Consumers who are in the market for a Windows RT tablet currently have two main options to choose from -- the Microsoft Surface 2 and Nokia Lumia 2520. The former has the upper hand when it comes to availability, as it is sold in a significantly larger number of markets, while the latter offers extra connectivity options -- namely 4G LTE -- and a wider color palette. But as it turns out the Lumia 2520 also has a better screen, according to a new DisplayMate test.
"With virtually identical functionality and OS software, it is the quality and performance of the displays that really differentiates these Windows Tablets", says DisplayMate CEO Dr. Raymond M. Soneira. "The display on the Nokia Lumia 2520 is impressive while the Microsoft Surface 2 is mediocre and a disappointment".
HTC could be banned from selling its One mini phone in the UK if an appeal against a court ruling fails. Judge Richard Arnold has ruled that several HTC handsets could be removed from sale after a court battle with Nokia over patent infringement claims. HTC has already lodged an appeal against the ruling which has the potential to block the sale of other HTC phones -- although the HTC One managed to escape the ruling.
Nokia had claimed that some of HTC's phones included chips for which the Finnish company owns the patent and back in October the High Court in London found this to be the case. This latest ruling is the next step in Nokia's legal battle, but it is not yet clear whether a ban will definitely be put in place -- this depends on the success, or otherwise, of the appeal.
The release of low-end devices, like the Nokia Lumia 520 and Lumia 620, has helped Windows Phone to establish itself as the third most-popular smartphone operating system worldwide. In major European markets, its success stems primarily from inexpensive smartphones. The two aforementioned handsets account for three quarters of all Nokia Lumia sales in Great Britain and similar shares in other local markets, according to a new Kantar Worldpanel ComTech report.
Windows Phone's success comes at a time when the smartphone average selling price (known as ASP) dropped by 12.5 percent to $317 in 2013, according to research firm IDC. "Momentum for Windows Phone is continuing, although its growth remains reliant on low-end handsets", says Kantar Worldpanel ComTech strategic insight director Dominic Sunnebo. In case you are wondering, Nokia's Lumia lineup accounts for more than 90 percent of all Windows Phone sales.
Today, Americans celebrate Thanksgiving and Hanukah, a rare occurrence they overlap. We reflect on the things we feel -- or should be -- grateful. Ahead of the holiday meal I served up "13 things for which Google gives thanks" and colleagues Wayne Williams and Alan Buckingham "5 things to be thankful for in Windows 8.1" and "5 products I'm thankful for", respectively. I would be remiss ignoring Apple.
The fruit-logo company is unique in techdom, inventing or reinventing several hugely successful product categories. Most companies have one- or two-hit wonders. Apple has a string of smash hits, like the rarest of iconic musicians. The Beatles come to mind, because of their 50th-anniversary and name shared -- you know, Apple Records. The many things for which the company should be thankful are obvious, so let's just dispense with those and get to items other list-makers, if there are any, likely will overlook. I present Apple's thankful things from least to most important.
The Nokia Lumia 520 is a very good entry-level Windows Phone which is only held back by its measly 512 MB of RAM. This prevents the handset from being able to run all the latest games and apps and hinders its multitasking ability. Considering that it is among the best cheap smartphones on the market today, the low amount of RAM gets a pass. After all, something has got to give.
Today, Nokia announces the successor of the Lumia 520, called Lumia 525. The new Windows Phone solves the memory problem that affects its predecessor, as it ships with 1 GB of RAM. This will allow users to enjoy more resource-intensive apps and games, improve multitasking and make the device more future-proof than the older model.
November 22 is a big day for Microsoft, with the Xbox One officially hitting store shelves, and Nokia releasing its latest devices, including an extra-large smartphone and a new Windows RT 8.1 tablet. The latter, known as the Lumia 2520, is being offered by Verizon for $399 with a two-year contract or $499 on a month-to-month deal.
While the price seems reasonable, at least in the realm of Windows tablets, Verizon is sweetening the deal with an offer for your old tablet. It's a deal similar to what Microsoft has offered as bribery in the past -- "trade in your current iPad in good working condition and receive a Verizon Wireless gift card up to $300. See how much your iPad is worth".
While products are typically produced by corporations and businesses, the brands themselves are often adopted by societies and become icons. Some examples are Coca-Cola (USA), BlackBerry (Canada) and Nokia (Finland). Sadly, for the latter country, the associated company has been in talks to become acquired by Microsoft (USA).
Some citizens of Finland may have hoped for the acquisition to fail in the eleventh-hour, but unfortunately for them, the sale has been approved. According to Nokia, at a meeting that took place today, it "decided to confirm and approve the sale of substantially all of Nokia's Devices & Services business to Microsoft in line with the proposal and recommendation of the Nokia Board of Directors. More than 99-percent of the votes cast at the EGM were in favor of this proposal".
The Windows tablet market is starting to get exciting. Besides the venerable Surface line, there are new devices by Asus, Lenovo and Dell to name a few. However, a dark horse has entered the ring too -- Nokia. Yes, the Finnish handset company (which is being purchased by Microsoft) is releasing a Windows RT 8.1 tablet. While that in itself is not news (BetaNews reported on its existence three weeks ago), the release date was not known -- until now.
"The Nokia Lumia 2520 tablet will be available starting on November 22nd. You will be able to purchase the Lumia 2520 (in black) from AT&T for $399.99 with a two-year agreement, or for $199.99 with a two-year agreement when bundled with a Lumia 925, Lumia 1020, or Lumia 1520 Windows Phone", says Brandon LeBlanc, Senior Marketing Communications Manager at Microsoft. Of course, you can buy the tablet without a contract for $499.
Finnish maker Nokia has released Nokia Refocus, a new app for its flagship Lumia Windows Phone 8 smartphones with PureView cameras that allows users to choose new focus points after snapping pictures. The feature is similar to what Lytro cameras deliver, but adapted to work on smartphone hardware.
The philosophy behind Nokia Refocus is to give users the ability to "capture first and then focus and re-focus later to produce interactive photos", says the Finnish maker. The app is designed specifically for "scenes with a great contrast in the depth of field, like macro shots".
Windows Phone may be the fastest growing major smartphone platform, but its market share still has a long way to go in order to become an imminent threat to Apple's iPhones, let alone Android smartphones. The latest IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker report shows, once again, Microsoft's tiled mobile OS in the same distant third place, far behind its more popular rivals, despite the impressive 156 percent year-over-year growth in shipments from Q3 2013.
"Android and Windows Phone continued to make significant strides in the third quarter. Despite their differences in market share, they both have one important factor behind their success: price", says IDC research manager Ramon Llamas. "Both platforms have a selection of devices available at prices low enough to be affordable to the mass market, and it is the mass market that is driving the entire market forward". That difference in market share that Llamas mentions is a whopping 77.4 percentage points, between Android's 81 percent and Windows Phone's mere 3.6 percent; put differently, Android shipments (211.6 million units) were 22.27 times higher than those of Windows Phones (at 9.5 million units).
Microsoft has announced the new Nokia Lumia 1520 is available for preorder through the Microsoft Store and at all US Microsoft retail store locations from today. The device officially goes on sale on 22 November.
As an incentive, customers who preorder the product will receive a $50 Microsoft Store app card, a $20 app card provided by Nokia, a free flip cover valued at $39.99 (while stocks last), and a free download of Halo: Spartan Assault for Windows Phone. It’s a US-only offer.
Over the past week, both BlackBerry and Nokia were in the news for very different reasons. BlackBerry abruptly abandoned its auction process and opted to raise $1 billion in debt to attempt a turnaround. Meanwhile, as the Microsoft deal awaits closing, Nokia announced that Lumia shipments hit an all-time high in the most recent quarter.
Let's take a deeper look at the prospects of each company.
When Nokia unveiled the Lumia 1520, the Finnish maker did not provide an exact launch date for its new Windows Phone 8 phablet. However, the device was announced to be available in a limited number of markets, including US.
Ahead of the official launch, Microsoft decided to shed some light regarding the US availability of the Lumia 1520 on AT&T. On the software giant's online store, the phablet is now listed as available to pre-order, with the release date set for November 15.
Worldwide, Windows Phone may hold a distant third-place spot in the smartphone market, but in Europe handsets running the mobile tiled OS are closing in on Apple's iPhones through huge share gains. According to a new Kantar Worldpanel ComTech report, in five key local markets Windows Phone sales more than doubled in Q3 2013, compared to the same period from last year. Meanwhile, iPhones lost market share.
In France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy and Spain combined, Windows Phone's market share grew to 9.8 percent in Q3 2013 from 4.6 percent a year earlier. The highest market share gains happened in France (to 10.7 percent from 5.2 percent), Germany (to 8.5 percent from 2.5 percent) and Great Britain (to 11.4 percent from 4.2 percent), with Italy and Spain posting more moderate growths (to 13.7 percent from 10.8 percent and to 3.7 percent from 2.2 percent, respectively). By contrast, in the said local markets iPhone's market share decreased to 14.6 percent in Q3 2013 from 16.8 percent a year earlier.
The Lumia 1020 is famous for its camera. The Nokia smartphone offers a 41 MP shooter with Xenon flash, Zeiss lens and OIS (Optical Image Stabilization). It’s capable of producing photos at a whopping 7712 by 5360 resolution and recording 1080p video at 30 FPS.
Apple’s 8 MP iSight camera on the iPhone 5s is much weedier in comparison, although it does have some tricks up its sleeve, including a sensor that increases the area available for pixels by 15 percent. But even so, pitted head-to-head you’d expect the Nokia phone to win easily right? Apparently not. According to Laptop Mag, it’s Apple’s new phone that takes the crown.