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.
Recent News - Miscellaneous
In a press release this morning, Nokia has revealed plans to "sharpen its strategy, improve its operating model and return the company to profitable growth". The company will be cutting up to 10,000 jobs by the end of 2013, closing its famed Salo factory in Finland, making a series of targeted investments around location and product experiences, making changes to improve the competitiveness of its feature phone business and making chnages to its leadership team.
Nokia also updated its financial guidance for Q2 2012, indicating that competitive industry dynamics are negatively affecting its smartphone business to a greater extent than previously expected. As a result non-IFRS Devices & Services operating margin will be below the Q1 2012 level of -3%.
Following last week's profits warning, Nokia has released its formal Q1 2012 Results, reporting a non-IFRS loss of EUR 260 million, on net sales of EUR 7.3 billion (down 29% YoY). Nokia's 'Devices and Services' division's loss was EUR 127 million, compared to a profit of EUR 292 million in Q4 2011). Total smartphone device sales were 11.9 million, compared with 24.2 million units in Q1 2011 (down 51% YoY) and 19.6 million units in Q4 2011 (down 39%, QoQ). Gross profit margins on smartphones in Q1 were 15.6% (down from 28.9% YoY). Quotes and comments below.
Following on from the widespread release of Nokia's big '12070' update for the Lumia 800, I latched onto one particular item in the changelog: 'White balance issues with the Lumia 800 camera have been fixed, along with other camera performance tweaks'. Colour issues were at the heart of my criticisms of the original Lumia 800 firmware, so I was keen to see how much things have improved.
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.
Anecdotally, the Proporta chargers have been hugely popular amongst my Phones Show viewership and 'All About' readers generally - and there's a new monster version now available, clocking in at a stunning 7000mAh. The Turbocharger 7000 has two USB output ports as usual, along with a facelifted exterior, weighs only 175g, and comes with charging heads for all major phone and gadget ports and a carrying case. Watch this space for a full review.
We all knew that Windows Phone Mango included 'Internet sharing', i.e. Wi-fi tethering, but the functionality hasn't so far been available to handsets which 'updated' to Mango (rather than shipping with it) - and Internet sharing is also dependent on the chipset in your phone. However, there's an update rolling out around the world from HTC for the editorial HD7 and 7 Mozart, I applied it yesterday, screenshot proof below (from the HD7). It seems that tethering is a 'go'.
Three times a year, Ewan Spence heads out for a major tech event. And we do like to kit him out with something fairly cutting edge, to put the smartphone through its paces in a way that might not be possible staying at home. All tinged with Ewan's own unique take on life and expectations. In this, the final (bumper length!) part 4 of a video diary from BlogWorld Expo in Los Angeles, he reports on day four with the Nokia Lumia 800, running Windows Phone Mango, in which he rounds up whether it met his expectations, looking at both hardware and software/apps.
Figures are now in from IDC for the world phone market in Quarter 3, 2011, showing the market flattening in the USA and Western Europe as saturation sets in. However, the proportion of smartphones in the overall mix continues to rise. Nokia is still king in terms of sheer numbers, selling over a hundred million phones in the quarter, although Samsung is catching up relatively quickly. IDC's stats table is quoted below, though we don't yet have a breakdown of smartphone-only sales.
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