At the showcase event in Redmond in the USA, Joe Belfiore has briefly demonstrated 'Windows 10' on phones, using a Lumia 1520, with updates to the Start screen, application list, settings, messaging experience, user input, and more. The key point, echoing the shared technical core announcement of Windows Phone 8, was the commonality of Windows across all devices. In this instance, the emphasis is on the consumer experience, exemplified by the arrival of numerous "Universal" applications that work across PC, tablet and smartphone (Office, Outlook, Calendar, People, Photos, Music, and Xbox, among others).
Recent News - General
Nokia has released its Q1 2014 results, reporting an operating profit of €242 million for its continuing operations (up from a loss of €30 million a year ago), with net sales of €2.644 billion (down 15% year-on-year). However, the scale of the task ahead for Microsoft is shown in the operating loss of €326 million for Nokia's discontinued operations (i.e. the Devices & Services division), down from a loss of €120 million a year ago, on sales of €1.929 billion.
Microsoft today announced that it has completed its acquisition of Nokia Devices and Services division, following approval by shareholders and governmental regulators and almost eight months on from the initial announcement. Microsoft is now a major mobile hardware manufacturer and will now begin the complex process of integration. Nokia continues to exist, primarily as a network infrastructure (NSN) business, coupled with the strategically important maps (HERE) and research and intellectual property (Advanced Technologies) businesses.
Today, at MWC, Nokia announced the Nokia X range of affordable smartphones, running on a customised version of AOSP (Android Open Source Project) software. The devices, the Nokia X, X+, and XL, are aimed primarily at "growth economies" and are compatible with generic Android apps, but also run a range of Nokia and Microsoft apps and services.
At the National Retail Federation (NRF) Annual Convention and Expo, Microsoft is showcasing a range of technologies aimed at helping retailers create digital platforms for their businesses (e.g. fulfillment systems, management of data flow and consumer insights, and more). On public show for the first time is the next generation of line-of-business geared mobile devices powered by Windows Embedded 8 Handheld, which is based on the Windows Phone 8 platform.
The latest set of Kantar Worldpanel data, released yesterday, shows that Windows Phone is continuing to grow its market share in Western Europe, surpassing 10% market share for the first time in the EU5 (Germany, UK, France, Italy, and Spain). In the US market share has recovered to just under 5%, after falling to 3% earlier this summer, but still remains significantly behind the leading European markets.
AdDuplex publishes regular reports on the breakdown of devices (and countries / languages) active in the Windows Phone ecosystem based on data drawn from its advertising network (2,087 apps running AdDuplex SDK version 2.0 for the November report). The data represents a sampling of the active installed device base for Windows Phone, albeit one biased to those users who are more likely to install apps, as of November 22nd 2013.
The latest set of Kantar Worldpanel data, released last week, shows that one in ten (9.8%) smartphones sold in the five largest Western European (EU5) markets ran Windows Phone. Microsoft's mobile platform's strongest European market was Italy, where Windows Phone devices made up 13.7% of smartphone sales by unit volumes in the EU5 in the three months to the end of September 2013. Windows Phone also showed signs of growth in the US, with market share increasing to 4.6% from 3% the previous month.
Nokia has released its Q3 2013 results, reporting an operating profit of €118 million (up from a loss of €564 million in Q3 2012), with net sales of €5.6662 billion (down 22% year-on-year). Nokia's Devices and Services division's operating loss was €86 million. The margin in Devices and Services was -3% (up from from -18.9% in Q3 2012). Total smartphone device sales were 8.8 million (all Lumia), up from 7.4 million in Q2, while mobile phone volumes were 55.8 million, up from 53.7 million in Q2, but down 27% year-on-year.
Do you remember I wrote recently about issues with the Xenon flash on the Lumia 1020, caused by the shutter speed being artificially slow? After doing some tests, I've noticed that the new Nokia Camera (rolling in Nokia Pro Camera and Nokia Smart Cam) is more intelligent with shutter speed when taking typical indoor/party/event shots, with photos appearing crisper and with more natural colours. In tests, clarity and colours now match or exceed those from Xenon-lit shots on the Nokia 808, previously the gold standard here.