Reports have suggested that Nokia and Microsoft had been in talks for years before the Redmond, Washington-based company finally agreed to absorb Nokia’s phone business. The straw that broke the camel’s back, according to chatter in Finland, was a tiny entry-level phone code-named Normandy. This handset was special for one reason and one reason alone: it ran Android. First leaked to the public last year, Nokia apparently used the Normandy to force Microsoft’s hand, ultimately leading to the $7.2 billion deal announced last year, $5 billion of which covers Nokia’s devices and services business. While we have seen marketing renders of the phone leak a number of times, a photo of the Normandy has now seemingly leaked for the first time ever. More →
Nokia may have agreed last year to sell its devices and services business to Microsoft, but that certainly hasn’t stopped the vendor from building and launching a wide range of new devices while it waits for the deal to be finalized. According to a new leak, the company’s next launch will be a sleek new smartphone coming to Verizon Wireless in the near future. Engadget on Wednesday evening discovered a Verizon test site page that was home to the all new Nokia Lumia Icon, a Windows Phone 8 handset with what appears to be a fairly large HD display. Stated specs include a 20-megapixel camera and a 2,420 mAh battery with support for wireless charging, but the rest is a mystery — at least for the next few days until Verizon announces the phone. The test page on Verizon’s site has been taken down.
Although it’s questionable whether switching to Android really would have left Nokia better off than it was with Windows Phone, it’s certainly been fun to speculate on just what a Nokia-designed Android phone would look like. Now @evleaks has posted some pictures showing us Nokia’s own unique brand of Android and we can definitely see some design influences that carry over from Windows Phone. In particular, note the call screen in the middle picture that uses the same type of brightly colored tiles that distinguish the Windows Phone 8 UI design. Also, given that one of the pictures shows Skype seemingly preloaded onto Nokia’s version of Android, it seems that the company didn’t want to stray too far from Microsoft by making a more Google-centric device.
Apple’s iPhone 5s can certainly hold its own against most of the competition out there when it comes to camera quality, but Nokia’s Windows Phone-powered Lumia 1020 is the undisputed king of camera phones. We couldn’t believe how impressive the 1020′s camera was when we reviewed the handset last summer, especially in low light. It has now been nearly six months since we first tested the phone and there still isn’t anything else on the market that even approaches the Lumia 1020. One expert recently decided to pit the 1020 and Apple’s iPhone 5s against several DSLR cameras to see how far mobile cameras have come. In doing so, he also obviously compared the two devices themselves. More →
One day we will tell our grandchildren how the phone market was revolutionized by Samsung’s Galaxy Note, which debuted in October 2011. Its 5.3-inch screen size shocked and titillated handset experts, dividing them deeply over the sales prospects of such a monstrosity. In a couple of quarters it became evident that consumers had been harboring a secret hunger for jumbo displays because the Note turned into a massive global blockbuster. More →
An image purportedly showing the Nokia Normandy Android prototype has been published online on Chinese social network Weibo (via WPCentral), with user WPDang saying that the rumored Android phone does not have Nokia branding on the front and back, as a previous image leak from @evleaks suggested. The Nokia Normandy is supposed to be the first Android handset from the company, although the Finnish smartphone maker is said to fork Android in a similar manner as Amazon does with its Kindle Fire OS. However, the interface of the device is blurred in the image below. More →
A German patent ruling put a final negative note on HTC’s incredibly bad year and could have wide-reaching consequences for all of Android. As FOSS Patents reports, the Munich Regional Court issued an injunction against HTC devices for allegedly violating a Nokia patent that describes a “method for transferring resource information” between devices with NFC or Bluetooth. HTC can appeal the ruling but until it does so, Nokia can begin enforcing the injunction. Right now, that means HTC must post a €400 million (USD$550 million) bond. Eventually, this could mean a sales ban of infringing devices in Germany until HTC pays Nokia the proper licensing fees. More →
Outside of the Apple ecosystem, affordability reigns supreme. According to the latest data from AdDuplex, the budget-priced Lumia 520 has now taken more than 30% of the Windows Phone market share, and when combined with the Lumia 521, the two phones make up more than one-third of all Windows Phone sales worldwide. And if you narrow the results to just Windows Phone 8 devices, then the Lumia 520 and 521 account for more than 40% of all devices sold. The Lumia 520 has been the undisputed leader of the Windows Phone market for quite some time, and to further cement itself in that position, the phone has captured an additional 4% of the market over the past month. More →
Nokia’s HERE Maps application for iOS burst onto the scene back in late 2012 amid the drama that was unfolding around Apple’s iOS mapping app debacle. Google’s mapping solution had been ousted from Apple’s mobile devices and the Cupertino-based company rushed out its own Maps app in its place. It was a disaster. While the world waited for Google Maps to make its triumphant return to iOS, Nokia beat Google to the punch and released HERE Maps, an iOS port of its fantastic mapping app for Windows Phone, and it looked like the company might have new life as a cross-platform service provider.
Two weeks later, HERE Maps slipped out of the top-1000 free apps on the iOS app download charts. A few months later, Nokia’s mapping boss quit as the app continued to flounder. Now, Nokia confirmed that it has pulled HERE Maps off of the App Store completely and it blamed iOS 7 for the decision to do so. More →
It might not look like much, but the colorful low-end handset pictured above (via @evleaks) is the most valuable smartphone on the planet. Code-named “Normandy,” the tiny unreleased phone was to be the first Nokia device powered by Google’s Android operating system. But it’s also so much more — it’s a $7.2 billion smartphone. As we have discussed before, various chatter suggests that Nokia likely created this handset with the primary intention of forcing Microsoft’s hand. During ongoing negotiations between the two companies, Nokia not only needed a way to move the acquisition of its smartphone division along, but also to ensure that Microsoft acquired the company’s waning feature phone business as well. And what better way to guarantee all of the above than to threaten Nokia with embracing the Android platform? More →
Microsoft’s multi-billion dollar acquisition of Nokia’s devices and services business has gotten almost all of the regulatory approvals it needs, but Nokia has no intention of letting the various unreleased Lumia phones in its product pipeline die on the vine. Among them is the Lumia 929, photos of which have just been leaked by online smartphone accessory retailer Wireless Ground. As noted by WMPoweruser, the retailer recently posted a page for an “Armor Stand” case built for Nokia’s still unannounced Lumia 929. Official marketing renders of the 929 can be seen inside the case in each image, suggesting that the device could be announced at CES early next month. The Lumia 929 has leaked in the past and is expected to be a minor upgrade compared to Nokia’s other recent Windows Phones. It will be available from Verizon Wireless once it finally debuts.
Nokia has been hammering HTC with lawsuits in a variety of markets, with meager results. The rather narrow sales injunction against the HTC One mini was recently overturned by an appellate court in the United Kingdom. But hope springs eternal because Nokia has now finally landed a broad patent win against HTC. More →
We’ve been wondering about Nokia’s sanity for a while but the company has now made its complete descent into madness official with its latest ad for the Lumia 2520 tablet. The ad involves… well, there’s no easy way to describe it, but it seems to involve a man going into the world’s creepiest barbershop and asking to get a mullet-style haircut from a stylist who makes Sweeney Todd look like a cuddly puppy. More →