Microsoft and Nokia Look to Stab Apple

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), which has been viewed as slow to react to the rapidly rising popularity of mobile devices, said it will launch Mango-powered handsets from top makers including Nokia Oyj (NYSE:NOK), Samsung Electronics, and HTC Corp in coming weeks. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Android (NASDAQ:GOOG) phones, which together make up about half of the market, currently dominate the smartphone sector.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) would launch Samsung and HTC Mango smartphones in the United States and Europe over the next week or so, with Nokia (NYSE:NOK) following in various markets, but Fujitsu Ltd (FJTSY) has already rolled out a Mango smartphone in Japan. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) would introduce its Mango handsets in China for the first time next year, which is the world’s biggest mobile phone market with more than 900 million subscribers. Although only a fraction of the 900 million are smartphone users, many use Apple’s (APPL) iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy. Blackberry (NASDAQ:RIMM) maker Research In Motion’s recent outage problems might also ultimately help competitors such as Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).

Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) comments come a day after Samsung and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) held the Hong Kong launch of the first smartphone powered by the new Ice Cream Sandwich operating system,” according to Reuters.

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