Krishna Baidya’s Random Musings

Posts Tagged ‘Nokia

Nokia_N8_01Nokia has announced the launch of its latest flagship smartphone, the N8 (pictured), which will be the first ever device based on the new Symbian version 3 (S^3) platform. Nokia – the world’s largest handset vendor – announced today that the new device will be available in selected markets in the third quarter of the year, slightly later than planned according to earlier reports. It is priced at EUR370 before applicable taxes or subsidies. Among the highlight features on the N8 is a 12 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, Xenon flash and a large sensor that claims to rival those found in compact digital cameras. It also offers the ability to make and edit HD-quality videos and is compatible with home theatre systems. Web TV services and social networking features are also prominent, including the ability to have live feeds from Facebook and Twitter in a single app directly on the home screen. Nokia’s free turn-by-turn navigation service – Ovi Maps – is also included. Given Nokia’s recent troubles with its smartphone portfolio, the N8 will be carefully watched.

In a separate statement, Symbian described the launch as marking its first major platform release following its transition to a fully open source model in February this year. “S^3 enables an unparalleled set of options for device creators and app developers to extend the usefulness of Symbian products and services,” said Lee Williams, executive director at Symbian. The N8 is Nokia’s first device to be integrated with Qt, a software development environment that aims to make it possible to build applications once and deploy across Symbian and other software platforms. The vendor has made a beta version of the Qt SDK available for developers.
Source: GSMA Daily

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Indian telecom industry has not been impacted much by global economic slowdown and many new vendors see this as opportunity to enter Indian telecom space. With the 3G auction around the corner, 27 new handset vendors have entered the market in just one quarter, according to Economic Times.

These new mobile companies are coming up with dual SIM cards, full Qwerty keyboard and at a cheaper price to attract more customers. Mobile handset sales in India recorded a 6.7 percent increase to 100.9 million in the year ended June 30, as compared to 94.6 million in the year before. Even Mindtree has entered the telecom space through its acquired company Kyocera Wireless. China Wireless Technologies’ Indian subsidiary, Coolpad Communications, is targeting Rs. 800 crore revenue in next five years in India. The company is set to invest Rs. 400 crore as capex and opex over the next three years.

According to a new research study by IDC India, the new vendors have ensured that the overall mobile handset shipments touched 6.3 percent as compared to 1.2 percent during the June 2008 quarter, when the new vendors totaled 11 percent. “The shipments from such new players who have entered the Indian market in the last 12 to 18 months grew six-fold with 6.41 million unit sales,” said Deepak Kumar, Associate Vice-President (Research) of IDC, India.

In terms of shipment, Nokia still leads the market share in India with 56.8 percent followed by Samsung with a 7.7 percent share and LG with 5.4 percent share in the 12-month period ended June 30, according to the report. ‘With the mobile handsets market in India growing in volumes , device manufacturers have started focusing on niche and emerging segments based on lifestyle profiling of buyers ,” said Naveen Mishra, an Analyst at IDC India.

“We see the market getting further crowded. At the same time, an accelerated evolution of the market is at work, as rising competition forces vendors to offer a combo of volume and value,” said Kumar.

Source: SI

Nokia-Messaging-Comes-to-Singapore-on-M1-2Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia and M1, one of the leading wireless carriers in Singapore, have announced today that a new, easy-to-use email service is coming towards the latter’s customers. The new service, none other than Nokia Messaging, comes to mobile phone users in the country with push email functionality, as well as with a rather affordable price tag – not to mention the fact that they can set up their email accounts in three simple steps.

M1 has also announced that its subscribers can now choose bundled data plans especially designed to fit the new service, while also stating that users in Singapore now have the chance to enjoy the Nokia Messaging solution on a range of 20 Nokia devices. One of the plans the carrier offers is the SunSurf Lite data plan, which comes at only 5.35 SGD per month.

The mobile phone carrier has also mentioned that the SunSurf Lite data plan offers users 20MB of free data, which allows them to enjoy the benefits of Nokia Messaging on any compatible device. Moreover, customers will also be able to enjoy the service’s features, including having emails pushed on their handsets, or support for email service providers such as Yahoo, Hotmail and Gmail. At the same time, the service offers support for local Internet service providers, including Pacific Internet, Cyberway and Qala.

“Almost everyone has a mobile handset and an email account these days, making Nokia Messaging an excellent way to access email on the go. By turning this application into a very affordable value-added service that is available on a wide range of Nokia handsets, we are confident that it will meet the needs of the many M1 customers who want to keep in constant email contact without incurring high mobile data charges,” said P Subramaniam, M1’s chief marketing officer.

Vlasta Berka, general manager, Nokia Singapore, Malaysia & Brunei, added that the new service that came through the collaboration between the two companies was meant to meet the continuously growing demand towards easy access of emails directly from mobile phones. “Nokia Messaging eliminates all the factors that have been barriers to mobile email adoption: it is easy to access and set up, it is easy to use and one can have up to 10 email accounts per device per subscriber. The idea is to make mobile email and messaging available to everyone,” Vlasta Berka added.

Source: Softpedia

Move over credit cards, India is now preparing to use the mobile contactless payment method. Citibank has announced the launch of Citi Tap and Pay pilot service in Bangalore as an effort to make the mode of payment more convenient. Using the NFC or Near Field Communication technology, Citi along with Nokia, Vodafone, ViVOtech and MasterCard, is aiming to gain insight into a wide range of parameters including, assessing customer acceptance to making contactless transactions through mobile NFC. This technology allows the user to use the phone instead of a credit card to make purchases at the grocery store, bookstore or eating joint. If the technology becomes a success in India, it will be a big opportunity for other banks to tap into the market with Citi as pioneers in the field.

The technology has already been piloted across other parts of the world and may soon replace the traditional credit card system. In fact Visa launched the world’s first commercial mobile payments service using NFC in Malaysia, in April this year. In Japan, the technology has already been employed by wireless carrier NTT DoCoMo which allows customers to use cell phones as mobile wallets. Now NFC is making inroads into India.

A recent study by ABI Research shows that globally, 450 million mobile phones will be NFC-enabled by 2011, which represents about 30 percent of handsets shipped worldwide in that year. Moreover, Strategy Analytics predict that mobile phone-based contactless payments will facilitate over $36 billion of worldwide consumer spending by 2011. Now, the banks are eying to cash in the Indian mobile subscriber base that stands at 415 million in May 2009 to promote the contactless payment. Jeff Semenchuk, EVP and Head of Growth Ventures, Citi Innovation said, “Citi believes contactless mobile payment services will be a key lifestyle driver for our highly mobile, international and increasingly urban customer base.”

The mobile phone can be tapped on a contactless reader at the point of sale to pay for purchases eliminating the need for the traditional swipe of credit cards. With this, the need to send SMS or mobile data charges is also eliminated. One can avail of the service free of cost and all one has to do is register and have a Citibank account and MasterCard card. However the service will function only on NFC enabled Nokia 6212 phones which cost Rs 11, 560 but will be sold at an inaugural price of Rs 5000. The customer also needs to have a Vodafone connection and will be charged for the GPRS service to make contactless NFC mobile payment.

Michael Mullagh, CEO of ViVOtech, which will be providing the reader machines and the necessary software said, “This new technology promises to revolutionize the payment and shopping experience and bring enormous benefits to consumers and the payment, retail and mobile ecosystems.”

Although there are already a few startups like mChek and Cashnxt that are planning to launch similar pilots in other parts of India, it is the first time that an initiative like this is being taken up in India. Out of the four lakh Citibank customers in Bangalore, the project is targeting around 5000 for the pilot which will be six months long.

BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) has acquired GPS device firm Dash Navigation for an undisclosed sum, reports the Washington Post. The report notes that Dash manufactures an in-car GPS device called ‘Dash Express,’ but has been struggling to compete with larger GPS rivals such as Garmin. It has recently shifted its business model from hardware to selling its software to other device manufacturers. Dash’s original product offered a network-connected GPS that pooled the location and speeds of all nearby Dash owners to provide them with real-time traffic reports, but reportedly suffered as it was unable to build a large enough user base. The firm – which is backed by private-equity firms Kleiner Perkins and Sequoia – cut about 65 percent of its staff in November last year as part of its shift to a software licensing model.

RIM was tight-lipped on the acquisition, neither publishing an official press release nor commenting on how Dash’s technology will be integrated into its business. However, the Washington Post likened the acquisition to Nokia’s purchase of digital mapping company NAVTEQ in 2008, which helped bump up the Finnish handset-maker’s mapping capabilities. It notes that Dash will provide RIM with some important mapping and car navigation technologies that can be applied to its large installed base of BlackBerry handsets.

Nokia today launched three new handsets designed to bring Internet services to emerging markets. Included in the offering is the Nokia 2730 classic nokia_2730_classic(pictured, left), priced at EUR80, which the world’s largest handset vendor claims is its “most affordable 3G phone.” It is expected to start shipping in the third quarter of 2009. The Nokia 2720 fold (pictured, below right) is a fold-phone boasting email and Internet connectivity, and will be offered with Nokia Life Tools in select markets. The 2720 is expected to begin shipping in the third quarter for an estimated retail price of EUR55 before subsidies and taxes. Meanwhile, Nokia’s 7020 is marketed as “a fashionable fold phone that uses light, colour and metal finishes to convey personal style.” Incorporating a 2 megapixel camera, the device will ship in the fourth-quarter this year for an estimated retail price of EUR90 before subsidies and taxes. Nokia_2720_fold_red_18

Nokia’s announcement today is its latest effort to ramp up its emerging markets strategy. In November the company unveiled two emerging market services – Ovi Mail and Nokia Life Tools – that are supported by the three new handsets. Ovi Mail provides the ability to create an email account without the need to use a personal computer, whilst Nokia Life Tools is aimed at providing agriculture information and education services for rural and small town communities in emerging markets. Nokia claims to have carried out research declaring that nearly half of emerging market customers would rather connect to the Internet using a mobile phone than a PC.

source: GSMA MBB