Nokia has announced that it has signed sports broadcaster ESPN, games manufacturer Electronic Arts (EA) and children’s educational content provider Sesame Street as app partners for its Windows Mobile phones. The tie-ups are part of the company’s attempts to make up lost ground on competitors in the smartphone space.
Microsoft has announced that it will miss its target of launching its Windows Phone 7 handsets in China, stating that the devices will be available in the country in the first half of 2012, rather than by the end of 2011, as originally planned.
Nokia’s high end smartphones are “too expensive” according to the European general manager for devices at international carrier Telefónica. Simon Lee-Smith told Telecoms.com that Nokia’s premium devices are “not yet at the right price point,” adding: “If Nokia wants to sell in volume, they need to bring out devices which are cost-competitive.”
Taiwanese handset vendor HTC has previewed two Windows Phone 7 smartphones to consumers across Europe, ahead of the products’ commercial release in October. The Titan and Radar handsets are the first from HTC to run the latest version of WP7, dubbed Mango.
Nokia’s Ovi app store has hit the five million downloads a day mark, despite speculation regarding its future since the Finnish manufacturer entered a deal with Microsoft earlier this year. The app store offers more than 40,000 products but many believe it’s unlikely to survive in the context of Nokia’s agreement to ship Windows 7 phones from 2012 onwards. Microsoft has its own app store, Windows Marketplace, and it seems unlikely that the pair can co-exist in an ultra-competitive market.
Microsoft has reportedly paid Nokia more than $1bn to run with its Windows Phone 7 platform. News of the recent deal between the pair had left many observers pondering the wisdom of Nokia’s decision to effectively become a one-trick pony on the platform front, but if the reports from Bloomberg are accurate, it’s a little easier to understand why the OEM would be prepared to take a risk with WP7.
Microsoft has revealed a number of improvements to its developer relationship for Windows Phone 7, the platform that marks its latest assault on the smartphone market. The firm said that the first payments to developers would be made a little ahead of schedule, and it is now able to offer feedback to developers on the performance of their apps within the Windows Phone Marketplace.
On Monday afternoon Microsoft will unleash the first of its range of Windows Phone 7 powered devices, marking its renewed assault on the smartphone sector.