Nokia‘s latest restructuring, announced yesterday, is just one aspect of its many-fronted smartphone war.
As Nokia’s senior vice president of design and user experience, Marko Ahtisaari is the man charged with leading the software and hardware designers who must craft the challenger to the iPhone, BlackBerry and Android devices that the Finns have so far lacked. Read more
Nokia and Symbian appear to have finally come up with a respectable response to smartphone competition from Apple and Android in the shape of the N8, announced on Tuesday.
The handset is the first to adopt Symbian’s latest ^3 operating system and will be available in the third quarter in “select markets”. Read more
With talk swirling that floundering handset maker Palm is looking for a buyer, the FT’s Lex column assesses the likelihood of a deal:
As for the price-tag, Palm’s enterprise value is about $950m but if Palm’s biggest investor Elevation insists on breaking even, Barclays Capital reckons a bidder would have to offer between $1.2bn and $1.5bn. That is in reach of Chinese computer-maker Lenovo, one of the rumoured interested parties. For Nokia, also an oft-mooted acquirer, it would represent about a quarter of its annual spending on research and development. Read more
Ray Davies was not talking about personal technology when he sang: “It’s a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world,” in the Kinks hit. But he might as well have been
Dell is going into smartphones, Google is getting into operating systems and Nokia, the world’s biggest mobile phone manufacturer, has launched a classy netbook, the Booklet 3G. This is, in fact, a re-entry into the PC market for Nokia. In the 1980s the Finnish company produced a range of desktops called MikroMikko, but left the PC market when it sold the Nokia Data business to Britain’s ICL in 1991. Read more
Nokia has acquired Dopplr, an online community of frequent travellers, giving an early payday for the site’s large group of high-profile backers.
The acquisition is part of Nokia’s plan to create a comprehensive set of services for its mobile devices, including maps, music and gaming.
Dopplr – whose tagline is “where next?” – allows its members to indicate to chosen contacts where they are travelling to. Read more
Starbucks unveiled a first-of-its-kind app today that lets users pay for in-store purchases using their iPhone, a move that could pave the way for a new generation of e-commerce applications on Apple’s popular phone.
With the Starbucks Card Mobile App, users can sync their prepaid Starbucks Card with the app, check their balance and refill it using a credit card. At some stores, they can also use the app to pay for Venti coffees and Frappuccinos.
When users select the “payment trial” function on the app, a QR code appears on the iPhone screen. A barista then scans the iPhone, deducting the cost from the Starbucks Card balance, and completing the purchase.
The trial is being rolled out at 16 locations in Seattle and Silicon Valley, where there is high usage of both iPhones and Starbucks Cards. But expect the programme to go nationwide soon, and for other retailers to follow. Read more
Robo.to, the service we highlighted as competing to be your cell phone’s “social address book”, has also launched a Web “TV” version today.
Robo.to lets users record four-second video status updates and these are now being streamed in channel-like themes, several of them started by Justin Timberlake, its pop-star lead investor. Read more
Yesterday Microsoft and Nokia announced an alliance meant to challenge Research in Motion’s lead in the corporate mobile phone market. The FT’s Lex column writes that “the battle is hotting up because this year the smartphone market is the only game in town.”
Shipments of phones that allow web surfing, e-mail and run other popular software applications rose 27 per cent in the second quarter – while overall handset sales remain on track for their first full-year decline. Even during the recession, consumers are abandoning dumb phones when, for just a little more money, they can get a pocket-sized computer instead. Read more
Augmented reality is a many-rendered thing, a buzz phrase augmented itself by an expanding definition. Some technology applications don’t really seem to fit the description as they jump on the bandwagon.
Take Mattel’s announcement of “augmented-reality technology” being included in its toys at this week’s Comic-Con show in San Diego. Read more
Apple customers may have downloaded 1.5bn applications from its AppStore in the past year for their iPhones and iPod touches, but the service does not represent the future for the mobile industry, according to Google.
Vic Gundotra, Google Engineering vice president and developer evangelist, (pictured centre) told the Mobilebeat conference in San Francisco on Thursday that the web had won and users of mobile phones would get their information and entertainment from browsers in future. Read more