Posts with tag lumia
Things are getting pretty bad
Honestly, it’s not like things haven’t been bad for Microsoft on the mobile front since around the time Apple launched the iPhone in 2006, but frankly things are looking even worse than ever for the behemoth mobile software developer today. The IDC has reported on this quarter’s smartphone sales, revealing that sales of Windows Phone 8 devices (ie. Nokias) have seen a sharp decline from 11.9% to a measly 2.5% – a drop worse than even Microsoft might have imagined.
As if to prove just how bad things have gotten for the platform, OEM support for Windows Phone has thus far diminished to just about one – Nokia, which Microsoft acquired earlier this year in order to keep the Windows Phone devices coming. Prior to the acquisition, Nokia had been working on a line of new Android devices and was in talks to drop the Windows Phone options entirely, which would have all but diminished Windows Phone’s presence in the marketplace. Though Microsoft managed to stop that disaster from happening, Nokia did release their first line of Android devices before the acquisition was announced, Microsoft recently killed that line in favor of lower priced Windows Phone devices.
Microsoft is preparing to launch a new line of Lumia smartphones earlier September, with initial reports suggesting that there are two models incoming – a midrange Lumia “Selfie” phone with a 5 megapixel front facing camera, and a new Lumia device wrapped in an all aluminum body. The company has already sent out invitations for the event where these phones are rumored to launch.
All that said, it really is just a simple question at this point – have things been too bad for too long for the company? Or, in other terms, is it too late for Windows Phone? It’s nearly been 4 years since the Windows Phone platform launched at this point, replacing the archaic but long lasting Windows Mobile one which was almost instantly obsoleted by iOS and Android. Microsoft hasn’t really had much luck since that point, and there has to be a point where it would make more sense to just give in the towel – maybe this is it?
Unless, of course, you’re Microsoft, and you’ve got a selfie phone coming.
September looks to be a busy month
The progression of the Lumia line has kind of slowed since Microsoft completed their purchase of Nokia’s mobile phone division a couple of months ago, but all at once the blockade is breaking. Just a few short days after announcing the company’s second generation Android smartphone, the Nokia X2, and then promptly killing the Android program all together – Microsoft has officially announced that they’ll be holding their first Lumia Special Event on September 4th in Berlin, Germany. While the invitation never says the word “Lumia” directly – for all we know, Microsoft could actually be killing the Lumia name in favor of something a little more Surface-y – it does invite us to join Microsoft for some “face time” with a nice photo of a Nokia’s PureView camera like the one found on the Lumia 1020.
According to recent rumors, the phones slated to make an appearance are the Lumia 730 and the Lumia 830. Both are slated to be fairly midrange phones, with the 730 rumored to be coming with an impressive 5.1 megapixel front facing camera, all the better for taking selfies. The 830 will feature an all aluminum build similar to the Lumia 925, but with fairly midrange internal specifications and a PureView branded camera.
Whatever Microsoft is so excited to talk about on September 4th, we’ll be sure to keep you up to date on the latest news regarding Microsoft’s upcoming first Lumia Special Event.
Microsoft now controls the OS and the hardware
If there’s one thing Microsoft has always been good at, its developing software and partnering with hardware manufacturers to get that software out into the world. But starting today, Microsoft has turned into a big player of both the hardware and the software. That’s right, after over half a year of waiting and waiting for the right government approval, Microsoft has officially acquired Nokia’s devices and services unit.
The deal, which was originally announced in September of 2013 and cost Microsoft $7.2 billion, puts the software giant firmly in control of nearly the entire Windows Phone ecosystem, from end to end. Nokia had been Microsoft’s biggest Windows Phone supporter, however the company began to accelerate a deal that would merge the two companies when it became public knowledge that Nokia was heavily considering switching to Android – a consideration that eventually turned somewhat to reality with the announcement of the Nokia X and XL last month.
Under the acquisition, Microsoft will be allowed to use the “Nokia” name on feature phones until December 31st, 2015. However, any new smartphones by the former Nokia team will be released under the Microsoft brand. It remains to be seen on whether or not Microsoft is planning on using the Lumia branding with upcoming Windows Phone devices, however a rumor a while back indicated that Microsoft could be considering switching to the Surface brand for all smartphone models going forwards.
Finally bringing Windows Phone up to par
In the Microsoft camp, much excitement has been created over Windows Phone 8.1 and for good reason. Many improvements have been made to Windows Phone including adding new features that have been missing since the very beginning. These new features also help give Windows Phone a fighting chance against its iOS and Android competition.
So let’s find out just what it is that’s got the Microsoft guys so excited. The review, as always, starts after the break.
The rumour mill is full of speculation that the announcement will be unveiling the successor to the current generation of Lumia hardware – namely, the Lumia 930 and the Lumia 630. It’s probably no surprise this is happening so close together (and on the //BUILD/ floor, no less) given that Microsoft basically owns Nokia now.
According to speculation, Microsoft will be announcing Windows Phone 8.1 on Day 1 of //BUILD/ and Nokia will be holding their event on the same day, but at 5 PM. What else do we know? Nothing much, so we’ll just have to wait. We’ll be covering the events of //BUILD/ Day 1 as they happen.
Good marketing or desperation?
Oh, guys. What are you doing. Just minutes after Samsung announced their newest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S5, competitors HTC and Nokia have begun throwing some pot shots towards their #1 competitor on Twitter. Both companies are pushing unsurprisingly “anti” Galaxy S5 messages, with the HTC tweet going so far as even suggesting Galaxy S5 owners will be getting a dose of “buyer’s remorse.”
Meanwhile, Nokia is going a more innocent, but no less snarky route, posting a banner showing a photo of a new Windows Phone based Lumia phone with the line “Not the Samsung ;)” next to it (yes, smiley face and all). Unfortunately for both HTC and Nokia, however, history is suggesting that Samsung is likely to sell a whole bunch more Galaxy S5 phones than HTC and Nokia will sell any of their phones, so it’s unclear who will get the last laugh.
Two birds, one stone
Two stones, one stone – that’s the entire premise of this Xbox Music pass deal. For a limited time, if you buy a $99 one-year subscription for Xbox Music in the Microsoft Store, Microsoft’s willing to throw in a Nokia Lumia 520, totally free of charge. While the Nokia Lumia 520 is a fine, if slightly lackluster smartphone on its own, you might be swayed by the low, low price tag of “free” if you were already in the market for a low end smartphone.
Otherwise? Xbox Music is decent, if slightly underrated, and the Nokia Lumia 520 is undoubtably a low end smartphone meant to appeal to only the most basic of would-be smartphone customers. But if you’re interested, head on over to the Microsoft Store and have at it.
Remember the Nokia Normandy? The Lumia-esque Asha that would be coming to the low-end market? In a most interesting twist, the Normandy won’t run the Asha’s OS nor will it run Windows Phone. It, in fact, will run Android.
The Normandy won’t run regular Android but will instead run a customized version similar to that of the Kindle Fire. It will offer support for some of the most popular Android apps out there, including Skype. According to people behind the scenes at Nokia, the project is listed as “full steam ahead” and slated for a 2014 release – but they’ll have to push hard to get it out as I’m sure Microsoft will be looking to kill it as soon as possible.
We’ve all been pining for an Android-powered Lumia but don’t place your bets just yet. This is still going to be part of the Asha series, meaning it won’t be available in the US and it will be on the low-end of the spectrum. So while it’s not the Android-powered Lumia we’ve all been wanting (and what would have made Nokia profitable), it’s an interesting twist from the company who wholly placed their bets on Windows Phone.
Source: The Verge
A beautifully low end phone
Prominent leaker @evleaks has just tweeted out an interesting image of a new Nokia phone, pictured above, and if you thought that was a sneak peak of Nokia’s next Lumia phone you would be mistaken – but I wouldn’t blame you. No, according to evleaks that would be the Nokia Normandy (likely a codename), the company’s next Asha phone. You will recall, of course, that Asha is the operating system that most of Nokia’s budget phones tend to run, a modern operating system for the dying “dumb phone” segment of the industry.
Indeed, the Normandy bears a striking resemblance to the company’s Lumia line of smartphone, sans the Carl Zeiss logo on the back and the Windows flag logo on the front. No word on pricing or availability just et, but we wouldn’t expect to see this make its way in the United States – Nokia tends to cater this sort of thing to the global market.
The prodigal child arrives
Finally. I think that this is one of the few times in the tech sphere we can say the word with an entirely straight face, because it’s true – finally, at long last, Windows Phone users twill get to experience the photo sharing social network “masterpiece” (well, depending on who you ask) that is… Instagram. Its absence the posterchild for the lacking Windows Phone app ecosystem, the launch of Instagram for Windows Phone culminates an almost three year long wait.
Instagram for Windows Phone is said to include support for everything you’d come to expect from the iOS and Android versions of the app – the same filters, the same hashtag searching functionality, the same social stream, social network sharing – it’s all there… except for one big omission. Unfortunately, Instagram for Windows Phone is launching without video support today, so you won’t be able to record video of the way the clouds move this morning and slap that filter on there. The time for that cloud video is approaching, however, as the Instagram team is promising that a future update will restore video functionality.
So, Windows Phone users – how excited are you? Instagram. It’s a big name. It’s a big app. And it’s finally hitting your smartphone. Excited?
Edit 11/20/2013 @ 1:14 PM EST: Unfortunately, there does appear to be one rather… glaring admission that hasn’t been getting much press; you won’t be able to take a photo from within Instagram, you’ll need to head over to your phone’s camera app, snap it there, and then import that from Instagram to get the job done. Not a deal breaker, but certainly not ideal.
Source: The Verge
...on a two-year contract
Nokia’s Lumia 2520 tablet is launching next week on November 22nd – the same date as the Xbox One launch and the Lumia 1520 release – and will be showing up first on AT&T for the cost of $399 on the usual two-year contract. Interestingly, there’s still been no word on when the 2520 would be coming to Verizon.
The 2520 is Nokia’s attempt at a Windows RT tablet and features an 8,000mAh battery, LTE and a 1080p screen amongst other things, thus giving the Microsoft Surface RT a run for its money. It does, however, only come in a meager 32GB option; you’ll be hard-pressed for space with this tablet.
Windows Phone 8 devices have thus far been pretty conservatively sized, but that stereotype is going out the window this morning as Nokia has officially announced the Nokia Lumia 1520, a 6-inch beheamoth with a 1080p display running Windows Phone 8 GDR3, Microsoft’s latest and greatest version of their mobile operating system and the precursor to their much larger, more impressive Windows Phone 8.1 platform.
The Lumia 1520 stylistically doesn’t do that great of a job differentiating itself from its older brothers stylistically speaking – you would be hard pressed to pick one out of a lineup next to the company’s older Lumias, sans its larger screen. It comes in the usual array of colorful bodies, has a weight of 7.37 ounces, runs (ironically) on the same quad-core Snapdragon 800 SoC as the Nokia Lumia 2520 Windows RT tablet, which was also just announced today, and – perhaps disappointedly – comes with a 20 megapixel PureView camera, significantly lower than that found on the lesser Nokia Lumia 1020 that launched earlier this year.
Nokia has yet to confirm pricing or availability, but we’d imagine we’ll be seeing this bad boy show up stateside on at AT&T at the very least sooner rather than later. Expect it to compete heavily against the Android powered Samsung Galaxy Note III, including on the pricing category – $299 would not be an unreasonable (if not slightly high) estimate.
Source: The Verge