Samsung goes for Windows Phone 8


But how will Samsung differentiate against competitors over coming months?

Following Samsung's messy $1 billion defeat in the courts against Apple one week ago, the company has hit back with the launch of the Ativ family of Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 products at IFA 2012 in Berlin this week.

Samsung launched its Ativ Tab tablet and Ativ S smartphone at the show yesterday. The claim to fame on these devices is that they are the first commercial products to use Windows Phone 8.

However, while the devices are the first to run on the Microsoft platform, Samsung will soon find it hard to differentiate its products from those due out over coming months from other manufacturers, as the Windows Phone 8 specifications mean that much of Windows Phone 8 devices' nuts and bolts have to be pretty much the same.

Malik Saadi, principal analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media, said that the investment made to make these devices shows that Samsung is being serious. Yet he added: 'If you take a closer look at the Windows Phone 8 platform specifications, it is clear that, as far as enabled devices are concerned, differentiation on the hardware side will be difficult. This means all Windows Phone 8 devices will come with similar hardware (multicore processor, same display size and quality, similar memory capacity, etc.). A number of devices powered by Windows Phone 8 are expected to be launched by various manufacturers in the fourth quarter 2012, the majority of which will come with similar, or even better, hardware capabilities so Ativ S cannot be differentiated in this way.

'Informa believes that differentiation in the Windows Phone 8 ecosystem will be based on three main elements: mobile broadband access in the form of LTE; differentiation at the application or service layer; or differentiation on pricing,' continued Saadi. 'Ativ S does not support LTE, which could limit its success in markets where the technology is already entrenched; these include the US, Japan, South Korea and parts of Western Europe. It is also surprising that the phone does not come in a CDMA variant, which represents a strong gap in the Windows Phone device portfolio. Samsung could have capitalised on this.

'Also, from the specifications of Ativ S, there is no evidence that this phone could be differentiated on the basis of exclusive applications or services (image processing, music, navigation, etc). This leads one to think that price will be a key differentiating point for this phone,' concluded Saadi.

Ativ Tab delivers a full Windows 8-based PC experience in a tablet. With a 10.1 inch display, measuring 8.9mm thick, the Ativ Tab boots up without lagging and comes with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT preview.

Ativ S is a new smartphone for both work and entertainment. It has a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and HSPA+42 connectivity on a 4.8 inch HD Super AMOLED display.

Samsung also introduced the Galaxy Note II, a smartphone for on-the-go creativity. Since the first introduction of the Galaxy Note category, Samsung has enhanced and expanded Galaxy Note product experiences. In May 2012, Samsung introduced 'Premium Suite' software upgrade for enhanced user experiences with an Ice Cream Sandwich operating system upgrade for new features such as Shape Match and Formula Match. In mid August, Samsung expanded the category with the Galaxy Note 10.1, which has a 10.1 inch large screen and a natural S Pen experience with enhanced features for users' productivity, creativity and learning ability. The Samsung Galaxy Note II helps users discover information faster, capture ideas, and express them in a more organised and efficient manner. This is achieved using the new S Pen, which provides a more precise and natural writing experience that feels like writing with a pen and paper. The smartphone is due for launch in Europe from October.


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