Sisvel International, a specialist company in managing intellectual property and maximizing the value of patent rights, has bought more than 450 patents originally filed by Nokia. 350 of these cover essential parts of the 2G (GSM), 3G (UMTS/WCDMA) and 4G (LTE) technologies. The other 100 or so cover video encoding optimization technologies. The acquired patents remain subject to certain prior agreements and Nokia is pre-licensed for all the patents as part of the acquisition.
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At CES Nokia is showing off two new applications, Nokia Transport and Nokia City Lens, which have been developed by its location and commerce division. Both applications show case Nokia's expertise and experience in location and routing related services and information, which is one of the key assets the company brings to its partnership with Microsoft.
At CES 2012, Nokia announced its third Windows Phone device, the Nokia Lumia 900, which will be available on the largest US operator, AT&T. Key features include LTE connectivity, a 4.3 inch ClearBlack Display AMOLED screen, a unibody polycarbonate body and an eight megapixel camera.
HTC today revealed the HTC TITAN II, an LTE variant of its big screen Windows Phone device. The device will be available shortly on the AT&T network in the US. The standout feature is, of course, LTE connectivity, which brings support for faster cellular data connections. Other key specifications include a 16 megapixel camera, 4.7" SUPER LCD screen, 16GB of memory, a 1.5GHz processor and 512MB of RAM.
We've gotten used to all our phones now coming with Gorilla Glass, meaning no more casual scratches and no need for screen protectors. Well, 'Gorilla Glass 2' has now been announced by Corning, its creators, at CES 2012, scheduled to start going into smartphones towards the end of the year, and claimed to be 20% thinner yet as tough as the original, meaning that screens can be brighter and more sensitive when used with capacitive touch technology.
The roll out for a minor update for Windows Phone, version 7.10.8107.79, commenced last week. Microsoft has delivered the 8107 update to all manufacturers and operators, but it is optional, which means it may not be made available for all devices. The update fixes a number of bugs including the one that occasionally caused the keyboard to disappear when entering text. In addition Microsoft has made some changes to the way it will be communicating about the delivery of future minor updates.
The Windows Phone Marketplace has now passed the 50,000 app and games submission mark. Content is being added at the rate of 265 items per day. At the time of writing, 50,126 items have been published. Of these, 17,276 were added in the last 90 days and 8,010 were added in the last 30 days. These items come from 13,002 different publishers.
The 50,000 mark, which has been reached sooner than we estimated, is a key milestone, but more important is the accelerating growth of the Marketplace. It took just over a year to get to 40,000 apps, but just 40 days to add the next 10,000 apps. That bodes well for Windows Phone in 2012.
We're going to see a lot of "Windows Phone smartphone market share will be X% in 2012" stories in the next week or two as writers move through the retrospectives and opinions, and Digitimes pitches in with their prediction today (they're going with 6.2%, if you're keeping track). The one thing to keep in mind on all of these is this... nobody can tell the future, or what is going to happen to any platform. "Events, dear boy" will drive the percentages as much as smoothing out curves and following the mathematical trends. But we can have fun making our own guesses.
The Nokia Lumia 710 will be available on T-Mobile USA, from January 11th 2012, at a cost of $49.99 (after a $50 mail-in-rebate card). It will be Nokia's first Windows Phone product in the US and is an important milestone for the company as it looks to rebuild its smartphone market share in the competitive US market.
Nokia's second Windows Phone handset, the Nokia Lumia 710, has now started shipping. Initially it is going on sale in Taiwan, with Singapore, Hong Kong, India and Russia following in the next seven days. A global roll-out will follow in the weeks and months ahead. The Nokia 710, with an estimated retail price (before taxes and subsidies) of €270 / £230 / $360, offers a more affordable option for those looking to buy a Windows Phone device.