Microsoft on Tuesday announced that phones running the latest version of Windows Mobile, version 6.5, will debut globally on October 6th at retail stores worldwide..
Microsoft has promised that the latest version of Microsoft’s mobile phone software will deliver new customer experiences through and improved easy-to-use interface, better browsing capabilities and access to valuable services, including Windows Marketplace for Mobile and Microsoft My Phone.
Industry Players Rally Behind Windows Phones
Partners from around the globe are committed to updating or expanding their portfolios to include phones with Windows Mobile 6.5.
• In North America: Mobile operators AT&T, Bell Mobility, Sprint, TELUS and Verizon Wireless, and phone manufacturers HP, HTC Corp., LG Electronics, Samsung and Toshiba Corp.
• In Europe: Mobile operators Orange, Deutsche Telekom AG and Vodafone Group Plc, and phone manufacturers Acer, HTC, LG Electronics, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and Toshiba
• In Latin America: Mobile operator TIM Brazil, and phone manufacturers HTC, LG Electronics and Samsung
• In Asia Pacific: Mobile operators NTT DOCOMO Inc., SOFTBANK Mobile Corp., SK Telecom, Telstra and WILLCOM Inc., and phone manufacturers Acer Inc., HTC, LG Electronics, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and Toshiba
This list is very interesting to say the least since several of the players haven’t been big in Windows Mobile phones in the U.S. or Canada. While Toshiba debuted one of the first Windows Mobile phones in the U.S. in 2005, it hasn’t shipped a phone to the U.S. in years. HP’s phones haven’t appeared on official carrier rosters for a while. While LG announced in February that they would develop up to 10 Windows Mobile phones this year, they only have one on the market right now, the Incite for AT&T.
It’s a little easier to guess which Samsung and HTC phones will lead the Windows Mobile 6.5 charge: the upcoming Samsung Omnia 2 for Verizon, and the HTC Touch Pro2. The Touch Pro2 is currently out on Sprint and T-Mobile running Windows Mobile 6.1, though T-Mobile is missing from the 6.5 list. HTC’s Touch Diamond2 is also expected to come to the US and to be upgradeable to Windows Mobile 6.5.
AT&T confirmed that some devices will be upgradeable from Windows Mobile 6.1 to 6.5, though the company didn’t say which ones. Samsung said in its original Omnia 2 announcement that the Verizon Wireless Omnia 2 would come out with Windows Mobile 6.1 and be upgradeable to 6.5.
Toshiba currently makes a powerful Windows Mobile phone called the TG01 which has not been introduced in the U.S. HP’s Windows Mobile phones, such as the Editor’s Choice iPAQ 910, are sold as part of big-business deployments and not typically sold through carriers.