Software update for Nokia Lumia 920 and 820 rolling out in Canada and US

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Dec 192012

Nokia Lumia 920Nokia today announced that it has begun to push out a software update that brings a number of enhancements to the Nokia Lumia 920 at Rogers here in Canada and the Nokia Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 at AT&T in the United States. The update (Software Version 1232.5951.1249.0001) offers the following:

  • Enhancements in Messaging
  • More efficient and reliable Bluetooth connectivity
  • More efficient and reliable start-up sequence
  • Enhancements in imaging performance and battery management
  • Additional platform updates and enhancements

Your device should soon alert you that an update is available. To check manually, select Settings -> Phone Update -> Check For Updates. The update process should take about 30 minutes.

Nokia is also “working with Microsoft and our operator partners” to push out updates for other Lumia devices updates in early February 2013.

Read more: Nokia

Nokia to unveil 10-inch Windows RT tablet at MWC 2013?

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Dec 192012

NokiaRumours that Nokia was working on a tablet have been around since at least November 2011. Since then, there have been numerous hints and suggestions that Nokia was working on a Windows 8 tablet. At one point, it was looking like Nokia would launch one before the end of the year.

It now appears that Nokia’s first tablet will finally see the light of day in early 2013. According to Digitimes, Nokia will unveil a 10-inch Windows RT tablet at Mobile World Congress in late February. Few details are available but Nokia has reportedly been developing it with Microsoft, Qualcomm and Compal Electronics, the same partners as in earlier reports.

The report adds that Nokia in fact delayed the launch of this tablet after finding out that Microsoft would be launching its own Surface tablet in late 2012. Nokia opted to take a wait-and-see attitude to see how the Windows 8/RT tablet market would fare and instead remained focused on its smartphone business.

Nokia has yet to commit to any order volumes and has yet to settle on its marketing plans for the tablet. This would suggest that it may still take a bit of time before the still-unnamed Nokia tablet hits the street.

Read more: Digitimes

IHS iSuppli: Samsung to become top cellphone manufacturer in 2012

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Dec 182012

Samsung2012 may not be over yet but it appears that the fat lady has sung her tune. According to IHS iSuppli, Samsung will displace Nokia to become the top mobile phone manufacturer for 2012. It will be the first time that the South Korean manufacturer will take the spot that Nokia has claimed as its won since 1998. Much of Samsung’s success can be attributed to its smartphone business.

“The competitive reality of the cellphone market in 2012 was ‘live by the smartphone; die by the smartphone,’” said Wayne Lam, senior analyst for wireless communications at IHS. “Smartphones represent the fastest-growing segment of the cellphone market—and will account for nearly half of all wireless handset shipments for all of 2012. Samsung’s successes and Nokia’s struggles in the cellphone market this year were determined entirely by the two companies’ divergent fortunes in the smartphone sector.”

The top five cellphone manufacturers in 2012 are as follows:

Rank Company 2011 2012
1 Samsung 24% 29%
2 Nokia 30% 24%
3 Apple 7% 10%
4 ZTE 6% 6%
5 LG 6% 4%
Source: IHS iSuppli December 2012

In the smartphone space, Samsung is expected to consolidate its lead over Apple thanks to its diversified smartphone lineup that covers everything from the entry-level space to the flagship market. The top five smartphone manufacturers are expected to be the following:

Rank Company 2011 2012
1 Samsung 20% 28%
2 Apple 19% 20%
3 Nokia 16% 5%
4 HTC 9% 5%
5 RIM 11% 5%
Source: IHS iSuppli December 2012

IHS iSuppli expects that smartphones will account for 56% of the mobile phone market in 2013. Whether the top five will remain as they are remains to be seen.

Read more: IHS iSuppli

Nokia cancels CES 2013 appearance to focus on MWC announcements

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Dec 182012

NokiaAt CES last year, Nokia unveiled its Lumia 900 flagship smartphone for AT&T. With the manufacturer having announced new devices for U.S. carriers (for example the Lumia 920 for AT&T and the Lumia 822 for Verizon) only recently, it now appears that it will skip the event entirely this year to focus on announcements at Mobile World Congress in late February.

Chinese WPDang reports that Nokia has cancelled its Consumer Electronics Show plans and will not be found at the event. A look at the CES 2013 Exhibitor Directory appears to support this as only Nokia’s Navteq division is represented.

The report adds that Nokia could use MWC to introduce the Lumia 950 (which we’ve heard about before), an upgraded version of the Lumia 920. It could also launch the Nokia Lumia 980 which could be the Windows Phone 8 successor to the Nokia 808 PureView.

As UnwiredView points out, Nokia could make the next round of U.S. carrier announcements at CTIA Wireless 2013 running in late May.

Read more: WPDang (in Chinese) [Google translation] (Source: UnwiredView)

Nokia Lumia 920 to get software update this month

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Dec 162012

Nokia Lumia 920On the heels of the Windows Phone 8X by HTC getting an OTA update comes word from Nokia that the Nokia Lumia 920 will also receive a software update this month. The tweet from @NokiaCareUS is slim on additional details unfortunately:

It remains to be seen if the Nokia update will contain a similar list of fixes and enhancements as the one for the Windows Phone 8X. If so, it will include the ability to keep Wi-Fi active when the screen times out and some new SMS features.

Given that we are halfway through December, the update should be hitting Lumia 920 smartphones pretty soon! It’s also not clear whether the Lumia 820 will get a similar update around the same time.

Read more: @NokiaCareUS [via Twitter] (Source: MyNokiaBlog)

Nokia unveils Nokia Lumia 505 with Windows Phone 7.8

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Dec 152012

Nokia Lumia 505Nokia this week unveiled a new entry-level Windows Phone smartphone, the Nokia Lumia 505. It is Nokia’s second device in its new 500 line after the Nokia Lumia 510 launched in October.

Nokia Lumia 505 specifications:

  • Operating system: Microsoft Windows Phone 7.8
  • Cellular connectivity: WCDMA/HSPA/EDGE/GPRS
  • Other connectivity: GPS/A-GPS, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
  • Display: 3.7-inch WVGA (800×480) AMOLED
  • Input: Multi-touch capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 256MB RAM
  • Storage: 4GB onboard
  • Rear-facing camera: 8MP with f2.8 aperture and VGA video capture
  • Front-facing camera: None
  • Connectors: 3.5mm audio jack, micro-USB 2.0
  • Battery: 1,300mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 118.1 x 61.2 x 11.3 millimeters / 131 grams
  • Colours: Black, white, red

Nokia has not revealed what processor will power the Lumia 510 but it is expected to be a single-core one.

Nokia will launch the Nokia Lumia 505 in Mexico with TelCel in the next few weeks. It remains to be seen if it will make its way North of Mexico later.

Read more: Nokia Mexico (in Spanish) [Google translation] (Source: WPCentral)

Nokia announces Nokia Lumia 620

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Dec 052012

Nokia Lumia 620Nokia today announced the Nokia Lumia 620, its third and “most affordable” Windows Phone 8 smartphone. Like its more powerful siblings, it will come with Nokia’s software suite which includes Nokia Maps, Nokia Drive, Nokia Transport and the exclusive Nokia City Lens.

“We continue to execute on our strategy to reach new audiences and new markets,” said Jo Harlow, executive vice president, Nokia Smart Devices. “With its innovative design, the latest Windows Phone 8 software and signature experiences from Nokia, like Nokia lenses, Nokia Maps and Nokia Music, the Nokia Lumia 620 is a highly competitive smartphone at this price point.”

Nokia Lumia 620 specifications:

  • Processor: Dual-core 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4
  • Operating system: Microsoft Windows Phone 8
  • Cellular connectivity: HSPA+/EDGE/GPRS/WCDMA/GSM
  • Other connectivity: 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, NFC
  • Display: 3.8-inch WVGA (800×480) ClearBlack LCD
  • Input: Capacitive multipoint-touch touchscreen
  • Memory: 512MB RAM
  • Storage: 8GB onboard and microSD cards up to 64GB
  • Rear-facing camera: 5MP with 720p video capture and LED flash
  • Front-facing camera: VGA
  • Connectors: 3.5mm audio jack, micro-USB 2.0
  • Battery: 1,300mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 115.4 × 61.1 × 11 millimeters / 127 grams
  • Colours: Lime green, orange, magenta, yellow, cyan, white and black
  • Other: Exchangeable gloss and matte finish shells

The Nokia Lumia will be available starting in January 2103 in Asia. Launches in Europe and the Middle East will follow “closely” after. Further markets will follow later. It will sell for USD$249 (about CA$245).

Read more: Nokia

Nokia sells and then leases back head office building

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Dec 052012

NokiaTo turn its fortunes around, Nokia has not only bet heavily on Windows Phone but has also made significant changes to the company itself. In its latest move, Nokia yesterday announced that it has agreed to sell its head ofice building in Espoo, Finland to Finland-based Exilion. At the same time, it will not move out as it has agreed to lease its facilities back.

“We had a comprehensive sales process with both Finnish and foreign investors and we are very pleased with this outcome. As we have said before, owning real estate is not part of Nokia’s core business and when good opportunities arise we are willing to exit these types of non-core assets. We are naturally continuing to operate in our head office building on a long-term basis,” said Timo Ihamuotila, CFO, Nokia.

The sale of its headquarters will net €170 million (about CA$221 million). The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2012.

Video: Windows Phone 7.8 teased on Nokia Lumia 900

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Dec 022012

Microsoft earlier this week announced that it will start rolling out Windows Phone 7.8 upgrades for current devices in early 2013. What this upgrade will look like on a Nokia Lumia 900 is now the subject of a video. Being only 37 seconds in length, you can forget about any in-depth look at what the upgrade will offer. It briefly shows off the new start screen with tile resizing and a new Xbox icon.

The video was shot using a preview Windows Phone 7.8 version on a demo unit. While there may yet be further changes, Windows Phone 7.8 appears for now to be running smoothly on the Lumia 900.

Read more: PhoneCatTV [via YouTube] (Source: GSMArena)

RIM loses WLAN patent battle to Nokia

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Nov 282012

Research In MotionAfter some recent good news, Research In Motion today was dealt yet another setback. A dispute with Nokia over WLAN patents has gone in Nokia’s favour. In a U.S. court filing seeking to enforce the ruling, Nokia indicates that RIM was found to be “in breach of contract and is not entitled to manufacture or sell WLAN products without first agreeing royalties with Nokia.” Similar cases have been filed in Britain and Canada.

Unless RIM can come to terms with Nokia, likely additional royalties, it could face a sales ban on its BlackBerry devices. The ban would also extend to RIM’s upcoming BlackBerry 10 devices.

Nokia and RIM first entered into a cross-license agreement covering standards-essential cellular patents back in 2003. The agreement was amended in 2008. In March 2011, RIM sought to have the license extended to cover WLAN patents. The decision, finally reached on November 6th, went in Nokia’s favour, prompting the court cases.

Read more: Reuters

RIM BlackBerry 10 L-Series next to Nokia Lumia 820

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Nov 232012

RIM BlackBerry 10 L-Series next to Nokia Lumia 820

Aside from the myriad of solo pictures, Research In Motion’s upcoming BlackBerry 10 L-Series has been caught next to an Apple iPhone 5. As if that was not enough, it has now been spotted next to a Nokia Lumia 820.

BlackBerry 10 L-Series next to Nokia Lumia 820

Very little is revealed by the picture. Much as we saw before, the BlackBerry 10 L-Series benefits from a larger display despite a very similar size because it lacks the dedicated space for buttons as it will rely far more on gestures.

RIM will formally unveil its BlackBerry 10 devices at launch events on January 30th, 2013.

Read more: N4BB

Nokia HERE Maps now available for iOS devices

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Nov 202012

Apple Maps got some competition in the App Store today and it’s not from Google. It comes instead from Nokia’s Here Maps app which is now available for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (iOS 4.3 or later).

HERE Maps helps you feel like a local anywhere you go. See where you are, search and discover nearby places, and get a feel for the place. Collect places to remember or for later discovery. Explore new destinations and know instantly how to get there on foot, by car or on public transport. HERE Maps is based on the world-class NAVTEQ mapping data used in 90% of in-car navigation systems in the world.

Nokia HERENokia HERE

Among the features that Nokia HERE Maps offers are:

  • Map views – Pick the map you need from map view, live traffic view, public transport line view or satellite view
  • Save map areas & wander without data coverage
  • In selected countries, access community maps created and updated by users
  • Search with history and suggestions
  • Share places with just a tap, including the location and how to get there, over SMS, email, or social networks
  • Organize places you love into Collections
  • Sync with – Access your Collections anywhere
  • Step-by-Step voice-guided walk navigation
  • Walk navigation through pedestrian routes, parks, alleyways, and more
  • Public transportation and driving directions

Nokia HERE Maps is available in the Apple App store as a free download.

Rogers launches Nokia Lumia 920 and Windows Phone 8X by HTC

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Nov 132012

Rogers CommunicationsWhile Rogers may have launched a limited number of Nokia Lumia 920 smartphones almost two weeks ago, it is today available on its website for anyone to order along with the 16GB Windows Phone 8X by HTC. The two are the first Windows Phone 8 devices the carrier has launched.

Rogers will also offer the 8GB Windows Phone 8X by HTC and the Samsung ATIV S (the former exclusively) but neither are available yet.

Both the Nokia Lumia 920 and Windows Phone 8X by HTC are available for CA$99.99 with a three-year contract or CA$549.99 on a month-to-month term.

Read more: Nokia Lumia 920 and Windows Phone 8X by HTC

China-bound Nokia Lumia 920T to sport Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset

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Nov 092012

The Nokia Lumia 920 is just starting to hit the street that Nokia already appears to have an upgraded version as well. But before you decide to hold off buying your Lumia 920, it appears that the Nokia Lumia 920T is headed only to China so far.

Nokia Lumia 920T

According to the China Mobile’s Sina Weibo website, the Lumia 920T will sport a Snapdragon MSM8960T S4 Pro chipset. The Lumia 920 comes with the MSM8960 S4 Plus chipset. Both are dual-core but the Pro version packs the more powerful Adreno 320 GPU rather than the Adreno 225 of the Plus. While the GPU will certainly help performance, it remains to be seen just how much of an improvement it will deliver in day-to-day usage.

Aside from antennas for the Chinese market and the updated SoC, the Nokia Lumia 920T should be otherwise very similar to the Nokia Lumia 920.

It remains to be seen if the Nokia Lumia 920T will ever be seen outside of China.

Read more: Sina Weibo (in Chinese) (Source: GSMArena)

Microsoft to acquire both Nokia and NVIDIA?

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Nov 082012

MicrosoftThere have already been rumours that Microsoft could acquire Nokia but the latest round of speculation would see Microsoft not only acquire Nokia but also chipmaker Nvidia. According to InformationWeek’s Paul McDougall who is proposing this theory, Microsoft is “sick of watching Apple’s beautiful new products draw raves and set fanboy hearts afire while its partners come out with Windows-based devices that, well, let’s just say can be less than impressive.” The acquisitions would allow it to control the software but also the hardware, in much the same way as Apple does today.

Microsoft has already acknowledged that “a fundamental shift” is underway in their business. They have also confirmed their intent to launch more hardware products in the future. There are rumours that it could launch a Surface smartphone and an Xbox gaming tablet in the not-so-distant future. Acquisitions could quickly allow Microsoft to take control of a number of key areas of hardware development and ramp up development of additional devices without relying on third party partners.

Microsoft could buy Nokia for between US$10 and US$14 billion while NVIDIA could go for a bit more, perhaps US$15 billion, especially if competitors like Google decide to try to keep it away from Microsoft. With over US$66 billion in its coffers, it is in a position to manage both acquisitions.

It remains to be seen if Microsoft will move in this direction. It has already upset many hardware partners with the launch of its Surface tablet. Every additional hardware product it releases will grow that rift. Somewhere there is a tipping point where adopting an Apple-like model makes sense. Now Microsoft has to find it and decide if it has the heart for the changes it will bring about.

Read more: InformationWeek