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#TBT: ARM sees a rosy future; Microsoft launches Windows 8; Galaxy SIII delayed for testing … this week in 2012

Editor’s Note: RCR Wireless News goes all in for “Throwback Thursdays,” tapping into our archives to resuscitate the top headlines from the past. Fire up the time machine, put on the sepia-tinted shades, set the date for #TBT and enjoy the memories!

Rocky start for the Samsung Galaxy S III
Samsung’s much-anticipated new Galaxy S III smartphone is scheduled to launch on all four of the major U.S. carriers, plus U.S. Cellular, but so far only T-Mobile USA is actually selling the phone. Today the carrier is offering the Galaxy S III on its website for $280 for the 16GB model and $330 for the 32GB model. Those prices are higher than those of other carriers offering the phone, but T-Mobile seems to be the only one that is actually shipping the S III to customers at this time. Samsung says the others will have the phone in stores and online within the next several weeks. Sprint’s website says that pre-order is currently closed for the Galaxy S III but the pre-order option is still available on the other carriers’ websites. Verizon’s site says the phone will not ship until July 11. Samsung Mobile says it is creating its largest-ever U.S. advertising campaign for the Galaxy S III … Read more

If Samsung could turn back time … 
Not having a hot new smartphone on the day it was promised to customers may look like a major blunder for a carrier. But insiders say the alternative could be much worse. Samsung delayed Sprint Nextel’s planned launch of the Samsung Galaxy III this week, and smartphone logistics experts were not completely surprised. “It is a very bold approach to simultaneously launch multiple operators in the U.S. A lot of stars have to align,” says Larry Paulson, chief marketing officer for BrightPoint, which provides warehousing, packing, shipping and unpacking services for carriers and manufacturers. Samsung is launching the Galaxy S III this summer with all four major U.S. carriers and with U.S. Cellular. “The phones all look the same but they are very different one layer deep,” says Paulson. Configuring the phones for each operators’ network is a separate and distinct project that requires intensive hardware and software testing, particularly when LTE networks are involved. According to one Korean news source, Samsung waited longer than usual to provide the Galaxy S III to operators for testing. … Read more

Fear the Windows 8
Microsoft has unveiled its Windows 8 operating system, bringing the software giant fully into the world of the touchscreen user interface. Even on PCs, Windows 8 users will touch the screen to access familiar Windows applications. The touchscreen UI is designed, of course, with tablets and smartphones in mind. Microsoft’s new Surface tablets will run Windows 8, as will the next generation of its Lumia smartphones made by Nokia. Windows Phone 8 appears to improve on some of the perceived shortcomings in Windows Phone 7. Some Lumia users have complained about not being able to change the look for their home screens, but Microsoft says that with Windows Phone 8 users will be able to have more tiles on the screen, and choose from more home screen colors … Read more 

ARM has a cheery outlook
It’s been a good week for ARM Holdings (ARMH), the British company that designs the microprocessors found in most smartphones and tablets. Microsoft (MSFT) unveiled the Windows RT version of its new Surface Tablet, which will include an ARM-based microprocessor, and Freescale (FSL) announced a new group of microcontrollers based on ARM Cortex architecture, a significant move for the chipmaker that has long relied on its proprietary core designs. ARM CEO Warren East told RCR Wireless News this week that he expects ARM-based designs to account for half of worldwide microprocessor shipments within five years. East said the only caveat to that prediction is the growth rate of the overall microprocessor market, which grew 14% in 2011, according to Gartner Research. East says he has a pretty good idea of how fast his business will grow, but the overall market could grow even faster. … Read more

HTC checks out of Brazil
Device manufacturer HTC Corp. is closing its Brazilian operations four years after it launched its presence in the country and after unveiling HTC Ultimate, the first Windows Phone 7.5 device, in Brazil. “After careful analysis of our lines of business, HTC is closing our office in Brazil,” an HTC spokesperson said in a statement. “We will continue after-sales support for our products, so this should not result in a change in service for current customers. This decision does not have an impact on HTC’s business outside of Brazil.” The closing took the market by surprise. When launching HTC Ultimate last October, the Taiwan-based company seemed to be optimistic about its business in the country. Lee Ittner, VP for Latin America at HTC, told members of the press that Brazil was a “strategic country” and HTC planned to sell 16 million smartphones the following year. By e-mail, HTC told RCR Wireless that company “remains committed to growth across Latin America and the decision has no impact on other areas of HTC’s business outside of Brazil”. … Read more

LTE build-outs strain infrastructure workforce
The current move from 3G to LTE-based networks has again placed a premium on jobs across the mobile space. And, unlike the 3G evolution that in many cases was just a simple upgrade from 2G, LTE networks in many cases require more extensive build outs. This demand has some fearing a potential shortfall in trained employees able to keep up with the aggressive deployment schedule wireless carriers have laid out for their LTE networks. One sector that is looking at a potential shortfall is in the tower business, and more specifically in the actual people on the ground, or air, installing the equipment. “All of the eight largest network operators have either commenced or are getting ready to commence major LTE upgrades,” explained Dan Hays, U.S. wireless advisory leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers. “That simultaneous surge in demand for hands on installation services is stressing the independent firms that typically receive subcontracts for the hands on work of installing network equipment.” … Read more

Check out RCR Wireless News’ Archives for more stories from the past.

ABOUT AUTHOR

Kelly Hill
Kelly Hill
Kelly reports on network test and measurement, as well as the use of big data and analytics. She first covered the wireless industry for RCR Wireless News in 2005, focusing on carriers and mobile virtual network operators, then took a few years’ hiatus and returned to RCR Wireless News to write about heterogeneous networks and network infrastructure. Kelly is an Ohio native with a masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where she focused on science writing and multimedia. She has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, The Oregonian and The Canton Repository. Follow her on Twitter: @khillrcr

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