Erase and rewind


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.

Same script, different 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.

Steve Jobs: The boy named Sue


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 store on the up, R&D going down

Nokia's Ovi store and Symbian shipments are going up despite pending R&D cutbacks

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.

Google acquires mobile music synch platform PushLife

Google has acquired mobile music synch-ing platform PushLife

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.

Nokia to stick with Symbian – for the time being

Nokia appears to remain committed to Symbian

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.

EU-China spat brewing over telecoms subsidies

China's government is reportedly ready to hit the ball back into the EU's court over subsidies for telecoms firms

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.

Practical realities

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 pledges smartphone future to Windows

Stephen Elop and Steve Ballmer at the announcement of the Nokia-Microsoft tie-up

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.

Alleged Elop memo fuelling Nokia speculation

Stephen Elop will later this week make a significant announcement about Nokia's future direction

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.

Android overtakes Symbian in smartphone OS rankings

Android's popularity among a range of vendors helped it to its lead

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.

Nokia pilots mobile marketing in India

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.

Apple breaks into top five handset vendor rankings

Apple sold 14.1 million iPhones during the third quarter

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.

Operator, know thyself


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.

It’s “keep calm and carry on” with new smartphones at Nokia World

The E7 joins the N8 at the head of Nokia's new smartphone portfolio

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.

Nokia smartphone chief resigns

Anssi Vanjoki tendered his resignation after being in his new role for just shy of 11 weeks

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.

Nokia sells modem business, pledges ‘laser focus’ on smartphone segment

Nokia's head of solutions, Anssi Vanjoki

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.

Mary McDowell, head of Mobile Phones, Nokia

Mary McDowell, head of Mobile Phones, Nokia

Mary McDowell has been at Nokia, the world’s largest handset vendor, since 2004. She joined as head of the Finnish firm’s enterprise unit, responsible for the high end E-series handset portfolio and a range of mobility and security solutions targeted at corporate users. In the same year she was appointed a member of the Nokia Group Executive Board.

Safety in numbers

Two of Google’s greatest rivals, Nokia and Yahoo, joined forces in late May

Was it one in the eye for Google when Nokia struck a global deal with Yahoo? Not quite, if only because the search giant refuses to stand still long enough to take a hit.

Nokia restructures for high-end handset battle

Nokia's new organisation structure, effective July 1st 2010

Nokia, the world’s leading handset manufacturer, has announced a structural and managerial shake-up designed to improve its performance in the high end smartphone segment as well as its growing services portfolio.