While both phones were heavily leaked, today Nokia took the wraps off of two new Symbian-powered smartphones, the E6 and the X7. The E6 is targeted at the business bunch and sports a full QWERTY keyboard, a 2.46-inch 640 x 480 pixel touchscreen display, an 8-megapixel camera, GPS, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and a 1,500mAh battery. The X7 is no doubt the sexier of the two phones. It rocks a 4-inch 640 x 360 resolution AMOLED screen, is made of stainless steel and glass, has 8GB of storage, and offers an 8-megapixel camera capable of recording 720p HD video. The E6 and the X7 will both run Nokia’s updated Symbian “Anna” operating system which Nokia says offers a revamped user interface, new icons, improved text input, faster web browsing, and a new Ovi Maps application that includes public transportation and offers better search. Anna will also provide enterprise grade security with hardware accelerated encryption, and several new e-mail features. Both phones are scheduled to launch during the second quarter of this year; pricing information has not been divulged. If you’re looking for the X7 stateside, don’t hold your breath. AT&T has reportedly already killed its plans to launch the X7. Hit the jump for the full release. More →
Layar, the company behind the popular augmented reality app for the iPhone and Android smartphones, announced on Monday that Layar 5.0 is available. The latest iteration allows users to share screen shots — of anything they view through the application — through Facebook or Twitter. Layar 5.0 also provides new animation capabilities, which means some layer content can come to life in 3D form. Coincidentally, we were using Layar this weekend while walking around a new town, and while we find it much easier to simply use a search engine to find local points of interest — because the Layar browser didn’t always return accurate results — we applaud Layar’s efforts to turn local search into an interactive tool that can provide a fun and unique experience. The app is free and is available in both the Android Market and iTunes App Store now, and Layar says that a new Symbian version with the updated features is in the works. More →
Following a rating review initiated on January 28th, Moody’s on Thursday lowered Nokia’s senior debt rating from A2 to A3 and cut its short-term debt ratings from Prime-1 to Prime-2 with a negative outlook. Moody’s cites Nokia’s weakened position in the cell phone market and uncertainty surrounding the company’s upcoming transition to Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform as the reasoning behind the downgrades. “The rating downgrade primarily reflects Nokia’s weakened market position in its core business, mobile devices, which has reduced the company’s margins and funds from operations,” said Moody’s SVP and lead Nokia analyst Wolfgang Draack in a note. “In Moody’s view, the main reasons for this trend are: (i) an inflexible smartphone operating system; (ii) slow time-to-market for new models; (iii) more attractive innovation by smartphone competitors; and (iv) accelerating price competition for low-end phones.” The move follows Standard & Poor’s decision to downgrade Nokia’s credit rating last month, when it said it expects Nokia’s market share to continue to slide through this year and in 2012.
Nokia recently said that its Symbian operating system is no longer open source. The Finnish firm is continuing to provide source code to Japanese OEMs and its small developer community in an alternative “open and direct” model. “Consistent with this, the Nokia Symbian License is an alternative license which provides an access to Nokia’s additional Symbian development for parties which collaborate with Nokia on the Symbian platform,” Nokia stated. The Symbian Foundation opened up the Symbian source code in February 2010, and in November of last year Nokia and the Symbian Foundation announced that Nokia would take full control of the OS in March 2011. More →
According to a new research report issued by Gartner on Thursday, Android smartphones will account for 49.2% of the smartphone market by the end of 2012. Android is expected to have a 38.5% grip on the global operating system market by the end of 2011, surpassing Symbian — which is expected to have a 19.2% share — for the first time. iOS is expected to be the second most popular operating system in 2011 with a 19.4% share of the market, followed by RIM (13.4%) and Microsoft (5.6%). Global smartphone sales are expected to reach 468 million units by the end of this year, a 57.7% jump over 2010. Gartner also believes that Android is responsible for helping to drive the price of smartphones down. “As vendors delivering Android-based devices continue to fight for market share, price will decrease to further benefit consumers”, said Roberta Cozza, a principle analyst with Gartner. “Android’s position at the high end of the market will remain strong, but its greatest volume opportunity in the longer term will be in the mid- to low-cost smartphones, above all in emerging markets. By 2015, 67 percent of all open OS devices will have an average selling price of $300 or below, proving that smartphones have been finally truly democratized.” Hit the jump for the full release, which includes Gartner’s predictions for iOS, BlackBerry OS, and Windows Phone. More →
Finnish mobile giant Nokia has quietly made its business-centric E7 handset available to U.S. consumers. Released overseas in early February, the Symbian device packs a 4-inch, polarized, AMOLED display with a 640 x 360 pixel resolution, peta-band WCDMA radio, quad-band GSM radio, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, GPS, 16 GB of on-board storage, 8 megapixel camera with 720p video recording and dual-LED flash, HMDI connector, and 1200 mAh battery. The E7 is available from Amazon.com for $649, or Nokia USA for $679. More →
Nokia recently began sending out invites to an event in London taking place next Tuesday, April 12th. We’re not sure what Nokia is going to announce — possibly the latest Symbian update, we’d imagine — though it’s entirely possible this could involve some hardware as well. What we do know is that Nokia is holding its event on the same day that HTC is holding an event in London, and that definitely didn’t end well for Nokia two years ago.
After ousting Opera’s popular Opera Mini Web browser from its app store earlier this month, GetJar announced the browser’s return on Thursday. The app was originally tossed out of GetJar’s app store in early March when Opera announced plans to offer an app store of its own. GetJar wasn’t very happy with Opera’s entrance into the space so it banned the app from its catalog, theoretically preventing its users from accessing Opera’s competitive offering. “I’m glad that Opera Mini is back in the GetJar store,” said Mahi de Silva, EVP of Consumer Mobile at Opera Software, in a statement. “We believe Opera should be everywhere and we love the fact that our fans will now be able to download Opera Mini again from GetJar.” GetJar offered no explanation as to why it allowed this new version of Oper’a mobile browser, Opera Mini 6, back into its app store. More →
Nokia’s unannounced E6-00, a new, candybar-style smartphone with a full QWERTY keyboard, has been leaked by a member of the NokiaTeco forums. The E6-00 reportedly sports a VGA resolution touchscreen, an 8 megapixel camera with dual-LED flash, a front-facing camera, and a version of the Symbian operating system that was specifically designed for the device’s 4:3 display aspect ratio. It doesn’t look like Nokia has strayed all that far from the E71 — which also is available in white and comes with a metal back cover — and looks like a pretty solid piece of hardware. In a world with smartphones packing qHD displays, we’re not too crazy about the VGA screen resolution, though, and we hope that particular spec is wrong. Hit the jump to view a blurry video of the E6-00 in action. More →
Nokia has replaced its famous Nokia Sans font with a new “Nokia Pure” typeface as part of its effort to re-brand itself. Nokia said on its blog that the “the letters [of the new font] flow into each other somewhat, creating the impression of forward movement.” The new typeface will be used throughout the user interface — in areas such as the user menu and dial pad — on future Nokia phones, although Nokia hasn’t provided official shots of it in use, just renders. It’s also unclear if Nokia will carry the new font over to its Windows Phone 7 devices, although we assume that it will. Nokia says to keep an eye out for the new typeface in its branding campaigns on billboards and on new devices in 2011. More →
Nokia may flood T-Mobile shelves with four Symbian-powered smartphones this year, starting with the $79.99 Astound — known globally as the C7 — on April 6th. Nokia officially let the wraps off of the C7 back in September, and it rocks a 3.5-inch AMOLED touchscreen, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, an 8 megapixel camera with flash and 720p video recording, and an FM radio. If the Astound launches, it will be the first Symbian^3 powered device to be sold by a U.S. carrier. Sources speaking to TmoNews also suggested that Nokia may not launch a Windows Phone 7 device until next year. We’ll be at CTIA in Orlando next week, where T-Mobile is expected to announce the Nokia Astound, so stay tuned for more.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has published a patent filing that is both new and familiar. Initially submitted by Nokia in May of 2010, the patent in question is for a tablet device that bears an extremely strong resemblance to Nokia’s N8 handset. From the drawing we can make out a 3.5mm headphone jack, and several additional ports on the device’s top — we’re assuming at least one of which is a HDMI-out port. The schematic is likely for a MeeGo or Symbian based device the will, in all likelihood, never see the light of day. As with all things Nokia that occurred before February 11, 2011, it is unclear whether or not this project has been shelved. There are a few more drawings of the device after the jump, have a look for yourself. More →
According to a report filed by Daily News & Analysis, Nokia will bring its first Windows Phone handset to market sometime in 2012. The information comes courtesy of Nokia India’s MD, D. Shivakumar, who was quoted as saying his company’s first Windows Phone handset would become available “roughly 12 months from now.” The information contradicts previous reports, and comments made by Nokia executives, that implied a smartphone running Microsoft’s mobile operating system was on target for a 2011 release. Nokia is expected to release close to twenty new Symbian smartphones in 2011. More →