US operator Sprint has announced the summer launch of two new exclusive Windows Phone 8 devices, the HTC 8XT and the Samsung ATIV S Neo, with on-contract price points of $99 and $149 respectively. Both smartphones will operate on Sprint's LTE network and will be bundled with unlimited data, text, and messaging contracts. With this announcement Windows Phone 8 devices will now be available on all four of the major US mobile networks, solidifying Windows Phone's position as the third mobile ecosystem.
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ALK Technologies' CoPilot mapping and navigation solution is now available for Windows Phone 8 devices. It arrives in the form of the free CoPilotGPS app, which provides easy-to-navigate offline maps, feature-rich route planning tools, and a versatile local point-of-interest database. Voice guided navigation is an optional in-app premium upgrade, but there's a 14 day free trial included in every download to give you a taste of what's on offer.
Today Kantar released its latest set of Worldpanel data (April 2013) about smartphone market share in a number of countries. The data shows substantial year-on-year growth for Windows Phone in the UK (4% to 8.4%), Germany (4.1% to 6.4%), France (2.5% to 6.2%), Italy (6.7% to 10.5%), and the US (3.8% to 5.6%) over the last year, although some markets, such as Spain (2.5% to 1.5%), show a small decline.
Nokia's HERE Maps app for Windows Phone 8 has been updated to version 3.3.354, adding integration with Nokia's LiveSight technology. In action, HERE Maps new LiveSight mode shows a gradual transition from a digital map view to an augmented reality view as you hold the device up to "look through the screen" at the world around you, making it easier to identify places around you.
At a dedicated launch event in London, Jo Harlow, SVP smartphones, and Stefan Pannenbecker (from Nokia Design), announced the metal-framed Lumia 925, as you'll see from our 'live' story today, as part of a 'summer of announcements'. This is the company's new Windows Phone flagship for the world, not to be confused with the all plastic - but Xenon-equipped - Lumia 928 for Verizon in the USA. Materials aside, the 925 also has the world's first six-element smartphone camera and has light sensitivity up to ISO 3200. More details of the Lumia 925 below, along with original hands-on photos later today, hopefully.
On May 14th, in London, Nokia is holding an event where it will announce the next chapter in the Lumia story. A number of device and software announcements are expected to be made. The event kicks off at 10:00 BST (09:00 GMT). We'll be updating this story with our on-the-scene live coverage at the event takes place. You can also watch a live stream of the press conference event via Nokia Conversations.
Nokia have announced the Lumia 928. The high end Windows Phone handset sports a 4.5 inch display at 1280 x 768, with Gorilla Glass, wireless charging, an 8.7 megapixel OIS camera with Xenon flash, a dual core Qualcomm 1.5 GHz dual core processor, and 32GB of internal storage. It will debut exclusively on the US network Verizon on May 16th, for $150, and a $50 mail in rebate is available to bring the initial price under $100.
At an event in New Delhi, Nokia unveiled the Asha 501, the first of its next generation of Asha smartphones, powered by the new Nokia Asha platform. Priced at £63 ($99 / €75) before taxes and subsidies, the device is intended to provide a low cost smartphone option in Nokia's product portfolio, positioned between the Lumia range of Windows Phone devices and the Series 40 range of feature phone devices.
Microsoft has published twinned "Switch to Windows Phone" apps on the Google Play and Windows Phone Store. On Android devices the app will first check to see what apps are installed and then check whether they are available on Windows Phone, before returning an apps available on Windows Phone percentage. The results can be saved, so that they can later be retrieved using the Windows Phone version of the app, which provides links to quickly install the matched apps.
Today Kantar released its latest set of Worldpanel data (March 2013) about smartphone market share in a number of countries. The data shows substantial growth for Windows Phone in the UK (2.9% to 7%), France (2.8% to 7.2%), and the US (3.7% to 5.6%) over the last year, although some markets, such as Germany (6.6% to 6.1%), show a small decline.