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Jun 29, 2015

Microsoft Might Drop Windows Phone, Will Adopt Android OS Instead

It looks like Microsoft's Windows Phone business is losing more money than anyone would have expected. We can't imagine other reason for which the Redmond-based company would consider moving away from Windows Phone and start pushing Android devices instead.

But that is a point of view offered by Microsoft leaker @MSFTNerd who just tweeted some interesting tidbits of info that suggest a real earthquake for Microsoft's mobile business. Apparently Satya Nadella is about to decide whether or not Microsoft will continue investing in Windows Phone handsets and small tablets. If the company decides to drop Windows Phone, then it will continue to bundle its services on Android smartphones and tablets. Microsoft might also push its own Android smartphones and tablets on the market, which will also contain some of the most important mobile apps and services offered by the Redmond-based company.

The future might not be so bright for Windows Phone
In return, Google will offer some of its “first-class” services on Windows such as Maps, YouTube and Search, @MSFTNerd claims. Moreover, Microsoft is said to consider changing its relationship with Google in the matters of location services, as well as video on Windows and ads. The last part proved to be accurate, as Microsoft has just announced that it has unloaded its display ad business, which has been bought by AOL and AppNexus. The move will also result in the loss of 1,200 jobs among Microsoft employees. Following the agreement between Microsoft, AOL and AppNexus, the Redmond-based has officially stopped being a meaningful competitor for Google in the display ad business.

Still, dropping the Windows Phone in favor of Android would be a much harder decision for Microsoft, especially that the company is now readying for the Windows 10 Mobile launch and at least a few high-end smartphones. It looks like the next couple of months will be decisive for Microsoft's mobile business, as the company can't afford to continue to bleed money.

MSFTNerd tweet
Images credist to @MSFTNerd

Nokia Android Smartphones Manufactured by Foxconn Coming to India, China & Europe

While Nokia's CEO Rajeev Suri has already confirmed that his company is determined to return to the smartphone business, he did not share details on when and where the Finnish company would launch its first device.

Nokia can't enter the smartphone market with its own product until 2016 due to the acquisition agreement with Microsoft, but once that embargo is lifted, we expect the ex-handset maker to come in full force with a range of new smartphones. After going all out with Windows Phone operating system, Nokia is now expected to launch new Android smartphones, after the failed Nokia X series experiment that seems to have been completely buried by Microsoft. Until then, Nokia is now selling its amazingly popular Android tablet, the N1. Sadly, the slate is only available in a few countries (China, Taiwan), but we expect it to go on sale in additional countries in the coming months.

The first Android smartphones are likely to be low-end
According to NokiaPowerUser, sources familiar with Nokia's plans claim the Finnish company will launch its first smartphones as early as next year. They will be powered by Google's Android mobile platform and will be manufactured by Foxconn. Nokia has already partnered with the Chinese company for the release of N1, so it makes sense to continue to collaborate with one of the largest handset/tablet manufacturers. The same source say the first Nokia smartphones powered will be launched in China, India and some European countries. Judging by the selection of markets, there's a high chance that these Nokia Android smartphones will belong to the low tier.

Nokia is also said to debut its marketing campaign, as well as official product websites by the end of this year, so we should have more details on the company's Android smartphones in the next couple of months.

Nokia Android smartphones
Image credits to Nokia

Snapdragon 820 Gets Benchmarked, See How It Performs

Back at MWC 2015 in Barcelona, Qualcomm teased the successor of the notorious Snapdragon 810 chipset, called the Snapdragon 820.

We were told that the SoC would take advantage of the company’s own custom-designed 64-bit CPU cores, dubbed Kyro, and in recent days, it was revealed these cores would be clocked at up to 3.0GHz. Well, this week, the Snapdragon 820 popped up in benchmarks, although the traces have been wiped clean since then. Luckily, the folks at My Drives (via GSM Dome) have managed to capture a screenshot showcasing the results in the benchmark tests. We’ve recently told you that the Snapdragon 820 will be built using Samsung’s 14nm node manufacturing technology, the same that was used in the construction of the Exynos 7420 powering the Samsung Galaxy S6. So, let’s see how the new silicone performs.

Will the Snapdragon 820 clear Qualcomm's name?
Snapdragon 820 was put through the Geekbench test, where it scored 1,732 points in the single core test and 4,970 points in the multi-core test. Now, let’s see how these results compare to the Snapdragon 810 inside the Xiaomi Mi Note Pro and the Exynos 7420 fueling the Samsung Galaxy S6. The Snapdragon 820 beat the single-core results of the Exynos 7420, which managed to score 1,486 points, and of the Snapdragon 810 that only grabbed 1,227. As for the multi-core test, the Snapdragon 820’s 4,970 topped its predecessor, which scored 4,424 points. However, it failed to tower over the Exynos 7420 and its 5,284 score.

Even so, judging by these test results, it seems that the Snapdragon 820 will be able to deliver decent performance, a lot better than the Snapdragon 810 at least. We expect the first mobile devices powered by Snapdragon 820 to start making an appearance on the market soon enough. Xiaomi’s next-gen flagships, the Mi5 and Mi5 Pro, are both rumored to make a debut with a Snapdragon 820 under the hood.

Word on the street has it that LG is also working towards a ramped-up version of its current flagship, which will arrive in the wild as the G4 Pro and will bundle a Snapdragon 820 on the inside.

Snapdragon 820 shows up in benchmarks

Exynos 7420 benchmark results

Snapdragon 810 benchmark results
Images credits to MyDrivers

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