Tim Bradshaw

It was just a regular Tuesday afternoon in Mountain View’s Red Rock coffee shop: rows of young entrepreneurs sitting behind their MacBook screens, working on what they hope might be the next WhatsApp.

The low-key cafe served as an office for Brian Acton and Jan Koum, WhatsApp’s founders, when they were starting out back in 2009. It was here that Sequoia’s Jim Goetz met them in 2011 before becoming their only venture-capital investor. WhatsApp’s modest, unmarked offices are still just around the corner. Read more

It’s Tablet Tuesday, with Nokia announcing its entry into the market this morning, Microsoft releasing the Surface 2 and Apple expected to introduce new iPads at an event in San Francisco. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Microsoft’s €5.4bn acquisition of Nokia’s devices business was both long predicted and a bolt from the blue, coming so soon after its chief executive Steve Ballmer announced his retirement. Here Mr Ballmer explains the logic of the deal to investors.  

Elop (l) and Ballmer in 2011

Why now? The key seems to be Microsoft’s ambition.

Since it joined forces with Nokia in mobiles in 2011, neither company has prospered. Microsoft remains a distant third to Google and Apple in terms of operating systems, while Nokia’s share of the smartphone market has collapsed from 17 per cent in 2011 to 3 per cent in the first half of this year, according to Gartner.

“We know we are number three in the market, we’re not number two or one and we need to accelerate,” Steve Ballmer, chief executive, told the FT’s Richard MilneRead more

Chris Nuttall

Things are looking up for Nokia in the US, a territory where it was unloved and unrepresented by operators not so long ago.

Now it has not one but two carriers touting its latest Windows smartphones, with Verizon launching the Lumia 928 this week and T-Mobile having its own exclusive with the 925, unveiled in London on Tuesday and available at a date to be announced in the US. Both represent advances on its signature Lumia 920 launched last year. Read more

Nokia trained its sights on iPhone users with the launch of a new metal Lumia handset on Tuesday, as latest figures showed its share of the market had fallen by almost five percentage points.

According to the latest data from Gartner, a steep decline in sales of cheaper feature phones – still popular in emerging markets – led to a loss of mobile market share in the first quarter of this year, from 19.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2012 to 14.8 per cent this year. Read more

It’s hard to know which was worse: Nokia‘s third quarter overall, or its results in China. Let’s say… China.

Why? Well, the Finnish mobile company has made a big effort in the country, but it’s Q3 results show that it’s far from paying off.

 Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Poor Nokia just can’t catch a break.

The struggling Finnish phone maker had to apologise after it emerged that a YouTube advertisement for its new Lumia device, showing off its video-stabilisation technology, was not filmed on the smartphone. Read more

Maija Palmer

The complexity – one is tempted to say complete muddle – of the European patent system was highlighted on Wednesday when Nokia and HTC won a key victory in their intellectual property battle with IPCom.

IPCom, which is based in Germany,  has waged a battle for several years to get mobile handset companies to pay it royalties for some technology it owns related to how mobile phones connect to 3G networks. Some handset makers have bought licences from IPCom, but Nokia and HTC strongly denied the validity of the patents and refused to pay up. Read more

For mobile gadget enthusiasts, the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona provides a smorgasbord of delights.

This year’s show, which ended on Thursday, was no exception. So here are three handsets which, for different reasons, stand out in an increasingly crowded smartphone market. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Google is profiting from illegal advertisements on its search engine, even though it takes them down, alleged a report published on the BBC website on Tuesday. Read more

Richard Waters

As widely expected, the wraps were taken off the Lumia 900 on Monday – a 4G handset for the AT&T network that is meant to lead a Nokia resurgence in the US.

But where were the other handsets and mobile operators? And where were the details of launch timing and price? Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Ultra-thin notebooks and tablets to rival Apple’s MacBook Air and  iPad 2 respectively are expected to take centre stage at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which officially opens on Tuesday. Read more

Maija Palmer

Tech news from around the web:

Yahoo, the struggling internet company, is on the verge of appointing a new chief executive, writes Kara Swisher of AllThingsD, with Scott Thomson, president of eBay’s PayPal business, expected to get the nod. An announcement could come as early as Wednesday. Yahoo has been without a permanent CEO since firing Carol Bartz last September. The company has been run by its board and Tim Morse, its former chief financial officer, while looking at a range of strategic options including a sale of all or part of the company. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion has become the centre of bid speculation. The Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft and Nokia had, in recent months, considered the idea of making a joint bid for RIM, people familiar with the matter told the newspaper. Meanwhile, Reuters says that online retailer Amazon had hired an investment bank in the summer to review a potential merger, but did not make a formal offer. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

France Telecom and Publicis are to set up a joint venture-capital fund focused on European technology start-ups, according to Bloomberg. The size of the fund may be greater than €100m ($139m), people close to the plan told Bloomberg.

Apple has had its patent for the “slide to unlock” control used on its devices confirmed, ZDNet reports. This puts every Android phone and tablet that uses the same process to unlock their screens in the line of fire from Apple’s patent lawyers, ZDNet warns. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Online retailer Amazon is set to launch a new version of its shopping website, according to The Next Web. The new website’s design has been adapted to appeal to tablet and PC owners, a sign, TNW believes, that the company could soon announce the launch of its own tablet device. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Stephen Elop seems to suffer as many unfortunate events as Lemony Snicket when it comes to keeping Nokia’s business private. First there was his “burning platform” memo that leaked in February and now the Web is ablaze with the chief executive’s failed attempt to keep Nokia’s first Windows phone under wraps. Read more

Richard Waters

How long should Microsoft sit by while Research in Motion and Nokia burn?

That question has become increasingly urgent amidst the stock market meltdown of the one-time smartphone leaders. With nearly enough cash parked outside the US to buy both companies outright – and the risk that rivals will pounce – Microsoft may finally have to make some sort of move. Read more

Nokia said it had signed a final agreement to team up with Microsoft in the smartphone market as the troubled Finnish handset maker announced a smaller-than-expected drop in first-quarter profits. Read more