Nokia has put up a super-glossy four minute reminder of its innovations over the last 25 years, from the first mobiles through the advanced audio telephony codecs today - it's a good watch (embedded below) and is a reminder, among other things, of the sheer number of telephony patents stacked up at Nokia HQ (remember that Apple had to pay up earlier this year?).
Opera has announced updates for its Mobile and Mini browsers, plus its MeeGo netbook and tablet versions. The core engine of Opera has seen numerous optimisations and tweaks, while the clients have seen significant functionality updates. Opera Mobile has been updated to 11.5 (for Symbian and MeeGo) and most notably supports viewing bookmarks saved in the Symbian browser, along with an import function. Meanwhile Opera Mini v6.5 now features intelligent autocomplete of domains and search queries. Mini 6.5 also sports a unified address and search bar, unlike Mobile 11.5.
Quite a lot has been written in comments here on AAS (and AAM) about Nokia's switch to Windows Phone for their top end smartphones going into 2012 and beyond. And a common question is "Why Windows Phone?" In other words, what makes it different, what makes its UI 'better' than Symbian - or indeed MeeGo? Determined to find out Microsoft and Nokia's answers to these questions, David and I headed to the Speakers Corner session on "Smart Talk: Life Enhancing Phones" at Nokia World...
Nokia are backing the launch of 26 free WiFi hotspots across London. The launch coincides with the soon to be released Lumia devices, but the hotspots will of course work with any type of device. Web page authentication is required, and it’s not yet clear if WEP or WPA encryption will be used. As a further tie in with Nokia, each hotspot (and future hotspots) will be listed in Nokia Maps as a point of interest.
Figures are now in from IDC for the world phone market in Quarter 3, 2011, showing the market flattening in the USA and Western Europe as saturation sets in. However, the proportion of smartphones in the overall mix continues to rise. Nokia is still king in terms of sheer numbers, selling over a hundred million phones in the quarter, although Samsung is catching up relatively quickly. IDC's stats table is quoted below, though we don't yet have a breakdown of smartphone-only sales.
Nokia Maps 3D is a desktop browser-based 3D mapping tech demo, with (currently) 23 major cities around the world mapped in glorious, true 3D, with data and textures gathered from satellites, planes and cars, using conventional cameras and laser rangefinders. Anyway, Nokia just released a rather cute 'making of' video, demonstrating in public-friendly form, roughly how it all gets put together. It's embedded below - comments welcome. Oh, and apparently you'll soon not even have to install a plug-in into your browser...
Nokia Conversations, the public-facing site where stories from inside Nokia are brought to the wider world, has been given a rather impressive overhaul. Far more than just a cosmetic facelift, there's a 'notifications bar' (on the left) with dynamic links to breaking content and language controls, there's an emphasis on the 'big story of the day', the ability to contact individual story authors and a general de-cluttering of the interface.
Nokia has released its Q3 2011 results, reporting an operating loss of -€71 million, with net sales of €8.980 billion (down 13% YoY). Nokia's Devices and Services division's profits were €132 million. Margins in devices and services were 2.4% (down from 11.3 % in Q3 2010 and up from -4.2% in Q2 2011). Total smartphone device sales were 16.8 million, compared with 27.2 million units in Q3 2010 (down 34% YoY) and 16.7 million units in Q2 2011 (up 1%, QoQ). The results were ahead of expectations and suggest the company has started on the road to recovery.
Multiple sources have announced today that the Linux Foundation and LiMo Foundation have agreed to merge their respective mobile operating systems, MeeGo and LiMo. The resulting operating system, Tizen, will support HTML5 as its primary development environment. Like MeeGo, it will be designed to support a range of device classes like smartphones, tablets, Smart TVs, netbooks, and in-vehicle-infotainment systems. The Tizen project will be governed in much the same way as the MeeGo project. This includes a technical steering group of which Intel and Samsung are members. Read on for more details.
Nokia today announced that it has started shipping the Nokia N9 to customers and stores. Nokia says the estimated retail cost of the N9 is €480 (16GB) / €560 (64GB) before taxes and subsidies. Pricing and availability will vary from region to region. In most countries it will be possible to buy the N9 SIM free, but it will only be ranged by operators in select countries.