When Microsoft and Nokia announced their partnership in February of last year, executives made it clear that the partnership would extend beyond smartphones into other business areas, such as location and mapping. The latest fruits of this collaboration are now apparent, with the addition of traffic information and geocoding algorithms, from the Nokia Where Platform, to Microsoft's Bing Maps.
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The first big update to the AAWP (All About Windows Phone) app, version 1.1, is now available from the Windows Phone Marketplace. The updated version adds support for a dark theme, improves comment integration, has a few minor styling improvements and includes a number of behind the scenes performance improvements and bug fixes.
More than 90,000 apps have now been published in the Windows Phone Marketplace and new content is currently being added at the rate of 250 apps per day. At the time of writing, 92,383 apps have been published. Of these, 24,371 were added in the last three months and 7,409 were added in the last month. These apps come from just over 22,000 different publishers.
Samsung has announced the Omnia M, the latest addition to its Windows Phone portfolio. With a 4-inch Super AMOLED screen, 1 GHz processor, 384MB of RAM, 5 megapixel camera and 4GB of internal storage, the device can be considered an entry level Windows Phone device. The Omnia M will launch first in Europe, before being rolled out to other regions.
Nokia's ebook initiative for Windows Phone, Nokia Reading is apparently rolling out, starting now, in six countries, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain and the UK. The aim is to provide ebooks and other literary content in 'your own language' on Lumia smartphones. 'Nokia Reading' will start appearing in the Nokia Collection section of the Windows Phone Marketplace 'over the course of the next few weeks'.
Nokia City Lens, an app that helps you find and connect to the places around you, is now available from Nokia Beta Labs. Combining augmented reality, map and list views it provides an overview of places of interest (shops, restaurants, hotels, museums and more) around your current location. In addition the application deep links with Nokia Maps to provide detailed information, reviews and walking directions for any location listed in City Lens.
AT&T and Samsung today announced the forthcoming availability of the Samsung Focus 2, an LTE equipped handset that will be available on the US operator from May 20th at a cost of $50 (with a two year contract commitment). The Focus 2, which is 10.98mm thick, has a four inch Super AMOLED display, 5 megapixel camera (and VGA front facing camera), 8GB of mass storage and a 1.4Ghz processor with 512MB RAM.
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.
Ahead of the announcement of its quarterly results next week, Nokia has issued a statement warning that earnings, margins and device sales in its key Devices & Services division will be lower than expected for the first quarter of the year and that there will be little improvement in the second quarter. Nokia's current estimate for quarter one is that non-IFRS Devices & Services operating margins will be -3% (down from expected break even), with similar or lower figures anticipated for the second quarter.
Nokia's first NFC enabled Windows Phone smartphone, the Nokia Lumia 610 NFC, was announced today at the WIMA conference in Monaco. It is an NFC variant of the Lumia 610, which will launch first on Orange's European networks during Q3 2012. The NFC functionality allows for seamless pairing with NFC enabled Bluetooth accessories and the reading of NFC tags with a single tap. The handset has also been certified for contactless payments with both Mastercard's PayPass and Visa's payWave solutions.