retailer

No, the title isn't a typo. UK retailer Littlewoods has the Samsung ATIV S listed for £699. That's over $1100 should you be reading this article from across the pond. Now, it's understandable that hardware (particularly the latest smartphones) can sometimes cost an arm and a leg. But for a well known and sizeable retailer to charge £700 for a mobile phone is slightly baffling.

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ShopTo app for Windows Phone now available

UK online video game retailer ShopTo (www.shopto.net) has released an app for Windows Phone, accompanying its Android and iOS apps already available on the market. The Windows Phone app enables users to browse, search, pre-order, purchase and set notifications for the catalogue of stock available at the retailer.

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We're not ones to publicly announce birthdays for each and every company in our industry, but today's a slightly special day. Clove (www.clove.co.uk), a UK mobile phone retailer has turned 20 year old. The company started up back in 1992 and as-of-today continues to provide a top notch service for those seeking unlocked mobile devices and / or accessories.

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We've previously seen retailers and carrier stores get things wrong. Whether it be labelling Windows Phones as Android handsets, or by listing incorrect specifications - mistakes can happen. But what about publishing incorrect pricing for the latest Nokia flagship? Australian retailer Harvey Norman made that very mistake when revealing the price for the Lumia 920.

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How expensive is HTC's new hardware?

Pricing for the HTC 8X and HTC 8S, which were announced yesterday at the manufacturer's Windows Phone event in New York, have been revealed by online UK retailer Unlocked Mobiles. While both handsets aren't entirely matching Nokia's Lumia line of Apollo hardware, the designs and technology powering both the 8S and 8X ensures they're not left behind in a smoke trail.

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A few days ago we reported on PC Mag's "study" (we use that terms loosely since the sample was so small) on carriers and how they are pushing/not-pushing Windows Phone 7 in the stores, specifically if retail associates were supporting the platform or undermining it. Unfortunately, between their report and your user reports in comments (something we've heard from months too in forums), it seems that the retail associates are far from endorsing the new OS, even to those who are directly asking for it.

Now, two more reporters have run the same tests (more or less) and have had the same results. Jessica Van Sack of the Boston Herald shares her story doing the same experiment:

"I tested that theory at several Verizon, AT&T and Sprint wireless stores in downtown Boston on Friday, every sales rep, without fail, tried to sell me an iPhone or an Android phone while inevitably dismissing WP7 with vague phrases like “In terms of productivity, it’s just not there yet,” or “I’m not really sure about that one. I haven’t really used it.”

Likewise, Joe Romaine of International Business Times relates his story going back a few months ago to a T-Mobile store in Manhattan. The salesperson stated: "Windows Phone 7 is very unreliable. Its has many problems. We get complaints all the time from people who bought them from us." and proceeded to try and talk him out of the device.

All of this, while still anecdotal, seems to back up readers' experiences in the stores as well. However, Microsoft has responded to the matter to PC Mag directly. Greg Sullivan, Windows Phone product manager noted:

"It's true that there's work to do from a marketing standpoint, and we have teams in place that are doing retail salesperson training, providing them with evaluation devices so they can use it and become more familiar...There's a whole host of efforts that are being undertaken to help get the work out, and it does take a little time."

Sullivan finally concludes with hope that the Nokia deal helps in this regard, noting Nokia's strong retail presence. Also, perhaps disappointingly, Microsoft is not yet prepared to offer cash-incentives for retail associates who successfully push Windows Phone. For us, we're still convinced that we won't see any real 'breaking point' in Windows Phone in terms of marketshare till late 2011. By that time, we hope to see such reports of retail sabotaging on the decline.

For now, you can document your experiences by using this website, Windows Phone Tattletale, started by Robert McLaws (This replaces the earlier OneNote method that we reported on).

Source: PCMag, Boston Herald, International Business Times; Thanks, Brianna, for the heads up on 'Tattletale'

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