Device operating systems

OS Watch: Sprint Snags First CDMA WP7 Phone

After some delay, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) brought the first CDMA Windows Phone 7 smartphone, the High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498) Arrive, to Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) this week.

Microsoft has been promising an update to WP7 that opens it up to CDMA networks, among other upgrades, since last year. Sprint was the most logical first taker, since Verizon Wireless has been less gung ho about the OS.

Even so, all four Tier 1 operators have pledged support for the platform, which will be important for it to achieve widespread distribution in the U.S. (See Microsoft WP7 Shipments Start Slow and CES 2011: Microsoft... That's It?)

  • Frag Watch: What do you get when you combine Gingerbread with Honeycomb? Ice Cream! Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Chairman Eric Schmidt told Mobile World Congress attendees last week that the next Android OS, likely called Ice Cream, will blend features of Honeycomb and Gingerbread and will work on both smartphones and tablets. The OS should hit the market in the next six months, bringing with it promises of less fragmentation -- or, potentially, an experience that doesn't quite fit a tablet or a smartphone. (See Google Won't Hit 'Purée' on OSs.)

  • iPad 2 Muscles In: In between the launch of the Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) Xoom and BlackBerry 's PlayBook, Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) is planning to unveil the second-generation iPad. Apple was responsible for 4.3 million of the 4.5 million tablets sold in 2010, according to ABI Research , so it'll be interesting to see what happens when it has real competitors. (See Tablet Wars: iPad 2 vs Android 3.0.)

  • Honeycomb Under-Baked?: Early reviews of the Xoom are relatively positive, but suggest that perhaps Moto's tablet was in too much of a hurry to beat the iPad 2 out the gate. Reviews report problems with Android Market and non-tablet optimized apps, as well as bemoaning the lack of Flash, a disabled SD card slot and frequent crashes. (See Tablet Wars: Who's Xooming Whom?)

  • Ovi Developers' Mixed Emotions: Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK)'s Ovi developers are still feeling out their handset maker's new relationship with Microsoft and sentiments are fairly split, according to an Open-First poll of more than 100 top developers in the Ovi store.

    One fourth said the partnership makes Microsoft a much more interesting platform and one they'd definitely develop for, while another 24 percent indicated they would shift development focus to a competitor like Google or Apple. The remainder fell somewhere in between -- 18 percent said the deal decreases the likelihood they'd make an additional investment with Nokia, 22 percent said it'd lead to them investigate Microsoft and 11 percent didn't really care.

    — Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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