The first mobile phone call was placed 40 years ago. So on Wednesday, we were treated to several “History of the Mobile Phone” articles by American journalists, most of them orgies of chauvinism and astonishing nationalistic bias. One pure product of this navel-gazing genre is the Wired magazine piece called “The 12 Cellphones That Changed Our World Forever.” In the revisionist history of the mobile phone, the actual nature of the device is obscured completely. More →
Does the world really need another “phablet?” Maybe not, but that doesn’t mean it would be a bad idea for Nokia (NOK) to release an oversized smartphone of its own. In an interview with Bloomberg, IDC analyst Francisco Jeronimo says that big-screen devices are “a trend that can’t be missed” because “people are using smartphones in different ways now, consuming media by streaming over faster mobile networks.” CCS Insight research director Ben Wood similarly thinks that “phablets” are an important trend and tells Bloomberg that “Nokia needs to make sure they don’t miss the boat” by not building one of their own. More →
Nokia’s (NOK) next-generation flagship smartphone may have been revealed on Tuesday as the first alleged photo of the upcoming Lumia 950 Windows Phone was published online. Windows Phone Central published the image, though it made clear that it comes from a source it cannot vouch for. If authentic, the device’s styling strays from Nokia’s first two flagship Lumia phones and opts for a more traditional case design. More →
After some delays, Nokia’s (NOK) Lumia 520 and Lumia 620 budget models have debuted in key Asian markets and they have clearly eclipsed the supposed flagship phone, the Lumia 920. Recent discussions with two United Kingdom operators reflect an emerging consensus that the Lumia 920 is fading fast in Europe, while the low-end Lumia 520 is sparking a lot of early interest. India’s most popular e-commerce website Flipkart reflects the same phenomenon: The new Lumia 520 and 620 models hog 2 of the top 5 spots, while the Lumia 920 has vanished just months after its debut. More →
Last November, Nokia’s (NOK) HERE map app had a big debut by becoming a top 5 iPhone application in America on its launch day. The last three months have been cruel, however. Following mixed reviews from major tech sites, the HERE app plunged in the app charts across the world. Google (GOOG) Maps became a smash hit on iOS devices across the world. Today, Nokia’s biggest map app success is found in Mozambique, where it reigns at No. 526 in the iPhone download chart. Finns may still carry a torch for Nokia, but they aren’t dumb — HERE is just at No. 663 on the Finnish iPhone app market. The app is moving up the charts in Laos and Cape Verde, though it can’t quite break into top 600 in either market. It is in danger of dropping out of the top 1000 chart in Yemen and Albania. More →
The extensive new China Brand Power Index is fascinating reading on many levels. Who knew that McDonald’s Coffee is the third most popular cafe chain in China? Or that Buick is the second most popular compact car brand? Yet perhaps the biggest shock can be found in the mobile phone category, where Nokia (NOK) still beats Apple (AAPL) in brand power and trails only Samsung (005930) for the title of China’s No. 1 mobile brand. As a matter of fact, Samsung leads Nokia only slightly on points (542 vs. 530), whereas Apple is far behind with 411 points. More →
Nokia (NOK) priced its latest flagship Windows phone ambitiously — the Lumia 920 was at parity with the 16 GB iPhone 5 in early January. Both the Lumia 920 and the 16 GB iPhone 5 cost €540 in Germany, the largest smartphone market in Europe. By third week of March, the 16 GB iPhone price in Germany has dropped to the €510-€520 range at retailers such as Modeo, Notebooksbilliger and Handyschotte. The price of the Lumia 920 has declined to €497 at retails like Handyshop and Notebooksbillige, but perhaps surprisingly, the price has remained above €520 at most retailers, ranging from Modeo to Notebook. More →
Verizon Wireless (VZ) will reportedly finally launch its version of Nokia’s (NOK) latest flagship smartphone next month. The Lumia 928 will feature specs that are very similar to the Lumia 920, however it will include an aluminum case and a xenon flash in addition to the standard LED flash, The Verge’s anonymous sources claim. The handset is also rumored to feature support for simultaneous voice and data on Verizon’s LTE network.
The first wave of Asian smartphone vendors launched LG (066570) and Samsung (005930), the latter of which ended 2012 as the No. 1 vendor in the world. The second wave began with the emergence of the Chinese powerhouses Huawei and ZTE: Huawei has become the No. 3 smartphone brand in the world with 5% market share. The third wave consists of Indian vendors that have started surging in South-East Asia and have grand designs for expansion from South America to China. More →
As Nokia’s (NOK) share of the world’s largest smartphone market plummeted, Samsung (005930) shipments exploded in 2012, propelling the company to the top of the smartphone food chain in China. New data released on Sunday by market research firm Strategy Analytics and reported by Yonhap News Agency suggests Samsung shipped just over 30 million smartphones in China last year for a 17.7% share of the market. Samsung shipped just 10.6 million units in 2011. Lenovo was the country’s No.2 vendor with a 13.2% share and Apple (AAPL) was the third-largest vendor with 11% despite the fact that China’s largest wireless carrier does not yet offer the iPhone. Nokia, China’s top smartphone vendor in 2011, saw its market share slide to just 3.7% last year, making it the No.7 vendor according to Strategy Analytics.
Microsoft’s (MSFT) manufacturing partners felt betrayed after the company announced its Surface tablet, a milestone that marked the first time the software giant produced its own hardware. Since then, analysts and other Windows Phone vendors have speculated that Microsoft may release a Surface smartphone at some point in the future. And now we’ve learned that even one of the company’s most loyal partners fears for the worst: In a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Nokia (NOK) voiced its concerns about the possibility of a Surface smartphone. More →
Nokia (NOK) this week revealed that it will end up paying €500 million — about $650 million — in net Windows Phone licensing fees to Microsoft (MSFT) over the remaining contract period. At the moment, the platform support fees Microsoft pays to Nokia are larger than the licensing fees that flow to the opposite direction. This will soon reverse and by the time the Nokia-Microsoft contract expires, Nokia will end up paying $650 million to Microsoft. This raises two questions: What is the remaining contract period and what happens after that? More →
Even though Windows Phone has shown little signs of momentum in recent months, that doesn’t mean Nokia (NOK) isn’t still obligated to pay Microsoft (MSFT) hundreds of millions of dollars in licensing fees. Per ZDNet, Nokia disclosed on Thursday that the fees it pays to Microsoft over the remainder of its licensing agreement will be €500 million — or roughly $650 million — more than the platform support payments that it’s slated to receive from Microsoft. The good news for Nokia is that the total platform support fees that it has either already received or is due to receive from Microsoft are still projected to exceed the licensing fees over the course of the entire deal, so Windows Phone won’t likely be a net money loser for the company.