Tuesday, January 31, 2012

» Microsoft to add Nokia’s name within Bing Maps on every device

Microsoft has been using data from Navteq for their Bing Maps since the beginning, a subsidiary owned by Nokia and has also allowed the use of Nokia Maps on Nokia’s Lumia phones. Now, they will be making this partnership more visible to the user.

Microsoft will now be displaying Nokia’s name within Bing Maps. And this applies to every device that runs Bing Maps and not just Nokia’s. This includes all the other Windows Phone 7 devices as well as recent BlackBerry phones that will soon start using Bing Maps for navigation.
Nokia CEO, Stephen Elop, has also mentioned that Nokia will be working closer with Microsoft to work on Microsoft’s other properties as well.
I wonder what the other Windows Phone OEMs feel about Nokia and Microsoft working so close with each other.

New Belle update for S^3 devices coming on February 8?

A while back, Nokia's Twitter account jumped the gun when announcing the release of the Belle update for older Nokia smartphones. Let's hope this time it's for real - Nokia's Vietnamese site announced that Belle is coming on February 8 for the following models: N8, E7, X7, E6, C6-01. Nokia Vietnam's Facebook page confirmed it.

However the page on Nokia's site is now gone, while the Facebook post is still up.
We know the Belle update is coming in February, that's the latest info from Nokia. The exact date is not clear though, their UK page just says "soon" and adds the Nokia 500 to the list of updateable phones.
Nokia is already shipping new units of those devices with Nokia Belle out of the box, so the update is clearly ready. We're not sure what's the hold up or which regions will get it first.
We can't find a mention of the update coming on February 8 on any other regional Nokia web site either. If you spot it anywhere, post a link in the comments.

Nokia now shipping Symbian^3 devices with Belle out the box

Nokia have now confirmed via their official Twitter feed that major updates have already begun rolling out to a number of devices currently running Symbian Anna, bumping them up to Symbian Belle, news that a lot of Nokia fans will no doubt welcome with open arms.
Devices including the N8, as well as the likes of Nokia's E7, C7, E6, X7, C6-01 and 500 will all now ship with Symbian Belle pre-installed. The latest iteration of the Symbian OS brings functionality and a general user experience more inline with that of Android and iOS.

Nokia have confirmed that devices will be available in a number of markets including Turkey and India, but they recommend that you check with your local retailer to see whether or not you'll be able to pick up a device running Belle.

If you want an idea of what Belle brings to the table, why not check out our review of the Nokia 701. Does the inclusion of Symbian Belle make buying a Nokia a more appealing prospect? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Nokia Q4 results are out, Lumia sold well over 1 million units

It's Nokia's turn to sum up its financial Q4 and we finally got to learn more about the market performance of the Lumia smartphones. As it turns out the sales aren't too bad, but the company still lost a huge amount of money in the holiday quarter.
In what Nokia described as very solid performance, the Lumia duo sold "well over 1 million" units, which is less than the 2 million targets, but better than the half million predictions of some analysts. You should keep in mind, though, that this number includes Lumia sales until today and not just in Q4.
A million sales is hardly enough to justify everything that the company went through after it announced its major change of strategy in February, but it's still a start and hopefully things will only get better from now on.
Also, Nokia finally started receiving the subsidy that was put in its contract with Microsoft when it started making WP smartphones. The company got $250 million this quarter and will be looking for much more in the future, if reports of a deal worth north of $2 billion are to be believed.
Still, according to the IFRS numbers (IFRS is the international standard for such reports), Nokia lost €954 million (about $1,260 million) this quarter alone or a total of €1,073 million ($1,413 million) for the whole 2011.
The company experienced year-on-year decreases in almost every one of its businesses, including the total number of phones sold. Average selling price also went down, so we can hardly attribute to the transition to smartphones alone.
Things are looking a little brighter if you compare them to Q3 of 2010, but the holiday season is bound to lead to some increase in sales.
So, Nokia obviously got their start in the WP game, but the verdict is quite clear - they need to step up their game. Of course, it would be nice if Microsoft did its part, too and brought the platform up to speed (multi-core support, FullHD video and higher display resolutions immediately spring to mind).
If you can't get enough of those numbers, you might want to follow the source link for the complete Nokia Q4 and full 2011 report.

Nokia Lumia 900 hits AT&T on March 18 for $99.99

So here's a date for the WP fans in the US to look forward to and a new savings target. According to the latest bit of online rumors, the Nokia Lumia 900 will hit the AT&T shelves on March 18 (as previously reported) and will cost $99.99.
The information was provided by Boy genius report, who claims to have received it from a well informed source, close to the carrier. The $99.99 price tag on a two-year contract does look cheap so if it's true, Nokia will obviously market the Lumia 900 quite aggressively.
For that kind of cash you'll be getting 4.3 inches of non-PenTile AMOLED goodness of the WVGA variety and a 1.4 GHz Scorpion CPU, which is about as fast as it gets on the Microsoft platform. Given that WP is still in no position to challenge the big guys just yet, pricing the Nokia flagship lower than the Android and iOS top-dogs seems like a reasonable move on the AT&T side.
You should keep in mind though that the March 18 release date is subject to the phone passing technical acceptance in time. We are keeping our fingers crossed that Nokia and AT&T will finish with the i-dotting and t-crossing and there won't be any delays.
If you are still unsure whether the Nokia Lumia 900 is worth your money, you may check our hands-on from CES to learn more about the smartphone.

Nokia Lumia 910 shows up on Dutch retailer's website

A yet to be announced Nokia Lumia 910 has appeared at a Dutch online retailer. The device sports a spec sheet, quite similar to the U.S. exclusive Lumia 900, save for the lack of LTE radio and the presence of a massive 12MP camera sensor on board - a first from Nokia since the highly revered N8 came into being.

There is no launch date available for the device on the retailer's webpage. A sign-up form though is present - just like in the case of Lumia 900's short lived, alleged UK availability from earlier this week.
While having a global version of the Lumia 900 sans the LTE radio makes quite a bit of sense, given the low availability of LTE networks outside the United States, keep in mind that we might be witnessing yet another round of speculation on the subject. The AT&T Lumia 900's picture used by the retailer certainly points in this direction. A pinch of salt therefore, is highly recommended.
Source(in Dutch) | Via

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Nokia seeds a new MeeGo PR1.2 beta, detailed changelog included

Little over a week ago Nokia released N9 PR1.2 beta version to the Nokia N950 developer device but at the time we didn't have the full changelog at the time.

Well now we do - it includes 5 new languages, app folders, extended copy-and-paste support (finally!), lockscreen music controls, front camera support, etc. Also there are many bug fixes and tweaks. We can't wait to take it for a spin on the N9.
Here are the most noteworthy improvements in the N9 PR1.2 beta version.
Software update notifications for content in Nokia Store
• Face recognition for gallery and face tags for Facebook
• Support for folders in the application view
• Mail thread support in the Email client
• Extended copy-paste support
• Media sharing with DLNA compatible devices
• Compass support in Maps
• New font taken into use
• Front camera support
• Video editing support in the Gallery application
• Separate switch for controlling mobile background connections while roaming
• Camera: self timer, grid on/off control
• Clock alarm becomes silent by flipping the device face down instead of snoozing
• People view added to the grid toolbar in the gallery
• Audiobook and podcast support in the music player
• Ability to create playlists in the music player
• Ability to delete music files from music player library views via object menu
Users who own the N950 and are eager to test out the new beta should know that upon updating there's no going back to version 1.1. MeeGo doesn't allow moving down beta versions.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

PR1.2 update spotted on Nokia N9, to bring video calls and folders

Sometimes you're just lucky - like this guy who found out his Nokia N9 is already running the upcoming PR1.2 update. The changelog for the update promises video calling support, app folders, improvements for the camera and gallery (we've already gotten a taste of the refreshed interface for the camera and the face recognition in the gallery).
Tamerbatar, a Talk Maemo forum member was kind enough to share some screenshots with the rest of us who are still running PR1.1 and here they are.

Screenshots of PR1.2 update for Nokia N9
The copy/paste functionality in the browser is new too, although it wasn’t mentioned in the changelog.

Nokia expected to sell 37 million Windows Phones in 2012

According to analyst company Morgan Stanley, this year is going to be a very successful one for Nokia and its WP smartphones. The Finns made a rapid change an effort changing their focus and direction and now is the fruits of their hard work are going to pay off.

Atleast that's what analysts think. In 2012, Morgan Stanley expects Nokia's Windows Phone shipments to hit 37 million units and double to 64 million in 2013. This means that in the next two years Nokia's Windows Phone devices will overtake their Symbian smartphones' sales.
Just for comparison, Morgan Stanley says that HTC will ship 6 million Windows Phone smartphones this year and 10 million in 2013.
Those numbers sound pretty well considering that Windows Phone 7 OS hasn't been around for as long as its iOS and Android rivals. Maybe 2012 will be the year when Windows Phone finally makes an impact. We know the forecasts don't sound right given the current state of the platform, but things develop at great speed in this business, so they might turn out true.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

LTE-packing Nokia Lumia 900 is finally official, exclusive to AT&T

Just as expected, Nokia used their CES 2012 press conference to announce their latest Windows Phone smartphone – the Nokia Lumia 900. Coming with LTE connectivity and a 4.3” ClearBlack AMOLED, the Lumia 900 is going to be an AT&T exclusive at launch.

Nokia Lumia 900 official photos
Despite earlier rumors, the Nokia Lumia 900 comes with a polycarbonate unibody just like the Lumia 800. The two more expensive Lumia smartphones also share the same 8 megapixel camera with 28mm wide-angle F/2.2 lens and 1.4GHz Scorpion CPU.

Nokia Lumia 900 announcement event
However, the Nokia Lumia 900 packs a front-facing camera, unlike its sibling. The Lumia 900 also runs on a larger 1830 mAh battery.

Nokia Lumia 900 announcement event
According to Nokia, the Lumia 900 is the first real WP smartphone designed for the US market. Unfortunately, the Finns didn't say when it will hit the shelves or how much it will cost.