Good to see Nokia porting some of their newer Maps Suite back to fill out the mapping and navigation options on older devices, with today's new v2.0.3 beta release of Nokia Public Transport for all Symbian touch-driven smartphones, including now for the first time S60 5th Edition and (also, some) pre-Belle Symbian^3 smartphones. New for this release are visual improvements, coverage information and extra language localisations.
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I've commented before on the size of Symbian's installed base of active users, pointing out that it's larger than most industry commentators would have conceived. However, with Symbian smartphone sales on something of a decline in recent months and with Android device sales still rising, it was clear that at some point the active installed base of the two smartphone OS would switch positions. According to my calculations this happened recently - Android has overtaken Symbian and is now the most used mobile OS on the planet - see the helpful chart below.
Following last week's profits warning, Nokia has released its formal Q1 2012 Results, reporting a non-IFRS loss of EUR 260 million, on net sales of EUR 7.3 billion (down 29% YoY). Nokia's 'Devices and Services' division's loss was EUR 127 million, compared to a profit of EUR 292 million in Q4 2011). Total smartphone device sales were 11.9 million, compared with 24.2 million units in Q1 2011 (down 51% YoY) and 19.6 million units in Q4 2011 (down 39%, QoQ). Gross profit margins on smartphones in Q1 were 15.6% (down from 28.9% YoY). Quotes and comments below.
The roll out of the Nokia Belle Feature Pack 1 firmware update for the Nokia 701, Nokia 700 and Nokia 603 has commenced. The update, which is available over-the-air (OTA), includes new homescreen widgets, improvements to the notification bar, an updated version of the browser (8.2), an improved multi-tasking view, Dolby Digital Plus functionality, and increases the speed of the processor (on the 701 and 700) from 1.0 to 1.3GHz. The update also includes a number of recent application updates, including Microsoft Apps (first phase) and Nokia Maps Suite 2.0.
Ahead of the announcement of its quarterly results next week, Nokia has issued a statement warning that earnings, margins and device sales in its key Devices & Services division will be lower than expected for the first quarter of the year and that there will be little improvement in the second quarter. Nokia's current estimate for quarter one is that non-IFRS Devices & Services operating margins will be -3% (down from expected break even), with similar or lower figures anticipated for the second quarter.
Released in the last hour is the official version of Nokia Maps Suite 2.0, with the core maps component version-labelled as 3.9(4). It's now rolling out to all Symbian^3/Anna/Belle class devices (that have been upgraded to Belle) and without a 'beta' flag attached. Think of Maps Suite 2.0 as the latest versions of Maps/Drive, together with Transport, Weather and some fancy new widgets, all rolled into a convenient update.
A Sunday, and April 1st at that, is an unusual day to launch a flagship product, but Nokia has done this with the new E710 Communicator. Seemingly incorporating some of the best bits of both the N8 and E7, we have, at last, a smartphone that we'll leave no Symbian fan dissatisfied. Press photos and specifications are all shown below.
We've seen Nokia's weather widgets in numerous demos and promo screens, but they're here for real now, albeit nominally in 'beta'. You will need a phone that's running Symbian Nokia Belle though and you will need to have the latest Nokia Maps Suite installed if you want it all running smoothly. Here's a walkthrough and some comments.
Yes, we knew that the Nokia 808 PureView will come with Symbian Nokia Belle Feature Pack 1, but questions like 'Which other devices will get this update?' and 'What's in it?' spring to mind. Over on Nokia Conversations, a few more morsels have appeared officially. Here's what we now know.
Today at Mobile World Congress 2012, Nokia announced its new Symbian (Belle, Feature Pack 1) flagship, the 4"-CBD-screened 808 PureView, the "first smartphone to feature Nokia PureView imaging technologies" (implying future use of the system on other devices, possibly on Symbian, possibly on Windows Phone). The headline feature is the 41 megapixel oversampling system implemented on a huge 1/1.2" sensor, enabling standard resolution photos to be produced yet with dramatic zooming (24-74mm) available without loss of detail, and with lower digital noise. Zooming is also available without loss of detail, in video mode. Up to 38 megapixel images can be taken at full resolution. Read on for much more.
Nokia hold their MWC press conference today, with a kick off time of 08:30 CET (7:30 GMT). We're expecting multiple device announcements from across Nokia's portfolio. From this story you can follow our live coverage, coming direct from MWC in Barcelona. You can also follow our coverage on Twitter at @aas and @AA_WP.
No, 'NFC Interactor' isn't a new smartphone particle weapon plug-in, it's actually a cool diagnostic for tag-reading purposes and an even cooler tool to let you write your own NFC tags, should you have some that are unlocked and writeable. And remember that if NFC is all Greek to you, check out my NFC Primer. NFC Interactor is cool in another way, too, in that it's one of the first Symbian applications to use in-app purchasing via the Nokia Store.
As part of Microsoft’s expanding support for mobile platforms, OneNote, Document Connection, Lync 2010 and PowerPoint Broadcast are now rolling out for most Nokia Belle devices. While these applications mostly benefit those in a corporate environment, OneNote has a general appeal and allows users to sync richly formatted notes between their desktop and their Symbian smartphone. The update also includes improvements to the Microsoft Exchange handling in Symbian Belle.
You may recall from last week that the Belle update for existing Symbian devices had an unintentional incompatibilty with a core Nokia piece of software - Social Networking. The then current release of Social, v1.5(214), didn't get kicked into action when you tried to 'share' an image from your phone's Gallery, producing an error instead. With the update to v1.5(215) this has now been fixed.
With the new QML version of the Ovi Store client now standard on Symbian^3 and upwards, it's interesting to see a brand new version of the Store client for S60 5th Edition now available, v1.22 (the previous latest was 1.16). There's no official changelog, but following new versions of the QML Store, it's likely that the new client is better 'aligned' with changes to the Nokia Store back-end.