Although not Windows Phone as such, at its Nokia World event, which is being held in Abu Dhabi, Nokia announced its first Windows RT 8.1 tablet product, the Lumia 2520. Nokia has bought the design language from its Lumia phones to the 10 inch tablet product segement, and also includes other signature experiences, such as Carl Zeiss camera optics, strong LTE connectivity, and a best-in-class screen. Software customisations include HERE Maps, Nokia Storyteller, Nokia Music, and Nokia Video Director.
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Nokia today announced the Lumia 1520, a high-end Windows Phone 8 smartphone with a "phablet" form factor. The 1080p (1080 x 1920) IPS LCD screen, the first full HD screen on a Windows Phone handset, is the largest on a Lumia phone to date. Other key specifications include 32GB of internal memory (plus microSD), a quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor running at 2.2GHz, 2GB RAM, 3400mAh integrated battery and integrated Qi wireless charging, and a 20 megapixel oversampling camera with LED flash.
Today at Nokia World, Nokia announced the Lumia 1320, a mid-range 6 inch screen smartphone running Windows Phone 8. Following a similar design choice as the Lumia 625, the Lumia 1320 couples Nokia's new camera app with a 5 megapixel camera, and a 6 inch LCD IPS 720p screen to a lower price point of $339 SIM free. It also sports 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, and micro SD card support up to 64GB. The Lumia 1320 is expected to launch in China and Vietnam early in Q1 2014, with other Asian, Indian, and European markets to follow.
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.
Microsoft today formally announced the forthcoming availability of Windows Phone Update 3 for existing Windows Phone 8 devices. For the first time, as part of a Preview Program for Developers, the update will be available for developers ahead of the consumer roll out. This is designed to enable developers to fully test their apps on the update version of the Windows Phone 8 platform. While there are no new APIs, there are some behavioural changes in the platform that developers may want to check their apps against.
Microsoft today formally announced the forthcoming availability on the third major software update for Windows Phone 8 (GDR3). The key features of the update include support for higher resolution displays (1080p), support for more powerful hardware (Snapdragon 800), a new Driving Mode that is triggered where you phone connects to a pre-defined Bluetooth accessory (e.g. car kit), and improved accessibility options (screen reader and associated functions).
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.
Adidas and Nokia have teamed up to create a Windows Phone version of Adidas' miCoach app and service exclusively for Nokia Lumia users running Windows Phone 8. Adidas miCoach is a fitness and activity tracking app that aims to help keep you in shape, with personalised training plans and coaching feedback that help you work towards your personal fitness goals. It is also the first fitness app for Windows Phone to include support for a Bluetooth SMART heart rate monitor.
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.