Nokia Q1 Financial Earnings Disappointing Despite 2M Lumias Sold

In a press release today, Nokia announced that it has sold over 2 million Nokia Lumia handsets in Q1 2012, but despite this, the company is still falling short when it comes to financials:

“Our disappointing Devices & Services first quarter 2012 financial results and outlook for the second quarter 2012 illustrates that our Devices & Services business continues to be in the midst of transition,” said Stephen Elop, President and CEO of Nokia. “Within our Smart Devices business unit, we have established early momentum with Lumia, and we are increasing our investments in Lumia to achieve market success. Our operator and distributor partners are providing solid support for Windows Phone as a third ecosystem, as evidenced most recently by the launch of the Lumia 900 by AT&T in the United States.”

Nokia also updated its outlook for Devices and Services in Q1 2012, going from expecting a breakeven non-IFRS Devices & Services operating margin to expecting one of approximately negative 3%. The company’s outlook on Q2 2012 is also bleak; Nokia expects that its non-IFRS Devices & Services operating margin will be similar or below that of Q1.

The Lumia 900 — which was launched on April 9th — is pegged to be a flagship Windows Phone device that will hopefully drive more sales to the platform. Many buyers of the device have reported a strange data connectivity issue, which was quickly identified as a problem with the software. A fix will be pushed out shortly, and AT&T is offering a $100 credit to Lumia 900 owners affected by the problem.

 

Windows Phone 8 ‘Apollo’ Build Shows Up In ‘I’m a WP7′ App

Last month, strangely, a build of Windows 8 desktop — dubbed Jupiter, which is the codename for “Immersive” Metro apps — cropped up in the ‘I’m a WP7′ Windows Phone app which lists out the build numbers of the OSes that users install the app on. Considering the rumored switch to the NT kernel in Windows Phone 8, it was speculated that, assuming that the build number wasn’t spoofed at all to begin with, Microsoft was simply performing some internal testing of Apollo.

On Tuesday, WPCentral reported that yet another prospective future Windows Phone build was spotted in the app. Build 8.0.9662.0, sporting the Apollo codename and ‘Windows Phone 8.0′ version was spotted by users of the app in the device statistics area. But could it be fake? The developer of the I’m a WP7 app weighed in, stating:

“It’s running from an Emulator, doesn’t appear to be spoofed, is using the default Emulator location, and the Time Zone Offset lines up with Pacific Coast…”

WPCentral also report that Windows Phone 8 began internal dogfooding within Microsoft on March 30. So, with the information we have, it seems legit. And it’s likely that someone internally decided to have some fun and do a little teasing of the blogosphere by using this app in their test scenario.

AT&T And Nokia Offer $100 Credit, Fix For Lumia 900 Data Issue

Yesterday, users flooded the Nokia and WPCentral forums with reports of an annoying data connectivity bug plaguing the Nokia Lumia 900. Basically, the device would lose 3G/4G connectivity randomly, mostly with no cause. Some users stated that it occurred when they did something which obstructed connectivity — such as enable airplane mode — and were then unable to reconnect to the data network.

On Tuesday, AT&T and Nokia acknowledged the bug, and, much to the relief of users has confirmed that it’s a software issue and nothing hardware-related. That being said, phones with updated software that will hopefully remedy the issue are en route to stores as we speak, and should arrive within a few days. Nokia is offering users affected by the issue the ability to either exchange their device for a newer unit or update your existing device using the Zune client around Monday, April 16th.

On top of this, people who purchase the Lumia 900 from launch day through to midnight on April 21st will be eligible for a $100 credit on their AT&T bill. This was handled beautifully, so props to Nokia and AT&T for that. They are of course lucky that it isn’t some sort of hardware defect that requires new devices; this could have been worse. Let’s just hope that the reports of this issue don’t care prospective consumers away from what otherwise is a pretty awesome phone.

Gartner Predicts Windows Will Command 4% Of The Tablet Market In 2012

With Windows 8 set to hit the shelves sometime this October, it should come as no surprise that tech analysts are already making predictions about how well the highly tablet-optimized OS will sell. Gartner Group made a bleak prediction, stating that they predict that Microsoft will only command four percent of the tablet market in 2012.

“Despite PC vendors and phone manufacturers wanting a piece of the pie and launching themselves into the media tablet market, so far, we have seen very limited success outside of Apple with its iPad,” Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi said.

The slow growth estimated by Gartner Group in 2012 doesn’t just have to do with the fact that Windows 8 is touching down towards the end of the year, however. They note that by 2016, Microsoft will only have 11.8% of the consumer tablet market as they feel that Windows 8 lacks consumer appeal. They do, however, feel that Windows 8 will be aided by enterprise interest in the product.

“Many vendors will wait for Windows 8 to be ready and will try to enter the market with a dual-platform approach, hoping that the Microsoft brand could help them in both the business and consumer markets,” Milanesi said.

Gartner released a slightly brighter forecast for Android and iOS tablets, however, expecting that 31.9% of tablet sales in 2012 will comprise of Android, with that number rising to 37% by 2016. The iPad will maintain the lead, with a share of 45% forecasted for 2016.

Microsoft Building $112 Million Datacenter In Wyoming

Wyoming: There’s a place that we don’t hear about much. Nevertheless, the state with the smallest population of any U.S. state is making headlines in the tech blogosphere today as, according to Datacenterknowledge, Microsoft will be erecting a $112 million data center in the area. The blog received comment from the state’s governor, who is quite enthusiastic about the tech giant’s project in the region:

“Microsoft’s decision recognizes that Wyoming is a hand and glove fit as a leading site for data centers and technology-related companies,” said Gov. Matt Mead. “Wyoming is a perfect fit for data centers. We have abundant, affordable energy. Our naturally cool climate decreases costs for data centers and we have redundant fiber optics.”

However, Microsoft didn’t just choose Wyoming for nothing. $10.75 million in incentives offered by the state — which includes $5 million in funds approved by the Wyoming legislature to boost data center recruitment, interestingly enough — may have certainly swayed them to use the cowboy state as their location. “Microsoft said we would not be having this conversation without the data center incentives,” said Mead.

Microsoft seems to be really taking the cloud seriously lately. The company just announced a few days ago that it has launched two additional U.S. Azure data centers, one in the west coast and one in the east coast. Specific locations weren’t announced, but MJF did speculate that the east coast location is in Virginia, and the west coast location is in Iowa.

To the cloud!

Microsoft Office Apps Released On Symbian

One of the key features in Windows Phone that Microsoft often brags about are the Office apps — or rather, the Office hub — which provides a pretty solid mobile Office experience. There has been much discussion (and rumor) lately about how Microsoft needs to bring the Office suite to iOS, and while they are yet to do so, they are introducing it to a slightly less major player in the mobile ecosystem: Symbian.

Yes, Nokia’s mobile OS which really should be retired in lieu of Windows Phone will be receiving the full Office Mobile app. Starting today, the Nokia 701, Nokia 700, Nokia 603, Nokia E7, Nokia X7, Nokia C7, Nokia Oro, and Nokia C6-01 will receive the Office suite, which can be obtained via the Nokia Software Update tool on your phone, or the Nokia Suite on the PC.

While you probably won’t be typing up entire essays, or creating complete presentations from scratch on your Symbian device, it’s always good to have Office in your pocket for quick adjustments on the go. And, Microsoft touts that, as they developed the apps, the experience and functionality is as close as it can be to the PC. For example, in Word, you can save or send documents while preserving tables, SmartArt and charts, and you can use pinch/zoom to easily navigate through your document.

And in PowerPoint, you can edit presentation text and speaker notes, and use the Outline view to browse slides. Finally, in Excel, you can create charts, insert formulas, and view charts on your device. Through Office Mobile, you’ll also get a single view to documents, whether stored locally, as email attachments, or on a SharePoint server.

So, if you are still using Symbian, this is pretty good news for you.

AT&T Might Not Have Spent $150 Million On The Lumia 900

I had just penned a post covering a report from AdAge which stated that AT&T will be spending around $150 million over the next few months to promote the Lumia 900, which, according to a few sources, is AT&T’s next “hero” flagship device which it will heavily promote. However, The Verge reports that the $150 million number is a bit off the mark, and that the carrier is actually spending less on the Lumia 900 (and by less, they mean the amount that AT&T would normally spend for a major flagship device release anyway.)

The Verge is also reporting that the internal attitude towards the Lumia 900 is a bit different than initially reported; they’re claiming that it isn’t being heavily promoted due to the threat of the loss of iPhone exclusivity to rival carriers Verizon and Sprint. Alex Wilhelm suggests something that could possibly be true: The $150 million may be the collective amount being invested in Lumia 900 advertising by Nokia, Microsoft, and AT&T. If I remember correctly, there was some speculation that all three companies are investing a total of 150 to 200 million in promoting the device.

Nevertheless, both this and the initial AdAge report should be taken with a grain of salt. No advertising costs have been released by AT&T — or Microsoft and Nokia — on the record. However, we do have two conflicting reports from two very credible publications. Neat.

Windows Vista Leaves Mainstream Support Period

As of today, Windows Vista has left the mainstream support phase and entered the extended support phase of its lifecycle. Office 2007 is also in the extended support phase, entering this stage of its life on Monday.

The support lifecycle for Microsoft products is essentially categorized into two periods: Mainstream support, during which software receives the works — bug patches, security updates, etc. — and extended support, during which only security updates are available, and you will need to be a company with a paid contract with Microsoft to receive security updates.

Windows XP and Office 2003 will be in extended support until 2014, after which users will no longer receive any new support updates, bug fixes, or anything of that nature. Long overdue, considering that the OS launched back in 2001. Incredibly, its marketshare peaked at 76.1% back in January of 2007, and is at 30% as of February of 2012 according to w3schools. Astounding numbers for a nearly 11 year old operating system.

So, for those of you who are still on Vista, or worse, XP, should you upgrade? Microsoft certainly thinks so. To quote Stella Chernyak, who blogged about the lifecycle milestones:

 We don’t recommend waiting. Not only is it important for companies to complete deployment before support runs out, but they should also be aware that by upgrading to Windows 7 and Office 2010 today they can gain substantial results today while laying the foundation for future versions of these products. And with over 525 million Windows 7 licenses sold since its release, many customers are already taking advantage of everything Windows 7 has to offer.

This message is tailored towards business and enterprise of users, but the principle applies to the average consumer. For the best (and most secure) Windows experience, you’re better off updating to Windows 7 (or 8, when it is released.)

AT&T Is Spending $150 Million To Advertise The Lumia 900

We knew that the Lumia 900 was going to be a big launch advertising-wise, with it essentially becoming the flagship AT&T device. Internally referred to by the carrier as a “hero” phone, it ‘s expected to be more heavily marketed and promoted than Apple’s iPhone was from 2007 onwards by the company. So, with that being said, just how much is being spent on promoting the Lumia 900?

According to a report from AdAge, AT&T will be spending around $150 million over the next few months to spread the word about the Lumia 900. This is quite a lot, though it’s coming from a company which, according to AdAge spent $3 billion in advertising back in 2010.One of the main perks of being an AT&T subscriber over the past few years has been, well, the iPhone. And now that AT&T no longer has iPhone exclusivity with it now being sold by Verizon and Sprint as well, the company seems to be looking for a fresh, new device to be its main selling point.

But, what I wonder is, if AT&T alone will be spending $150 million on promoting the Lumia 900, how much will Microsoft and Nokia be spending? How much will they all be spending collectively? There were reports of Nokia paying AT&T up to $25 million to get the Lumia 900 in the hands of its employees. Nevertheless, there’s surely a crazy amount being spent on this phone by all three companies; definitely has to be over $200 million.

Users Reporting Nokia Lumia 900 Data Connectivity Bug

The Nokia Lumia 900 is a pretty beautiful device which is set to become the most heavily advertised phone since the iPhone. However, there’s one annoying bug that some users are reporting on Nokia’s forums and WPCentral’s forums which impacts the device’s 3G/4G connectivity. While we aren’t entirely sure about what’s causing this issue, it seems that it may be triggered by cutting off the data connection at any point (such as by triggering airplane mode.)

Nokia and WPCentral forum participant goeman said that following these steps fixed his issue:

  1. Remove the SIM card and leave the SIM card out for the next three steps.
  2. Perform a Master Reset (Settings > About).
  3. Let the product boot up without a SIM card.
  4. Turn off the device.
  5. Verify that the SIM card is LTE enabled.
  6. Insert SIM card and boot up.
It worked for some, but most were still left with the issue. Neither Nokia or AT&T have publicly addressed this issue just yet, so it’s hard to say what exactly is causing it or how widespread the issue is. There certainly seems to be a fair amount of people reporting the issue on the forums though, which is slightly concerning. Let’s hope that AT&T and Nokia address this ASAP, or, depending on how widespread/severe of an error it is, it may rain on the Lumia 900 advertising parade.