Ellen DeGeneres' Samsung Galaxy Note 3 made waves at the Academy Awards after being used to snap an on-stage selfie and a group shot. Both quickly became hugely popular photos taken at the event, and target practice for the South Korean maker's rivals.
Nokia was first to take a stab at Samsung for the terrible quality of DeGeneres' selfie, implying she should have used one of its smartphones instead. The photo posted by the star even had the #blurry hashtag added on Twitter to make up for what was basically a missed shot. Not to miss this opportunity (to be unoriginal), Lenovo and LG also took to Twitter to convince us that their smartphones would have fared better than Samsung's phablet.
When Nokia officially unveiled its X smartphones it was clear the Finnish company intended its new Android lineup to look similar to Lumia Windows Phones. The internals may be on the low-end side, but the hardware design looks just as premium, undoubtedly aided by the funky colors, and the software... well, the homescreen interface resembles the Windows Phone tiles, which is the dead giveaway as far as this writer can tell.
Some may rightfully point out that X smartphones are superior to Lumias in one major area -- apps. Courtesy of the mature Android ecosystem, Nokia's droids are compatible with hundreds of thousands of offerings, which is more than Windows Phone can tout. It would make sense for Nokia to encourage developers to make their apps more like those on Windows Phone to warm repeat customers to the idea of upgrading to one of its higher-end smartphones, which run Microsoft's tiled operating system. But, Nokia has other plans.
Samsung's Galaxy Note 3 was the tech star of this year's Academy Awards, as the phablet was used by both Bradley Cooper and Ellen DeGeneres to snap two of the most popular pics at the event. Ironically, both photos are blurry (and, might I add, appear to be part of heavily staged acts).
Quick to take advantage of the free publicity, arch rival Nokia has subtly taken a stab at Samsung for the terrible quality of one of the photos, namely DeGeneres' selfie on the stage.
Webcam porn! Spying! Cell phones! Bitcoin controversy! Just another normal week in the world of tech news! Bitcoin exchange Mt Gox disappeared offline amid concern about missing millions and then filed for bankruptcy. After panic spread through Mac users following the discovery of a serious SSL bug in Mavericks, Apple released an update that plugged the hole -- but it was also discovered that iOS 7 has a keylogging vulnerability. Microsoft released Service Pack 1 for Office 2013, but anyone using Office 365 will need to force the installation of newer updates in order to reap the benefits.
Security updates are all well and good for operating systems and applications, but it will do little to protect you against the wandering eyes of government agencies. As if everything we have already learned about the activities of the NSA et al, this week's revelations about what the UK's GCHQ has been getting up to is sure to raise ire. Not content with logging emails and web searches, the UK intelligence agency apparently spent a number of years tapping into the webcam chats of millions of Yahoo users. There may be little good news in this revelation, but it was at least slightly amusing to find that the surveillers were rather taken aback by the amount of pornographic content they encountered. It makes ya proud!
Earlier this week, Nokia announced a line of Android-based smartphones with a combination of Nokia/Microsoft services replacing Google services. While some industry observers were quick to praise this move, there are many unknowns about the goal of this strategy.
In my opinion, Microsoft is following one or more of four possible game plans.
While Microsoft may not be thrilled with Nokia's new foray into the Android field, the company's exploration of the Google mobile platform proves an interesting test of the market. However, the software giant stoically continues to offer its services to rival operating systems, and Nokia X will not be any different.
On the heels of today's event at Mobile World Congress, in which the Finnish handset maker unveiled new Android phones, Microsoft was quick to announce it would support the offering with Skype.
Today, at MWC 2014, Nokia was expected to break away from its Windows Phone exclusivity and introduce an Android smartphone called X. But, the Finnish company just took the wraps off three handsets under the same umbrella, called X, X+ and XL.
According to Nokia, the X smartphones slot between its low-end Ashas and high-end Windows Phones, with prices to kick off at €89 for the entry-level model. The beefier X+ and XL will cost €99 and €109, respectively. Is there something you should get excited about?
The Nokia Lumia Icon is an interesting smartphone, and an interesting Windows Phone alike. It offers Qualcomm's top-of-the-line processor, plenty of internal storage, a good camera and a 1080p display, all in an attractive package. But it is not available for your carrier, unless it is called Verizon. Hey, you know Nokia, the company loves exclusives.
Microsoft's and Verizon's stores now carry the Lumia Icon, just a week after it was officially unveiled (but we knew the details long before the announcement). The smartphone can be had, in either black or white, for the usual, flagship-price of $199.99 when purchased on a two-year contract. It can also be had with a month-to-month contract, for $549.99, or an Edge plan, for $23.06 per month.
That is the message Finnish maker Nokia tries to convey with its new Treasure Tag accessory. It is designed to be used in conjunction with the accompanying mobile app that is exclusively available for the company's Windows Phone 8 lineup, running the Lumia Black firmware which started to roll out earlier this year worldwide.
Nokia Treasure Tag is a small device, that comes in at 30 x 30 x 10 mm and 13 grams, which leverages Bluetooth and NFC (Near Field Communication) to communicate the position of the item it is linked to (attached) to a compatible Lumia smartphone. A common use for the nifty accessory will likely be attachment to the car and house keys (as shown in the marketing pic displayed in this post).
Windows Phone, we meet again. I have a love/hate relationship with Microsoft's Mobile OS. You see, I love using it -- particularly the social media integration with Facebook and Twitter. The glance and go philosophy of the platform really appeals to me. I want a smartphone to blend into my life and not dominate it. However, I am heartbroken by the lack of apps, most notably, Google's.
And so, here I am with the Nokia Lumia Icon and I am very excited. This shouldn't be too surprising though, as I declared the Lumia 928 to be my favorite smartphone of 2013, despite the lack of apps. So, what do I think of the Icon? Read on for my impressions.
The Nokia Lumia ICON, also known as the 929, has become a bit of a white unicorn. It has made brief appearances on the Verizon site, leaked out around the web, and generally been a bit of a nuisance in its reclusiveness. Despite all of that, it continued to "not exist".
Now the handset is finally official. Verizon will officially launch the new phone on February 20, but customers can pre-order it now, if they just can't wait.
If you are currently toting around an Apple iPhone 4 or 4s, or a Samsung Galaxy S2, then you are likely aware that it's time for an upgrade. While many on Apple and Android platforms will probably stick with what they know, Microsoft is hoping it can win a few of you over.
For a limited time the company is offering a trade-in deal. Customers who bring in an iPhone 4 or 4s or Galaxy S2 can walk out with a new Nokia Lumia 1020 or 1520 at no cost.
The underwhelming Nokia Lumia sales from Q4 2013 have put a damper on Windows Phone's momentum, as, for the first time last year, the Finnish maker moved less units compared to the previous quarter. Growth was already slowing down, as I pointed out three months ago, but a decline in moved units was unexpected, potentially leading to irreparable damage, in the short and the long run as well, for the market share of the tiled smartphone operating system.
Lumia sales are extremely important for the growth of the platform because Nokia's Windows Phone market share has been holding steady around the 90 percent mark for a very long time. This means that if the Finnish maker has a great quarter, in regards to Lumia sales, the tiled smartphone OS has a better chance of holding its own against Android and iOS, and increasing its market share. Luckily, we do not have to wait any longer to find out how the Lumia sales from Q4 2013 have impacted Windows Phone, as Kantar Worldpanel ComTech just released a report for the respective quarter.
Yesterday, Nokia posted its final financial results before the Microsoft deal closes. Unfortunately, the part of Nokia being sold to Microsoft doesn't seem to be in great shape. Nokia's recent traction with the Lumia range seems to have stalled as it announced a 7 percent sequential decline in unit sales. Let's take a brief look at the causes of the decline and what Microsoft is really buying.
The chart above shows Lumia shipments and ASPs for the past eight quarters. As we can see the Lumia's ASP (Average Selling Price) has continued to decline as shipments grew. This reinforces the fact that the Lumia sales mix was dominated by low-end variants -- primarily the Lumia 520. We need to keep this in mind while examining the cause of the Q4 decline in shipments.
Finnish maker Nokia has released its earnings report for Q4 2013, the first that indicates how the company, and its financial health, will look like without the Devices & Services arm that is set to be part of Microsoft's portfolio. That business is listed under "Discontinued operations".
Another effect of the sale of this business is that Nokia no longer lists the exact volume for the mobile phones and smartphones sold during the quarter. This effectively rules out any precise Lumia Windows Phone performance comparison. However, the company gives bad news as it reveals unit sales are actually lower for its Windows Phones compared to the previous quarter, when it sold 8.8 million of them.