Windows Phone 8 to launch this fall with only four OEMs: Nokia, HTC, Samsung and Huawei all powered by Qualcomm

What I have been predicting for more than a year has finally been confirmed today when Microsoft announced that all the future Windows Phone 8 handsets launching this fall will be powered by Qualcomm‘s SnapDragon S4 Plus / MSM8930 or MSM8960 SoC with the Adreno 225 or Adreno 305 GPU, which seems to once again be the only certified chipset partner for the platform. What is more surprising though is that only four OEMs are on board this time around: Nokia, HTC, Samsung and Huawei. The rest are ..well..nowhere to been seen and frankly we shouldn’t care given the total lack of creativity and effort that was demonstrated in the past. For more Windows Phone features info hit the link after the break.

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Future of Windows Phone aka Windows Phone 8 to be unveiled on June 20th

Microsoft is finally set to unveil the “future of Windows Phone” which will surely be the first sneak peak at Windows Phone 8 aka Apollo on June 20th during special developer event in San Fransisco. Not much else is known for now but Microsoft will for the most part probably talk about developing for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 via WinRT and finally spill the beans about the future of Silverlight as a development platform for Windows Phone applications.

Let’s just hope that Redmond will also give us some concrete information regarding the upgrade path to Apollo of the current Windows Phone 7 handsets (hint don’t get your hopes up..but everything is still possible).

Alleged upcoming Nokia Windows Phone 8 handset specs and renders leaked: PureView and Adreno 320 GPU on board

As it’s usually the case with such things I’ll first advice you to take the following info with a pinch of salt and remain cautious. According to two supposedly leaked Nokia internal slides what you see here is the upcoming flagship Nokia Windows Phone 8 handset which will unsurprisingly sport the 41Mpx camera sensor introduced by the Nokia 808 alongside a Xenon flash, a 4.3″ curved HD Display (no AMOLED?), a dual-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro which includes the Adreno 320 GPU (surprising..was expecting it to be for tablets only at first…). The phone also has an enigmatic “Rich Recording” video recording technology. I personally wouldn’t be surprised if the device’s name was Nokia Lumia PureView

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Nokia Windows 8 tablet rumored to ship later this year powered by Qualcomm

If you have been paying close attention to Stephen Elop recent interviews there’s no doubt that Nokia will introduced a windows 8 tablet at some point in the future. This may very well at the end of the year to align with the OS launch (and probably also Windows Phone 8). According to the latest rumors the 10inch screen device will be powered by a Dual-Core Qualcomm SoC Which will probably be the Snapdragon S4 Pro (with the Adreno 320 GPU) and will ship in Q4 2012. Nokia is also said to have commissioned Compal again to built 200 000 of those devices (similar to how Compal help manufacture the Lumia 800).

Small question to all my readers: Are you ready to sacrifice backwards compatibility and choose a Windows On ARM Tablet or will you prefer a X86 Windows 8 powered Slate?

Update: Forgot to say that I curentlyown a SAmung Slate 7 with the W8 CP running on it. Best of both words (CoreI5, Wacom Pen digitizer etc..) but battery life is deffinitly far from iPad standards. On the plus side: it totaly destroys any competing IOS or Android tablet on the market (or even the Tegra3/SanpdragonS4 powered ones in terms of performance.

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Qualcomm licenses Imagination Technologies PowerVR IP

File this under the: Strange but possible tag. Buried in Imagination Technologies interim financial results today is the following information:

Licensing

Strong licensing activities

  • Addition of several new key partners including MStar, Ricoh, Qualcomm, Rockchip
  • Many new and extended agreements with existing partners including Sony, Intel, Mediatek, Renesas, Samsung, Sigma, Realtek

This is as far I know the first mention of Qualcomm as a PowerVR IP licensee ever and really interesting given that the San Diego chip manufacturer currently develops its own GPU and graphics IP after its acquisition of ATI’s mobile division a few years ago. The timing would suggest that Qualcomm may have licensed the Rogue GPU IP but until we have more detail we can only speculate at this point. If that was the case then I wouldn’t expect to see any PowerVR tech in QC’s SoC until after the Krait generation of chips (unless the licensing deal is nothing more that patents stuff after all).

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Kinectimals for Windows Phone 7 released

Kinectimals for Windows Phone 7 is finally out in the Marketplace and is this weeks Xbox Live enabled game for the platform. I’m going to shoot a video hands on which I’m going to embed below later today but there’s a few things I would like to point out before. The Adreno 200 GPU in the first generation Windows Phone 7 handsets is definitely showing its age here: the game’s framerate is really lower and choppier on the Samsung Omnia 7 compared to the HTC Titan (Adreno 205 GPU) which is perfectly smooth. The same thing is noticeable in last week’s Xbox Live game Orbital. The game is also note Mango “compatible”, this means that there”s no fast-application-switching, and no camera integration which means that there’s no augmented reality feature a previously thought (you can only take insert the animal in a previously taken picture or one shot by launching the camera a from within the game). Anyway the full game is $2.99 but you can already try the trial here.

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HTC EVO 3D & HTC EVO View specifications partially leaked

CTIA is shaping up to be big for Sprint who is apparently scheduled to unveiled its new line up of WiMax enabled Android devices on March 22. The first one is going to be the HTC EVO 3D which seems to be the CDMA/WiMAX version of the long rumored HTC Pyramid. The EVO 3D will be powered by an MSM8660 SoC and its Adreno 220 GPU which you can see in action in my MWC video here. It will also pack 1GB of RAM, 4GB of ROM and and glasses free auto-stereoscopic 4.3 qHD 960 x 450 3D display , similar to the one found on the LG Optimus 3D which I showed you here. It will also have a 1730Mha battery, 1080P hdmi output for regular 2D content and 720P 3D output, a 5mpix camera & 1.3 Mpix front facing one.

As I said before; Windows Phone 7 doesn’t necessarily need more powerful hardware right now but when you look at the specifications above (and most other high-end Android devices to be released soon) and factor in the fact that Microsoft is being sluggish with the OS updates I personally¬† think that most people are not going to buy an WP7 handset in the coming months. Now if Microsoft was more reactive then things would be different but only 2 updates a year? That’s not going to cut it.

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Intel Havok Physics system ported to Android: Video demo on the Xperia Play

As Qualcomm told me during Mobile World Congress, Sony Ericsson is the only OEM who bothered to use the latest Snapdragon and Adreno drivers on its devices and the video after the break just shows why they did this. The company is really serious about gaming on Android and unfortunately seems to be the only Android OEM in this case (Sure there’s NVIDIA and its Tegra Zone marketplace but I’m fairly sure that they don’t really care about the platform. All that matters to them is that their SoC is being bought by OEMs). THe video after the break will show you Intel’s Havok physics engine / solver porting on Android and running on the Xperia Play’s MSM8255 with Adreno 205 GPU:

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Why Windows Phone 7 doesn’t desperately need more powerful devices this year

As you have probably already noticed I was at Mobile World Congress this week so I had the opportunity to play around with some of the latest and most powerful handsets ever created. This year was obviously dominated by Google’s Android platform which took center stage at the convention with essentially every OEMs demonstrating or unveiling products running the immensely successful OS. What does it have to do with Windows Phone 7 hardware ? Well if there’s one thing that really garbed my attention it is the fact that not a single Android device I played with was as snappy and smooth as the Samsung Omnia 7 device I had in my pocket (or any iPhone model). Yes some of the devices on display were running non finalized software and probably hardware too but this has already been the case with retail devices like the Galaxy S and Desire HD which feature more powerful hardware than all the currently released WP7 devices (you can watch my 7 minutes long Galaxy S II video here).

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