Android still clearly in lead
Apple and the iPhone's share of the US smartphone market increased sequentially from 39.9 percent to 40.6 percent in the September quarter, according to new comScore figures. The growth is believed to have been spurred by the release of the iPhone 5s and 5c on September 20th; although the devices would've been on sale for just 10 days in the quarter, Apple typically sees a surge of early adopters during any iPhone launch.
We get to check out JVC's upcoming KW-NSX600 and NSX700 head units
Over at the JVC booth at the CES show in Las Vegas, the company had its latest head units on display that feature MirrorLink connections for Android and Symbian-powered phones. This allows users to control their smartphone and access content from them on the new KW-NSX600 and KW-NSX700 head units. The former sports a fixed 6.1-inch touchscreen, while the latter gets a motorized 7-inch touchscreen, both sporting WVGA resolutions.
Samsung also grabbing more share
iOS and Android further consolidated their dominance of smartphone platforms in the US during a three-month period ending in November, according to new comScore data. Google's Android rose from 52.6 percent in August to 53.7 percent in November, while Apple's iOS advanced from 34.3 to 35 percent. Losing out in the battle were RIM -- slipping from 8.3 to 7.3 percent -- and Microsoft, which dropped 0.6 points to 3 percent. Symbian dwindled an extra 0.2 points to 0.5 percent.
Could hint at plans for Messenger
Facebook is in talks to possibly buy WhatsApp, the developer of a popular namesake messaging app, say TechCrunch sources. It's so far unknown what price Facebook might be offering, or how far into negotiations the companies are. If confirmed, though, the talks would suggest that Facebook plans to dramatically alter its messaging services.
Samsung grows lead on Apple in smartphone sales
Android devices now represent 72.4 percent of the cellphone market, according to new third-quarter research data by Gartner. The figure represents a major boost over Q3 2011, when Android had a 52.5 percent share. Some of that ground appears to have come from the platform's closest rival, iOS, which has slipped from 15 to 13.9 percent. Also down are Research in Motion's BlackBerry phones, shifting from 11 to 5.3 percent, and Symbian, shrinking from 16.9 percent to just 2.6.
BlackBerry, Symbian plummet year-over-year, iOS ticks up
Seventy-five percent of the smartphones shipped last quarter ran Google's Android operating system, according to new figures out from market analysis firm IDC. The new total represents a jump of nearly 20 percentage points over Android's market share for the same quarter last year, with much of Android's growth coming from corresponding drops in share for Nokia's Symbian platform and Research In Motion's BlackBerry operating system. Year-over-year, Android smartphone shipments were up 91.5 percent, while shipments of smartphones running Apple's iOS were up 57.3 percent.
Nokia, a victim of its own success and poor choices
How does a company that was the leading mobile handset maker in the world for 15 years, and $11 Billion in cash just five years ago become an also ran? That’s a question many at Nokia must have asked themselves as they watched it lose control of its own destiny and instead become highly reliant on a strategic alliance with Microsoft to survive. A former manager with the Finnish phone giant spoke with Electronista about the company's unraveling over the past five years, which he traced to Nokia's decision to pursue both Symbian OS and Maemo OS as two distinct development initiatives.
Android controls smartphone platforms
Samsung retained its top spot in the US phone market during the July quarter, but lost a little ground to some of its rivals, according to new tracking data from comScore. At the end of the April quarter Samsung had 25.9 percent of the market; by the end of July, though, it had dropped 0.3 points to sit at 25.6 percent. Also losing some share were second-place LG, which slipped from 19.2 percent to 18.4, and Motorola, which dipped from 12.5 percent to 11.2.
Nokia brings Belle Refresh to its Symbian-powered phones with HTML5 browser, more
Nokia's Belle Refresh update for Symbian-powered phones has just began being sent out, the company revealed on its forum on Monday. The first unlocked handsets to get it will include the Nokia N8, E7, C7, C6-01, X7 and Oro. It will then be sent out to handsets in various countries that are locked to various providers.
Nokia sheds last ties to in-house software initiatives
Nokia has sold off its Qt app tools unit as the company leans further on its partnership with Microsoft, reports Bloomberg. The Finnish handset maker offloaded the Qt unit including around 125 staff to long-time partner Digia signaling the end of its in-house software development efforts. Nokia had bought into Qt as a cross-platform application development framework to encourage developers to write apps for its now defunct Symbian and MeeGo smartphones.
Exclusivity of Symbian S40-powered phone is guaranteed thanks to 555-unit run
Gresso, which makes ultra-rare and exclusive devices, has now brought out its latest gadget, the Cruiser Air Black. The phone is the maker's first with a one-piece aluminum alloy construction and weighs just 106 grams. Its production will be limited to just 555 units.
Samsung, LG, Apple three big US OEMs
New quarterly data indicates little change in the US cellphone market, according to research firm ComScore. Android devices continue to dominate as a platform, up 0.8 percent to account for 50.9 percent of smartphones. Apple's iPhone, meanwhile, has grown 1.7 percent to claim a 31.9 percent share. Research in Motion has fallen 2 points to 11.4 percent, while Microsoft is up a tenth of a point to 4 percent. Symbian continues to lose remaining ground, dipping 0.4 percent to a 1.1 percent share.
Marketing firm mistakenly makes public concept video
A leaked video suggests Nokia may have been mulling the idea of developing cloud-based services for its phones. The video allegedly found by Symbian Tweet, marked “Company Confidential” for a service called Nokia Air, was accidentally made public on Finnish marketing firm Luxus' Vimeo page, leading to online speculation of a service that may not have existed in the first place.
Nokia Alpha, Pure Phi, Phi, PureLambda handsets coming soon?
New images of a Nokia Lumia 800 handset running on wpbench revealed a list of Greek names for what we can only assume are codenames for upcoming Windows Phone-powered Nokia handsets. Shared by the My Nokia Blog, the images came from a user running the Windows Phone 7 benchmark on his Lumia 800. The names include Nokia PureLambda, Nokia Phi, Nokia Pure Phi and Nokia Alpha.
Samsung, Apple largest single manufacturers
Research firm IDC has published its latest smartphone market-share report, finding Android and iOS to be responsible for eight out of 10 smartphones shipped in the first quarter of 2012. Android captured 59 percent of all sales, while iOS took 23 percent of the 152 million smartphones shipped in the first quarter. Linux phones maintained the same small share held for four quarters. Symbian and Blackberry shipments continued to drop precipitously.
Standard and Poor compounds Nokia issues
Nokia faced its third credit rating cut in a month on Friday in signs of a further confidence problem. Standard & Poor dropped Nokia's rating to junk status based on a shortfall in cash strength. While its existing cash was a "positive factor," the firm said, it expected the phone designer's cash to drop from a predicted 4.9 billion euros ($6.5 billion) to no more than four million euros ($5.3 billion).
Strategy Analytics sees Samsung take top spot
Samsung has achieved a milestone in toppling Nokia for the crown of top cellphone maker, Strategy Analytics estimated in a new study. Using unofficial figures for Samsung as well as official data elsewhere, it had Samsung leading with 93.5 million cellphones sold, or 25.4 percent of the entire space. Nokia's rapid decline in smartphones saw it tumble from 108.5 million phones at the start of 2011 to 82.7 million a year later, or 22.5 percent.
Nokia's Lee Williams skips Symbian in decline
Former Nokia and later Symbian Foundation executive Lee Williams in an interview Wednesday blamed current CEO Stephen Elop for the company's current troubles. The former Symbian S60 Senior VP told CNET that Elop had "no overarching vision," allegedly unlike his predecessors. Before him, Nokia was purportedly always focused on the future and would "never give up" its stance as the lead.
InMobi suggests iOS edge closer than it seems
The total mobile user base is significantly less oriented towards Android than phone market share would suggest, according to research. An InMobi study saw iOS extend a slight lead in North America based on ad impressions, going from an 0.6-point lead at 33.1 percent in the fall to a 2.7-point gap at 36.8 percent in the winter. It had Apple, not Google, growing faster for at least the past several months.
Promo video shot with 41MP Nokia phone
In a stylish new promo video (below), Nokia has chosen to show the photo and video capturing prowess of its 41-megapixel 808 PureView smartphone. Instead of simply recording the phone at work, the video itself was shot entirely using the 808, taking advantage of its 41-megapixel resolution to zoom in and out of scenes without losing detail.
Belle FP1 speeds processor and other improvements
Nokia are today rolling out its previously announced Belle Feature Pack 1 firmware for the Nokia 701, 700 and 603. Over the air updates now available include a processor boost from 1GHz to 1.3GHz, a version 8.2 web browser, and new widgets, amongst other improvements.
Nokia predicts dire Q1 esults
Nokia sent out a warning on Wednesday that its results for the first quarter of 2012 would be worse than expected as its smartphone sales continued to struggle. Its operating margin would now be down by three percent instead of flat, while that for the just-started spring quarter would be similar or lower. "Competitive industry dynamics" and tighter profit margins were to blame, Nokia said, making clear allusions to fiercer competition from Android and the iPhone.
Patent filed in the era of Symbian S60
Nokia has been granted a patent for technology that enables phones to automatically upload data to social networks. The patent describes a system that could be used to initiate automatic uploads whenever a user performs certain operations, such as changing a music track, capturing an image or video, accessing a website, or changing location.
Symbian Microsoft Office now downloadable
Nokia users with Symbian handsets can today download the Microsoft Office Mobile apps to their handsets. Previously, only Windows Phone users had access, but the range of handsets that can now use the software suite has now been expanded to a further eight phones. Initially, the Nokia 603, 700, 701, C6-01, C7, E7, X7 and Oro have access.
41-megapixel camera phone to run Symbian OS
Nokia has put up its 808 PureView smartphone
up for pre-order on its Italian website. The phone is most notable for its 41-megapixel camera and that it still runs the Nokia Belle (Symbian) OS instead of Windows Phone. Nokia is expected to begin shipping the phone SIM free (unlocked), priced at €599 ($785 USD) in May.
Asha 306 phone leaked thanks to online manual
The current wave of promised Nokia Asha S40 phones will be joined by a fifth model, the Asha 306, if the recently leaked owner's manual (PDF) is any indication. Unlike the Asha 303, 300, 202, and 203, the 306 forgoes a hardware keyboard, opting only for a touchscreen. The phones are due to arrive sometime in the next three months.
Nokia hiring PureView for Windows Phone engineer
Earlier hints from a Nokia exec about a PureView-badged phone running on Windows Phone have gained more traction thanks to a newly discovered LinkedIn job post. Thus far, the company only confirmed that a Symbian-powered 808 PureView (shown) is coming, but a Lumia variant is evidently on the way. The job ad seeks a Senior Specialist for imaging algorithms for Windows Phone, and the 808 PureView is directly referenced.
Nokia rumored to be working on two MeeGo phones
Nokia is working on two entry-level MeeGo phones as part of its Next Billion Group project, NetbookNews heard from sources from within that group. The mission of the group is to bring the Internet to a billion people who currently don't have access to it in many third-world countries. To do so requires a free operating system, which Windows Phone isn't, while Symbian is run by Accenture and being phased out from Nokia's smartphone mix.
Nokia, Microsoft fund apps development program
In the hopes of building up the app ecosystem for the Windows Phone platform in the long term, both Microsoft and Nokia on Monday have pledged to commit 9 million euros (about $12m) each to a new developer program at Finland's Aalto University. Called AppCampus, the project aims to attract budding and established developers for the ecosystem. The program will also result in apps for Nokia's Symbian and Series 40 platforms.
Windows Phone overtakes an OS in UK
New Kantar Worldpanel data from Tuesday has shown Windows Phone overtaking Symbian in the UK. Although both were now small, Windows Phone was up to 2.5 percent of the British cellphones sold in the three months leading up to mid-February where Symbian had dropped to 2.4 percent. Much of that could be credited to the Nokia Lumia 800, which in Europe made up 87 percent of all Windows Phone sales.
Nokia patented slide to unlock on iPhone launch
A just-published but long in the making Nokia patent filing has revealed that Nokia has been working on a slide-to-unlock patent of its own. The approach would have users slide an icon on the screen to 'uncover' app icons. By then moving to an unlock area, users would have a two-stage unlock that could launch any app accessible from the home screen.
Nokia closes India-only Money service
Nokia said on Monday it will close its Nokia Money service in India in order to focus on its phone business. A spokesperson briefed Reuters that it was jettisoning the mobile financial services business as it wasn't a core Nokia business. The service was launched throughout all of India late in 2011 after earlier, regional launches.
Spotify goes live in Germany this week
The streaming music subscription service that is Spotify will come to Germany on Tuesday, German media has reported. It will partner with the German version of Interview magazine and the Eventim festival guide. The price will be the same 10 euros (about $13) per month other European countries pay.
comScore January 2012 data shows Apple closing gap
Apple is near ousting Motorola as the third-largest phone builder operating in the US, comScore found in just-published data on Tuesday. Between the October launch of the iPhone 4S and January, Apple gained two percent of the total cellphone market, putting it at 12.8 percent. A small if continued declined from Motorola has put it at 13.2 percent, raising the chance that Apple will overtake even Motorola's combined share by the spring.
Nokia PureView tech to spread to new OS soon
Nokia's Smart Devices Executive VP Jo Harlow in commentary this weekend gave hints that the 808 PureView's extreme camera technology would come to Windows Phone devices soon. Echoing some sentiments from the end of the live event at Mobile World Congress, she told Aamulehti that it would "not take very long." She couldn't divulge when, although it's possible that Apollo (Windows Phone 8) in late 2012 may be an opportunity.
Nokia Belle Feature Pack 1 promised within months
Nokia has provided many more details of Belle Feature Pack 1, which will arrive on some of its new smartphones starting this spring. The first to get it when it arrives is the 808 PureView. While the focus will be on boosting the entertainment experience for users, Nokia in a surprise step said it would boost the processor speed of the Nokia 700 and 701 by a full 30 percent with the update, from a 1GHz clock to 1.3GHz.
We take on Nokia's latest Asha models
Nokia at its special event at Mobile World Congress on Monday paid a large part of its time focusing on a new wave of S40 phones: the Asha 202, Asha 203, and Asha 302. We got to look at all three shortly after, and had a look at the importance of designer phones to much of the world: a messaging phone in Mumbai is as vital as an iPhone in New York. Continue on for a hands-on underscoring the importance of quality phones for everyone.
Nokia 808 PureView gets our photographic test
Nokia might be winding down Symbian, but it has given the old platform one big last hurrah in the 808 PureView. The design centers on a seemingly reality-defying 41-megapixel camera. We got to try that sensor, and the phone, and you can read-on for some first-hand experiences.
Our coverage of Nokia's live presser
Nokia is holding a special event at Mobile World Congress that's expected to be device-focused. The lineup could include an international version of the Lumia 900 as well as a low-cost Lumia 910 and possibly new Asha messaging phones. Check out our live coverage page for updates as they appear from the Fira de Barcelona.
Microsoft outs business apps for Nokia Belle
Nokia and Microsoft this week released the first batch of productivity apps for the former's handsets running on Nokia Belle phones. Called Microsoft Apps, the free productivity suite includes four programs usually only found on Microsoft's own platforms. A common thread with multiple smartphone OS bases is OneNote, which lets users create documents containing text and images.
Kantar shows big gains for iPhone in Britain
The iPhone managed to retake a large part of its share of the UK smartphone space in the past year, Kantar WorldPanel found Monday. It had climbed from 21.7 percent as of late January 2011 to 29.1 percent a year later. Android was still in front with an unspecified amount, but as in the US, it wasn't at the expense of the iPhone.
Nokia 305, 610 certified by Indonesian regulator
Indonesia has issued certification for the operation of two new Nokia handsets, the Asha 305 and Lumia 610. The 305 is expected to be part of the entry-level Asha range and sport the Symbian S40 operating system and may get a 1GHz processor. The 610 is likely to be an entry-level Windows Phone device, and the certification reveals the Lumia 610 will get GSM 900/1,800MHz support along with WCDMA at 2,100MHz for 3G.
iPhone dips in Chinese share pre-4S launch
Region-specific Gartner data has shown that Apple was losing Chinese smartphone market share in the last few months before the local release of the iPhone 4S. Its portion dropped from 10.4 percent in the summer to 7.5 percent in the fall. The company mostly lost its fourth place position to local designer ZTE's 11 percent.
Lumia 610, 808, three Ashas coming to MWC?
Exactly which handsets Nokia will reveal at the upcoming Mobile World Congress show and its February 27 press conference may have been leaked to PocketNow. There will reportedly be six new phones unveiled, including three smartphones and three feature phones. The Windows Phone-powered devices would be the Lumia 900 and Lumia 610, while the 808 PureView would still use Symbian. The 808 is expected to be a replacement for the N8.
Nokia outs Public Transport app for Belle phones
Nokia has just detailed its new Nokia Public Transport app (free, Ovi Store), for its Belle-powered smartphones. It offers bus, train, underground and suburban train schedules for nearly 80 cities and urban areas around the world. Users can also bookmark often-visited locations such as their home or work.
Earlier indications from phone-maker prove false
Nokia has told Astound smartphone owners that they won't be upgraded to the latest Symbian OS release, Belle. Apart from thanking owners for their patience, it didn't say more. Its international equivalent, the C7, is getting the new version.
Belle now shipping for most late Nokia phones
Nokia has began releasing its promised Nokia Belle software updates for a number of its handsets on Tuesday, a day earlier than expected for some. The handsets that will benefit from the changes now include the Nokia N8, E7, E6, X7, C6-01, C7, and Nokia Oro, with owners of the Nokia 500 having to wait a few more weeks. There are a number of changes with the update, with the easiest to notice being the new interface.
Canalys Q4 and year-end 2011 shows change of guard
A Canalys wrap-up of 2011 smartphone share painted an overall picture that kept Apple and Google in front, but also provided clearer pictures of Windows Phone. Android was just short of an absolute majority at 48.8 percent, while the iPhone held 19.1 percent. Nokia's Symbian and RIM's BlackBerry still held on to the double digits at 16.4 percent and 10.5 percent each.
Nokia may see market dropping Symbian faster
A potentially major rumor has Nokia accelerating the death of Symbian as a smartphone platform. The company has officially planned for a transition through 2013, but the Register heard only one new model, a sequel to the N8, was still in the works. Existing owners would get the Belle update, but every other project on the OS had supposedly been cancelled.
comScore Q4 2011 has Android at 47pc, iPhone 30
The sustained effect of the iPhone 4S launch has kept the iPhone growing at the same pace as Android in the US. Google's platform grew a collective 2.5 points over the fall to 47.3 percent, but Apple nearly matched it with a 2.2 percent hike to 29.6 percent. As with much of the past year, the two were only really drawing from other platforms, with the BlackBerry down nearly three points to 16 percent.