5?... Wrong number

What the world really needs is yet another phone on the Market to make the job of choosing and buying a phone just that little bit harder. Until today there were four main choices. A Blackberry, An Android based phone, A Nokia or an iPhone. To be fair "other phones are available" but to my mind the question is why?  

Regardless, choosing one from four isn't to bad. But now you have to choose from five thanks to the inventors of BSOD, or to the less geeky of you, the Blue Screen Of Death. And so it's come to pass that Microsoft have finally realised they're lagging behind the competition (again) and the boss that isn't Bill Gates has officially unveiled the Windows Phone 7. Steve Ballmer has given us a wealth of information, most of which is irrelevant, but some of which is interesting. I'll try and boil it down to the useful stuff...

There will be 9 (so far) different handsets. These will be built by Dell, Samsung, LG & HTC. They will be available in 30 different countries and on over 60 different networks, but they will be exclusive to different carriers in different countries.

Here's a summary of the Spec's I've seen so far in ascending screen size....

Manufacturer Model Processor Screen Resolution Style Storage Camera Video Battery Talk & Standby

LG Quantum 1GHz Snapdragon 3.5” 480x800 Slide out Keyboard 16Gb 5MP 720p 7hr T, 19days S

HTC 7 Pro 1GHz 3.6” 480x800 Full Keyboard 8Gb 5MP 720p 6hr T, 15days S

HTC 7 Mozart 1GHz 3.7” 480x800 Candy Bar 8Gb 8MP 720p 6hr T, 15days S

LG Optimus 7 1GHz Snapdragon 3.8” 480x800 Candy Bar 16Gb 5MP 720p 7hr T, 19days S

HTC Surround 1GHz Qualcomm 3.8” 480x800 Slide out speaker 8Gb 5MP 720p 4hr T, 11days S

HTC 7 Trophy 1GHz 3.8” 480x800 Candy Bar 8Gb 5MP 720p 6hr T, 15days S

Dell Venue Pro 1GHz Qualcomm 4.1” 480x800 Vertical Slide 8Gb 5MP 720p 7hr T, 14days S

HTC HD7 1GHz Qualcomm 4.3” 480x800 Touch Screen 16Gb 5MP 720p 6hr T, 13days S

Samsung Focus / OMNIA 7 1GHz Qualcomm 4” 480x800 Touch Screen 8Gb 5MP 720p 3hr T, 10days S

It'll be very interesting to see a) what the pricing is like and b) what the performance of these devices is like.  By comparison, and just because I am shamelessly biased now, here's the same specs for the iPhone 4:

Manufacturer Model Processor Screen Resolution Style Storage Camera Video Battery Talk & Standby

Apple iPhone 4 1Ghz Underclocked to 750 3.5” 640x960 Touch Screen 32Gb 5MP 720p 7hr T, 12days S

I don't think for a minute that they're anything like a threat to the iPhone, but it's entirely possible they could get enough developers behind it over the next 12 months to at least start making some in roads. Unless of course, the likes of Apple & Google pull something else out of the bag.

With MS garnering some support from even @StephenFry (a well known Apple proponent) there is most definitely a battle royal taking place in the smartphone market place. As always, these things are usually good for the consumer, but can end up being fatal for the protagonists.  Time will tell eh?

This post originally appeared here: Posterous