4 times more Windows Phones being sold this year compared to last one

Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer announced today during the annual Share Holder meeting that Windows Phone sales are 4 times more than at this time last year. Now, given that we don’t know exactly how many Windows Phones were being sold exactly one year ago this doesn’t really mean much for the time being. The only real number we have was that Nokia sold around 1 Million Lumia handsets in November and December (US not included because they were only available principally in EU) so don’t expect this year’s number to be extraordinary.

Windows Phone 7.8 to finally be released in Early 2013

Microsoft has finally decided to communicate around Windows Phone 7.8 today and officially announced that the much anticipated update to Windows Phone 7.5 will be pushed out to existing devices in early 2013. This is obviously a bit of a downer given that everybody was expecting WP7.8 to come out before the end of the year mainly because the official wording during the June announcement was that it would simply be released after Windows Phone 8 (so we all assumed that it would be a matter of weeks not months).

As previously discussed the Windows Phone 7.8 update will include the WP8 start screen with resizable Live Tiles, updated icons, more market and language support,double the number of accent color themes, the option to automatically display the Bing Picture of the Day plus the ‘A1B2C3’ PIN/password challenge to prevent accidental device wipes on phones connected to Exchange accounts and minor bug fixes.

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Microsoft finds cause of Windows Phone 8 rebooting issue. OTA fix to be pushed out next month

Many users have been reporting strange phone reboots with their new HTC or Nokia Windows Phone 8 handsets ever since they got them a few weeks ago. The good news is that Microsoft has apparently found the cause of the problem and is going to push an OTA (Over The Air) fix/update next month to all Windows Phone 8 devices. The cause of the problem has not been made public yet but from what I have seen reported on forums it may partially be Bluetooth related (this may be why I have never encountered it because I never have BT on on my devices). Anyway here’s the official word from Redmond:

“We’re continuing to investigate some reports of phones rebooting and have identified a cause with our partners,” Microsoft said in a statement on Tuesday. “We are working to get an over-the-air update out in December.”

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NVIDIA Tegra 3 still not fully compatible with Windows RT

Here’s a non Windows Phone 8 related piece of news I came across a few days ago when looking around for real performance benchmarks and impression on the Microsoft Surface RT. As most of you have heard the Surface suffered/suffers from some performance issues according to most of the early rushed out reviews posted on the web. My own impression based on real users feedback/experience posted on forums and especially YouTube videos seems to indicate the opposite. Not really surprising to say the least but given that I have never touched a Surface in my life I can’t really judge one way or another. Anyway, I surprisingly found out that NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 SoC which powers the Surface and Asus Vivo Tab apparently doesn’t fully support Windows RT yet according to the company’s own product page. For those of you who aren’t aware; the Tegra 3 SoC packs 4 CortexA9 cores plus a 5th ARM core meant to take over all the low-power tasks like video,music, active standby. Turn’s out that the 5th core simply isn’t recognized by Windows RT yet and that one of the 4 CortexA9 cores is probably being tasked with all the low power workload.

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Windows Phone 8 Apollo Plus update to be released early next year. Windows Phone 7.8 coming real soon

Microsoft’s first update to Windows Phone 8 aka Apollo is apparently codenamed Apollo Plus (or Apollo +) as set to be unveiled / released OTA during Mobile World Congress at the end of February 2012. This definitely isn’t a shocker given that windows Phone 8 still has some rough edges and that Microsoft will have to announce/show at least something slightly new in Barcelona (alongside brand new hardware from Nokia?). This Apollo Plus update will finally ad VPN support to Windows Phone (missing since Windows Mobile 6.X has been ditched) and several other fixes and additional tweaks. If all goes as planned I should be present in Barcelona this year to over MWC.

After months of silence on the subject Microsoft has finally stated that news about Windows Phone 7.8 should be coming in the coming weeks. There’s obviously still no official datefor the roll out but devices in China are already sporting the latest OS update. From the looks of it (see video below) the overall appearance has been made has closely similar to WP8 as possible (Office Tile, Windows Phone boot screen) with some minor WP8 features ported back to the CE version (like using the Bing daily image as a lock-screen background)

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Nokia Lumia 920 FREE on contract with AT&T

Just a friendly heads up if you are in the market for a Nokia Lumia 920 in the US. Amazon is still taking orders for the Nokia Lumia 920 at exactly $0.01 with a 2y AT&T contract. (in Black cause all other colors are out of stock). The Lumia 920 is either selling like hot cakes or in extremely short supply given that it’s seems to be out of stocks nearly every where right now (same as the HTC 8X and Lumia 820 in the US). Just hit the Amazon link below to grab yours.

Nokia’s imaging Guru, Damian Dinning leaves the company (UPDATED)

This ones should definitely comes as a surprise to everybody who hasn’t seen Damian’s last mysterious tweet a few days ago. Word is that he is now effectively leaving the Finnish mobile giant on November 30th to pursue other responsibilities somewhere else. This obviously should be seen as a disappointment to all Nokia/Windows phone or even the company’ itself given Damian big role in the development of Nokia’s latest imaging technology found in the PureView 808 or the new Lumia 920.

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Nokia Lumia 920 mostly sold out everywhere

UPDATE: The remaining stock of Nokia Lumia 920 (only in Black) at Amazon is now being sold at 19.99 with an AT&T contract so hurry up and hit the Lumia 920 link below (all other WP8 devices are now out of stock)!

If you are in the market to buy a new Nokia Lumia 920 you better hurry up because the Finnish’s flagship device is mostly sold out everywhere and is on back-order (1 or 2 weeks delivery) even in Europe. Tomorrow’s black Friday rush won’t help the situation in the US but you probably will be able to order one at a fairly good price. It’s currently at 69.99 on AT&T via Amazon and the Lumia 820 is Free with a 2 year contract. Nokia has recently reported that the 920 has sold-out in Germany but it remains to be seen if this is because it’s hugely popular or because the stock was low to begin with. As far I know there’s still some stock in France and in the UK but your mileage may vary. The same inventory issues also apply to HTC’s Windows Phone 8X which is also on back-order right now.

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Nokia Lumia 920 first impressions

Better late than never, right? Well, I finally received a Yellow Nokia Lumia 920 on Monday and started using it as my main phone since then so I’ve had a bit more than 24 hours to handle the beast so far which is enough hands-on time to give you my first impressions about the device (but keep in mind that my device isn’t brand new).

As previously reported the Lumia 920 isn’t for the faint hearted; it’s thicker and heavier than the competition. Thankfully this doesn’t seem to be much of an issue for me as the 185g really don’t feel like a lot when pocketed all day. One handed usage is equivalent to most other 4.5″+ devices on the market so you will see yourself using it with both hands most of the time.

Build quality is great but unfortunately not perfect on my particular device. The whole polycarbonate body is apparently thinner than the previous Lumia 800 and 900 bodies and can creak when pressure is applied in certain areas. There’s also a relatively big air gap between the screen and the actual LCD panel (I can see light bleeding underneath the black bezel when I tilt my handset at extreme angles) this directly impacts the quality of the viewing angles as there’s a significant drop in brightness (but colors stay intact).

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Windows Phone 8 phones now available on all major carriers world wide: But are they selling?

For those of you who have been living under a rock or simply on vacation just like me here a small reminder: Windows Phone 8 has really launched and most of the major carriers in the world are selling WP8 handsets from HTC or Nokia. What I would like to know though is if any of you have seen TV ads, Street ads, magazine ads etc in your respective countries or if Microsoft is still failing to promote its mobile platform just like it has ever done?

Several TV ads are apparently currently being aired across the world since last week so did you actually see them (note that each region/country has its on version with its local celebrity)? Verizon has also started to sell the Nokia Lumia 822 and HTC Windows Phone 8X yesterday which is kind of a big news in the US. From what I have seen pricing and availability has been a bit spotty throughout the world especially on carriers which is really disappointing as this seems to always be the case with Windows Phone devices compared to the iPhone which is always available everywhere on the same day with enough stock or even flagship Android handsets like Samsung’s.

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Nokia Lumia 920 reviews, Windows Phone 8 and everything in-between

It’s been a year since I landed a full time job and stopped updating this site on a daily bases simply because I no longer have time to do so. Every once in a while I managed to sneak in a post when something really important pops-up (like the WP8 SDK leak here and here) but I must admit that the Windows Phone world wasn’t that exciting in the last year following the launch of Mango.

Fast-forward to this month and the launch of Windows 8, Surface and Windows Phone 8. Some may be wondering where is my Nokia Lumia 920, Windows Phone 8, Surface review etc.. Well, to put it simply: those things take time and I don’t have much of that lately. Others may not care but I sincerely want to do my best to give you a honest opinion about all those products especially after reading all the biased and link-bait drivel that is being posted on most major sites lately.

Let’s take for example the Nokia Lumia 920 review embargo that lifted today. Nothing’s more annoying than reading something passed as a review when it’s obviously nothing more that a piece written to generate quick hits. In case you didn’t know it; most reviewers didn’t have the Lumia 920 for more than 48h, which is a relatively short amount of time to form a final judgment on a product, some only got to handle it at the Microsoft Build conference in Seattle (see for example The Verge’s review where the camera samples where shot in the UK and the “review” mostly done in the US with a pre-production device using pre-production FW). Here, Nokia France only had three 920′s to hand out for reviews which is not a whole lot as you can image. But what’s even more laughable are some of the cons listed against the 920:

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