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.
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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.
On October 22nd, in Abu Dhabi, Nokia is holding Nokia World, where it is expected to announce a number of new devices and accessories in a variety of form factors. The event kicks off at 08:00 BST (07:00 GMT). We'll be updating this story with our on-the-scene live coverage at the event takes place. You can also watch a live stream of the press conference event via Nokia Conversations.
The latest set of Kantar Worldpanel data, released today, shows that Windows Phone's share of smartphone sales continues to grow in Europe, but is stagnant in the US and China. In the three months to the end of August 2013, Windows Phone devices made up 9.2% of smartphone sales by unit volumes in the EU5 (Germany, UK, France, Italy, and Spain), but only 3% in the USA and 2.1% in China.
Nokia yesterday published additional material about its proposed transaction with Microsoft that will see the sale of its Devices & Services business and a major patent licensing agreement. The information is intended to give shareholders more information ahead of the proposed 19th November EGM (Extraordinary General Meeting) at which shareholders will be asked to follow the board's recommendation and vote to approve the proposed transaction with Microsoft.
Microsoft and Nokia today announced that they had signed an agreement whereby Nokia will sell its Devices & Services business and license its patents to Microsoft for €5.4 billion. The transaction is expected to close in Q1 2014, subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.
The move will be seen as a key part of Microsoft's future devices and service strategy and was, perhaps, inevitable given its reliance on Nokia for Windows Phone devices, especially after rumours about such a transaction were floated earlier this summer. It will shake up both the Windows Phone ecosystem and the mobile industry more generally, drawing clear lines between major technology players, but also leaving questions about the business sustainability of smaller players.
The transaction will close the mobile phone chapter in Nokia's 150 year old history and reshapes a company that remains one of Europe's leading technology brands.