Tomorrow sees the start of Nokia World 2011, where the Finnish mobile giant comes out to the ball firmly arm in arm with Microsoft's Windows Phone. By now, we all know the story of why Nokia felt it had to do this, whether you agree or not. Just how much is riding on Elop's Redmond bet?
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More than 35,000 content items (apps and games) have now been published to the Windows Phone Marketplace. Between 80 and 150 items are being added every day, of which 18% are games and 72% are apps. Just under 50% of these are free, 19% are paid with a trial and 30% are paid only. It took Microsoft just over a year to reach this milestone, a figure that compares well with competing application stores.
Nokia has released its Q3 2011 results, reporting an operating loss of -€71 million, with net sales of €8.980 billion (down 13% YoY). Nokia's Devices and Services division's profits were €132 million. Margins in devices and services were 2.4% (down from 11.3 % in Q3 2010 and up from -4.2% in Q2 2011). Total smartphone device sales were 16.8 million, compared with 27.2 million units in Q3 2010 (down 34% YoY) and 16.7 million units in Q2 2011 (up 1%, QoQ). The results were ahead of expectations and suggest the company has started on the road to recovery.
Todd Brix has announced, through the Windows Blog, a tightening of the submission process on the Windows Phone Marketplace. Starting last week, developers will no longer be able to publish 20 apps in a single day to the Marketplace. The limit is now 10. This is to maintain a good spread of unique applications into the Marketplace and featuring in the new and updated lists.
Because of the smooth roll-out so far, Windows Mango availability is being increased to half of the potential devices (reports GM Eric Hautala on the Windows Phone Blog). This will result in more data points across the mix of devices, manufacturers and network configurations, hopefully allowing the second half of the user-base to be Mango'ed in the near future.
Microsoft have announced the start of the roll out of the Windows Phone 7.5 update for existing Windows Phone devices. It is the biggest software update for Windows Phone so far and contains more than 500 new features and updates. The roll out will take place over the next month, in a staggered fashion. Once the update is available for your device a message will pop up on the phone.
We presume that Nokia's debut of their Windows Phone device will happen in October, but their Windows phone efforts have already been stepped up, as their first application appears in the store. It's called "Top Apps" and while visible in the Zune Marketplace on your desktop, it's not yet available on Windows Phone handsets (reports WP Central). The assumption has to be that these are Mango based applications, and are going to be available only to Nokia's Windows Phone devices, at least in the first instance.
We're pretty sure that a lot of Symbian developers are looking to explore Windows Phone with the upcoming devices, so the recent post by JC Cimetiere on the Windows Team Blog introducing the Windows Phone platform with a Symbian starting point should be a good resource, You'll find a white paper ("Windows Phone Guide for Symbian Qt Application Developers") with porting examples, adding Qt to the Windows Phone API mapping tool, and details on the Nokia WP Training Days happening around Europe.
HTC today announced the HTC Radar, a Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) smartphone. It offers a near mid-tier entry point into the world of Windows Phone, with pricing expected to come in at around £350. It has a uni-body aluminum design, which HTC describe as 'eye-catching'. Key specifications include a 3.8 inch Super-LCD touch screen, 5 MP camera, 1GHz processor and 8GB of on board storage. The HTC Radar is expected to become available in select markets in early October.