Windows overtakes BlackBerry OS for the first time

Microsoft’s Windows has become the third most popular smartphone operating system in the world, overtaking the BlackBerry OS for the first time.

HTC Windows Phone 8X

An HTC phone running the Microsoft Windows operating system.

But the two are still well behind Android and iOS, which had 79 per cent and 14.2 per cent of the global market respectively for the second quarter of this year, according to a report.

Microsoft managed 3.3 per cent of the market for the same period, with 7.4m units sold worldwide, while BlackBerry fell into fourth position with only a 2.7 per cent market share and 6.1m units sold.

This time last year, BlackBerry was ahead with 7.9m units sold and a 5.2 per cent market share, with Microsoft on a 2.6 per cent share and 4m units.

Anshul Gupta, a research analyst at Gartner Inc., which compiled the data, said Microsoft could do more with its software to firm up its position.

“While Microsoft has managed to increase share and volume in the quarter, Microsoft should continue to focus on growing interest from app developers to help grow its appeal among users,” Mr Gupta said.

The report also showed that smartphone sales leapt by 46.5 per cent from the second quarter of 2012 to this year, with an estimated 225 million units of the devices reaching users.

It is the first time smartphone sales have outstripped those of regular handsets, with 210 million ‘feature phones’ sold over the same period – a decline of 21 per cent year on year.

The biggest growth area for smartphone handsets was Asia, with a reported rise in sales of 74.1 per cent, followed by Latin America and Eastern Europe, with rises of 55.7 per cent and 31.6 per cent respectively.

Nokia India to launch biggest Lumia by August end: Sources

Nokia, which is lagging behind rivals like Apple and Samsung in the global smartphone market, is set to launch its biggest-ever Lumia phone in India. Sources at Nokia told TOI that the company is planning to launch Lumia 625, the handset with largest touchscreen in its portfolio, in the second or third week of August.

 

The sources also told TOI said that Nokia Lumia 925, the company’s only metal-body smartphone, will also arrive around the same time.

Lumia 625 features a 4.7-inch screen, the biggest for a Lumia handset, but is a mid-range device. It has a LCD display with 800x480p resolution and 201ppi pixel density. The screen features the Super Sensitive Touch technology that allows users to use it while wearing gloves. Under the hood is a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 512MB RAM and Windows Phone 8 operating system. The company has included 8GB internal storage in the phone, along with microSD support up to 64GB.

The soon-to-be-launched Lumia 925, launched in May this year, is a flagship device with analuminium body and better camera than the Lumia 920. This phone appeared on Nokia India’s website in May, accompanied by a price cut for Lumia 920, the current top model for the company in India.

Details on the pricing of Lumia 625 and Lumia 925 remain unknown as of now.

Sources also said that the launch of Lumia 1020, which was unveiled recently and has a41MPPureView camera, is still far away. Though they did not give a time period for its launch in the country, it is likely to hit the market in September or October.

Nokia Lumia 925 Review

When Nokia released the Lumia 920, it was packed with some of the best hardware you could find in a Windows Phone, such as the fantastic optically-stabilized camera, PureMotion HD+ display and an OS fresh from Microsoft’s update center. But many reviewers, including myself, found that the thick and heavy design wasn’t representative of Nokia’s best effort, and didn’t give the fantastic hardware the body it deserved.

Nokia Lumia 925 – $590 (unlocked)

  • 4.5-inch, 1280 x 768 AMOLED display (334 ppi)
  • Super sensitive touch, Gorilla Glass 2
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 chipset
  • 1.5 GHz dual-core CPU, Adreno 225 GPU, 1 GB RAM
  • 16 GB internal storage
  • 8.7 MP camera, Zeiss f/2.0 lens, dual LED flash, OIS, 1080p video
  • 2,000 mAh, 8.4 Wh internal battery
  • LTE, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, NFC
  • Windows Phone 8
  • 139 grams, 8.5mm thick

Enter the Lumia 925, Nokia’s answer to the complaints. It ditches the thick polycarbonate shell, hefty slab of glass and space-consuming LCD display for a mostly aluminum body with an AMOLED screen. In the process of changing a few components and materials, the Lumia flagship has shed some weight, dropping to 139 grams and 8.5mm thick (from 185g/10.7mm), giving it an all new breath of life.

Aside from the size, a few other aspects of the phone have been optimized, including a some cool software tweaks by Nokia, and revamped camera firmware that should take better advantage of the 8.7-megapixel rear camera. But are the changes too late? Is this the Lumia we should have had at the launch of Windows Phone 8?