Nokia’s high end smartphones are “too expensive” according to the European general manager for devices at international carrier Telefónica. Simon Lee-Smith told Telecoms.com that Nokia’s premium devices are “not yet at the right price point,” adding: “If Nokia wants to sell in volume, they need to bring out devices which are cost-competitive.”
Microsoft has announced that it will miss its target of launching its Windows Phone 7 handsets in China, stating that the devices will be available in the country in the first half of 2012, rather than by the end of 2011, as originally planned.
As the global director for terminals marketing at the Vodafone Group, Peter Becker-Pennrich holds decision making powers over a procurement strategy that deals in serious volumes. Vodafone buys between 60 and 70 million handsets each year, spending $8bn across it’s footprint, including affiliates and partner markets. In this exclusive interview Becker-Pennrich offers frank assessments of the different strategies adopted by the vendor community, their chances for success and the nature of the relationship – ever evolving – between operators, vendors and platform developers.
US chipset manufacturer Qualcomm has confirmed full support for Microsoft Windows 8 PCs and smartphones based on its next generation Snapdragon family of processors. The move is of interest as it marks the arrival of an OS designed to span both the PC and mobile device form factors and Qualcomm’s foray into the same area.
HTC has become the latest mobile player to become embroiled in controversy over tracking users’ locations. The Taiwanese vendor faces allegations that two of its handsets, the Sensation and Evo 3D, track users’ locations without permission.
Taiwanese handset vendor HTC has previewed two Windows Phone 7 smartphones to consumers across Europe, ahead of the products’ commercial release in October. The Titan and Radar handsets are the first from HTC to run the latest version of WP7, dubbed Mango.
Internet telephony player Skype, recently acquired by Microsoft, is doing some shopping of its own, entering into an agreement to acquire mobile group messaging provider GroupMe. Founded in 2010 in New York, GroupMe allows users to group text, conference call, and share pictures and location data.
The next version of Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform will finally bear fruit in September when a phone featuring the Mango update will hit Japanese shelves. The software giant has company has now officially signed off on the RTM version off the OS and in a blog post, Terry Myerson, corporate vice president of phone engineering said that this, “marks the point in the development process where we hand code to our handset and mobile that operator partners to optimize Mango for their specific phone and network configurations.”
The Nortel patents auction saga took another twist Wednesday when Canadian Industry Minister Christian Paradis said that his government will hold an investigation into the sale to establish whether it complies with the terms of the Investment Canada Act.
Social networking giant Facebook and video chat leader Skype have announced a video sharing partnership enabling Facebook users to place Skype directly to any of their Facebook ‘Friends’ without having to leave the website.
The bunfight for Nortel’s patent chest concluded yesterday, with Chief Strategy Officer George Riedel’s announcement that “following a very robust auction”, the winning bid came from a buyer too big for even Google to take on. Following months of speculation and a $900m kick-off bid from Mountain View, the booty has gone to a consortium that reads like a Who’s Who of the tech industry: Apple, EMC, Ericsson, Microsoft, RIM and Sony. Even with names like that in the mix, the $4.5bn price paid is still pretty eye-watering or, as Nortel’s Riedel preferred to put it, “unprecedented.”
Microsoft has been granted a patent for a technology that will allow it to listen in on web-based communications such as video and voice calls – including those made on its recently acquired Skype service.
A consortium of companies led by Microsoft and including Nokia, the BBC, BSkyB and Samsung, has begun a test program in Cambridge, England to discover if un-required TV spectrum could be reused to create so called “super Wi-Fi hotspots.” These would provide internet coverage to provide offload for areas where there is too much data traffic, or for those where there is no broadband at all.
Microsoft’s bid for Skype has received the go-ahead from American anti-trust regulators, following an “early termination” of a review into the proposed sale. Under America’s Hart-Scott-Rodinho (HSR) Act, certain types of large mergers and acquisitions deals must be submitted for review by the government.
Telstra has announced a £500m+ (AU$800m) investment in cloud computing over the next five years to support what it says is a growing demand from Australian organisations for cloud services. The telco is rumoured to have invested AU$200m in cloud to date and this latest announcement will kick-off the construction of a new data centre, the modernisation of existing facilities, increased automation of utility computing services and the expansion of the telco’s range of enterprise applications, among other things. Construction of a new data centre in Melbourne is already underway.