Smartphone makers are seeking to emulate and put their own spin on Apple's success as more than just a device maker but as a services provider and maybe even a lifestyle brand. The question is whether device companies can provide services and products to consumers beyond smartphones that actually make their lives better.
BARCELONA, Spain--Mobile World Congress kicked off with a bang this year, with a plethora of device announcements. Dozens of OEMs are on hand to offer their wares and meet with carriers. Here is a small sampling of some of the high-profile device launches thus far at the conference.
BARCELONA, Spain--Microsoft reiterated that it will release at least one flagship Windows phone when it rolls out Windows 10 later this year, even as the company unveiled new mid-range Windows smartphones, the Lumia 640 and 640 XL, here at Mobile World Congress.
Google's Android and Apple's iOS continued to thoroughly dominate the global smartphone market in the fourth quarter, according to research firm IDC, with Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus driving Apple to gain share at Android's expense. Meanwhile, Microsoft's Windows Phone platform continues to be an also-ran in the market, though the company as vowed to introduce a range of new phones this year running its new Windows 10 software.
Microsoft released an early "technical preview" version of Windows 10 for smartphones to those who have registered for its "Insider" program, but only made the software builds available to customers with a few mid-range, Lumia-branded Windows Phones.
Ofcom predicted the first commercial services using white space technology will be available in the UK by the end of 2015, after approving the use of the technology as a bearer of mobile broadband traffic.
Microsoft and Samsung Electronics agreed to settle a dispute over how much money Samsung would pay to Microsoft to license the software giant's patents that Samsung uses in its Android smartphones and tablets. Financial terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
In an effort to boost its smartphone market share, Microsoft plans to introduce Windows Phones that cost $75 to $100 in Africa this year, according to a Microsoft executive.
Microsoft prepared to advance its Africa strategy by recruiting smartphone makers in China to produce low-cost devices running the U.S. company's Windows Phone software.
It's not every day that Microsoft buys an indie developer of iOS apps, and in the case of Sunrise, it's an app that many of those who work in mobile say is among the best in its category.