Windows Phone users: LTE models may be closer than you think

Windows Phone users: LTE models may be closer than you think

Summary: Microsoft and partners are ready to launch at least three new LTE Windows Phone models in the first half of 2012, according to reports.

SHARE:

Word has begun leaking out -- thanks in large part to Windows SuperSite's Paul Thurrott -- as to what U.S. users of Windows Phone can expect in early 2012.

Thurrott doesn't say in his December 29 post about new LTE phones and carriers where he got his information. When I asked him, he said his information came from "internal documentation."  So it sounds to me like this is, indeed, what Microsoft and partners are likely to be planning to disclose at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.

According to Thurrott, there are three LTE-based Windows Phone handsets that will ship on AT&T before the middle of 2012 --the Nokia ACE, HTC Radiant, and Samsung Mendel. (The ACE is due March 18, he says.) He also reports that the Nokia Lumia 710 (which Microsoft and Nokia have already confirmed will be out in mid-January on T-Mobile) will be available on Verizon in April 2012. The Lumia 710 is not an LTE device, which makes Verizon's supposed ultimatum -- LTE or else, Microsoft -- somewhat toothless.

(Nokia is slated to hold a press conference at CES on January 9, the same day that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will be keynoting as part of Microsoft's final CES appearance.)

There's no word in Thurrott's post as to when/if Verizon will add any Windows Phones supporting LTE to its lineup. So far, there's still only one Windows Phone available on Verizon: The first-generation HTC Trophy.

One thing we still don't know is whether the new LTE devices will be running something beyond the "Mango" Windows Phone operating system. Last year I heard there were two "Tango" releases coming after Mango (known internally as Tango 1 and Tango 2). Tango 1, according to my contacts, was focused on adding support in new markets. Tango 2 supposedly was/is focused on bringing Windows Phone to lower priced smartphones. The next major Windows Phone operating system update, codenamed "Apollo," supposedly is a late 2012 release -- as I noted way back in December 2010.

One other note: I've refrained from commenting on all the posts this week about why Windows Phone has sold so abysmally to date. I feel like we know the answers (at least in the U.S.): Microsoft was late to market and didn't feel the need to pay carrier-store reps commissions or engage in guerrilla marketing.

It's worth remembering that Microsoft many times grows its share simply by waiting for its competitors to stumble. That's what happened with the Xbox. It could happen -- aided by a push from Microsoft on the legal front (in Android's case, at least) -- in phones.

Topics: Wi-Fi, Microsoft, Mobility, Networking, Nokia, Operating Systems, Software, Telcos, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

34 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • So what?? LTE is not even in 2% of the US ....

    ... and most of the world has no plans to be on LTE.

    Seriously, right now unless you live within the very small area where LTE is available, investing on a power hungry device and paying extra for a service you can't get is kind of dumb.
    wackoae
    • RE: Windows Phone users: LTE models may be closer than you think

      @wackoae

      agreed but consumers don't know that. carriers push data plans and LTE is a gold mine and if window sphone doesn't have it, it will be dropped.
      neonspark
      • RE: Windows Phone users: LTE models may be closer than you think

        @neonspark

        Bingo! Carriers are what built Android and I-Phone sales as well. MS needs to roll up its sleeves and go gorilla! Hockey Masks and hand grenades will win the hearts of consumers! My family has already converted to the Windows Phone platform. We don't dare touch Android because we prefer to keep our trash in a can at the street corner. We ditched our Apple products as well because who wants to be a drone that looks and acts like everyone else?
        Rob.sharp
      • Drone or delusional

        I'd go for drone, if I could find a use for a "smart" phone. Why people want to be chained to work etc by a mobile is beyond me.
        ego.sum.stig
      • RE: Windows Phone users: LTE models may be closer than you think

        rob.sharp@... - 'Hockey Masks and hand grenades will win the hearts of consumers' - LOL! It's Hockey Sticks. Hockey Masks just make us think of Jason from Friday the 13th. .... er .... nevermind. Microsoft is just as scarey as Jason.
        The Danger is Microsoft
    • RE: Windows Phone users: LTE models may be closer than you think

      @wackoae
      MS fanboys are starting to sound like Apple fanboys back when Apple offered terrible value for the money. Yes, not having something you can easily turn off is now a feature. And complaining about not having it is your own fault (regardless of your specific needs).
      anono
      • What about STATING THE OBVIOUS is faboyism?

        @anono I guess Android fanboys don't like it when somebody shows them that bragging rights mean nothing when the bragging gives absolutely no benefits to the bragger.
        wackoae
      • Apple never offered terrible value for the money.

        @anono
        And Mac user know that.

        That really was just a troll statement, right? Why else would you lie about something like that?
        William Farrel
      • RE: Windows Phone users: LTE models may be closer than you think

        @wackoae
        Say what?
        Have LTE (AT&T) and it run great! Have 4G if no LTE. Then I have 3G if no other...

        Love the options!!!

        iOS and WP don't offer it.
        No brag, just fact.
        rhonin
    • Go prepaid

      @wackoae

      Totally agree. My parents live in a rural area but get Verizon 3G with the MIFI device. The speeds, with a clean connection, are quite good.

      MS needs to go huge into prepaid in order to out flank Verizon, who has no intention of truly jumping on the WP bandwagon.

      If MS' US market share doesn't crack 10% by the end of 2012, they need to buy Sprint as a strategic move. At some point, Google will move to buy or deploy their own wireless network, which means MS can seize first mover's advantage.
      jjworleyeoe
  • RE: Windows Phone users: LTE models may be closer than you think

    Don't need to engage in gorilla marketing? Obviously. That said Nokia's event with Deadmau5 in London was exactly the type of thing MS needs to be doing.
    MSFT_Tinkering
    • Deadmau5

      Hi, I think that marketing/promo was from Nokia, not MS. But MS probably footed part of it... Thanks. MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
    • RE: Windows Phone users: LTE models may be closer than you think

      @webdev511@...

      Wp7 is almost DEAD
      Sultansulan
      • They outlived your trolls, Sultansulan

        @Sultansulan
        people see your fear, and understand it.
        Why a phone operating system should frighten you so is illogical.

        It makes no sense. :|
        Tim Cook
      • RE: Windows Phone users: LTE models may be closer than you think

        @Mister Spock - Coming from the finger tips of one who is scared their boss won't make commission this month. You bust us up, and it's not just your ears that make us laugh!
        The Danger is Microsoft
      • RE: Windows Phone users: LTE models may be closer than you think

        @Sultansulan You are a sad person. Windows Phone is a breath of fresh air. Windows 8 will further the Metro gospel to the masses.
        jatbains
  • RE: Windows Phone users: LTE models may be closer than you think

    Thanks MJ for the common sense regarding WinPhone sales to date. The doom-saying and/or hand-wringing from other tech bloggers demonstrates the worst in tech blogging: opinion devoid of fact and evidence. It appears Microsoft will be ramping up the marketing of its phones well above the first year level (admittedly, that would not be tough to do). I watch very little commercial TV and I've seen repeated airings of a pair of WinPhone ads so it appears there must be a fairly large buy at work right now. <br><br>As for the main point of your post, just what is the truth about LTE and battery life? I assume the real drainer of the battery on an LTE phone will be the same as on my HSPDA+ phone: use of video. Or does the LTE technology itself consume more power just handling regular data?
    cantbeme
    • RE: Windows Phone users: LTE models may be closer than you think

      @cantbeme
      LTE radios themselves use a lot more power. It is the reason why, to date, there really isn't a really "usable" LTE phone. Those are probably at least six months away.

      That said, MS should offer it because there are those who spend their day near a power outlet and think the tradeoff is worth it. The whole point of having an "open" OS like WP is so that it can run on whatever configuration users want. Right now, the fact that there is nothing above a mid-tier WP available is really hurting their sales.

      In addition to 3G, WPs max out at:
      16 GB of storage RAM.
      800x480 screen resolution
      1.5 GHz [i]single core[/i] processors
      -- All tech available approximately a year ago.
      x I'm tc
    • battery life and LTE

      Hi. I don't know how much LTE drains batteries beyond the many anecdotes and reviews I've seen claiming as much. I have not tried any LTE phones myself. MS has said they were waiting to provide LTE support with WP until battery issues were worked out, but it's not entirely clear to me if that was an excuse on their part for not having support for it yet in their OS/platform. MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
  • RE: Windows Phone users: LTE models may be closer than you think

    Verizon needs to step up its WP7 game. Selling only 2 WP7 phones they are going to miss out on a lot of revenue. Due to the absolutely horrible customer service I receive every time I go into a Verizon store I am highly considering switching to another carrier, one that supports WP7 and one that will acknowledge that I'm in their store and willing to spend money.
    Loverock Davidson-