Ovi Share to make way for other, 'core' services
Nokia is advising users of Ovi Share that the mobile cloud storage service will be stopped altogether and all content erased as of May 30. Users have until then to back up all of their content through their desktop or notebook computers. Content can be downloaded all at once in a ZIP package or in smaller chunks.
Distimo shows Android still not a source of cash
The end of 2011 still has the iOS App Store much more profitable than Android Market, Distimo found in its year-end wrap-up. Over the course of 2011, the iPhone side of the App Store made four times the revenue of the entire Android Market, while the iPad side made twice as much. The discrepancy came even as Android became tops in device share and had nearly 350,000 active apps, based on its own figures.
Nokia rebrands its online services
Nokia has announced that it is rebranding all of its Ovi online services. The company has said that its Ovi services will be rebranded as Nokia services as part of a transition that will continue through into 2012. New devices sold from July and August onwards will start to show the new branding, while existing devices will being receiving software updates to reflect the change.
iSuppli sees App Store keeping lead in app revenue
In spite of attempts by Google and others, Apple's iOS App Store should still represent the majority of mobile app revenue three years from now, IHS iSuppli estimated on Tuesday. Apple's portal was expected to grab 76 percent of app revenue in 2011, or $2.91 billion, but would still have 60 percent of that by 2014. Android Market was predicted to be quadrupling its share this year, but at $425.36 million would still not be moving fast enough to take the top spot.
Distimo sees Android app count past iOS in 2011
Android Market is growing quickly enough that it could have a larger app count than the iOS App Store in five months, Distimo estimated in its April update. Researchers believed Google's store had swelled 16 percent in March to hit 206,143 active apps where Apple's shop, though larger, had grown just six percent to 333,214 active titles. The gap could close to 40,000 apps by the end of June and close entirely by July.
Nokia Ovi Maps 3D live for the web
Nokia has quietly trotted out a beta version of Ovi Maps 3D. The browser-based app renders a true 3D, textured version of a map with buildings, landscapes, and other key points going down in some cases to the individual tree level. Famous landmarks get quick shortcuts and, in the case of large areas such as Barcelona's Montjuic park, also get special fly-overs to show their features.
Nokia T7-00 spotted in Ovi SDK
A discovery inside Nokia's Ovi Publisher Tools has found what could be the start of a new phone series. The T7-00 would be the first Tseries phone but would start out with the same 360x640 resolution and Symbian^3 roots as other recent Nokia smartphones, like the E7 or N8. Mobilesguruji noted that little else was made public.
Nokia at LeWeb both praises, trashes Apple iPhone
Nokia Design Strategy Director Marko Ahtisaari had mixed views of Apple's work at his speech at the LeWeb conference in Paris on Wednesday. While discussing the company's plans for MeeGo phones in 2011, he produced rare compliments and said the iPhone interface was "beautifully elegant" and easy to learn. At the same, however, he saw Apple as unfairly creating a perception that Nokia was losing out and alluded to the stereotype of Steve Jobs' "reality distortion field," stressing that Nokia's reach was much wider.
Symbian website, online distros shutting down
The Symbian Foundation late on Friday posted a warning that it would shut down its websites and its online distribution of source code on December 17. The move follows Nokia's takeover of development and will see all code and sites packaged on to either a DVD or a USB drive that developers will need to order to keep working on their own projects. Teams have been encouraged to download the code ahead of time, since a packaged kit isn't expected to be ready before January 31 and may have a shipping cost attached.
Nokia Ovi Store at 3m, still trailing others
Nokia today said that the Ovi Store had reached a symbolic milestone of three million downloads per day. The new rate is a sharp increase from 2.3 million in October. About 165 million people worldwide have used the store.
Nokia grabs control of Symbian dev from Foundation
Nokia today shook up the Symbian Foundation and the platform by revealing it that it would take control of Symbian itself. All development will take place under Nokia's own banner, while the Foundation will now be limited to licensing the Symbian name and other intellectual property tasks. The handover should take place by the end of March next year.
Nokia intros C5-03 starter touchscreen phone
Nokia reimagined its C5 line today by unveiling the C5-03. Now a touchscreen phone, it's conceived as an entry into real smartphones with a 3.2-inch resistive 640x360 display, GPS and now Wi-Fi. It keeps Symbian S60 rather than leaping to Symbian^3 but has the latest version of Ovi Maps and other recent apps.
Nokia admits iPhone has app edge in US and Europe
Nokia's Ovi lead in France, Cedric Thomas, surprised developers in a presentation by acknowledging that Apple, Google and others had better positions in the app market. The manager told those at the platform-independent MIPCOM conference in Cannes that iPhone apps were a "must have" in the US and European Union countries. Android and BlackBerry had strong positions in the US as well; Nokia's footprint for the the Ovi Store was in Asia and Europe, Thomas said with Mobile Entertainment in attendance.
Nokia Ovi Store still behind Apple App Store
Nokia today publicly confirmed a milestone for the Ovi Store that also highlighted its current struggle to gain support from developers. The company now says that it sees 2.3 million downloads every day, up from just two million only a few weeks earlier. About 200,000 new users sign on each day.
Nokia culture seen bad, knowingly ignoring iPhone
Nokia's continuing decline in share is the result of a fundamental misunderstanding of software and the iPhone in particular, multiple current and former workers explained today. The company is entirely built around its hardware teams and gives them final say, even when it interferes with the actual experience of the software. Each phone design is isolated into a group and sets its own deadline rather than making sure the software is in sync.
Ovi Maps beta due in September with new features
At Nokia World on Tuesday, the event's namesake announced that its Ovi Maps software has received a few significant updates. Users will have the chance to check in locations on social networks such as Facebook, RenRen and StudiVZ through text message or e-mail. Viewing checkins only needs a web browser, although any native app should also show the results.
Garmin ready to halt phones soon if unsuccessful
Garmin CFO Kevin Rauckman in an interview has said the company might back out of its smartphone business within the next half a year if it can't be turned around. He acknowledged to Reuters that devices like the Garminfone and nuvifone lines had undersold in the market and that the GPS maker would 'have to make decisions" as to whether it would redouble its efforts or back out. The company managed just $27 million in revenue from smartphones during the spring, far lower than competitors; Apple produced $5.33 billion from its iPhone business in the same period.
Nokia officially announces 5350 music phone
Nokia today unveiled recently leaked touchscreen music phone, the 5250. The Symbian S60 device is tailored to media and has a shortcut on the home screen that leads to the music player. There is just 51MB of onboard storage, but 16GB microSD memory cards are supported. The handset also includes an FM radio and ships with a copy of Guitar Hero 5 Mobile.
Nokia buys Motally in app experience play
Nokia on Friday said it had bought out Motally in a bid to improve the experience of its mobile apps. The eight-person company's technology can show usage patterns in both native apps and on websites to identify where they can be optimized. It plans to keep supporting existing uses with Android, BlackBerry, iPad and iPhone apps but will focus on supplying info for all of Nokia's platforms, including Java, Meego, Symbian and the underlying Qt framework.
Nokia's customized MeeGo shows in video
Nokia's implementation of MeeGo could be heavily customized if a video demo (below) reflects the company's goals. Instead of clinging to the stock interface, it would use an interface much more streamlined for phones with collapsible contact items and a very straightforward but full-featured interface for the app menu, media playback and others. A jump to the Ovi Store leaves little doubt that the preview is Nokia's, a detail which is also borne out by a Nokia copyright in the corner.
Nokia desktop web browser to join Chrome, Safari
Nokia is developing a full-fledged web browser for the desktop, Eldar Murtazin confirmed today after getting access to a beta. The famed target of Nokia said Ovi Browser would be based on WebKit, like Nokia's mobile web browser as well as Apple's Safari and Google Chrome, but would tie directly into Ovi services. Users could shop some of the Ovi Store and check their calendars, contacts and e-mail.
Nokia unhappy with Kallasvuo in light of iPhone
Nokia is now looking for a replacement for its CEO, insiders said tonight [reg. required]. The sources for the WSJ didn't have many details but implied that the company was heeding complaints from shareholders that company leader Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo should resign. Executives are reportedly "serious about making a change" and could force a move by the end of July.
Nokia Ovi Store said too slow, too confusing
Almost half of developers writing for Nokia's Ovi Store are unhappy with how it's run, a survey has found. Over 42 percent of those asked by Open-First think the store is "below average" compared to rivals like Apple's App Store or Google's Android market, and only 21 percent think it a better choice than the rest. The speed of the approval and posting process is considered the primary complaint as 55 percent are dissatisfied with how long it takes to reach the store.
Garmin claims free smartphone GPS too costly
Garmin today tried to steer European travelers away from smartphone navigation today by claiming that it would be too expensive. The GPS maker claimed that free services like Google Maps Navigation were actually more expensive as the international data fees needed to get map updates were costly. Even a relatively short return trip like one from Calais to Paris, for example, could cost a British resident £74 ($112) in data.
Nokia Ovi rules let individual pubs, free signing
Nokia today reworked some of its rules and software to rekindle developer interest in the Ovi Store. The phone maker is responding to a long called for move is now letting individuals, rather than just companies, sign up as Ovi Publishers. Developers can also now have their apps signed for free instead of having to pay per app, and Nokia promises to cut in half the time needed for an app to be signed.
Nokia and Yahoo integrate search, maps
Nokia and Yahoo today forged an expected alliance that will see them fuel each other's services. As part of the deal, Nokia will supply all of Yahoo's mapping and navigation services through Ovi Maps. Yahoo in turn will power both Ovi Chat and Ovi Mail.
Nokia's Ovi Music hurt by phone-heavy focus
Direct downloads make up just a sliver of the music actually loaded on phones, comScore discovered today. About 24 percent of all phones are used to play music, but just two percent actually obtained that music from a store found on the phone itself. The remaining 22 percent of phone owners sideloaded the music from a computer either manually or through a sync app like iTunes.
TomTom to use WebKit UI for outside apps
TomTom chief Harold Goddijn in a presentation said his company would create an app store for its GPS units. The company lead explained on Thursday that the new WebKit-based interface on the Go Live 1000 and future navigators would let developers roll out apps well-suited to driving. Augmented reality was floated as a possibility, although Goddijn expected it would only be a minor feature; it would require a camera to work properly.
Nokia N8 becomes first Symbian3 phone
Nokia today staked out its ground in the smartphone wars by launching the N8, its new flagship. The phone is the first to use Symbian^3 and finally adds features seen in Android and iPhone, such as multi-touch, multiple home screens and live home screen widgets. The OS also claims an advantage over its Apple counterpart: it has better memory management and can handle more apps in a true multitasking environment.
Nokia's unlimited music now without protection
Nokia tried to rekindle interest in Comes With Music today by launching it in China without copy protection. The service still lets customers buy a phone with a year of unlimited downloads attached but now won't use Windows Media DRM to guard those tracks, letting them freely copy the songs even after the subscription ends. Whether these would still use Microsoft's format or rely on a more ubiquitous format like MP3 wasn't said.
Comes With Music not being renamed: Nokia
A recent rumor that Nokia has rebranded its Comes With Music service to Ovi Music Unlimited in the UK has been denied by the company. Following a change in its Indian website that hinted at a possible change, the company said just that the regular online music store will now be called Ovi Music rather than Nokia Music Store in the UK and Ireland, with other countries getting the newly named store before the spring. All 22 countries where Nokia is sold will receive the Ovi brand in 2010.
Nokia Maps and Google Maps kill Wayfinder
Vodafone today said it has shut down Wayfinder, the company providing its subscription GPS service. The move has cost 90 jobs and is characterized as a direct reaction to the availability of free Ovi Maps on Nokia phones and, to a lesser degree, Google Maps Navigation on Android. The two render Wayfinder redundant as they offer the same or better turn-by-turn but without the monthly rate.
Nokia Nuron a basic touch smartphone for US
Nokia today formally rolled out the 5230 Nuron as one of its first smartphones for T-Mobile's US branch. The direct conversion of the European phone gives the carrier one of the least expensive 3G, touchscreen smartphones available: it has just a 2-megapixel camera and no Wi-Fi but still has Symbian S60, a 640x360 display and built-in GPS. It also becomes the first Nokia phone anywhere to ship with free Ovi Maps and the Ovi Store portal already installed.
Nokia C5 a very low cost Symbian smartphone
Nokia today marked the rare start to a new phone line by launching the C5, its first Cseries phone. The range aims to bring smartphone-level software to the very entry level and runs Symbian S60 in a candybar shape. Although it has just a number pad and a D-pad for navigation, it has full messaging and web browsing as well as Nokia's custom home screen with a "carousel" of contacts, upcoming calendar items and new e-mail.
Nokia hints maps for Android, more
Nokia may bring its newly free Ovi Maps service to other platforms, the company's southeast Europe GM Greig Williams said in a new interview with Austria's Die Presse. While not mentioning the particular platform, he told the paper that expanding outside of Symbian is "the next step." Android and Windows Mobile were mentioned as possibilities by the interviewer but weren't acknowledged by Williams.
MS claims iPhone, iPad devs make no money
The iPad is limited because it doesn't use an 'open' developer environment, Microsoft platform project manager Brandon Watson has said in an interview. He believes that iPhone, iPod and now iPad developers aren't making money because they can only write to a single platform and can't necessarily build what they want with the available toolkit. To him, .NET is superior to the iPhone's Objective C since it's more often used and can be used to write across both computers and Windows Mobile.
Nokia officially announces, dates X6 16GB phone
The very recently rumored 16GB X6 handset has now been officially unveiled by Nokia on Tuesday. Unlike previously believed, the device will be available in four color schemes instead of just three, with an all-white model the omission and white with yellow highlights replacing the previously believed white with blue variation. At the same time, Nokia has confirmed the device will not include the Comes With Music download service.
Nokia makes Ovi Maps free
Nokia at a special event has unveiled a major new initiative to fend off competitors with GPS-savvy phones. A new version of Ovi Maps now offers both driving and pedestrian turn-by-turn navigation for free, shedding the subscription that Nokia previously needed for either feature. It also uses a unique mix of preloaded and online content that can work entirely offline in some situations while still providing online map data if the offline information isn't available.
Ovi Store 2 likely to show this week
Nokia this morning sent invitations to a London press event for "big news" about its Ovi services. The company doesn't provide any details of the Thursday event but expects its Executive VP Anssi Vanjoki to show along with UK General Manager Mark Loughran. It expects the news to be short with just a 15 minute presentation and a Q&A session afterwards.
Nokia N900 gets access to Ovi Store beta
Thanks to a recently released 21MB firmware update for the Linux Maemo-powered N900, Nokia has made its Ovi app store accessible to users of the handset. Admittedly, only the beta version of the store is available thus far. The icon opens a link in the phone's native browser, where users can browse a limited amount of apps.
Nokia claims new hardware and services key
Nokia will catch up to and hopefully beat Apple's iPhone and Research in Motion's BlackBerry within the next year, its mobile division chief Rick Simonson said in an interview published today. He acknowledges that a gap has existed that has led to a loss in market share but is confident when telling the India Times that the losses have stabilized and that Nokia is actually recovering quickly. He points out that sales of Eseries phones like the E75 are three times larger than for the BlackBerry and that both it and the iPhone are relatively narrow focus devices where Nokia's broader focus could help it win.
Nokia plans Ovi Store revamp next year
Nokia's Ovi Store for mobile apps has been trounced by Apple's App Store, the former's media group product lead George Linardos admitted on Thursday. Created as rival to the iPhone's portal, Ovi is now acknowledged as having been 'outpaced' by the App Store as its tendency to crash, its slow speed and its lack of features to match Apple's have left it behind. The executive noted that the current Ovi incarnation was primarily meant to integrate Nokia's disparate services and wasn't ready for the iPhone's approach.
Nokia intros Life Tools service, five new phones
Nokia on Wednesday announced it has developed and will soon release five new entry-level handsets meant for those in the developing world. These handsets will support Nokia Life Tools, a set of livelihood improvement aids for users in small towns or the countryside. The Nokia 1280, 1616 and 1800 are the most basic of the set and are designed explicitly for areas with harsh climates and poor electricity. All have similar features, including FM radio support, a prepaid tracker, built-in flashlight and an anti-scratch cover and dust-resistant keypad. Battery life is rated at up to 22 days of standby time.
Nokia N97 mini now shipping, 2.0 update released
Nokia on Wednesday announced it is now shipping the N97 mini and has released a new update for its N97 smartphone. The newer N97 variant still has a QWERTY keyboard that angles out but has a smaller 3.2-inch touchscreen, a more compact keyboard and 8GB of built-in flash instead of the larger model's 32GB. It costs the equivalent of $664 in Europe, where it's sold unlocked and without a contract and should also be available subsidized through carriers in the near future.
Nokia ARM-based smartbook
Nokia may add a second netbook PC to its lineup besides the upcoming 10-inch Booklet 3G, according to unofficial sources from cellphone makers in Taiwan. They reported on Wednesday that the second netbook will reportedly be based on an ARM processor, like so many of Nokia's smartphones. The Digitimes insiders claimed Nokia may contract Compal or Foxconn to build a device that would fit Qualcomm's "smartbook" label but which would not arrive on store shelves until sometime in the middle of 2010.
Nokia on N97 vs iPhone
Nokia chief Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo was put on the defensive late yesterday in an interview regarding the poor performance of the N97 versus Apple's iPhone. When asked by the FT about the critical reaction to his own smartphone, which has been criticized for being too expensive, too slow and lacking a modern touch interface, the executive claimed the N97 was still viable but admitted he wanted to do better, particularly highlighting the increasing emphasis on Ovi services like the music store and navigation.
Apple May Overtake Nokia
Apple's share of the smartphone market is growing quickly enough that it could overtake Nokia's in as little as four years, according to data from Generator Research. The analyst group sees the market almost reversing itself from its situation today and believes Nokia will tumble from about 40 percent share today to just 20 percent in 2013. iPhones, meanwhile, should accelerate and hit 33 percent of the market at the same point. Apple would match Nokia's share sometime in 2011 and ship as many as 77 million phones that year.
Nokia outs Ovi Maps 3.0
Nokia has recently announced the release of its latest version of its Ovi Maps software used in more than 40 of its GPS-enabled handsets. Now available for download, Ovi Maps 3.0 has a number of enhancements, including high resolution satellite and terrain maps in both 2D and 3D views, as well as 3D landmarks for more than 200 large cities. The latter allows users to view the virtual landmarks with fly-overs, fly-throughs, in a night view and by rotating and tilting the perspective. There is also a new Walk mode for navigating on foot, while the Drive mode provides speed limit information, location of speed cameras, real-time traffic and lane assistance.
Nokia Ovi Store and ATT
After an early opening for some areas, Nokia today formally launched the Ovi Store worldwide. Accessible both through the web and through a downloadable app, the service is Nokia's own contender against the iPhone's App Store and puts both third-party apps, N-Gage games, podcasts and videos in a central location. It's primarily intended for Symbian S60 phones such as the 5800 XpressMusic as well as most recent Eseries and Nseries smartphones, including the imminent N97.
Nokia Ovi Store to get 20K
Nokia's Ovi Store will open with a much larger catalog than its immediate rivals did when they were new, the company said late Thursday. Executive VP of services Niklas Savander estimates to Forbes that the portal will launch with about 20,000 "items" when it launches in late spring, just ahead of the N97 touchscreen smartphone's July release. While a significant number of these will include short-form videos, most will be apps and should include games from N-Gage as well as general apps.