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.
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.