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.
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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.
Following its announcement this morning, we're all surprised to see Nokia Camera (rolling in Nokia Pro Camera and Nokia Smart Cam) available in the Windows Phone Store already. We link to it below, along with screenshots of the tweaked interface in action and descriptions of the changes. Summary: highly, highly recommended - if you weren't taking lots of useful photos on your Lumias before, you will be after this. See below for why....
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.
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).