Tag: nokia

Nokia gets back into smartphones

 

wellington-bootFormer rubber boot maker Nokia is back in the smartphone game and launched a mid-range smartphone for the Chinese market.

The Nokia 6 is an Android smartphone and is being made by HMD which owns the rights to use Nokia’s brand on mobile phones.

The Nokia 6, which runs the newest version of Google’s mobile operating system, Android Nougat, sports a 5.5-inch full HD (1920×1080 pixels) display. With metal on the sides and a rounded rectangular fingerprint scanner housed on the front, the Nokia 6 seems reminiscent of the Samsung Galaxy S7.

It is powered by a mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor and will compete with the likes of Samsung’s Galaxy A series models and other mid-end smartphones. The smartphone is manufactured by Foxconn.

On the face of it there is not much to see there, but really there is not much to see in many mid-range smartphones anywhere. It does have dual amplifiers which it claims can deliver a louder sound but the innovation seems to stop there.

The Nokia 6 will exclusively sell in China through ecommerce giant JD.com for $250. HMD says it will launch more products in the first half of this year.

“China is the largest and most competitive smartphone market in the world,” the company said in a press note, justifying why its long-anticipated smartphone is limited to the Chinese market. “Our ambition is to deliver a premium product, which meets consumer needs at every price point, in every market.”

The idea is to get its brand into China where it can be noticed. The price point of Nokia 6 is very close to the average selling price offered by the top three Chinese players. The mid-end smartphone market is growing 12 percent year-on-year.

 

Apple’s Nokia spat turning ugly

fish fight It appears that hell hath no fury like an Apple exec with his knickers in a twist.  The fruity cargo-cult has announced that it is pulling Nokia goods from its  cathedrals of pointless consumerism, until Nokia accepts that it can use its technology without paying anything.

For those who came in late, Nokia sued Apple after the outfit decided not to pay out for 32 licences on its tech  in Europe and the U.S. courts.  The Patents that Nokia claims Apple infringed, cover technologies such as display, user interface, software, antenna, chipsets and video coding.

Nokia said Apple agreed to license a few of Nokia Technologies’ patents in 2011, but has declined offers by Nokia since then to license other patents whose inventions have been used in Apple mobile devices, including the iPhone and iPad, and the Mac.

Now Apple is fighting back by refusing to sell Nokia’s Withings products.  Nokia bought Withings, which makes Wi-Fi scales and other digital health and fitness gear.

A Google search finds a listing on Apple’s web store for both a bathroom scale and smart thermometer made by Withings, but clicking on the link leads to an error message on Apple’s site.

 

Nokia wades into Apple

wellington-bootThis week has seen the former maker of rubber boots Nokia sending patent lawsuits daily to the fruity tax-dodging cargo-cult Apple.

Nokia said yesterday it had filed a new set of patent lawsuits against Apple in Asia, Europe and the United States.

This follows the announcement on Wednesday it was suing Apple, accusing the iPhone maker of violating 32 technology patents. All up this means that Apple is facing 40 patents suits in 11 countries.

The Tame Apple Press has warned Nokia that a battle with Apple could hold up royalty payments that are vital to shoring up the Finnish company’s profits, but Nokia pointed out yesterday that Apple had stopped paying anyway.

Nokia releases two basic handsets

bokbild20HMD Global, the Finnish outfit that owns the rights to use the Nokia brand on mobile phones, has released two basic handsets without internet access priced at $26 before local taxes and subsidies.

The Nokia 150 and Nokia 150 Dual SIM could go on sale in selected markets early next year.

The outfit, which is led by former Nokia refugees who took over the Nokia basic phone business from Microsoft and has struck a licensing deal with Nokia Oyj to bring the brand back from the dead.

The basic phone business makes most of its sales in India, elsewhere in Asia and eastern Europe. The business model will be based on making phones for the poorer countries and burners.  This will provide a base for more expensive Nokia smartphones.

The company is staffed by many employees who were let go when Microsoft’s love affair with mobile phones ended up in an expensive divorce. HMD Global is based in Finland, which is Nokia’s old stomping ground.

 

Nokia cleans Ericsson’s clock

nokia-in-advanced-talks-to-acquire-alcatel-lucents-wireless-business-reportsUp North networking outfits’s Nokia and Ericsson have been battling it out for an ever-shrinking market but it looks like Nokia is the clear winner.

Finland’s Nokia reported falling quarterly sales and profits for its network gear business, but outperformed rival Ericsson in a weak market. The improvement was thanks to cost cuts after its recent acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent.

Nokia said total third-quarter operating profit decreased 18 percent from a year ago to $606 million, but was buoyed by a one-off patent licensing payment.

Group sales dropped seven percent from a year ago to $6.49 billion, including network equipment sales falling 12 percent to $5.8 billion which was pretty much what everyone was expecting.

In the third quarter, the networks unit’s operating margin was 8.1 percent, compared with a market view of 7.6 percent.

Sweden’s Ericsson, which replaced its chief executive this week, spooked investors earlier this month when its quarterly profit plunged more than 90 percent.

“The trend of declining sales is similar for both companies, but Nokia has been better prepared for slowing demand by continuously improving its efficiency,” Rautanen said.

Nokia projected global network equipment demand was set to fall for the rest of 2016, but for declines in sales to taper in 2017.

Chief Executive Rajeev Suri said he expected market conditions to stabilise next year,

Nokia is cutting thousands of jobs worldwide following the merger as it seeks savings targets of $1.3 billion in 2018.

The company also on Thursday said its chief financial officer Timo Ihamuotila, who had helped the company to restructure from a troubled mobile handset maker into a network equipment company, would resign to join Swiss engineering group ABB.

Apple loses to Patent “Troll”

Wikia_HP_-_Mountain_TrollFruity tax-dodger Apple has lost a patent law suit to MobileMedia Ideas and not in an East Texas Court for once.

Apple apparently infringed MobileMedia’s patent RE39,231, which relates to ring-silencing features on mobile phones and the court ruled that Jobs’ Mob will have to write a cheque for $3 million.

The Tame Apple press has waded into MobileMedia on two fronts for daring to take Apple to court. Firstly, it called it patent troll when it really isn’t.  It is a patent pool majority-owned by MPEG-LA, a that licenses common digital video technologies like H-264, MPEG-2, and MPEG-4.

Secondly, the Tame Apple Press claimed that it was a “proxy war” being waged by Sony and Nokia, which both contributed the patents owned by the company.

The case took years and was initially for three patents, and the ring-silencing was the last one remaining. It is likely that Apple will not take this lying down either and will appeal to the Federal Circuit.

Apple’s defence was that when Sony had direct control of the patent it failed to mention it to Apple, however when it moved the patents to the pool suddenly it was sued. We know, it is hardly a defence – it just means that after farming out its patents to MobileMedia their enforcement became more efficient.

Angry Bird called in to save new Nokia

bird_bombThe outfit which is the proud owner of the Nokia  brand has hired the bloke who created the the Angry Birds franchise to give it some street cred.

Nokia signed an agreement that essentially licensed its brand to HMD Global Oy, a newly founded Finnish company that planned to create phones  which would be manufactured and distributed by Foxconn.

Now HMD has hired Pekka Rantala, the one-time CEO of Angry Birds creator Rovio, who stepped down in 2015 after tough time with the mobile gaming company. He actually did a lengthy stint at Nokia from 1994 to 2011 and knows his onions.  Apparently he will be signing up as the Chief Marketing Officer for the company.

HMD  is currently run by Nokia vet Arto Nummela who has not said how he will save the mobile company. The Nokia deal provides the company with naming and patent rights, in exchange for royalty payments. Nokia is providing some oversight via a position on the company’s board, though it’s not investing directly in HMD, as per the deal.

Telcos try to blackmail the EU

KraysEuropean telcos are having a go at blackmailing the EU by saying they will only bring in 5G if the community abandons its net neutrality rules.

A group of 20 major telcos including Deutsche Telekom, Nokia, Vodafone, and BT has said that it will launch 5G networks in every country in the European Union by 2020 — so long as governments decide to weaken net neutrality rules.

In a pretty blunt and open extortion plan called the “5G Action Plan.” They say that 5G will change the world giving shedloads of benefits in cars, health, public safety, smart city, and entertainment scenarios by 2018. To add insult to injury they also want the EU to invest in it.

However the companies are also pushing for what they call the “right regulatory environment,” which would involve addressing the “dangers” that would come with open internet policies.

“The EU must reconcile the need for open Internet with pragmatic rules that foster innovation. The telecom industry warns that current net neutrality guidelines, as put forward by BEREC [the Body of European Regulators], create significant uncertainties around 5G return on investment. Investments are therefore likely to be delayed unless regulators take a positive stance on innovation and stick to it.”

“The EU must reconcile the need for open internet with pragmatic rules that foster innovation.””

So far the EU has already told the telcos to sling their hook and rejected amendments to legislation passed last fall that would have protected net neutrality in Europe. The laws currently feature loopholes that allow so-called “specialised services” like self-driving cars and medical operation to hop onto internet fast lanes.

So far supporters of the manifesto include companies like Airbus, Siemens, and Phillips. The EU’s Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Gunther Oettinger, praised the document, stating, “The manifesto is a valuable input for the 5G action plan that will be presented in September, together with the proposal for the review of the telecom regulatory framework.”

However, we are not quite sure if he read it properly. Unless the telcos can make commissioners interested in their plan to hold the web hostage it is pretty likely that the EU will see it in the following manner – the telcos will make a fortune out of 5G and it is in their competitive interest to adopt the technology as soon as possible. They can did this with or without an open internet and it is better for EU citizens to have an open internet.

This does not apply to the UK of course. Now it has Brexited, it no longer has any protection from the telco gangsters.

 

Microsoft has angered the Finns

the-sharks-are-circlingSoftware giant Microsoft has finally got the Finns cross over how it hacked about Nokia’s mobile unit before casting it adrift.

Microsoft has recently announced a new round of job layoffs at its Mobile unit in Finland, as it moves forward with its restructuring and reorganization plan following the acquisition of Nokia’s Devices and Services unit.

The Finnish government though is unhappy about the way that Vole has carried you the restructuring saying the outfit has a huge responsibility to help those who are being let go.

Microsoft’s latest job cut round included 1,850 people, 1,350 of whom are said to be working in Finland.

Finance Minister Alexander Stubb said that he was disappointed because of the promises made by Microsoft who had promised him that a new data centre would suck up a large number of the job losses. However this does not appear to have happened.

In 2013, when Microsoft purchased Nokia’s Devices and Services business, the company promised to invest $250 million in a data centre located in Finland that was specifically meant to provide services to European customers. Construction of the data centre never started.

And yet, Finland accuses Microsoft of contributing to the economic downturn that affects the country, as the company fired thousands of people under its restructuring plan and closed facilities that were once among the most successful in Europe.

The research and development centre in Salo was shut down by Microsoft, turning the city into what many described as a “ghost town.” The local facility started operations in the mid-1980s, and its closure dramatically impacted the city, with local sources revealing that “schools are closing, restaurants are mostly empty, and youths worried that they won’t be able to find jobs.”

Employment Minister Jari Lindstrom said Vole must bear as big a responsibility as possible over what they have done by laying off people.

Microsoft has not said anything but then again that is pretty much what anyone would expect.  Vole wants to put the whole Nokia fiasco behind it.

Wintel: smartphones continue to crash

Microsoft campusMicrosoft is expected to lay off nearly 2,000 people after its disastrous acquisition of Nokia’s smartphone business as it dawns on the software giant that it’s never going to make headway in the market.

Both Microsoft and Intel seriously believed at one time that they could stitch up the smartphone business as effectively as they controlled the PC business at one time.

But the hard fact that both firms are beginning to recognise is that they haven’t a snowball in hell’s chance of gaining a grip on this sector of the IT market.

Microsoft’s latest announcement today that it will lay off 1,850 people follows an Intel announcement just a few weeks back that it would lay off 11 percent of people to make ends meet.

The giants have taken a while to wake up to the uncomfortable fact that neither of them really matter in the slightest in an industry dominated by cheap chips and better products.

Microsoft bought Nokia’s smartphone business for a colossal $7.2 billion just two years ago and last year cut nearly 8,000 jobs.

The latest job cuts will come in Finland and the $950 million it writes off today will mean it has to pay nearly a quarter of that sum in redundancy payments.

Last week Microsoft said it would sell off a chunk of its phone business to a division of Taiwanese manufacturing giant Foxconn.