Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


Q4 Android Launches Outpace Windows Phone

SAN FRANCISCO — If the recent CTIA show
is any indication, Microsoft will have its work
cut out for it as its tries to regain lost share in
the U.S. smartphone market.

During this month’s CTIA convention,
suppliers and carriers
unveiled more new
handsets than they
did during any other
CTIA show in recent
memory, and all
of the new models
— about a dozen —
were Android-based
smartphones due by
year’s end to further
expand an already
robust selection of
Android phones.

The number of
new Android phones
unveiled at the show
handily outnumbered
the five Windows
Phone 7 smartphones
unveiled after the
show by Microsoft
for U.S. availability
starting next

A smaller selection
isn’t the only factor
that could hinder Windows
Phone 7 adoption
in the U.S. Price is
another factor.

All five of the Windows
Phone 7 smartphones
are targeted
at the high end of the
market, given Microsoft-
mandated minimum
hardware requirements, including 1GHz
Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 5-megapixel
camera, 800 by480 or better capacitivetouchscreen
display, minimum RAM and flashmemory
requirements, and the like. All five also feature
720p HD video recording. Of the three models whose
prices were announced, all were priced by AT&T at $199.

In contrast, among Android phones whose prices were
revealed at CTIA, the opening price for a new Android
handset fell to $49 for Sprint’s Samsung-made Optimus,
which operates in 3G mode on Sprint’s CDMA 1x EVDO
Rev. A network and incorporates mobile Wi-Fi
hot spot. Another entry-level Android phone, the
touchscreen-only Motorola Citrus, operates on Verizon’s
slower 1x EV-DO Rev. 0 data network and
could be destined for an even lower price point.

Android, nonetheless,
had its share
of top-end devices,
including Motorola’s
Droid Pro for Verizon
Wireless. It’s
a BlackBerry-look
candy bar phone with
touchscreen, hard
QWERTY keyboard,
enterprise-grade features,
and mobile Wi-
Fi hot spot. It’s also
the first U.S.-market
Android phone announced
to date to
operate in 3G mode
in CDMA 1x EV-DO
Rev. A markets as
well as in foreign 3G
HSPA markets. Pricing
wasn’t revealed.

Despite its numerical
and price-point
handicap, Windows
Phone 7 sales could
exceed some analysts’ expectations. “Our industry
checks and discussions with store reps indicate
increasing enthusiasm for the upcoming Windows
Phone 7 launch,” according to an early October research
report by investment company Canaccord Genuity. The
company also said its checks “also indicated strong initial
sell-in orders.” As for potential sell-through, the company
said, “the touchscreen interface and overall hardware
performance could be on a par with higher end Android
OS experiences.”All told, new Android phones were
shown at the CTIA show by LG, Motorola, Samsung,
Sanyo and Huawei.

The Android introductions included:

• three other Motorola-made phones for the AT&T
network, bringing the iPhone carrier’s Android selection
to eight.

• T-Mobile’s second HSPA+ phone, the next-generation

• the T-Mobile’s HSPA version of Samsung’s entrylevel
Optimus at pricing that wasn’t disclosed.

• Samsung’s Galaxy-class 3G Mesmerize for U.S. Cellular
at $199. It’s similar to Verizon’s Galaxy-class Fascinate
and will be the third of five Android smartphones
that the carrier is launching this year, with the LG Apex
due in November and LG Optimus due in December.

• Huawei’s Ascend for the Cricket-branded prepaid
network at $149, making it Cricket’s second Android

• Samsung’s Transform for Sprint at $149 with 3G
Rev. A technology. It’s the carrier’s first 3G-only phone
to be announced with front- and rear-facing cameras to
allow for video chatting, which can be accomplished
over 3G and Wi-Fi networks, a spokesman said. The
carrier’s two 3G/4G phones also offer video chat.

Sprint also unveiled the 3G Sanyo Zio from Kyocera
at $99.99 with two-year service agreement and after
a $100 mail-in rebate. It features Android 2.1 OS, 3G
Rev. A technology. The phone was already available for
the Cricket prepaid network.