high quality cover for our Lumia 950/XL. Suggestions to Microsoft 1. Do something interesting about the Start menu. 2 UI/UX go gestures-based
  • He's going to need more than gods help if he is going to focus on consumer phones when clearly MS has kicked that market to the curb.
    Good luck with that.
  • Great interview. Good luck to them and I'm very excited to see what they bring.
  • Bring it on
  • So... the phone isn't a finished design yet, but they expect it to be shipping in two months... From a company with 6 employees... Did I miss something? Is this a work of fiction? Can't wait to do a side by side comparison with the yezz Billy 5S LTE
  • Bring it to India
  • That it letrally part of Gerg's long term plan :)
  • So this company is being built around a platform that Microsoft may kill in the near future and isn't capable of driving sales regardless? Sounds like a very poor investment indeed. How did they find anyone to support such an idea? Did they not see the NuAns Kickstarter? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Salute from an indian ,Android user and Windows fan Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I love everything except the name, that name is a mouth full.
  • Im excited about this! I love my L950XL but im even more excited about a company that is excited to push W10m forward.
  • I'm looking for a 730 successor , a midrange camera centric device with a 13-16mp f1.7-1.9 camera with low light capabilities and dual led flash and front flash  because 730 is the first selfie phone along with a dedicated shutter key. in terms of other specs a full HD Amoled display , 2gb ram will do and a SD 652 processor or any 600series snapdragon and a 3000mah battery. as a 730 owner this will be my better upgrade.
  • I'll believe it when I see it. That said, I applaud his passion and enthusiam for Windows Phone/10 Mobile. It's great to see a genuine fan working to make a device for Windows mobile users. I hope he succeeds.
  • I've never been this excited about a new Windows Phone since the Yezz Billy.
  • Wow, I wish them all the success they are hoping and more.
  • Another puff piece about vaporware. My local MS store has NO phones or wearables for sale anymore except for the Elite X3 and the 650. They can't even get a Hololens on the store floor, they're using a Vivo for the VR section, which is ridiculous if you can't even get your VR/AR headset into your own store. . Even this blog is reduced to reviewing games and selling phone cases. Sigh...we're doomed.
    P.S. Plus I found this. Sounds legit: https://mspoweruser.com/hyped-ground-breaking-whartonbrooks-windows-phon...
  • Can I just say to all of those who are slating the fact that these articles exist... Some of us are REALLY interested in what's going on, don't forget facebook came from nothing too!! The name in the title of the article makes it clear what the subject is, so if you're not interested DON'T READ!
  • As mentioned in another article here,  I see this as a kickstarter money grab in the making.   It brings me right back to the Earl GPS unit of a couple of years ago,  A guy,  starts a "tech company"....comes on many sites claiming his new GPS device is awesome, uses very little storage for topographical maps, is fully waterproof, can last days on battery charge etc.  You know all the stuff to sucker you in to it.   This is where wharton Brooks and Earl differ......The guy at "EARL" had 3d mock ups done,  and graphical implementations of the device showing the basics,  where as wharton brooks has a piss poor website with no real information,  and Windows Central articles.  So,  The Earl "founder" puts the device on pre order at kickstarter.....gathers 2.3 million dollars I think because of the vast appeal of this device for adventure minded people like myself (i never fund kickstarters),  and the promptly dissapears.  Only to appear on social media a few months later driving a new Ferrari and hanging out on yachts etc all over the world.  Same thing going to happen here!
  • In all reality if all that it takes is someone saying they are making a windows phone.....hell....I am developing one from my new company stickmand leaveim....it is going to have a medium format 50mp camera with 300x zoom, 16 gb ram 512 gb storage,  a deca core x86 processon a foldable 10 inch 5k screen that folds to create a 5" display when needed as a phone.  but get this,  the device is only going to be 2 mm thick,  and weigh 10 grams.   It also has 95 hr battery life and it charges using air,  no cords, pads or sunlight needed. There...take that!
  • Well, at least if you are going to troll, being consistent it important. Tell me, do you actually work for Google or Apple or do you just enjoy your trolling efforts or lack there of?
  • Don't work for either....Just find this entire article funny.  considering they are claiming the second coming without as much as a spec,  photo or any information on what the phone is going to be from WB own website....
  • This article is about the company and their vision. I admire that. If and when that vision becomes a reality, that company may become a target for takeover by one of the big boys who keep it running as a separate division - and hopefully allow that vision to continue. With the deeper pockets of a larger manufacturer and the actual manufacturing facilities, this small start up can become a game changer. Consumers like change, they don't like the same item for too long. They get bored. Smartphone manufacturers know that, yet they have really struggled to change their hardware over the last few cycles. The next obvious frontier is the software itself. Android and iOS are becoming boring, the same old thing with no real innovation. MS is making huge improvements and changes to Windows and Mobile and I believe that in another 2 cycles, Windows Mobile will begin to win new customers who are growing tired of their OS' on their current devices - that themselves haven't changed much. Price will also be a factor there. Apps will still be important, but with UWP apps MS is addressing that. Prove to consumers that it's easy to switch to Windows Mobile or make it seamless for them to and the walls will begin to crumble. But make the phone truly new, evolutionary and affordable and you'll make the entire platform desirable. There are probably less than 50 must have apps that are preventing some users from switching. MS should offer to rewrite those apps or heavily incentivize the programmers into writing UWP versions in order to win consumers back over to BOTH Mobile and Desktop/Tablet (I think desktop/tablet is doing this well now) platforms. Then heavily market the truly seamlessness between desktop/tablet and mobile - most consumers do not understand that concept because their phones can't do it. A strong joint move by MS and their partners in that direction will take a couple of cycles, but will begin to win consumers over - many of whom are bored with their devices lack of evolution and innovation from cycle to cycle.
  • It would great if these future manufacturers polled users to see what they want. 
  • Hello Jason, I am surprised that you didn't quote Robert https://twitter.com/rquandt/status/783079952962945024 claiming it to be rebadged Moly Xi
  • Good luck there! I don't want to use any Android mass phone again...
  • One can only hope that if this is true, they also pick up the Band. Or at least I can hope!
  • How will they compete with the real bargain the 950?!
  • Thanks for the article, Jason. I can appreciate the fact that u want to chronicle this. Folks are just a little too touched in here. Let the phone come or not come then you can rain brimstone and fire. Its really not that serious. I for one think its cool that someone who actually loves windows mobile is trying to do something about it. I sure can't do anything myself so hats off to the man.
  • First that comes to my mind: Shut up and Take m Money!!!!! I would instantly Buy it if it is Good from Design and Specs and if it only is to Support there Idea and the W10M Platform.
  • While I wouldn't unconditionally throw my Money at something because it sounds good, it does sound promising. Time will tell :)
  • This sounds really promising. I admire his love for the planform and feel at ease knowing that he wants to target consumers and that he has the experience of Windows Phone since the beginning. If anything, this shows just what kind of people Microsoft is making the future of Windows for. They people that DO. The best of luck.
    I hope I can some day experience this aspirational device on my own :)
  • It sounds as if they have a good plan and most importantly a vision. If they can get going and when...it sounds like they need some muscle; legally, marketwise(supply channels with support) and most importantly carrier/s who will support this product. It's not easy...