Device operating systems

OS Watch: AT&T Racks Up the iPhone Alternatives

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has spent the two weeks since the iPhone 5 launch loading itself up on non-Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) products, including adding eight new Android smartphones.

The new phones, due out this fall, include: AT&T has also said it will carry Samsung's Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 tablet, along with two other Windows RT tablets -- the Samsung ATIV Smart PC and the AsusTek Computer Inc. VivoTab RT -- with LTE this fall.

Android Express Train

AT&T isn't totally neglecting its other OSs though. The carrier also said it will exclusively carry the Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) Lumia 920, as well as offer the lower-end Lumia 820. Both will launch in November, meaning AT&T customers will have more smartphone choices than ever when it comes time for holiday shopping.

And, hey, if you don't want a smartphone in your stocking, AT&T also announced on Thursday the Samsung Galaxy Camera, an Android-based camera with LTE built-in.

In other mobile OS news:

  • Microsoft gets in Barnes & Noble's Nook: Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) is starting to put its $300 million investment in Barnes & Noble Inc. 's digital business to work, announcing a name for the joint venture, Nook Media LLC, and plans for a Windows 8 Nook app. The book giant spun off its digital and college business, including the Nook eReader, in April with help from Microsoft. To date, the Nook's biggest competition has been the Android-based Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) Kindle Fire, but a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing from Microsoft suggests it may be getting into the game with its own eReader, stocked with content from the JV. That could put Microsoft in competition with its partner, a position it's found itself in before in both the smartphone and PC market. (See Microsoft Fights Fire With Nook Investment and Amazon Lights Up AT&T's LTE in New Kindle Fire.)

  • No smartphones for HP in 2013: HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) may want back in the mobile device market, but it's not really in a hurry. CEO Meg Whitman said this week that HP wouldn’t have any new smartphones in 2013. She didn't commit to a timeline for a launch, but within the next five years is a safe bet. According to Computer World, she told analysts this week, "I believe that five years from now, if we don’t have a smartphone or whatever the next generation of that device is, we’ll be locked out of a huge segment of the population in many countries of the world." (See HP Gives 2013 Outlook, Details Revamp and OS Watch: HP Wants Back in Smartphone Game.)

  • RIM's best BlackBerry yet: A leaked internal BlackBerry slide details some BlackBerry 10 specs that could be for the company's comeback kid, dubbed Aristo. (Which means "the best" in Greek, according to RapidBerry, although some sources peg it as merely "excellent.") As InformationWeek reports, the slide shows a super-thin, LTE handset based on Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM)'s Krait quad-core processor with 16 GB of storage plus a microSD slot, a 4.65 inch screen with a resolution of 1280 x 720p and an 8-megapixel camera plus a 2-megapixel front-facing camera for video chats. (See RIM Wants a Bronze for BlackBerry.)

  • Starbucks brews up more mobile: Starbucks is ramping up the mobile ways you can pay for your latte. The coffee maker said this week that it would begin accepting Square Inc. mobile payments next month in 7,000 stores , and it added support for Apple's Passbook on its iOS 6 app. (See Starbucks' Mobile Brew.)

    Square, by the way, is a Leading Lights finalist for Company of the Year (Private). (See Light Reading's 2012 Leading Lights Finalists.) — Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

  • joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:19:41 PM
    re: OS Watch: AT&T Racks Up the iPhone Alternatives

    Not surprising I guess given that it was mainly focused towards devices that will come out this holiday.

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