Microsoft is expected to unveil the new phones on October 11 at an event in New York, with smaller events happening around the globe at the same time. The handsets would then become available around November 8 exclusively on GSM cellular networks, with CDMA devices to follow in 2011. The latest report is based on discussions with people familiar with Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 launch plans, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Nevertheless, AT&T has been steadily improving its network over the last year and recently took top honors in PC World’s most recent 3G network speed tests. AT&T is also the largest GSM carrier in the U.S.
The Journal says AT&T will sell three Windows Phone 7 handsets at launch, offering one device each from Samsung, LG Electronics, and HTC. It’s not clear what those handsets might be, but a rumored HTC device code-named Mondrian is a heavy favorite. The Mondrian is rumored to be similar to HTC’s Windows Mobile-based HD2. The device reportedly has a 4.3-inch WVGA screen and a 1.3GHz Snapdragon processor, according to Engadget.
The Last Gasp?
Expectations are high for the debut of Windows Phone 7 and some critics believe it is Microsoft’s last chance to capture any action in the current smartphone wars. During the second quarter of 2010, Microsoft’s worldwide market share dropped from 9.3 percent to 5 percent compared to the same period in 2009, according to market research firm Gartner. In the United States, Windows Mobile claims approximately 19 percent of smartphone users, according to the most recent numbers from the Nielsen Company.