Court: Samsung execs told terms of secret Nokia-Apple deal

Samsung executives might have been able to access patent-licensing terms between Apple and Nokia, despite rules disallowing such access.

Foss Patents' Florian Mueller on Thursday published court documents filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California on Wednesday that suggest Samsung might have been inappropriately given access to a patent-licensing deal between Apple and Nokia...

Read the full story here... Source: CNET

Microsoft Purchases Nokia's Device and Services Division to Unite Windows Phone Hardware and Software

Microsoft and Nokia today announced that Microsoft will acquire Nokia's Devices and Services unit, allowing Microsoft to unite its Windows Phone software efforts with its primary hardware partner in Nokia. The deal also includes a licensing agreement to provide Microsoft with access to Nokia's mapping services and patents...

Read the full story here... Source: Mac Rumours

Nokia Launches Lumia 925 Advertisement Bashing iPhone Camera

Nokia has taken a page from Microsoft's advertising book and has today launched (via UKMR) a new advertisement comparing the company's Lumia 925 to the iPhone 5. 

The ad focuses on the phone's photographic capabilities and is based on Apple's well known "Photos Every Day" commercial, which began running back in April. It uses a similar voice over and style, focusing on Lumia users taking photographs with their devices...

Read the full story here... Source: Mac Rumours 

Lumia 1020: A flash point for Nokia?

Nokia hopes its comeback story comes into focus with a little help from its 41-megapixel camera-packing Lumia 1020.

The former Finnish mobile devices giant was at it again on Thursday with the debut of its latest smartphone, which rocks the souped-up zoom-lens camera that impressed critics a year ago at Mobile World Congress. For some, this is the real PureView camera that should have been bolted on to last year's Lumia 920 flagship phone.

Even as the Lumia 1020 comes packed to the gills with features and advanced hardware, it's unclear whether this will be the smartphone to finally reverse Nokia's fortunes. Its continued struggles despite a drastically improved line-up of products underscore the broader difficulties facing all of the vendors in getting support from carriers and interest from consumers. More specifically, there remains a lot of work to revitalize Nokia's brand and educate consumers on Windows Phone...

Read the full story here. Source: CNET

Nokia teases new phone with Lumia colour, Qwerty keys

Time to put the 'key' in 'Nokia'. The Finnish company has revealed a glimpse of a new phone with a Qwerty keyboard, but it's unlikely to be a Lumia smart phone.

In a mysterious teaser image, Nokia shows what appears to be a phone with bright Lumia-style colours but Asha-style keys.

The teaser reveals rounded corners for the prospective device, showing a Z key and contoured Shift key.

The phone is apparently decked out in the vibrant primary colours that are the signature of Nokia's Windows Phone-powered Lumia smart phone range. But a Qwerty Lumia is unlikely, and with Nokia's mobile devices making the announcement it appears this will be a feature phone, perhaps an Asha phone.

Asha phones are Nokia's wallet-friendly feature phones, which now feature basic apps but lack the power and features of a smart phone. They're aimed largely at developing markets low-cost pay as you go customers.

Qwerty keyboards have disappeared from smart phones as touchscreens become ubiquitous in a post-iPhone world. Even BlackBerry is drifting away from its signature clicky keyboard, promoting the all-touchshcreen BlackBerry Z10 ahead of the forthcoming, keyboard-packingBlackBerry Q10.

Nokia's latest Lumia lineup includes the Nokia Lumia 520 and Lumia 720. Rumoured future devices for the struggling company include a new hero phone, a possible oversized rival to the Galaxy Note 2, and a 'new season' of new devices.

Nokia's announcement is scheduled for 7am on Wednesday. That's a bit early for a UK launch, but we'll set our alarms anyway and bring you the news.

[Source: CNET]

Mystery Nokia device leaks, new Asha incoming?

Now this is a bit of a head-scratcher. A mystery new Nokia device has leaked online, but there's no word of what it is, or when we'll see it.

It comes from the usually reliable @evleaks Twitter account. All @evleaks says on the matter is, "remember that Nokia Asha design language preview?" This is a hint that there could well be another budget smart phone winging its way here soon.

From the image we can see the handset will come in a selection of colours, just like Nokia'sLumia range. It looks like it's running the Windows Phone operating system, though it's on the lock screen, so there's no sign of the Live Tiles. Other than that, there's not much to go on. The date on the phone's screen is given as 17 August 2012, which could be when the handset was conceived.

Traditionally Nokia Asha handsets have fared pretty poorly in our reviews. The Asha 302 was the most recent one we got our hands on, but it suffered from a lack of a touchscreen and the fiddly Series 40 software. Still, not as bad as the Asha 306, which comes with no 3G and a price that's not even all that low. Let's hope Nokia can pull its socks up. Using Microsoft's Windows Phone software instead of Series 40 would be a good start.

Just recently, Nokia boss Stephen Elop said the company was focused on "taking [Windows Phone] to lower and lower prices", and that its budget Windows Phone blowers would "over time compete with Android". It's got quite a fight on its hands, considering Android's star player is theNexus 4, which manages decent specs and the latest software for not much money at all.

[Source: CNET]

Microsoft could be making a Surface phone, Nokia says

Microsoft surprised everyone by launching its Surface tablet, taking on its hardware partners at their own game. Since then, there have been plenty of rumours about a possible Surface phone, with the device apparently entering the testing phase at the end of last year. And now it seems Nokia is getting a little antsy, suspecting Microsoft will step on its toes.

ZDNet reports that in a filing with the SEC (US Securities and Exchange Commission -- a federal regulator), Nokia wrote not only did it suspect Microsoft of making a mobile, but that it could be "detrimental" to the Finnish phone firm's business interests. Sounds like a storm brewing.

"Microsoft may make strategic decisions or changes that may be detrimental to us," Nokia wrote in the filing. "For example, in addition to the Surface tablet, Microsoft may broaden its strategy to sell other mobile devices under its own brand, including smart phones.

"This could lead Microsoft to focus more on their own devices and less on mobile devices of other manufacturers that operate on the Windows Phone platform, including Nokia."

This is a world away from Nokia CEO Stephen Elop's previous claims that he would welcome Microsoft as "a stimulant to the ecosystem". Nokia does sound a little paranoid, but then this is a security filing, so I suppose it's to be expected.

It's even considering what would happen if Microsoft put the kibosh on its mobile OS, Windows Phone 8. "If Microsoft reduces investment in that operating system, or discontinues it, our smart phone strategy would be directly negatively affected by such acts."

Come on Nokia, I'm sure it'll be alright.

While we have heard about Microsoft testing a phone, that doesn't mean it'll release the device. The company tests all sorts of products without putting them up for sale. Still, a Microsoft mobile would shake things up a bit. And this is business, I'm sure the Redmond company isn't here to make friends.

[Source: CNET]

Nokia Music+ now live for US Lumia owners

After launching the service across the pond just a few short days ago, Nokia's now ready to make Music+ available for the US -- confirming to us today its availability on Yankee soil. To recap, the paid subscription service ramps up the free app's offerings with higher quality audio, unlimited offline downloads and Mix Radio skips, multiple device use, as well as lyrics -- all for $4/mo. It's a significantly cheaper alternative to other freemium music streaming servicescurrently available in the Windows Phone 8 ecosystem. So, if you've recently gone Lumia, you might want to check it out.

[Source: Engadget]

Samsung Introduces REX Feature Phones to Take on Nokia’s Asha Devices

Samsung recently announced a new line of Java-based feature phones that will likely launch in emerging markets and compete head-to-head with Nokia’s Asha line of devices. There are four phones in the REX series, including the REX 90, REX 80, REX 70 and REX 60. All of thephones sport Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface and offer support for using two SIMs at the same time.

The REX 90 has a 3.5-inch display, a 3.2-megapixel camera and a microSD card slot that supports up to 32GB of storage. The REX 80 is similar but has a smaller 3-inch display and can only support up to 16GB of additional storage. The REX 70 has a similar 3-inch display but a lower-resolution 2-megapixel camera. Finally, the REX 60 has just a 2.8-inch screen and a 1.3-megapixel camera. All of the phones only support EDGE networks, so they’re definitely going into brand new cell markets where faster 3G and 4G technology doesn’t yet exist.

“As the number one mobile leader and innovator, we are committed to developing the best possible mobile solutions to suit all lifestyles and budgets, which is why we are so excited to launch the REX series across a number of the world’s fastest growing markets,” said JK Shin, President and Head of IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics. “REX devices are designed to seamlessly prioritize and consolidate essential mobile functions that matter most to customers across diverse markets. The result is an extraordinary end-to-end mobile experience with the best value for money.”

Samsung didn’t discuss pricing, but we imagine these device will sell for well under $100.

[Source: TechnoBuffalo - Read the full story here]

Nokia begins its Windows Phone 7.8 upgrade rollout

Talk of Microsoft finally deploying Windows Phone 7.8 has been building to a crescendo -- and we're glad to confirm it's more than just noise. The more customizable home and lock screens, Marketplace improvements and numerous under-the-hood upgrades are rolling out to all of Nokia's Windows Phone 7.5 devices, starting today and continuing through February. The company hasn't confirmed who goes first, although AT&T's Lumia 900 is believed to be part of the earliest wave. Other upgrades will depend on carrier timing, if you're using a locked phone, but the plan to push 7.8 is still good news for those who've wanted to keep their early Lumias as current as possible.

[Source: Engadget]

Nokia Music+ downloads playlists to your Lumia, for a fee

Nokia has a new music streaming service aimed at giving Lumia owners happier ears, while fighting services like Spotify or

The Nokia Music+ app is an extension of Nokia's Mix Radio app, which streams a list of tunes hand-chosen by Nokia, depending on which playlist you choose.

Mix Radio is free, but is rather limited in what it offers. Coughing up an extra €3.99 per month however gets you Music+, which brings treats like the ability to skip tracks as many times as you like, as well as downloading entire playlists for offline listening.

You can't hoard as much music as you want -- Nokia explains on its blog that you're limited to four "mixes", each of which contains a tonne of tracks. Signing up to the service also nabs you downloads at "eight times" the quality, as well as scrolling lyrics for impromptu blasts of karaoke and desktop mode, which lets you stream music through a Web app or smart TV.

The service is due in a few weeks. There's no confirmed UK pricing, but £4 is a good bet. Those in the US will be forking over one cent shy of $4.

Downloading and unlimited skips are tempting features, but I'd wager many smart phone owners considering paying for a music service would rather have the opportunity to search for songs and craft their own playlists, rather than jigging about to whatever Nokia prescribes.

Incredibly, despite being present on Windows Phone 7, Spotify is still to bring its own streaming service to Windows Phone 8. If you're desperate for streaming music and are sick of waiting for Spotify (which costs £10 per month) to gets its rear in gear, Nokia's new service could tide you over.

[Source: CNET]

Windows Phone 7.8 upgrades appear on Nokia's servers for all eligible Lumias

Lingering concerns that Nokia might not upgrade all its Windows Phone 7.5 roster to 7.8 might have just been put to rest. Just a day after updates for the Lumia 510 and 800 were caught on Nokia's servers through NaviFirm, updates have also been spotted for those devices that didn't make the initial cut: the Lumia 610, 710and 900 have all appeared, each with numerous region-specific updates in tow. Their existence still doesn't constitute a formal update, so be aware that you're gambling with your phone's health if you install them without any word from Microsoft or Nokia. Suffice it to say that full availability is clearly getting close -- and that it's less probable any Lumia will be left behind.

[Source: Engadget]