Dialaphone’s latest poll has been asking our readers which manufacturer they think will emerge as the leading maker of Windows Phone 8 devices. Microsoft’s new operating system will be released imminently and there are several firms which have drawn up the battle lines by announcing new handsets to carry the platform upon launch.
Publicly unveiled in June, Windows Phone 8 is a powerful and impressive update of the platform’s previous iteration that has seen Microsoft capture the attention of a significant number of consumers, leading to a good degree of anticipation building up towards the actual releaser of the new OS.
Whilst retaining the familiar Live Tiles-based user interface of Windows Phone 7, the newer operating system introduces a number of changes which include giving the user the ability to alter the size of the tiles. Where many mobile platforms are built around apps, with user interfaces being centred on displaying app icons, Windows Phone now focuses on social networking and updates from friends and contacts are built right into the basics of the operating system.
However, these changes have come at a price to existing users. Since the new OS has been re-built from the ground up it is not compatible with earlier Windows Phone devices, meaning those who have already splashed out on devices such as the Nokia Lumia 900 will not be getting an upgrade to the new platform.
Problems have also arisen with the development of the new OS, with recent reports suggesting that Microsoft is having trouble getting the software ready in time for release.
Along with Dialaphone blog poll we have also been running the same survey on our Facebook page, something which we have continued through from last week. Again, results have differed significantly between the two platforms, offering an interesting contrast.
Other firms which have produced Windows Phone devices over the years include Dell, LG, Acer and ZTE, with the most recent device form these manufacturers being ZTE’s budget-phone, the ZTE Orbit. Whilst one or more of these companies may come out with a Windows Phone 8 device at some point in the near future, nothing has been extensively rumoured, with most headlines focussing on the firms that more prominently support the platform.
Whilst it is fairly safe to say that Apple is not going to start building Windows Phones devices any time soon, and with RIM being committed to its upcoming BB10 OS, it is difficult to imagine which other companies could be added to the list of prospective WP8 manufacturers. As a far-fetched suggestion it is not impossible that Microsoft itself may at some point decide to produce its own handset to carry the software and as unlikely as this may seem, it’s worth noting the firm is producing its own tablet to run the new Windows RT operating system.
Coming in second in the poll was Nokia, which maintains a long-standing relationship with Microsoft and has pinned its recent hopes upon the Windows Phone platform. Since Stephen Elop, CEO of Nokia, sent his ‘burning platform’ memo to his company’s employees early last year the firm has introduced its Lumia range, positioning itself as the leading producer of Windows Phone devices.
Even though Elop himself was joined onstage for the recent launch of the Lumia 920 and 820 handsets by several senior Microsoft employees, it seems that the software giant may have distanced itself from the Finnish manufacturer recently, with several other firms being lined-up to produce leading, high-spec handsets for Windows Phone 8.
Two of those companies took up the next two on the list of results, with Samsung rumoured to be working on a WP8 handset and HTC having just unveiled its first devices to employ the Microsoft mobile platform. While there has been no confirmation of what it is that Samsung will eventually come out with, HTC’s two WP8 handsets look promising, bearing something of a resemblance to Nokia’s Lumia phones and presenting what appears to be a decent platform for the OS.
Samsung’s Omnia M impressed us when we reviewed it a few months ago and the manufacturer is producing incredible handsets at the moment, something which bodes well for any Windows Phone 8 devices which may be in the pipeline.
In contrast to this, our Facebook poll produced quite different results, with the ‘Other’ category which led the blog-based poll coming in last with very few votes. Nokia was the out-and-out winner, taking more votes than all the others combined, showing that our Facebook friends clearly have faith in the manufacturer’s abilities to stay at the top of the Windows Phone game.
So what can we deduce from the results as a whole? Well, it seems that in the minds of the smartphone-buying public, Nokia may not be as closely-associated with Windows Phone as it previously has been. While the manufacturer certainly took the Facebook poll, it did not perform as well on our blog, indicating that many may be looking to other firms for a Windows Phone 8 device.
Competition always keeps things fresh and engenders innovation within manufacturers, spurring them on in order to stay ahead. If consumers are given a real choice between different Windows Phone 8 manufacturers then we could see some excellent and exciting devices emerging in the future. We await further developments.