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All posts tagged Acer

Windows Phone Is Alive Despite It All…

… Windows Phone is alive, regardless of a week where many declared it dead… again. The last Warptest post looked at some of the BS being reported.

During the day, the post prompted some disagreement which led to much discussion.

You Won’t Believe What Happened Next.. On Facebook

One of my friends leapt right into the fray to discuss this last post and my conclusions and this triggered several thoughts:

Windows Phone Is Alive - Facebook

The big problem with any metrics is they are hugely prone to misinterpretation out of context or people have a causation bias. In this case, I remembered just how hard it was to order one of the new Windows Phone 950 / 950 XL’s since their launch and there were repeated stories about limited numbers in the stores.

  1. So Q4 of 2015 did have lower numbers of devices sold, allegedly because less new devices were available.
  2. The next equally important point was OEM buy in. Since Windows 10’s launch the OEMs had been going wild announcing new Windows Phone devices. Several were seen at CES but weren’t available yet for consumers to buy. These are coming to market in Q1 / Q2 2016.

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Here are links to the 3 phones shown above (and there are more):

So we have two major factors skewing the numbers there. Meanwhile Windows Central were realizing that their numbers were a source of some of the malarkey going on and so they released a post clarifying the issue and providing some serious context.

Hat tip to Windows Central for taking responsibility here. The title of the post “The journalist’s guide to reading tea leaves aka AdDuplex Windows Phone Stats” is a lot nicer than many people deserve for the FUD they spread.

The Warptest POV

Little did I know earlier today that both Xiaomi and Sony were going to be in the news today as additional OEMs launching Windows Phones. Xiaomi are expected to launch a Windows 10 version of their Mi-5 handset and Sony are expected to announce a Windows Phone 10 addition to the ultrasleek Vaio line (at long last James Bond may get a Windows Phone in the next movie).

That’s right folks, yet more OEMs buying into Windows Phone. What do they know that we don’t?

I’m waiting on several mainstream startups with huge popularity to deliver Universal Apps onto Windows Phone and I know of a few others working on migrating their iOS apps thru the Microsoft iOS Bridge project. Discretion being the watchword here, all I can say is watch this space for when the news embargo lifts.

Let’s boil this down: there’s a bunch of bloggers out there who should be asking themselves if they did right by Windows Phone & the people who worked on building the platform. These posts had an impact on consumers who were considering Windows Phone. I was contacted by several people about this today asking if they should not be moving to Windows Phone. After answering their questions and scheduling with one to come try my phone, I told them simply, “Windows Phone is Alive.”

“It’s alive..” with thanks to Young Frankenstein via YouTube.com

At the end of the day, Windows Phone is alive. Seeing what comes next is the exiting part.

What were they thinking?

Earlier today all the big tech blogs reported that Acer CEO JT Wang gave Microsoft a direct warning not to move ahead with the October 26th release of the ARM based Windows Surface RT (Intel Pro version to follow 90 days after).

 The original article was on the Financial Times but to link to it would be to cause undue pain and suffering through excessive FT popup notices so I’m linking to Engadget who reference the original article.

 

Acer CEO

Acer have a history of being the OEM who isn’t afraid to tell Microsoft how to run its business however I find myself asking,

 Why did they wait so long to speak out in this fashion?

More to the point does the CEO actually think that with less than two months to go before launch Microsoft are going to roll over and say,

 “Hey guys, that Surface thing well we decided in the end that Tablets and our own hardware line just isn’t our thing”

 Who the heck is this company anyway?

Acer were back in the day just another white box OEM in the game but progressively from 2000 they have managed to both rebrand themselves and take an increasingly larger bite out of the PC market.

In fairness, this was done with some smart acquisitions along the way; the Acer Group counts amongst its product line the following PC brands:

Acer group

 

Gartner are quoted on Wikipedia Market Share of PC Vendors as indicating that Acer over the last 5 years alone begun clawing its way to 4th position behind HP, Lenovo and  Dell.

What Have Acer Ever Done For Me?

 

With thanks to Youtube User Klute2006

 

You are probably scratching your head right now and trying to remember those noticeable products in the PC world that they delivered.

In the past few years only two come to mind:

* The Acer Iconia W series – Windows 7 tablets with a dockable keyboard

* The Acer Iconia A series – Android tablets with a lighter, smaller form factor

 The rest of their product line on their site does nothing for me personally the way Asus, Toshiba or Samsung’s product lines do. The words generic or bleh comes to mind.

 

The Warptest Perspective

Besides the obvious linkbait and free PR from poking a stick at the Microsoft Bear prior to the Surface release it is clear that as an OEM Acer have always been less than happy with their relationship with Redmond.

I’m convinced that Acer believe they need to drop Windows as their tablet OS. Currently they are producing and supporting two tablet OS platforms Windows 7 and Android. Along comes Microsoft and springs Surface on them. Now as I mentioned in my post in June: “Does the Surface mean no more OEMs?” The OEMs should be using the Surface as a guiding light for inspiration and new innovation.

I believe they always intended to drop Windows for their tablets and reduce overhead in production and support. The Surface affords them a reason to justify this and lay the blame at Microsoft’s door.

I believe they are missing the point and have chosen to remain generic and mundane.

They are assuming that should only the Acer brand of PCs and tablets leave Windows they will continue to maintain their market share. They are also assuming that what has worked with Windows will work (forgive me, you know who you are) in the very much fragmented Android market.

At this time they do not have a competitive tablet for the Samsung Note, Asus series or Google Nexus 7, all of whom Acer will have to compete with.

The big question is will other OEMs choose to follow Acer’s lead or will they rise to the challenge and design innovative Windows 8 based competitors for the Surface? What’s your point of view?

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ZTE Jump In The Windows Phone Pool With ZTE Tania

This is the ZTE offering, their newly released Windows Phone “Tania”:

image

ZTE Tania is classified as a “budget” level Windows Phone competing with phones like the Acer Allegro, HTC Radar and Samsung Omnia. I’m not going to get into spec comparisons. The phone spec can be found here and the image links to Expansys UK, the site I first saw the phone on.

ZTE Tania - price list

In and of itself the phone is another Windows Phone but what seems interesting is the trend of the last few months; after Nokia’s announcement of the Lumia 800 and 710 (and soon in the US the 910) Acer, Samsung, HTC and LG all released phones in this price range with similar spec (actually the LG spec is a bit higher but price is comparable).

Now we see a company like ZTE who clearly sees the potential in the market jumping on the Windows Phone bandwagon. Given that this is not a company quite like the others in scale or reputation this is a bold move but one rewarded by a sound deal with Virgin UK to offer Tania on contract through their stores.

This could be one of those unnoticed yet definitive moments where a dambuster occurs. This might be the signal to other Handset players that they should be moving fast to get a Windows Phone to the market.

Between the increased number of handsets (indicating increased confidence in the platform) and the speed that 60000+ apps  have become available for Windows Phone it seems that the initially slow and cautious adoption of Windows Phone is behind us and Windows Phone is set to take an increasing bite out of the Smart Phone market.

Acer Allegro Is The Reasonable Windows Phone

Acer who have experienced a revitalization of their product line and probably some serious rebranding over the last few years are beginning sales of their Windows Phone 7.5 Mango phone the Allegro on December the 1st.

the-acer-allegro-mango

The phone is going to be offered in silver and dark blue from what I can ascertain. Information on the Acer site (UK, USA or Israel) was sparse if not nonexistent.

Thankfully, I was able to find more information via Expansys.com

It would appear that Acer are offering the Allegro at a substantially cheaper price than competing companies (Samsung, HTC, Nokia to name most).

How does the phone stack up, well I can only compare the spec until I can get my hands on any of these devices. I chose to compare it to the new pretender to the throne The Nokia Lumia 800 and to a comparable device the HTC Radar: –

Company Nokia HTC Acer
Model Lumia 800 Radar Allegro
Cost £440 £330 £260
Platform

Windows Phone 7.5 Mango

Windows Phone 7.5 Mango

Windows Phone 7.5 Mango

Weight 142g 137g 126g
CPU 1.4 GHz / Qualcomm 8255 chipset / 3D Graphics HW Accelerator 1 GHz 1 GHz Qualcomm 8255
Memory 512MB RAM / 16GB storage 8 GB / Available storage: up to 6.54 GB / RAM: 512 MB Internal phone storage: 8GB / RAM: 512MB
Display 3.7 inches 480×800 AMOLED 3.8-inch touch screen with 480 x 800 resolution 3.6-inch WVGA
Network GSM 850-900-1800-1900 / HSDPA 850-900-1900-2100 HSPA/WCDMA: Europe/Asia: 900/2100 MHz / Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE:850/900/1800/1900 MHz HSPA/WCDMA Europe/Asia: 900/2100 MHz / Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE:850/900/1800/1900 MHz
Internet 3G/EDGE 3G/GPRS/EDGE GPRS/EDGE
Wi Fi IEEE 802.11 b/g/n IEEE 802.11 b/g/n IEEE 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth Bluetooth 2.1 Bluetooth 2.1 Bluetooth 2.1
Camera 8MP 3264×2448 / Carl Zeiss optics / autofocus / dual-LED flash 5 megapixel with F2.2 lens, dual LED flash, and BSI sensor (for better low-light capture) / Front camera: VGA front camera / HD video recording: 720p HD video recording 5 megapixel camera with autofocus / 720p HD video recording
Location A-GPS Internal GPS antenna, HTC Locations, Bing Maps Internal GPS antenna
Connectors 3.5 mm stereo audio jack / Micro-USB 3.5 mm stereo audio jack / Micro-USB 3.5 mm stereo audio jack / Micro-USB
Sensor(s) information not available Gyro Sensor, Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor Gyro Sensor, Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor
Power Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery 1450 mAh / 13hrs-265hrs Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery 1520 mAh / Talk time: WCDMA: Up to 485 minutes, GSM: Up to 600 minutes Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery 1300 mAh
Size (L*W*T) 116.5 x 61.2 x 12.1 mm 120.5 x 61.5 x 10.9mm 115.8 x 59 x 12.9 mm

*the information above was aggregated from the Expansys.com and Nokia site

The Acer Allegro is a competitor with the HTC Radar at a notably cheaper price.

What it comes down to though is holding each phone, trying them out, quality of sound / phone call and of course bundled apps on each phone.

The Nokia Lumia is clearly in a different class with more powerful CPU and higher resolution camera.

I’m unfamiliar with Acer products but know HTC. Even at £70 I would have to do a hands on comparison to be convinced to decide which handset purely on price.

If you absolutely have to have a Windows Phone and don’t want to enter into a contract with a cell provider then if price is an object this might be the phone for you.