With Nokia already putting NFC into all its Symbian smartphones and with RIM and Samsung also launching some models with the technology, plus HTC, Apple and others planning NFC into their roadmaps, Digitimes is reporting that Taiwanese smartphone manufacturers are estimating 50% penetration of NFC within two to three years. From my own observations this seems about right, though I'd put it at 80% for smartphones away from the budget end.
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Anecdotally, the Proporta chargers have been hugely popular amongst my Phones Show viewership and 'All About' readers generally - and there's a new monster version now available, clocking in at a stunning 7000mAh. The Turbocharger 7000 has two USB output ports as usual, along with a facelifted exterior, weighs only 175g, and comes with charging heads for all major phone and gadget ports and a carrying case. Watch this space for a full review.
Not available in the Nokia Store yet, but downloadable from get.nimbuzz.com, is a new v3.3 of this popular chat client, picthed as having a completely 'redesigned' home screen and new shortcuts for 'recent' chats, for 'N-World' and for 'Groupchat'. As ever, the Nimbuzz folks offer a premium experience provided you live within the chat systems supported (Windows Live Messenger (MSN), Yahoo IM, AIM, GoogleTalk, Facebook and MySpace are the main ones). The changelog is below.
With NFC baked into Symbian Belle (and a few Anna builds!), the number of applications with NFC capability keeps on growing. The latest addition to the number is Foursquare, as detailed in the NFC blog post quoted below. You can now just walk up to a Foursquare check-in poster at an event, tap your phone to it, even if the application isn't already running, and bang, you're checked in.
We periodically link to James Burland's Flickr-based Nokia N8 photo award series - and this month's is a cracker, with my favourite show pasted below. It's still amazing what people get this camera-centric smartphone to do and these examples prove it's still top of the heap, even a year after release.
Not Symbian-related directly, but I did note that Nokia has launched 'Nokia Maps Creator', aimed at letting people make small edits or additions to existing maps - and edits are available to all Nokia Maps users 'immediately'. Initially, this is only for 'previously unmapped' countries, but it's possible that moderated edits might come to other countries in time. Some links and quotes below.
Andrew Orlowski's posts on Psion, Nokia and Symbian over at The Register are often a rollicking read, especially for geeks interested in Symbian's past. This five page article is all about Hildon, the UI (and indeed 'platform', or so argues the piece) that was evolved to Series 90, used in the Nokia 7710, and which underpinned a revamped Series 80, used in the Nokia 9500 and 9300. One for Symbian historians, definitely!
Nokia has put up a super-glossy four minute reminder of its innovations over the last 25 years, from the first mobiles through the advanced audio telephony codecs today - it's a good watch (embedded below) and is a reminder, among other things, of the sheer number of telephony patents stacked up at Nokia HQ (remember that Apple had to pay up earlier this year?).
Smartphone sales statistics are now out for Q3, 2011, thanks to Gartner. Sales of Symbian-powered smartphones in the quarter were down 10 million from last year's total, at just under 20 million, but still notably higher than sales of Apple's high profile iOS devices. Sales of Android-powered devices were the strongest, at just over 60 million in the quarter. Some quotes, comment and a table below.
Part two of the first 'live' recording of the 361 Degrees podcast, which took place just after the close of Nokia World, is now available. Rafe Blandford (All About), Ewan MacLeod (Mobile Industry Review) and Ben Smith (Wireless Worker) take questions on the current state of the mobile ecosystem from an invited audience of bloggers and mobile gurus.
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...
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.
Notable from the last few days have been two big updates over at Nokia Beta Labs. Nokia Suite, the renamed and refreshed version of Ovi Suite, has been moved to v3.2.98, with a veritable mountain of bug fixes and tweaks. Changelog below. And the Nokia Store QML client has been updated to v3.18.032, with two important installation fixes.
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.
I did report on Nokia's (beta) launch of its Maps Suite last week and was intending to write up my thoughts, but I've been beaten to it by The Mobile Tech Bishop in an excellently argued piece, in which the positives are acknowledged but the phrase "bloated mass" also makes a justified appearance.