Nokia begins Windows Phone 7.8 upgrade rollout

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Jan 302013

Nokia today announced that it is beginning to roll out its Windows Phone 7.8 upgrade to Lumia smartphones currently running Windows Phone 7.5 as these will not be upgraded to Windows Phone 8. The Nokia Lumia 510, 610, 710, 800 and 900 will all receive upgrade notifications during February.

With Windows Phone 7.8 installed, your Nokia Lumia gets even better.

The Start screen experience is completely refreshed with the ability to re-size your tiles: small, medium and large.

In addition, there are also new options available on your lock screen, such as having a daily background image from Bing; plus there’s improved pocket and child lock screen security.

Plus, there is increased language support, meaning even more people get to enjoy Nokia Lumia.

These new benefits, together with the new look Start screen, will make your Lumia feel like a brand new smartphone.

Once you receive your notification, you will need to connect your device to your computer via Zune for PC, or the Windows Phone app for Mac.

As usual, carriers will need to approve the update before they push it out to their users.

To make sure you don’t miss the update when it is released here, check that notifications are enabled by selecting Settings > Phone Update > “Notify me when new updates are found”.

Read more: Nokia

Nokia announces return to black with Q4 2012 financial results

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Jan 242013

Nokia today announced its financial results for the last quarter of its fiscal 2012 year. It had a pleasant surprise for its stockholders, reporting a profitable quarter after six quarters of losses. It saw an operating profit of US$585 billion (€439 million) on net sales of US$10.7 billion (€8.04 billion). According to CEO Stephen Elop,

“We are very encouraged that our team’s execution against our business strategy has started to translate into financial results. Most notably we are pleased that Nokia Group reached underlying operating profitability in the fourth quarter and for the full year 2012.

While the first half of 2012 was difficult for Nokia Group, in Q4 2012 we strengthened our financial position, improved our underlying operating margin in Devices & Services, introduced the HERE brand to expand our mapping and location experiences, and drove record profitability in Nokia Siemens Networks.

We remain focused on moving through our transition, which includes continuing to improve our product competitiveness, accelerate the way we operate and manage our costs effectively. All of these efforts are aimed at improving our financial performance and delivering more value to our shareholders.”

As it had previously announced, Nokia shipped 4.4 million Windows Phone Lumia devices during the quarter, up 51% from the 2.9 million the previous quarter. Of those, 700,000 were sold in North America, still Nokia’s smallest market. It also shipped another 2.2 million Symbian devices and 9.3 million Asha handsets.

Nokia expects that it could return to a loss in Q1 2013 due to “competitive industry dynamics” and Q1 typically being a slower quarter.

It remains to be seen if Nokia will announce new Lumia smartphones at MWC 2013. Recent rumours have pointed to a “true PureView Windows Phone” codenamed the Nokia EOS and the Nokia Catwalk.

Read more: Nokia

Nokia ships 4.4 million Lumia smartphones in Q4 2012

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Jan 102013

Nokia today issued a fourth-quarter preliminary report and the news is much more positive than it has been in past quarters. Its Mobile Phones business unit and Lumia portfolio both delivered better than expected results. Nokia now expects that its Devices & Services group will exceed expectations and achieve “underlying profitability” for Q4 2012. According to Stephen Elop, Nokia CEO:

“We are pleased that Q4 2012 was a solid quarter where we exceeded expectations and delivered underlying profitability in Devices & Services and record underlying profitability in Nokia Siemens Networks. We focused on our priorities and as a result we sold a total of 14 million Asha smartphones and Lumia smartphones while managing our costs efficiently, and Nokia Siemens Networks delivered yet another very good quarter.”

In particular, Nokia reports sales of 4.4 million Lumia-branded Windows Phones in the quarter. That amounts to a 51% jump over the 2.9 million devices shipped in Q3. It’s not clear how this breaks down between Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 7 devices. It also shipped 9.3 million Asha full touch “smartphones” and 2.2 million Symbian smartphones.

Nokia expects Q1 2013 to be tougher due to “competitive industry dynamics” and the general seasonal weakness of the quarter. Margins could fall into negative territory again as a result.

Nokia will issue its full Q4 and full year 2012 financial results on January 24th, 2013.

Read more: Nokia

Upcoming Nokia Catwalk to sport aluminum body?

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Jan 032013

Nokia’s next generation of Lumia smartphones may ditch their polycarbonate cases in favour of an aluminum one. Citing “sources familiar with Nokia’s plans,” The Verge today reports that will make the switch for at least one high-end Lumia Windows Phone set to be released later this year. The device, already in development, is codenamed Catwalk and will have very similar specifications to the Lumia 920 that it will succeed.

With the aluminum construction, Nokia is aiming to have a thinner and lighter device than one using a polycarbonate shell. The switch should allow Nokia’s devices to stand up better against thinner and lighter competitors.

Nokia will also refresh its Lumia lineup with two additional devices. It’s not clear if these will also sport aluminum cases rather than polycarbonate ones.

No specific timelines were given as to when this year Nokia will launch the Catwalk.

Read more: The Verge

Nokia warns Samsung: “Take note” of next generation Lumia

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Aug 162012

Nokia, along with Microsoft, will unveil their first Windows Phone 8 smartphone (and perhaps more than one) at their upcoming September 5th event. Now the company is serving notice that it expects big things of its upcoming lineup. Recently appointed VP of Sales and Marketing Chris Weber took to Twitter to warn Samsung in particular:

As The Verge points out, Nokia is either feeling very confident about its upcoming devices or desperate to “deliver a truly market-leading device.”

As for why Nokia would call out Samsung specifically, it is after all the company to which it lost the largest handset manufacturer crown earlier this year. It looks like Nokia is not quite ready to let Samsung hang on to the title without a fight.

Read more: Chris Weber [via Twitter] (Source: The Verge)

Nokia and Microsoft to hold Windows Phone 8 press event on September 5th

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Aug 152012

Nokia’s CEO was not kidding when he said “soon” earlier today! As expected, Nokia and Microsoft today announced that they will host a press event on September 5th. The event will take place in New York City rather than Helsinki though. The event will focu on Nokia’s Lumia smartphones and Windows Phone but few other details were revealed.

Microsoft-Nokia September 2012 Windows Phone event

Nokia is expected to announce at least one new Lumia smarthone powered by the new Windows Phone 8 operating system.

Read more: BGR

Nokia CEO promises new Windows Phone 8 handset coming “soon”

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Aug 152012

NokiaChief Executive Stephen Elop today promised that Nokia will “soon” unveil a new smartphone powered by Windows Phone 8. Saying only that it would happen “relatively near term,” he would not provide a specific timeframe. At the same time, he did not deny that the launch could happen in September.

Rumours suggest that Nokia will unveil two or three new Lumia smartphones at its Nokia World 2012 event set to take place September 5th and 6th in Helsinki, Finland. The move is widely seen as an attempt to get the word out before Apple unveils its next-generation iPhone (possibly as early as September 12th).

Despite selling only 4 million Windows Phone Lumia smartphones and losing €1.53 billion in its second fiscal quarter, Nokia remains committed to Windows Phone. “In today’s war … (between) Android, Apple and Windows, we are very clear, we are fighting that with the Windows phone,” said Elop to reporters.

Read more: Reuters

Camera Extras and Contact Share now available for Nokia Lumia devices

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Jul 282012

Nokia today announced the worldwide availability of two new apps, Camera Extras and Contact Share, for Lumia smartphones. The two apps were announced last month and had been available in a limited number of countries but are now available to all.

Camera Extras adds a number of new features and options to the camera. These include:

  • Smart Group Shot: Capture great group shots in just one attempt by choosing the best faces from a burst
  • Action Shot: Capture fast-moving action shots with just one click and significantly improved shooting speed
  • Panorama: This new control feature makes it easy to capture beautiful panorama shots by finding the image in the sequence
  • Self-timer: Set up your Lumia on a stand and get yourself into more photos

Contact Share makes it easier to share contacts by SMS or email. It eliminates the need to write down or type in new contact details.

Nokia Lumia 710 and Nokia Lumia 800 owners will need to make sure that they have the latest software update to take advantage of these new apps.

Read more: Nokia Conversations

Nokia ships 4 million Windows Phone Lumia devices in Q2

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Jul 192012

NokiaNokia today issued an interim financial report for its Q2 2012. Sales rose marginally to €7.5 billion from €7.4 billion the previous quarter, resulting in a total operating loss of €826 million (around $1 billion). Net cash still rose by €102 million (around $125 million) thanks in part to licensing royalties and platform support payments from Microsoft.

Nokia shipped 83.7 million phones, including 4 million Lumia smartphones, worldwide in Q2. In North America, Nokia shipped 600,000 mobile phones, a figure that includes Lumia smartphones as well as non-Windows Phone devices. This suggests that its “Operation Rolling Thunder” marketing effort fells short of Nokia’s expectations. Canadian sales numbers are not broken out of the North American ones.

According to Nokia CEO Stephen Elop:

“Nokia is taking action to manage through this transition period. While Q2 was a difficult quarter, Nokia employees are demonstrating their determination to strengthen our competitiveness, improve our operating model and carefully manage our financial resources.

We shipped four million Lumia Smartphones in Q2, and we plan to provide updates to current Lumia products over time, well beyond the launch of Windows Phone 8. We believe the Windows Phone 8 launch will be an important catalyst for Lumia.”

Nokia saw the average selling price (ASP) of its Smart Devices rise from €143 ($176) last quarter to €151 ($185) this quarter as it continued its transition to Lumia devices which have a higher ASP than Symbian devices. Still, the Lumia line’s ASP fell itself as Nokia began to offer lower-end Windows Phone devices such as the Nokia Lumia 610 and cutting the price of higher-end models, such as AT&T’s Lumia 900 recent cut.

Nokia expects that the next quarter will be as “difficult” as recent quarters. Its Smart Devices group will face challenges due to product transitions (especially as Windows Phone 7.5 devices will not be upgraded to Windows Phone 8).

Read more: Nokia

Nokia Lumia 800 available at TELUS on March 2nd

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Feb 242012

Nokia Lumia 800TELUS today finally revealed exactly when it will launch the Nokia Lumia 800. Rather than simply “coming soon,” TELUS now says it is “Coming March 2nd.” Mark the date in your calendar if you’ve been eagerly waiting for its arrival.

TELUS has yet to announce pricing details but it will be available in black, blue or pink.

Read more: TELUS Mobility

CES 2012: Nokia announces press conference

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Dec 202011

Nokia has already confirmed that it plans to enter the North American market in 2012 with its new Lumia Windows Phone devices. It has now sent out press invitations for a CES conference. While the invitation itself sheds no light on what Nokia will talk about, it is almost certain that it will use the event to unveil its US device lineup.

Nokia CES 2012 press conference

So far, Nokia has only announced the Lumia 710 for T-Mobile USA. It is widely expected that it will unveil new LTE devices including an LTE-enabled Lumia 800 and possibly a larger Lumia 900 (codename Ace). The new devices could use a new version of Windows Phone (codenamed Tango) which will offer new device chassis options and LTE support

Nokia is planning a big launch for the US. The marketing operation, called “Operation Rolling Thunder” internally will see Nokia launch “a portfolio of devices in the U.S. across a range of price points, user experience and operators,” according to Chris Weber, President of Nokia Inc. (US) Head of Markets, North America. Weber also indicated that Nokia will focus much of its effort on entry-level smartphones aimed at first-time buyers, rather than competing directly against Google and Apple.

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Is this the Nokia Lumia 601 Windows Phone?

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Nov 222011

An image of what could be an entry-level Nokia Windows Phone has been leaked. The image reveals the Nokia Lumia 601 and the model number suggests it could be an entry-level device. It also appears to be the same device that was spotted in a Nokia Developer video last week.

Rumoured Nokia 601

No specifications are available but the images do reveal an 8MP camera on the back. The Nokia 701, one of two Nokia Windows Phone now available, has a 5MP camera, suggesting that the Nokia 601 may not be just an entry-level device.

PocketNow does warn that the image may not be legitimate. For example, the 8MP camera module appears to very similar to the one on the Symbian-powered C7. Artifacts at the upper edges of the image also suggest that the image could have been manipulated with Photoshop.

It remains to be seen if the Nokia 601 is legitimate and if it is part of Nokia’s 3-series recently hinted at.

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Rumour: Nokia to launch Windows 8 tablet in June

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Nov 162011

NokiaNokia’s partnership with Microsoft is set to grow beyond Windows Phone devices in 2012. In an interview with French-language Les Echos, the head of Nokia France, Paul Amsellem, said that a Windows 8 tablet could be launched as early as June 2012. The timing, if accurate, suggests that Microsoft could have Windows 8 available sooner than many expect.

Amsellem also added that Nokia will soon round out its Windows Phone lineup with both lower- and higher-end devices. “The Lumia 800 is a bit like BMW’s 5 Series. We will soon have a complete range with a 7 Series and a 3 Series,” he said.

Nokia launched its first Windows Phone devices, the Lumia 800 and Lumia 710, last month. Could the rumoured Nokia Ace with its 1.4GHz processor, HSPA+/LTE connectivity and 4.3-inch AMOLED display be one of Nokia’s 7 Series devices? If nothing else, the news bodes well for Nokia’s Windows Phone launch in North America in early 2012.

Read more (in French) [Google translation]

Nokia to target first time smartphone users in US

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Oct 312011

NokiaWhen Nokia enters the North American market with its new Windows Phone devices in early 2012, it faces the difficult task of rebuilding its brand and market share here. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Chris Weber, President of Nokia Inc. (US) Head of Markets, North America, shed some light on the strategy the company will use to reestablish itself so that customers think that “Nokia + Windows = cool.”

The strategy will rely on heavy marketing and re-establishing partnerships with the North American carriers. The promise of “significant” marketing dollars in 2012 suggests that there will be heavy promotion when devices hit our shores. Nokia will launch a number of devices with multiple carriers, taking a broad approach rather than focusing on one or two carriers. It is also looking at pushing down the price of Windows smartphones, making them more accessible.

Nokia also recognizes that Android and Apple are well established. Rather than taking them on directly, Nokia will focus on entry-level smartphones aimed at first-time buyers. “We have to be additive to their business,” Weber said in reference to offering the carriers a business model that does not detract from their Android and Apple sales. He argues that many first-time smartphone buyers are overwhelmed by the complexity of Android. Windows Phone come with many commonly used apps such as Facebook preinstalled, making them easier to use out of the box.

Bottom line, “The company is committed through and through to the U.S. market,” Weber said.

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Nokia reconfirms Windows Phone devices coming to Canada in early 2012

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Oct 262011

NokiaNokia today reconfirmed its plans to bring Windows Phone devices to Canada in early 2012. Richard White, General Manager of Nokia Canada, told MobileSyrup that “We’ll have a number of Windows Phone devices, these or similarly spec’d devices, from multiple carriers available to Canadians in early 2012.”

While White did not mention any carriers by name, Nokia Canada’s Portfolio Collaboration Manager, Chad Saliba, has already confirmed that Bell Mobility, Rogers Wireless, and TELUS Mobility are already on board.

When Nokia unveiled the Lumia 800 and Lumia 710 earlier today, it also indicated that they would release devices for the US with LTE capabilities. Hopefully we will see them here as well.

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