Apple vs Android: Windows Phone Now a Factor

Google and Apple Now Face a Three Way Battle

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Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

Google and Apple have a tight grip on the smartphone market in the U.S, but starting probably next year, two unlikely companies will be debuting a new challenger to the current leaders. Nokia, known in the U.S. as makers of many different feature phones, and Microsoft will unveil three new devices Wednesday in London. Those phones won't make it to the U.S. until 2012, but they are worth noting because of the Windows Phone operating system that is poised to become the number three choice after Android and Apple's iOS.

T-Mobile has already launched a mid-range Windows Phone with manufacturer HTC, the Radar 4G comes out in November. HTC teamed up with Google on the first Nexus phone, and the company gets good results from many Android devices, but the Nokia/Microsoft pairing is unique.

Nokia is the worlds larget manufactureer of mobile phones. Because of that, when the new Windows Phone powered Nokia smartphones do land in the U.S., early adopters and anyone curious about a third option behind Apple and Android will take notice. Windows Phone has yet to take off in the U.S, but the newest version, called 7.5 and codenamed Mango, went a long way in making it a viable contender to Android and Apple devices.

Windows Phone is stll a young platform, and if Nokia can deliver anything resembling the N9 to U.S. customers, it could take off and really make things interesting in the smartphone war.

Microsoft and Nokia could be unveiling three new devices next week. They could be the Nokia 800 SeaRay, Ace and Saber. The details are limited, but the SeaRay could come with a curved glass 3.7-in screen, along with an eight-megapixel camera.

Let us know in the comments if you think Windows Phone could become the number three smartphone OS.

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