As we watch the headlines of Apple suing Google’s hardware partners, retail app store, and digging desperately into their patent archives to slow down the Android juggernaut, something new begins to appear. Windows Phone 7 is different. Windows Phone isn’t a copy of anything we’ve seen before. It’s not rehashed hardware that needs a major overhaul. It’s new and shiny – but up until now, sorely missing a few major features.
What we are watching is the results of HTC/Samsung/Motorola/everyone else vs. Apple and their patents. Sure, there might be a way that Android would simply license the patents for $10 a head like Microsoft did for their partners, but this is very unlikely since Android has a bigger following than Apple’s own iPhone. Once the sales numbers on the iPhone began to drop, it was only a matter of time before the suits came out.
Let’s fast forward a few months, to the Windows Phone Mango update – the Windows (Phone) 8 tablets hit the scene and the full integration becomes a realization – PC/Phone/Tablet/Xbox/Zune – all to the cloud…
Microsoft has some major pieces in play that might just make Apple and Google sweat. First off, there’s their device pricing. By not requiring dual-core processors and qHD screens, Microsoft has made the devices relatively inexpensive to make. A Verizon Wireless HTC Trophy should set you back no more than $100 if you don’t buy it from a 3rd party site like http://www.getsmartphones.info for free. The Sprint Arrive should be about the same – unless you get it directly from Sprint for the $200 price tag. The HD7 on T-Mobile and the Surround on AT&T are both amazing devices and should be available well under $100 as well at this point.
With the lower price point established, and the amazing Mango update coming, Windows Phone is poised to make a move. We need to consider that data rates are only going up and push notifications are the most data effective way of communicating. BlackBerry devices have been doing it for some time now, and their data usage numbers are about 20% of what the average Android users consumes. Microsoft has a very similar system with their ‘Live’ setup. Notifications are pushed out to the device as the server receives them. Brilliant, and inexpensive.
The integration of the different divisions: Zune Music, Xbox gaming, Office 365, SkyDrive, and we could continue – to the “Three Screens” concept revealed so long ago, is finally here. It’s time for Microsoft to pull of the tux, grab the sweats and start working out for the fight. They’ve sat on the side lines just long enough for the champ and the #1 contender to beat each other up just enough to have some chinks in their armor. Now it’s time for them to regain the market share, build amazing quality products and deliver that perfect end user experience that we now demand from our devices.
With the launch of a few 4G devices, a couple of options on each carrier and from each manufacturer, in the end, Windows Phone might just be the winner of the Apple v. Google lawsuits…