The latest version of Microsoft’s mobile operating system, Windows Phone, ripened this week. Mango, as it is known, adds more than 500 new features, including threads which switch between text, Facebook and Windows Live Messenger within the same conversation; the ability to group contacts into personalized Live Tiles; as well as deeper social network integration.
Nokia has announced the settlement of a long-running patent spat with Apple. Under the terms of the agreement, Apple will pay an undisclosed lump sum as well as ongoing royalty payments for its use of patents Nokia claims belong to it. Both parties have agreed to withdraw their respective complaints to the US International Trade Commission (ITC).
Troubled Finnish handset vendor Nokia has said that it will not hit its sales or margin targets for the second quarter of 2011 due to a range of factors impacting negatively on its business. The firm said its difficulties are such that it was “no longer appropriate to provide annual targets for 2011.”
In a week during which the UK distinguished itself as the “Whiplash Capital of Europe” thanks to its rep for filing dodgy insurance claims, The Informer is pleased to note that, in the technology world at least, injury-preventing U-turns have been the order of the day.
We’ve had Moore’s Law and Metcalfe’s Law, now the technology world is doing its bit for re-jigging Newton’s third law of motion: for every legal action, there is an equal and opposite lawsuit.
To a man with an iHammer, everything looks like an iNail, as the Informer’s great friend Mark Twain once said. And just to prove the old man right, the powers-that-be at Cupertino are suing Samsung, HTC, Mother Theresa, Adam and Eve and growers of mostly green, rather tasty pieces of fruit for infringing on its intellectual property. Gwyneth Paltrow’s daughter, who wouldn’t have been able to attend legal proceedings in person as she couldn’t get the time off from kindergarten, settled out of court.
Nokia’s Ovi app store has hit the five million downloads a day mark, despite speculation regarding its future since the Finnish manufacturer entered a deal with Microsoft earlier this year. The app store offers more than 40,000 products but many believe it’s unlikely to survive in the context of Nokia’s agreement to ship Windows 7 phones from 2012 onwards. Microsoft has its own app store, Windows Marketplace, and it seems unlikely that the pair can co-exist in an ultra-competitive market.
Rumours that Google is planning to launch an iTunes rival optimised for Android will no doubt be further fuelled by its acquisition of Canadian start-up PushLife. Founded by former Research in Motion employee, Ray Reddy, in 2008, PushLife offers software that allows users to synch non-Apple devices with the iTunes platform.
Despite its February announcement of a partnership deal with Microsoft, Nokia has reiterated its commitment to the Symbian platform. Many interpreted Nokia’s decision to adopt the Windows 7 mobile platform as the end of the road for Symbian; the once dominant platform has been struggling to keep up with Android in the market-share stakes and recently slipped behind it for the first time.
An internally distributed study undertaken by China’s Ministry of Commerce reportedly suggests imminent action against the EU for its subsidisation of major telecoms infrastructure companies.
When Stephen Elop said that the smartphone market is “now a three-horse race” he cast Nokia and Microsoft in unfamiliar roles. It was a loaded observation because, implicit in his statement (and explicit in that now famous memo), was the admission that Apple and Google, and the ecosystems they have built around their device platforms, have become the smartphone establishment. Nokia and Microsoft, so used to their status as steadfast incumbents, now find themselves positioned effectively as newcomers, seeking to disrupt the status quo.
Nokia has announced a partnership with Microsoft that will see the software firm’s Windows Phone platform adopted as the handset vendor’s primary smartphone platform. The news comes in a week when speculation over Nokia’s strategy was driven to fever pitch after a leaked memo from CEO and former Microsoft executive Stephen Elop revealed the depth of the crisis facing the Finnish firm.
A frenzy of speculation has been unleashed ahead of a planned strategic briefing from Nokia on Friday 11th February, after a document reported to be an internal memo from CEO Stephen Elop has been published online. The document, which the BBC claimed on Wednesday to have verified as genuine, compares Nokia’s current position in the handset market to that of a man being forced to choose between the burning oil rig on which he stands and the dangerous, icy seas into which he must jump to avoid the flames.
The Google-backed Android operating system overtook Nokia’s Symbian during the fourth quarter of 2010 to become the leading platform in the smartphone segment according to market analyst firm Canalys. Shipments of Android devices reached 32.9 million by Canalys’ estimation, with Symbian trailing on 31.0 million. Symbian’s performance keeps Nokia in first position among the vendors, however, with 28 per cent market share in the top tier, the analyst said.
Handset vendor Nokia, whcih has an existing global alliance with Intuit, a provider of business and financial management platforms, is piloting a mobile marketing service in India, under the brand GoConnect.
Strong sales of Apple’s iPhone during the third quarter have propelled the Californian vendor to fourth place in the global handset vendor rankings, according to data from IDC. While Apple has had a strong position in the smartphone segment since the launch of the first iPhone, this is the first time that it has made the top five in terms of overall shipments.
UK-based carrier Vodafone, Big Red as it’s affectionately known, is in a right old pickle. Pieter Knook, the ex-Microsoft man hired to spearhead the operator’s designs on the mobile internet space, has done the Frank with barely concealed glee. Just prior to his exit on Tuesday, Knook had posted his parting shot (since removed) on twitter. “Freedom beckons,” he tweeted as he went skipping off into the sunset leaving the smoking wreckage that is Vodafone 360 behind him.
Finnish handset vendor Nokia launched a suite of new smartphones at its London Nokia World event on Tuesday, amid the boardroom turmoil that has seen departure announcements for its two most senior executives within days of one another.
Anssi Vanjoki, head of Mobile Solutions for Nokia, who earlier this year was made responsible for reviving the Finnish firm’s ailing high end handset play, tabled his resignation on Monday. The shock announcent came just three days after Nokia revealed that it is to replace CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo with Microsoft executive Stephen Elop.
Finnish handset vendor Nokia has sold its wireless modem business to Japanese semiconductor manufacturer Renesas for $200m. The announcement came on the heels of a blog post from Anssi Vanjoki, head of the newly created Solutions unit within Nokia, in which he pledged to launch a fightback that would re-establish Nokia as leader in the smartphone space.