Over the past few months, in the realm of Windows Phone all the news and rumors had been surrounding Nokia, especially given that it is soon to be bought out by Microsoft. But let’s not forget about the other Windows Phone OEMs – HTC, Samsung and Huawei. Whilst they had not been as active and dedicated in the ecosystem as Nokia, all three appears to be still committed to the Windows Phone platform, and based on recent rumors all of them are currently planning the next wave of products. Below is a recap of all the rumors that had been floating around for these manufacturers:
The most recent Windows Phone from the Taiwanese company was the HTC 8XT, a device dedicated to Sprint network in the US. The device was more of a rehash of the HTC 8X (with a look similar to the 8S), and did not bring anything particular new to the ecosystem. In terms of what’s next, previous rumors had indicated that a device codenamed HTC “Harmony” is currently in the works, and it was reported back in June that the device may look similar to the Android-based HTC One. Recently, rumors of specifications of the device were revealed by WindowsPhoneBlogging.com, and we have summarised it below:
- 4.7 inch Super LCD 3 display with 1080p resolution
- 2GB of RAM
- 32GB of storage
- Mostly metal body (similar to the HTC One)
- Camera with UltraPixel technology
- Beats Audio
According to the report, the HTC “Harmony” would come pre-loaded with Windows Phone 8 GDR3 update launch sometime around the October to November timeframe.
In term of dedication to the Windows Phone platform, Samsung pales in comparison to the others. The most recent Windows Phone device the South Korean company released was the Samsung ATIV S Neo for Sprint in the US, which was simply a rehash of the Samsung ATIV S released almost a year ago (but never in the US).
In terms of what’s next, recent reports had found that a Samsung Windows Phone with model number SGH-i187 had recently passed US FCC certification, heading to the carrier AT&T. If you were hoping for a high-end device like the Galaxy S4 however, you will be disappointed, as benchmark tests had revealed the device is more of a mid-tier phone with a dual-core Snapdragon 400 processor and 720p display. Not much else in known about the device at the moment, but hopefully this is targeted at people looking for more affordable devices.
Huawei only joined the Windows Phone ecosystem a year ago, and had been one of the more quiet types. The Chinese-based OEM had only released two Windows Phone 8 devices – the Huawei Ascend W1 and W2 respectively, both targeted at the affordable lower-end market.
Today rumors from WPDang had revealed that the company is planning a third device – called Huawei Ascend W3. According to the report, the device will be similar in specification to the Nokia Lumia 925, meaning you won’t find a quad-core processor nor 1080p display on it. In terms of appearance, the device is described to be ultra-thin with resemblance to Huawei’s Ascend D2 and P6, both with an aluminum frame.
The report claims that Huawei is expected to announce the Ascend W3 during the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which will be held on January 7-10, 2014 in Las Vegas.
Besides Nokia, HTC, Samsung and Huawei, rumors had been floating around on other OEMs interested in joining the Windows Phone platform. All the way back in June last year we have heard Lenovo having an interest in developing a Windows Phone 8 devices, although one has yet to be materialised. Earlier in July this year, an OPPO director had publicly expressed interest in the Windows Phone ecosystem, and even created mock-ups of an OPPO device running Windows Phone 8.
The latest OEM rumored to have an interest in making a Windows Phone handset is HP. According to German website WinFuture.de, the US-based manufacturer is interested in entering back into the smartphone market again, following the failures of the Palm acquisition and sell-off of WebOS to LG Electronics earlier in February this year. The operating system of choice was said to be Windows Phone 8, which was chosen over Android due to it being more attractive to enterprise and corporate customers. It was claimed that since February HP had reallocated resources back to the development of tablets and smartphones again.
The last Windows Mobile 6.5 device from HP was the iPAQ Glisten released back in 2009. No exact timeframe were given as to when the company is expected to release their Windows Phone 8 device, although the report indicates that HP is aiming for a “post-GDR3” release.
Update: According to Plaffo.com, HP has denied the rumors with the statement “This story is a fabrication and is not linked to any activity that HP has in the works.”
Whilst Nokia (and soon to be Microsoft) currently owns about 74% of the global Windows Phone market, if any of the above rumors were true, other OEMs have not given up on the platform yet with more devices to come. What are your thoughts on the future of the Windows Phone platform? Will other OEMs pick up the pace to commit to the platform? Or are we expecting OEMs to pull out from the game? Let us know in the comments below.
Note: As always, take all of the above rumors with a pinch of salt, as they have not been verified nor confirmed.