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.
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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.
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...
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.
Two of the most popular Nokia Beta Labs projects have recently ended, with very differing outcomes. Nokia Sleeping Screen, which enables custom bitmaps to be used as your OLED always-on time display, has graduated and is now in the main Nokia Store on-device. Meanwhile, Nokia Bubbles, which enabled an active lock screen in which you had to chase and drag the bubble for the app or shortcut you wanted onto the unlock icon, has been terminated. Some quotes and links below.
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.
More a super-geek plaything than a mainstream set of games at present, but I can see where Nokia is going with this... Beta Labs just released a small set of NFC games, simple titles that leverage the NFC chip in the C7 and the newer Belle devices. You'll need a compatible device (obviously) and a number of NFC chips (e.g. in cards and stickers) to play though. Video and quotes below.
Yes, you can turn stats to prove almost anything and goodness knows we've seen enough of that from the tech media in recent years. So time for a shot across the bows with a look at that favourite stat from the 'superphone' brigade: mobile web browsing, sorted by smartphone platform. It'll be iPhone and Android all the way, right? Wrong. Hopelessly wrong.