Microsoft readies new phone launch with AT&T

by Zagros on October 16, 2020

Al Bawaba Ltd.    ”Middle East & North African Newspapers - English ”
NEW YORK :  Microsoft Corp  is set to unveil a new line of phones running its Windows software on Monday, as it attempts to pull back market share from  Apple Inc  s iPhone and  Google Inc  s Android system in the fast-growing market for multi-featured smartphones .
The world s largest software company is hoping that the new phones, from handset makers such as Samsung, LG and HTC, will propel it back into the mobile market, which many see as the key to the future of computing.
The new phones, initially available on  AT&T Inc  s network, have already been shown off in prototype form, and are much closer in look and feel to Apple s iPhone, with colorful touch-screens and tiles for easy access to e-mail, the web, music and other applications.
Some analysts say they represent  Microsoft  s last chance to catch up with rivals, which overtook them in the past few years. Handsets are not expected to appear in stores for a month, so their success may not be judged until the new year.
Microsoft  has just a 5 percent share of the global smartphone market, according to research firm  Gartner , compared with 9 percent a year ago.  Google  s Android system has a 17 percent market share, jumping from only 2 percent a year ago.
The market for multi-feature phones that allow users to e-mail, surf the web and play games, as well as have access to music and video is set to expand massively.
Gartner  expects almost 270 million smartphones to be sold around the world this year, up 56 percent from last year.
In comparison,  Gartner  expects only a 19 percent increase in worldwide PC sales to 368 million units this year.
Microsoft , whose stock is trading at the same level it was eight years ago, has been struggling to find a footing in phones and mobile computing.
Its share price has fallen almost 20 percent so far this year.
Earlier this year,  Microsoft  yanked its Kin phone aimed at teenagers off the market less than three months after launch. There are still no signs of an imminent Windows-powered tablet device to counter Apple s hot-selling iPad.


Microsoft  s new phones will have a tough job elbowing aside a revamped set of rivals. In August,  Research in Motion Ltd  launched its new  $200  BlackBerry Torch, with a touchscreen and slide-out keyboard.
In June, Apple launched its new  $200 to $300  iPhone 4, which is selling well despite some antenna problems.
A slew of similarly priced Android phones, such as  Motorola Inc  s Droid X and Samsung s Galaxy series are also grabbing customers.

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