Questions arise as to why Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) didn't come on stronger in the U.S. with its first smartphone based on Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)'s operating system in this week's take on mobile OS developments.
Lumia conspiracy theories: Nokia's first Windows Phone 7 device, the Lumia 710, made its way to the U.S. on T-Mobile US Inc. 's network this week, but most felt the news was underwhelming. PC World's Sascha Segan says the phone is a "perfectly good budget Windows Phone," but questions why Nokia would make its U.S. debut with a non-flagship phone when its new OS has zero market share. His theory? Maybe the merger-minded folks at Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) (DT) had something to do with it. (See Nokia Lumia Lands on T-Mobile.)
"DT could very well have denied T-Mobile USA the money to appropriately subsidize the Lumia 800, which would have made it unaffordable in the States," Segan writes, thus supporting the notion of T-Mobile as a weak competitor and giving impetus to the merger with AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T).
Galaxy goes 4G: Verizon Wireless had a smartphone launch this week as well, although its reception was notably more positive. The much-awaited Samsung Corp. Galaxy Nexus launched on Verizon's Long Term Evolution (LTE) network, bringing with it the first implementation of Google's latest OS, Ice Cream Sandwich. The Vergecalls it "the best Android smartphone available anywhere thanks to the pure Google experience of Android 4.0." (See Google Preps for an Ice Cream Social.)
Android, iOS duke it out: Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) held on to its spot as the leading smartphone platform in the third quarter, but in the battle of the operating systems Android is fast outgrowing iOS 5. According to The Nielsen Co. 's latest rankings, the iPhone held 28.6 percent of the market, up slightly from the previous three months, while Android increased its market share to 44.2 percent, with High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498) winning the most share.
BlackBerry 7's big task: You'll notice that one-time favorite BlackBerry did not fair well in Nielsen's ranking, and the company's third-quarter earnings call confirmed more bad times ahead for BlackBerry. With QNX-based smartphones now delayed until late 2012, RIM is counting on BlackBerry 7 to hold it over in the U.S. The phone, so far, has been met with lackluster interest, but RIM says it will step up marketing and promotions to keep both consumers and developers hanging on. RIM's co-CEOs also promised its 2.0 PlayBook OS would make a world of difference. (See RIM Blames Chipsets for BlackBerry 10 Delay, RIM Revamps the BlackBerry and RIM Plans a Q3 PlayBook Revival .)
webOs not dead yet: HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ)'s begotten OS webOS may have life in it yet, but not because of the strength of the platform. Rather, Technology Business Research Inc. (TBR) believes weaknesses in competing OSs could be webOS's saving grace. "If neither Microsoft nor Android offers a clear winner for commercial tablets, then webOS, from familiar HP could provide an answer," TBR says, noting that it's too soon to tell about Microsoft, Android has security issues and Apple is perceived as too closed. (See HP Sets webOS Free.)