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Base, a software startup owned by Future Simple (www.futuresimple.com) has gone on a development tear, releasing their new mobile Customer Relation Management (CRM) app for iOS, Android and now Windows Phone.

The app, which bears the same moniker as the startup who developed it, is a tool that allows businesses to track their sales and manage their contacts. It works in conjunction with Base's web-based desktop application so information is available across devices.

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Statistics from Localytics are showing that Nokia is now the key supplier of Windows Phones handsets worldwide. Whilst this news might not surprise many considering Nokias considerable push in the retail channels, it does paint an interesting picture of the state of play with the three main manufacturers. According to Localytics survey, Nokia is now clearly in pole position as of July with 59% of total sales.

While the survey shows Nokia winning in market share it also illustrates the rise of sales in Windows Phone units from January until the present.  Interestingly the growth looks almost to be exclusively with Nokia, the other device maker’s shipments look to have remained almost static since April.

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A few days ago, we visited London’s newest shopping mecca, Westfield to get a quick take on how much coverage Windows Phone is getting in the retail space. Much has been made about Windows Phone not having good retail exposure. We wanted to see if this was true and get a feel for how things look for Windows Phone in the UK's largest shopping centre.

Almost as soon as we entered the main concourse, we were surprised to find a full-blown ZTE promotional stand. Currently ZTE produce one Windows Phone, the Tango spec Tania, a device that’s somewhat hampered by having only 4GB memory it does make up for it with a generous 4.3" screen size. The stand was there primarily to promote a new Android phone but the Tania was along for the ride and being displayed right up alongside it.

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Nokia has reportedly shipped 6.9 million Lumias

Sales numbers and estimates are always a tricky thing, especially when you don’t have concrete numbers to work with. We also tend to boast the good news and downplay the bad so with that caveat we’ll provide you the latest in “market analysis”. Don’t worry, this one is mostly good.

Strategy Analytics is making quite the name for themselves this day if only because they tend to buck the trend when it comes to Nokia and Windows Phone. In their latest report (available here to subscribers), they claim that Nokia shipped (not necessarily sold) 6.9 million Lumia Windows Phone since its launch in Q4 2011 and up through Q2 2012. 

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Nokia has released their Q2 financial report today, which paints a somewhat unexpected picture. According to figures present in the document, Nokia has managed to sell four million Lumia Windows Phones worldwide. This is up from their previous report of Q1 where Nokia CEO Stephen Elop stated the company "exceeded expectations" in the US.

We've been looking at the growth figures for the previous quarters and the situation looks strong for the Lumia line of Windows Phone with exponential growth taking place. Pushing out over a million devices in Q4 2011, followed by further increase in Q1 2012, we're seeing a positive trend with four million Lumias heading to consumers. Carriers in Canada have also previously revealed they are pleased with how Nokia Windows Phones have been received by customers. These numbers are positive, with the "Rolling Thunder" marketing push proving to be successful, not to mention the continuous rollout of both Smoked by Windows Phone and Dare to Live campaigns.

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Although we cheered at Nokia dropping the price of the AT&T Lumia 900 a few days ago, many detractors in the tech media looked for a negative angle to the story, resulting in some damning headlines this past week.

What was the other tale they were spinning? That the Lumia 900 must not be doing well—after all, why would Nokia (and AT&T) cut the price “so soon” after launch? Forgetting the fact that “so soon” is exactly 3 months or we’ve seen price drops after launches before. That didn’t stop various media outlets like this example which boasts

“Finnish phone maker Nokia has been forced to cut the price of its Lumia 900 by half, just weeks after launching it”.

Forced? Just weeks? That story went over the ANI wire to a lot of news outlets. One problem though: they were wrong.

Read more after the break..

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Yet another day, yet another roundup of somewhat exciting news involving Microsoft.  We’ll summarize the stories for you to keep you abreast of what’s going on in the world of Redmond. Today’s stories we found interesting:

  • Intel CEO remarks that 20 Windows 8 Tablets are coming this fall
  • Microsoft is back with a new keyboard dubbed ‘the Wedge’ (and mouse)
  • Windows Phone will grab 4% market share in the US in 2012?

Head on past the break to get all the info…

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File this under old news but good news but T-Mobile is pleased as punch with the companies selection of Windows Phone. Since adding the HTC Radar 4G and Nokia Lumia 710, T-Mobile has seen sales of Windows Phone double in the past eight months.

Brad Duea, Senior Vice President of Product Development at T-Mobile, comments,

"We continue to see strong sales and adoption of the platform with the Nokia Lumia 710 consistently being one of our top five selling smartphones since it launched in January 2012. Not only that but, as expected, we’ve seen a large number of first-time smartphone users select a Windows Phone as their device of choice with 55% of all upgrades to the Lumia 710 coming from a messaging or feature phone."

According to T-Mobile the Lumia 710 has some of the highest handset satisfaction scores and feedback from customers has been very positive on Windows Phone software. With regards to the future of Windows Phones at T-Mobile Duea notes,

"We’re bullish on the future of Windows Phone. In fact, IDC’s report out earlier this month predicts Windows Phone will surpass iOS by 2016 – and we expect Windows Phone to continue to play a prominent role in our product portfolio and marketing efforts."

T-Mobile is slated to be a launch partner for Windows Phone 8 later this fall. Maybe we'll see more of Carly carrying a Windows Phone in the future.

Source: T-Mobile Blog

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JDB Pocketware has a nice selection of Windows Phone apps over at the Marketplace including Handyscan, SkyManager and 7Dialer. To celebrate reaching 1,000 likes over on Facebook, the Windows Phone developer has decided to share the joy by offering all their titles for just $.99 this weekend.

Just head on over to JDB Pocketware's Facebook page and "like" them. You'll then be sent to a page that has the link to JDB Pocketware's software sales page where you can send the app links to your Windows Phone.  The sale covers JDB Pocketware's entire app catalog including the latest title Fat You (a photo morphing app) and their financial app, MoBudget.

For many of the Windows Phone apps, this is a $2.00 savings. So if you were thinking about moving from Handyscan Free to the paid version, now's your chance to save a few bucks.

Update: If you don't have a Facebook account, you can still take advantage of the sale prices.  Just go to the Marketplace and search for JDB Pocketware (or the software title itself).  The listings should reflect the sales prices.  Just remember the sale ends on July 2nd.

Thanks, everyone, for the tip!

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We're not too sure what to make out of AT&T running out of the HTC Titan I and Titan II online but if you head to their site, you can see for yourself.

Now we could explain away the original Titan becoming unavailable -- after all, AT&T would probably be happy to put away any stock on that device for it's bigger and better sequel. But even the Titan II is not available, which makes us wonder if HTC is having some component or production issues (or maybe they just forgot to make more, instantrimshot).

Could the Titan II be selling so well that they can't keep up? Obviously, we doubt that though we do have reports of general increases in Windows Phone sales due to the Lumia 900 (insert the whole "rising tide lifts all boats" idiom here) and maybe, just maybe the Titan II is seeing an uptick in purchases too.

Heck, it should. It's a great Windows Phone and a great smartphone, rocking the largest camera available on the market. Which reminds us, why have we not seen a single commercial boasting that fact? Seems like an easy sell to us but what do we know...

For those interested, Amazon Wireless still has the Titan II in stock, which is a reversal from a few weeks ago. It's also listed at the $149.99 price point. Natch. No word on supplies at local stores either, so your mileage may vary.

Source: AT&T; Thanks, kylengai, for the heads up

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File this under "vague but encouraging". T-Mobile's CEO Philipp Humm gave an interview with the Seattle Times where he talked about the transitions that company is going through including their future plans.

Humm was asked about Microsoft and Windows Phone in particular and while no firm numbers or details were given, the message was at least positive:

Q: T-Mobile made a commitment to push Windows Phone this year. How is that working out?

A: I think we have a very good relationship with Microsoft, and we discovered that, in particular, for customers who are new to smartphones, they really enjoy the simplicity of the Microsoft [user interface], so they like the design and the ease of it.

Q: Are Windows phones selling as well as you hoped?

A: We are so far quite pleased and I think Microsoft, if you talk to them, [is] quite pleased with T-Mobile.

Indeed, T-Mobile has been the 2nd most important carrier in the US for Windows Phone. They launched with the popular HD7, had the Dell Venue Pro and recently exclusively acquired the HTC Radar (review) and Nokia Lumia 710 (review). While those latter two phones won't woo those who want a high-end, large screen device, both phones have exceptionally high user satisfaction ratings (and they're amongst our favorite devices here at Windows Phone Central).

The comments above, while vague, do echo what Nokia CEO Stephen Elop noted back in Mobile World Congress. There in regards to the T-Mobile Lumia 710, Elop noted that sales were "exceeding expectations" which we'll take as a positive sign as well. (Currently, the Lumia 710 is #4 under best-selling smartphones on T-Mobile, while the Radar is #19.  Amazon Wireless has the Luma 710 at #6 and Radar at #7, respectively.)

Still, Windows Phone has a long away ahead and it's not clear that non-flagship devices like the Lumia 710 and HTC Radar can turn T-Mobile into the "must have" carrier for Windows Phone. Here's to hoping that T-Mobile still has a few Windows Phone tricks up their sleeve.

Source: Seattle Times

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Industry research firm Gartner just released its latest data on mobile phone sales for the first quarter of 2012. There are some interesting points to be pulled out of this report that I wanted to address.

Samsung dominates Android. Gartner’s data says that Korea-based Samsung shipped over 40% of all Android handsets last quarter. So that still leaves 60% of the market to other vendors, right? Yes, but according to Gartner none of these other vendors make up more than 10% of Android volume. None.

In terms of handset brands, Samsung is also now the #1 phone maker in the world, ahead of Nokia.

Nokia may have the #2 position in the market, but we need to remember that most of Nokia’s volume is based on the dying Symbian OS. Very little is based on its Windows-powered future at this point. So, considering that we’re looking at the death of the dumphone over the next few years, let’s look at smartphone vendors and volumes.

Samsung is the #1 player, having shipped 38 million smartphones. Most of these are Android powered, with a smaller number of Bada OS phones. Here’s how smartphone market share looks, by vendor, based on the Gartner data:

  1. Samsung with 26% market share
  2. Apple with 23%
  3. RIM with 7%

These are essentially the top 3 smartphone players right now. I realize that ZTE, LG and Huawei have a larger portion of the mobile market than RIM, but RIM is a pure play on smartphones whereas these three are not. Remember that other Android vendors have less than one quarter of Samsung’s volume.

 

What does this data mean to Windows Phone?

Back in late Feb, I wrote a post on Crackberry about how we’ll know if RIM is successful. In that article I suggested that, as the mobile phone market moves purely to smartphones, RIM could go from 3% market share to over 5%. I said they’ve got a shot at being the #4 player behind Samsung, Apple and Nokia (not necessarily in that order).

Although other vendors, such as HTC, have talked about building Windows Phone products, we all know that Nokia is the only true partner at this point. And it’s still early days in terms of understanding how this will all unfold.

Nokia’s big challenge is to migrate its customer base form a dying Symbian platform over to Windows Phone. That’s going to be a HUGE challenge in the developing markets, especially given the cost differential between cheap Symbian phones and expensive Windows powered phones. So it seems to me that Nokia could fall off the map here, ending up with much, much less market share than their current 19.8%.

Ideally, Microsoft would benefit form the support of more manufacturing partners. But if they can’t win more vendors over, they may as well buy Nokia and control their entire platform just as Apple and RIM do. For that matter, even Google is ready to fully control Android (via the Motorola acquisition) in the event that Samsung somehow moves to control its own platform.

I like Microsoft’s strategy of converging the user experience on mobile and desktop. It’s differentiated. Microsoft has always been a company who delivers great developer tools. Microsoft needs to win over developer momentum here, badly.

But, unfortunately, if either Microsoft of Nokia stumble here, the chances of Windows Phone becoming a dominant platform shrink significantly.

Nokia is still the # 2 global player in the mobile phone market. This is a good base on which to convert customers over to Windows Phones. But every quarter that Nokia bleeds share to the competition (mainly Android), the race gets much harder.

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Looks like there may be some good news for Nokia and Windows Phone after all, at least according to Kantar Worldpanel who has been accumulating sales of smartphones for the last 12 weeks across the globe.

The data suggests a strong increase in sales of Windows Phone in the United States where sales jumped from 1.9% in 2011 to 3.6% during the same time frame in 2012. What's more, that period for sales ends on March 18th which is a full 3 weeks before the AT&T Lumia 900 was available for purchase.

The increase in Windows Phone sales would mostly be attributable to the Lumia 710 on T-Mobile and the "Mango refresh" on AT&T with the Samsung Focus Flash, Focus S and HTC Titan making up the bulk of sales. Of course that 3.6% pales in comparison to Android (47.6%) and iOS (42.9%) during the same period though for the first time sales of Windows Phone outpaced RIM (3.2%) which is certainly a good sign.

World wide, Windows Phone also saw a large increase in Germany where Windows Phone has 6.2% sales (up from 2.9%). Great Britain and France all had sales at or near 3% while Spain and Australia were much lower at 1.1 and 1.6% respectively.

While these numbers are interesting, we're certainly more curious about the next batch of sales figures to see how the Lumia 900 helped sales in the US and the rest of the world.

Windows Phone certainly has a long road ahead but the OS may be finally breaking that glass ceiling from the last two  years.

Source: Kantar Worldpanel; via TechCrunch; image via Nokia

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According to Nokia's U.S. president Chris Weber, sales of the Lumia 900, which recently launched in the states, has been outpacing supply. We've covered how the LTE Windows Phone has been out of stock more-so than anything else, which is having an effect on other markets looking to stock the device.

It would appear as though the sellout on AT&T is indeed due to demand and not simply a case of not stocking anywhere near enough units for launch, with little demand / interest present.

"Demand has been outstripping supply for the first couple of weeks, and we've been working hard to rectify that. The demand for cyan [phones] is significantly outpacing supply. When you give people something different from a design perspective—colors, etc. —it really stands out, and consumers want that."

As well as discussing AT&T and how the Lumia 900 is selling, Weber also touched on actual AT&T retail store support for the Windows Phone.

"Generally, we’re seeing very good support. It’s a work in progress."

It would appear as though Verizon is on Nokia's goal list for the future with the understanding that having the CDMA carrier on-board as well as AT&T would certainly boost growth for both the manufacturer and Windows Phone. Unfortunately, no details were revealed surrounding Windows Phone 8 "Apollo" upgrades for Lumia smartphone owners.

"Both Nokia and Microsoft understand the importance for consumers to keep their devices fresh and updated. Without any announcements being made, we're working to make sure people have fresh and updated experiences on any device they may have."

Microsoft has come a long way since Windows Mobile and the NoDo rollout following MIX'11. Nokia has a lot riding on the Lumia family of Windows Phones to rebuild the strong brand the company had many years ago when bricks were still being held to our ears. Will we see "Apollo" on our current devices? We can't possibly say, but we wouldn't rule the possibility out.

Source: PCMag; thanks everyone who tipped us!

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Business Insider is reporting that Skype is causing Microsoft and by extension Nokia problems in terms of sales of their Lumia line. The information comes from the shareholder meeting held yesterday in Finland but since it was not open to the public or recorded, there's a lot of second hand "reporting" going, some of it dubious.

Reportedly a question was raised about Skype from a shareholder. From BI:

"Nokia seems to be having a problem with the distribution channel due to Skype" asking how will Nokia deal with this problem. Elop answered "If the operator doesn't want us, it doesn't want us. We will appeal to them with other arguments. We have more to offer to them. It is a good point to start the discussion from Skype."

Both BI and an awfully written personal blog called 'Communities Dominates Brands' spin this as Nokia having problems selling Lumias because of carrier opposition to Skype.

While we have little doubt that carriers don't like Skype and are concerned about how Microsoft pushes it on them, it seems like flat out ignorance to claim this is why Nokia may be having trouble selling their Lumia line. 

As anyone on Windows Phone who has used Skype knows, it's far from a threat to carriers especially at its current stage. Let's go over the reasons why this story is dubious and reeks of shoddy reporting:

  • Skype on Windows Phone doesn't run in the background and can't receive calls
  • Skype is widely available on the much more ubiquitous iOS and Android platforms where it can run in the background
  • Tango Video Call is also now widely available on all platforms and can receive calls in the background on Windows Phone, making it more of a "threat" than Skype
  • Skype doesn't come pre-installed on any Windows Phone; Tango Video Call does
  • The carriers are gearing up for Skype by capping data and raising costs as voice-usage starts to decline

Certainly we can see carriers being concerned with how Microsoft integrates Skype into Windows Phone 8 but that seems like something that could be negotiated by the OEMs and carriers on a per-device level. Microsoft has been very, very good at working with carriers (and cable providers) on content delivery and not stepping on their toes. In fact it's a core reason why the Xbox 360 is doing so well as a general entertainment device over Google TV.

The notion that Android and iOS get a pass on Skype with the carriers but Nokia (and only Nokia) are being singled out seems ludicrous, especially since Windows Phone is a drop in the bucket compared to Apple and Google's systems right now. In other words, while Nokia may be having problems getting traction in the smartphone market with Windows Phone, we don't think it's because of Skype.

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Though the past few days have looked fairly grim for Nokia, who posted a €590 loss for Q1, there is some positive news for the Finnish manufacturer.  It appears that signs of strong sales of the Lumia 900 have proven true, especially for the cyan model, which has now sold out completely on Best Buy's website.  We saw the same thing happen a few days ago over at AT&T, who initially sold out of both the black and cyan, but has since restocked their black models.  The cyan, however, still remains "temporarily out of stock." 

The Best Buy and AT&T sellouts are important both to consumers and carriers alike.  Carriers are beginning to see that Windows Phone can be a viable option in the marketplace.  Verizon recently said in a conference call that they see a place for Windows Phone and hinted at a future increase in offerings, though some European carriers remain skeptical.  Consumers are seeing that there now a clear alternative to Android and Apple.  In fact, our online poll indicated that the majority of people who became Lumia 900 owners were in fact converts from iPhones or Android devices.  Sure, it's not the most scientific evidence, but it's surely a positive sign.

Source: Best Buy; Thanks for the tip, kylengai!

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While we've already seen signs that the AT&T Nokia Lumia 900 is doing well. The Windows Phone has reached the top of Amazon.com's Best Seller list and finding the Lumia 900 in-stock has been a bit of a challenge.  Even Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak was out shopping for the Lumia 900.  

Even with the connectivity glitch, sales seem brisk and Nokia is scrambling to keep up with demand. Nokia spokesperson Karen Lachtanski states,

"We are producing more devices to satisfy demand as quickly as possible.”

To help Nokia keep pace with inventory demands, Nokia is seeing more customers opt to update their Lumia 900's to address the connectivity issues than exchanging them.

“The inventory situation is primarily a function of demand because we are seeing that most customers are opting to keep their units and simply update via Zune."

We are already seeing inventory of the black Lumia 900 being replenished and based on comments and AT&T retail store reps, the cyan model should be back in stock any day.

So far, it would appear that Nokia's re-entry into the North American market has gone well.  And expect the momentum to continue when the white Lumia 900 launches this weekend.  Let us hope that they have plenty of the white models on hand.

source: AllThingsD; Thanks, VaultBoy, for the tip!

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The other day we made note that the AT&T Nokia Lumia 900 was selling strong based on the rankings over at Amazon.com. Today, it appears the strong sales numbers are based on the availability or un-availability of the Lumia 900 in AT&T's retail stores.

We've received several tips that the cyan Lumia 900 is completely sold out at various AT&T Retail Stores. WPCentral.com reader MaulerX reports that you can't find a cyan Lumia 900 at any of the AT&T Retail Stores in New York City.  Even Wichita, Kansas stores are sold out (thanks Seth!) of all Lumia 900 models.

Even Paul Roth, AT&T's President of Retail Sales and Service, in a WSJ.com interview recognized the sales of the Lumia 900 has exceeded AT&T's expectations and that some AT&T stores had sold out of the Windows Phone, particularly the cyan model.

And it's not only the devices that appear to be selling well. Nokia accessories are becoming harder to find. For example, the cyan case for the Lumia 900 is listed as "Out of Stock" over at AT&T's website.  Sounds like blue is the color of choice for a lot of Windows Phone users.

While the Lumia 900's launch did have a slight stumble with the connectivity issues, which Nokia is promptly responding to and stepping up to the plate to make right,, from a sales perspective the launch appears to be a success.  Sound off in the comments if you're having trouble finding the Lumia 900 or if you've found a store with plenty of cyan models.

Thanks, everyone, for the tips!

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On April 19, Nokia is expected to release their Q1 results.  As a precursor, they put out some initial figures, showing that despite relatively strong sales, their profits continue to shrink.  Nokia totaled €4.2 billion in phone sales, the bulk of which consisted of 71 million feature phones, Nokia's one-time bread and butter, bringing in around €2.3 billion.  Smart devices earned them about €1.7 billion.  And even though these seem like pretty big numbers, they are not enough to cover the cost of moving over to the Windows Phone platform in an attempt to gain a foothold in the smartphone arena.  The expected result is a first quarter finish 3 percent below the break-even mark. 

But this doesn't mean all doom and gloom for Nokia.  Sales of Nokia's Lumia line of phones has been solid and continue to increase.  The Lumia 900 has gotten off to a quick start and doesn't show any signs of slowing yet.  And neither does Nokia CEO, Stephen Elop.  He says that he and his crew continue "to increase the clock speed of the company" and that "the change is tangible."  Considering that they scrapped their previous operating system in favor of Microsoft's just under a year ago, and that their first devices just hit the market last quarter, it's hard to call a 3 percent loss a failure.

Read the presser after the break.

Source: Nokia

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It would appear that the Nokia Lumia 900 Windows has done well during it's opening weekend. While many scratched their heads at an Easter Sunday launch, the Lumia 900 was available for pre-order with many receiving the new Windows Phone on the Friday before the official launch date. The pre-launch exposure kept everyone informed and while odd, the Easter Sunday launch apparently was a non-issue.

While we don't have sales figures from AT&T we can look to another strong indicator of sales, Amazon.com's Best Sellers Lists. The Nokia Lumia 900 now holds the top two spots on Amazon.com's Best Selling Cell Phones with Service list (black #1, cyan #2).

While holding the top two spots on the Cell Phone Best Seller list by the same phone is rare, what's even more impressive is that the Nokia Windows Phones are holding high spots on the more broader reaching Cell Phones and Accessories Best Sellers list.  The new Windows Phones also hold the top two spots on the "Movers and Shakers" on this Best Seller list.  This list is composed with everything from phones to screen protectors to cases and everything in between.  At last check, the Lumia 900 Cyan has moved from 527th to 70th and the Lumia 900 Black jumped from 192nd to 30th on this list.

It will be interesting to see what staying power the Lumia 900 will have. We know it's a quality Windows Phone but will the marketing efforts of AT&T turn others heads. How will the availability of the other quality Windows Phone, the HTC Titan II, impact the 900's sales? Also remember that we still have the white Lumia 900 heading to market on April 22nd. The white Windows Phone may help keep the Windows Phone momentum going strong.

Source: Forbes; Thanks, everyone, for tipping us on this!

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