Archive for Symbian

Nokia outs year-end financials: lost $1.4 billion, looks good overall

nokia logo cropped Nokia outs year end financials: lost $1.4 billion, looks good overall

This has been a big year for Nokia, but not necessarily in a good way according to the always-telling year-end financial report. Finland-based Nokia was once among the uppermost elite in the mobile realm, and while it is still far from a small player, it was on a downward trend coming into this year. Even with the switcheroo from Symbian to Windows Phone, Nokia lost a lot of ground. Net sales were down from €42.4 billion in 2010 to close 2011 at €38.6 billion. And of course, as per the title, total operating profits were at a loss: (€1 billion) as opposed to €2 billion in 2010.

While €1 billion lost is hard to swallow—that’s about $1.4 billion USD—I would actually take it as a good sign that it’s not worse. Considering that Nokia spent most of the year changing gears from Symbian to Windows Phone, €1 billion lost doesn’t look half bad. In 2011, Nokia not only single-handedly turned itself around, but with—more than—a little help from Microsoft, among others, it has created a massive stir revolving around Windows Phone.

Cash and liquid asset reserves are at a healthy €10.9 billion—down from 2010, but up from 2009—making net interest-bearing debt remain on the sunny side of things by about €5.5 billion. This makes for a good outlook; Nokia is in no trouble soon. Considering the breathlessness of the multitude of newly-formed Windows Phone and Nokia 710/800/900/etc. fans and its overall financial health, Nokia looks to continue being a very serious competitor in the world marketplace.

[Nokia via The Next Web]

Helsinki to host Nokia World 2012 in September

Helsinki 560x374 Helsinki to host Nokia World 2012 in SeptemberNokia has announced that its yearly mobile conference will be held at the Helsinki Exhibition & Convention Centre in Helsinki, Finland on September 25 and 26. Being a Finnish manufacturer, one might think that Nokia would have held the event in its home country before now. But strangely enough, this will be Nokia World’s Finnish debut.

The sixth Nokia World to date, the conference promises to hold many exciting announcements regarding Windows Phone–which is expected to be readying for the major Apollo update around that timeframe–and Nokia Belle, as well as newer initiatives like PureView. Last year’s event featured the official unveiling of the Lumia smartphone lineup, as well as new Series 40 devices and some intriguing design concepts.

Helsinki, not coincidentally, was recently named the World Design Capitol for 2012. With Nokia and Windows Phone’s focus on design, the city’s selection is even more apt. Nokia World is still more than six months away, but we can’t help but get a little excited thinking about it.

[Nokia Conversations]

Nokia 808 PureView packs an impressive 41MP camera

Nokia 808 PureView Nokia 808 PureView packs an impressive 41MP camera

Nokia is going big with the 808 PureView, which packs a whopping 41MP Carl Zeiss camera. The 808 PureView isn’t a Windows Phone, oddly enough, but the camera blows away everything else on the market–by a lot.

The Nokia 808 PureView runs the latest version of Nokia Belle with Feature Pack 1. The device’s 4-inch ClearBlack AMOLED display, manufactured out of Gorilla Glass, is powered by a 1.3GHz processor. 16GB of internal memory comes standard on the phone, with support for up to an additional 32GB with a microSD card.

You’ll need the extra space too, since 41MP photos are quite large. The 808 PureView includes a Creative Shooting Mode, which lets you adjust the image after the fact with a resolution of up to 38MP. Beat of all, you can zoom in up to three times without any loss of picture quality. It can also record 1080p 30fps video with 4X lossless zoom, 720p video with up to 6X zoom, and 640 x 480 video with up to 12X zoom. And with Dolby digital audio, it sounds great.

Even with the world’s biggest cellular camera, the Nokia 808 PureView only weighs 169g and has 6.5 hours of talk time (540 hours on standby). It’s obviously a niche device, but the awesome camera is certain to excite many photography enthusiasts.

[Nokia Conversations]

Researchers blame flash memory for smartphone slowdowns

microSD Card Researchers blame flash memory for smartphone slowdownsFlash memory is all well and good, but what if it’s the cause of many smartphone performance issues? Researchers claim that there is a big link between poor performing smartphones and many of the top selling flash memory cards, causing slowdowns in WiFi connectivity. Results varied wildly, averaging a performance decline of between 100% and 300%, even plummeting 2,000% in one instance.

The reason for this is simple: there is little quality control when it comes to flash memory cards. Two identical cards will often have very different benchmarks, making it difficult to recommend a particular brand or class.

This, in fact, is the very reason why Microsoft has all but banned expandable memory via microSD cards in Windows Phone. A few select first-generation handsets–most notably the Samsung Focus–supported permanent expandable memory with microSD, but Microsoft refused to support that use case scenario and manufacturers let customers do it at their own risk. There are rumors that the Apollo update might usher in some form of official support, but it’s all rumor and speculation at this point.

Android, on the other hand, fully supports removable microSD cards. Unfortunately, the most popular 16GB embedded flash memory cards caused a wide variety of performance issues and drops in battery life. That’s not to say that all flash memory card are bad, but it’s certainly a somewhat risky scenario.

In a world where most people are concerned about the processor, screen, and battery life, it’s easy to overlook just how much flash memory can affect the device. Thankfully, the researchers have a few ideas on how to improve flash memory in the future. But until these issues are resolved and flash memory has better quality control, you should be wary of buying cheap flash memory. Unless, of course, you like a slow smartphone.

[Revisiting Storage for Smartphones via Computerworld]

Android and Windows Phone need a common denominator

044 2 Android and Windows Phone need a common denominator

It seems now more than ever that everyone you know has a big screen in their pocket. I’m not necessarily saying everyone has an HTC TITAN, rather that most people you come across have some sort of smartphone with a decently sized screen they enjoy watching movies on and listening to music. For a lot of people, it’s become their all in one device. Why carry another mp3 player (for most people) when you’ve got 8, 16, or 32GB of music available on your phone? After all, Windows Phones have Zune built in, and Android has Google Music among others. But, how many of you Android and Windows Phone users are able to plug your phones into your car, a stereo dock, an alarm clock, etc? This is where things get tricky for non-iOS users, and frankly this is one reason why people stick with Apple. Continue reading…

Microsoft releases Lync client for Windows Phone, Android coming soon

Microsoft Lync 2010 Microsoft releases Lync client for Windows Phone, Android coming soonIt has been quite a week for app updates, hasn’t it? Microsoft is continuing this streak by releasing its Lync 2010 communications client on Windows Phone, as promised. This long-awaited release should make a lot of business professionals very “appy,” provided that they are running a Lync Server or have an account with Office365 or Lync Online. A valid account is required in order to log into the app.

Once inside, users will find a variety of features including the ability to communicate with colleagues via email, instant message (IM), or voice; join Lync conference calls without a special code or conference number; access Lync’s single-identity telephony service (Enterprise Voice); and much more.

Best of all, these features are presented in a beautiful Metro-inspired interface, making navigation and usage both simple and enjoyable. Not everyone uses Lync, but those that do should be very pleased with this slick app.

Android, Symbian, and iOS versions of the Lync app should also be available shortly, but they have yet to hit their respective marketplaces as of this writing. BlackBerry users need not apply. These apps–with the exception of the Symbian client–aren’t quite as full-featured as the one on Windows Phone, but they should still be an excellent addition to any device.

[Windows Phone Marketplace via WPCentral]

Nokia’s testing facility shown off on video

 

The Nokia World Event is inching closer to us, and what better way to get a glimpse into the life of a Nokia phone than a tour through its testing facility? The video was shot at Nokia’s San Diego testing facilities, and really gives you an idea how Nokia is able to put out such excellent quality products. Of course, Nokia isn’t the only company that goes through such a rigorous testing process with its phones, as the bigger players like HTC, RIM, and Samsung surely have a similar setup. It’s still very cool to see the process that ensures a quality product.

[WMPoweruser]

Nokia’s Symbian handsets to receive Microsoft Office apps

Exchange ActiveSync on Symbian Nokias Symbian handsets to receive Microsoft Office appsNokia might be putting most of its efforts into Windows Phone, but that doesn’t mean the Finnish manufacturer has completely forgotten about its Symbian operating system. In a Thursday post on the official Nokia blog, the company revealed that Microsoft is gearing up to release its Office suite on Symbian devices.

OneNote, Lync 2010 Mobile, PowerPoint Broadcast, and Document Connection will be the first four productivity applications to launch under the Microsoft Apps banner. They will be made available as a free software update for all Symbian devices in the fourth quarter of 2011. The initial release of OneNote will only support synchronization with SkyDrive, but Microsoft plans to add support for notebooks on SharePoint in early 2012. Native applications for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are also in the pipeline.

As part of the announcement, Nokia reiterated its commitment to Symbian software updates until 2016, at the earliest. “Symbian is hugely important to our future ambitions,” said a Nokia representative, ”and this latest announcement is just another example of the role that Symbian will play.”

[Nokia via WinRumors]

Nokia to include NFC chips in all future devices

Concept Nokia Windows Phones Nokia to include NFC chips in all future devices

Nokia announced on Monday that, going forward, all of the company’s devices will include near-field communication (NFC) technology. This applies to both smartphones and accessories.

NFC chips are highly versatile, allowing devices to be used for financial transactions, file sharing, gaming, identification, and much more with the press of a button. More and more smartphone manufacturers have begun including NFC chips in their devices, so it’s no surprise that Nokia intends to join the club as well.

Nokia Vice President Ilari Nurmi stated that “From now on, all of our products will have an NFC chip inside. All other NFC-equipped devices can also link to our products.” Nokia recently put three NFC-equipped Symbian phones on the market, and it plans to do the same with Windows Phone later this fall. As of this writing, Nokia is the first device manufacturer to announce NFC support for its Windows Phone handsets.

[Bangkok Post via WMPoweruser]

Google owns almost 50% of the mobile market

Fullscreen capture 832011 90502 PM.bmp 560x280 Google owns almost 50% of the mobile market

A new report from Canalys has the goods on the team from Mountain View. They’ve collected some data and analyzed it, and they figure that Android accounts for 48% of smartphones in consumers hands worldwide. I don’t care what you think of the little green robot, they are dominating the market at this point. Of course another report shows that Apple is raking in a majority of the direct profits from their mobile platform, but market share definitely accounts for something.

While it’s great news that Android powers 1 in every 2 smartphones, it had to come from somewhere. Nokia seems to be the biggest loser in this report. They were overtaken by Apple in regards to the Symbian platform, which was expected, but was also overtaken by Samsung. Canalys expects (among others) that Nokia should be able to bounce back sometime next year after the launch of several Windows Phone models, but their near term outlook is extremely bleak as they transition to the new platform.

While the news for Android is extremely positive, the same can’t be said for Microsoft’s mobile section. It’s estimated that less than 1.5 million Windows Phone devices were shipped during the first quarter this year, bringing them to about 1% of the global market. Clearly Mango can’t come soon enough for the mobile platform. The new features and new hardware is expected to benefit the platform, but the Microsoft marketing team clearly needs to work overtime.

Surprisingly, RIM has grown by about 11% this year despite the bad press they’ve been receiving. The growth mainly stems from Latin America, but is still strong throughout the world regardless of the stock markets and the press says. Even with that growth worldwide, it’s still tough to go from a 33% hold of the US market to a mere 12% this year. Full press release after the break. Continue reading…