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.
Windows Phone 8 smartphones are wonderful devices -- except for the underlying operating system. While I actually like the OS, it still has a long way to go (notification center, hello!?).
Sales have been decent in some European countries, mostly due to the low cost. However, these things are hardly flying off the shelves. With that said, one user has found a way to make them fly -- literally, like...in the air.
The phablet. It's a device with a silly name, but it's a market that is gaining massive momentum. Analysis by Juniper Research suggests that the number of larger-screened devices that ship will rocket by 600 percent by 2018. Projected figures show shipments jumping from around 20 million devices in 2013, to 120 million five years later. But taking into account the loose definition of a phablet it is possible that the figures could be even higher.
In fact there is no "official" definition of a phablet, at least in terms of the size of screen a device must sport in order to qualify for the title. Juniper Research acknowledges that phones with very large screens are increasingly common, with many high-end handsets featuring 5 inch - 5.5 inch displays. For the purposes of its report, Juniper Research uses the term phablet to refer to handsets that have a screen size between 5.6 inches and 6.9 inches.
The Lumia 929 is, without a doubt, the worst kept secret in Nokia's recent history. Pictures of the new Windows Phone have appeared numerous times, leaving nothing to the imagination. Furthermore, the handset even went on sale in China, at a local online retailer with its Verizon branding, ahead of its official launch.
Also ahead of its official launch, the Lumia Icon -- known as the Lumia 929 -- has appeared on Verizon's site, revealing every detail that one might want to know about the device. As you may have read so far, this Windows Phone is allegedly a big red-exclusive offering.
According to rumors that have been popping up over the past few months, Nokia is preparing to launch a new Windows Phone 8 handset called Lumia 929. The smartphone is expected to bear the Verizon logo, as an exclusive model designed for the US mobile operator. It should be the successor of the Lumia 928, that was introduced in the first half of last year.
One might naturally assume that, when the Lumia 929 actually goes on sale, Verizon's online and brick and mortar stores would be the first places to offer the Windows Phone. The mobile operator's logo implies it. Well, the Lumia 929 is now available, but at Chinese online retailer Taobao.
Finnish maker Nokia has announced the Lumia Black update roll out for its Windows Phone 8 smartphone lineup. The latest software upgrade, which is set to first reach the Lumia 1020 and Lumia 925, is based on Windows Phone 8 Update 3, and adds a number of exclusive features.
Nokia's official announcement comes nearly three months after Microsoft took the wraps off Windows Phone 8 Update 3. The latest version of the tiled smartphone operating system brings an orientation lock, support for quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors and 1080p displays and an extra live tile column on phablet screens, as the most important changes. Now let's take a look at what Nokia adds on top of this.
Michael Bay -- yes, he of Transformers fame -- managed to get Samsung some attention with his performance at CES 2014... but not necessarily the sort of attention the company was hoping for. The idea behind the director's appearance was that he would showcase Samsung's latest range of curved-screen TVs. As a director, Bay probably has an eye for such details. He would seem to be well-positioned to extol the virtues of the new ultra-high definition. But it seems that speech making is not a forte of his. A mini-meltdown saw him fleeing the stage after an apparent auto-cue problem.
After attempting to "wing it", Bay fluttered off stage muttering "I'm sorry". He appeared incredibly uncomfortable from the moment he started speaking, but it wasn’t long before he said that the text was "all off". The situation was handled slightly more professionally by the Samsung representative who tried to cajole Bay into explaining how the curved screen would enhance the viewing experience -- but to no avail.
Nokia is one of the latest hardware makers to enter the tablet market, with the Lumia 2520. It's an interesting device, that has a great display, powerful internals, 4G LTE cellular connectivity, decent internal storage, an attractive price and Windows RT 8.1 on board, that you either love or loathe. And you'd think that Nokia would want to lure consumers with these features, to get them to buy its colorful new tablet.
Like Microsoft and its first Windows RT slate, the Surface RT, Nokia went on a different path to promote the Lumia 2520. The Finnish company has released an ad which, from my point of view, does nothing to explain to consumers why they should spend their money on the device. Do not get me wrong, the ad is very interesting but the way it goes about pitching the Lumia 2520 as a good buy is very, very strange.
Finnish mobile maker Nokia has released a new app called Motion Monitor which allows Lumia 1520 users to track their physical activity, similar to some wristbands. The offering is currently undergoing beta testing and is available exclusively for the company's new Windows Phone 8 flagship.
For those wondering why Motion Monitor is not available for other Lumia smartphones, Nokia says this is because only its new flagships comes with the "specific" hardware which allows the app to offer this functionality. A reasonable assumption would be that the Lumia 1520 is the sole beneficiary of Motion Monitor because of its Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, which is not available in any other Nokia smartphones at the moment.
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".