At a dedicated launch event in London, Jo Harlow, SVP smartphones, and Stefan Pannenbecker (from Nokia Design), announced the metal-framed Lumia 925, as you'll see from our 'live' story today, as part of a 'summer of announcements'. This is the company's new Windows Phone flagship for the world, not to be confused with the all plastic - but Xenon-equipped - Lumia 928 for Verizon in the USA. Materials aside, the 925 also has the world's first six-element smartphone camera and has light sensitivity up to ISO 3200. More details of the Lumia 925 below, along with original hands-on photos later today, hopefully.
Recent News - Windows Phone 7
Today Kantar released its latest set of Worldpanel data (March 2013) about smartphone market share in a number of countries. The data shows substantial growth for Windows Phone in the UK (2.9% to 7%), France (2.8% to 7.2%), and the US (3.7% to 5.6%) over the last year, although some markets, such as Germany (6.6% to 6.1%), show a small decline.
Today Kantar released its latest set of Worldpanel data about smartphone market share in a number of countries. The year-on-year figures show strong growth for Windows Phone with increased smartphone market share in all reported markets. In the context of the overall smartphone market Windows Phone conitinues to be a relatively small player, but the latest figures should cheer Microsoft and its hardware partners.
Back in late January Microsoft started rolling out the Windows Phone 7.8 update for existing Windows Phone 7.5 devices, bringing the Windows Phone 8 Start screen experience to older devices. However, the roll out of the update was paused after an issue with Live Tile updates emerged for some use cases. The issue has now been resolved and Microsoft has updated the update, allowing the roll out of the Windows Phone 7.8 to resume.
The Nokia Music+ service is now available in the UK for all Nokia Lumia devices (both Windows Phone 7 and 8). The premium version of Nokia's music service allows for unlimited skips, unlimited downloads (of music 'Mixes'), higher quality streaming and downloads, lyrics support, and a web-app player that lets you use the service on any Internet-connected device (PC, Smart TV, tablet). A free 7 day trial is available for all users, with the full subscription costing £3.99 per month.
Several months after the availability of the first Windows Phone 8 handsets, the promised Windows Phone 7.8 update for older devices (in this case, the Nokia Lumia 710) has started rolling out around the world, with the changelog listed below. It's a major update in terms of extra features and brings the new Start Screen features of Windows Phone 8 to the older Windows Phone 7.5 devices.
Nokia today announced the launch of Nokia Music+, a premium subscription service that offers an enhanced version of the existing Nokia Music service. Nokia Music+ will roll out, in select markets, in the next few weeks. The exact price will vary by market, but is expected to be around €3.99 ($5.37 / £3.40) per month.
In addition to the existing features of the free version of Nokia Music, the premium version of the service allows for unlimited skips, unlimited downloads (of music Mixes), higher quality streaming and downloads, lyrics support, and a web-app player that lets you use the service on any Internet connected device (PC, Smart TV, tablet).
Following on from a preliminary set of results, Nokia has now released its full interim Q4 2012 results, reporting an operating profit of €439 million (up from -€954 million in Q4 2011), with net sales of €8.041 billion (down 20% YoY). Nokia's Devices and Services division's operating profit was €276 million. The margin in Devices and Services was 7.2% (up from from 3.4% in Q4 2011 and up from -19.2% in Q2 2012). Total smartphone device sales were 6.6 million (4.4 million Lumia, 2.2 million Symbian).
Nokia today announced that its Q4 2012 results will be better than previously expected, with the key Devices & Services division's non-IFRS operating margin expected to be between break even and 2 percent. Previously the company had indicated this would be -6%, with a +/-4% range. Nokia also currently estimates that it sold 6.6 million smartphones (4.4 million Lumia, 2.2 million Symbian) in the last quarter. Mobile phone sales were 86.3 million, and, of these, 9.3 million were Asha full touch devices, which are sometimes classified as smartphones (in which case, a total of 15.9 million smartphones).
A new version of the Nokia Music app is available for Lumia devices running on Windows Phone 7.5 or Windows Phone 8. The new version includes a number of UI tweaks that help streamline the Nokia Music user experience. The latest update follows in the footsteps of a recent update that added support for rich artist information (swipe left from player screen), saving of artist images, and improved language support.