Microsoft released its first Lumia-branded smartphone without the Nokia name on it, the Lumia 535, and is clearly pushing the entry-level phone toward emerging markets. The Lumia 535, which will debut for $137 (€110) before taxes and subsidies, is not the cheapest Lumia phone Microsoft has introduced but it is among them. It also boasts improved specifications compared with similarly priced Windows Phones.
Microsoft is indicating that next week it will unveil its first Lumia-branded smartphone without the Nokia moniker attached, and early rumors are that it will be entry-level device aimed at the mass market.
Google's Android platform has long dominated the smartphone market in terms of market share, but research firm Strategy Analytics thinks Android has reached its peak. Android ran 84 percent of smartphones shipped globally in the third quarter, according to the research firm, down from 85 percent in the second quarter. "Android's global smartphone market share is peaking," Strategy Analytics analyst Neil Mawston told the Wall Street Journal.
Samsung Electronics said Microsoft's April purchase of Nokia's devices and services business breached a 2011 business collaboration agreement between Samsung and Microsoft. Under that deal Samsung paid $1 billion in patent royalties to Microsoft in 2013, and Samsung is now arguing in court that the Microsoft/Nokia deal invalidates the agreement because Microsoft became a direct competitor with Samsung in the smartphone market.
Microsoft reported a jump in smartphone sales for the third quarter and also confirmed it will put its own brand name in place of the Nokia brand on its Lumia Windows Phone smartphones going forward.
Microsoft will put its own brand in place of the Nokia brand for new Lumia devices, according to The Verge.
Apple maintained its dominance in the U.S. smartphone market over the summer, according to the latest figures from research firm comScore. Given the boffo opening sales weekend Apple had for its new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, that lead is likely to swell through the fall.
Microsoft has attracted 50 new hardware partners that are making Windows-based smartphones and tablets, a senior executive said. The influx in partners comes after the company decided in April that it would make Windows free for devices with screens smaller than nine inches.
In a bit of retrospective analysis, The Verge looked at Nokia's device business before Microsoft acquired it, and indeed before Nokia had committed to Windows Phone, and concluded that Nokia was clearly ahead of the curve in terms of smartphone design and software, but failed to translate that into commercial success.
Microsoft slashed 2,100 employees from its work force, part of a previously announced plan to cut 18,000 workers as the software giant integrates former Nokia employees and shifts its focus to the cloud, mobile and productivity tools. As a result of this round of cuts, Microsoft will also close its Silicon Valley research-and-development lab.