Quite a lot has been written in comments here on AAS (and AAM) about Nokia's switch to Windows Phone for their top end smartphones going into 2012 and beyond. And a common question is "Why Windows Phone?" In other words, what makes it different, what makes its UI 'better' than Symbian - or indeed MeeGo? Determined to find out Microsoft and Nokia's answers to these questions, David and I headed to the Speakers Corner session on "Smart Talk: Life Enhancing Phones" at Nokia World...
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Nokia are backing the launch of 26 free WiFi hotspots across London. The launch coincides with the soon to be released Lumia devices, but the hotspots will of course work with any type of device. Web page authentication is required, and it’s not yet clear if WEP or WPA encryption will be used. As a further tie in with Nokia, each hotspot (and future hotspots) will be listed in Nokia Maps as a point of interest.
Figures are now in from IDC for the world phone market in Quarter 3, 2011, showing the market flattening in the USA and Western Europe as saturation sets in. However, the proportion of smartphones in the overall mix continues to rise. Nokia is still king in terms of sheer numbers, selling over a hundred million phones in the quarter, although Samsung is catching up relatively quickly. IDC's stats table is quoted below, though we don't yet have a breakdown of smartphone-only sales.
A free exhibition is currently running at the London Design Museum (28 Shad Thames, London SE1), entitled, 'People Made - Nokia products that changed the world' and tells the 'inside story of Nokia - past, present and future'. The exhibition is free to enter, but is only running from October 28th to November 2nd, leaving you three days to go along and take a look.
The 361 Degrees Podcast has returned for season 2. To kick off our second season we headed to Nokia World and recorded our first ever 'live' edition in front of an invited audience of bloggers and mobile gurus. The episode primarily consists of a conversation, based on a question and answer format, between the audience and the three hosts (Ben Smith, Ewan MacLeod, and Rafe Blandford).
Nokia announced a new hardware partnership with Monster on the stage of Nokia World today. Known for high-performance audio (in the same way that Carl Zeiss are known for high performance lenses), the relationship promises to be both long-term and exclusive with Nokia. The first collaborative product is the Purity range of HD stereo headsets.
The bad news - no new Symbian hardware at Nokia World 2011. The good news is that mention was specifically made of the existing ten next-gen Symbian^3/Anna/Belle handsets and commitment to keep the updates coming - it's safe to say that Belle will be on all ten devices fairly soon, variants and versions notwithstanding. Six new phones were launched today at the event, four using Series 40 and two running Windows Phone.
Nokia World 2011 starts today and the team is on the ground to bring you live coverage from Nokia's premier event. Over the next two days we'll be bringing you the key news, views and information. This news story contains our live coverage, where you can see the latest images and text updates; you can also interact with the team, asking questions and adding your own thoughts. Alternatively you can keep up to date by following our @aas or @aa_wp accounts on Twitter, where we will be posting text updates and images.
Nokia Maps 3D is a desktop browser-based 3D mapping tech demo, with (currently) 23 major cities around the world mapped in glorious, true 3D, with data and textures gathered from satellites, planes and cars, using conventional cameras and laser rangefinders. Anyway, Nokia just released a rather cute 'making of' video, demonstrating in public-friendly form, roughly how it all gets put together. It's embedded below - comments welcome. Oh, and apparently you'll soon not even have to install a plug-in into your browser...
Nokia World 2011 kicks off tomorrow, Wednesday 26th October and the entire 90 minute opening keynote is being webcast in video form to the world - so there's no excuse not to tune in and watch for yourself. Links below. We're expecting several Windows Phone handsets to be announced and we're very much hoping for some Symbian hardware too. Watch All About Symbian and All About Windows Phone for detailed stories on the announcements on the day!
You might have noticed that the team behind All About Symbian launched a new web site today. All About Windows Phone is now live and already stocked with content, covering Nokia's other smartphone platform going forwards. We did think a few words of reassurance appropriate for the AAS audience, however - we're not going anywhere!
Nokia Conversations, the public-facing site where stories from inside Nokia are brought to the wider world, has been given a rather impressive overhaul. Far more than just a cosmetic facelift, there's a 'notifications bar' (on the left) with dynamic links to breaking content and language controls, there's an emphasis on the 'big story of the day', the ability to contact individual story authors and a general de-cluttering of the interface.
Nokia has released its Q3 2011 results, reporting an operating loss of -€71 million, with net sales of €8.980 billion (down 13% YoY). Nokia's Devices and Services division's profits were €132 million. Margins in devices and services were 2.4% (down from 11.3 % in Q3 2010 and up from -4.2% in Q2 2011). Total smartphone device sales were 16.8 million, compared with 27.2 million units in Q3 2010 (down 34% YoY) and 16.7 million units in Q2 2011 (up 1%, QoQ). The results were ahead of expectations and suggest the company has started on the road to recovery.
You've heard of top of the line smartphones costing over £500, you've heard of the original Nokia Communicator coming in near £1000 back in the day, but today's launch of the Vertu Constellation sees a Symbian smartphone in the "£4,000 to £10,000" region, according to the Telegraph. Or, as I like to put it, "if you have to ask the price then you can't afford it" territory.
Nokia's old ovi.com is undergoing a butterfly-like transformation, it seems. ovi.com, as of right now, simply redirects to maps.nokia.com. The Ovi blog explains it all (quote below), but don't panic if you use a particular Ovi service, the old landing pages are still there on the server (e.g. Contacts, Music, Mail), so just bookmark these instead, if you haven't already.