Nokia’s CEO Sends A Hard Hitting But True Memo To Its Employees

The Finnish giant – Nokia – has been continuously criticized since the last one year or so for its strategies and its choice of platform – Symbian. The company might be the market leader in terms of volume of handsets shipped, but the market share of the company is fast dwindling and so is its goodwill.

Last year, Nokia got a new CEO Stephen Elop and he promised that Nokia will bounce back in 2011. Rumors are also floating around that on the Capital Markets Day on Feb 11, Nokia will fire a boatload of top executives and may also announce a WP7/Android based smartphone.

Nokia_Logo

Now, before the D-Day (Feb 11) when Elop will share the new strategy of Nokia with the whole world, he has sent all the employees of Nokia a very hard hitting but true memo. In the memo, Elop calls Nokia/Symbian a ‘burning platform’ and states that even after four years of the original iPhone being released to the public, Nokia has no answer to it. In the memo, he also states about the monumental growth of Android in the last two years and how the OS has managed to attract developers, hardware manufacturers and application developers, alike.

He also says that their low-end market share is being quickly gobbled up by the Chinese phone manufacturers. These Chinese companies are churning out new handsets in “the time that it takes us (Nokia) to polish a PowerPoint presentation.” In the end, Elop says that on Feb 11 he will share the new strategy of Nokia with the whole world which will help the company reclaim its market leadership and the confidence of the masses!

The full memo which Elop sent to the employees of Nokia can be found here. Hopefully, Elop will have a very good strategy in place to help the ‘burning platform’ – Nokia – regain its top spot in the mobile industry.

Nokia E7 Starts Shipping To The Public; Will Set You Back By €599

It was nearly six months ago that Nokia announced the Nokia E7. It was late last month that Nokia started taking pre-orders for the E7 in Finland and Sweden. Today, the company has started shipping the first batch of E7 to all those people who pre-ordered the handset.

The Nokia E7 is the un-official successor to the Communicator series from the Finnish giant. The E7 sports a 4CBD (ClearBlack Display) with a   resolution of 360×640. The handset is powered by an ARM11 680MHz processor along with a Broadcom graphics chip. The back of the handset sports an 8MP camera with dual-LED flash. The phone packs 256MB of RAM and 16GB of on-board storage memory along with a microSD card slot.

The handset sports the usual Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth along with a mini-HDMI port. Even though the Nokia E7 is aimed at business users, it is clearly visible that the handset not lack in the multimedia department. Like the N8, the E7 is made up of anodized aluminum as well and features USB OTG (On-The-Go) as well.

As of now, the E7 is available only at selected retail stores and should be available worldwide by Feb 16 for a whopping €599. Hopefully, the price of the device will go down after a month or so.

Best Mobile Apps Of The Week for iOS, Android and Symbian – #7

Welcome to the seventh edition of Best Mobile Apps of the Week for iOS, Android and Symbian. In this edition of BMATW, I will introduce our readers to a Fitness app for iOS and a popular third party browser for Android owners. Symbian users will know how to unlock their phone in a fun yet, efficient manner.

Below are the Best Mobile Apps Of The Week For iOS, Android and Symbian :

Fitness Free HD (iOS)

As the name suggests, Fitness Free HD for iPad is a fitness application containing information about more than 300 different exercises. All the exercises have been clearly explained with the help of many pictures and proper text instructions.

The benefits and the difficulty level of each exercise have been clearly explained as well. The app also lists all exercise according to various body parts.

Fitness_Free_HD

The app also includes some inbuilt Recipes’ which can help a person burn all those fats or prepare him before he hits the gym. A paid version of the application is also available which features more than 700 exercises with video clips. The paid version also includes other goodies like a Calorie counter, Body tracker and BMI (Body Mass Index).

One killer feature of the paid version is that users can get live support from professional coaches! The paid version of the app costs $3.99. The free version of the app can be downloaded from here.

Nokia Bubbles (Symbian)

Today, Nokia released a new application called Bubbles which will help Symbian owners to unlock their phone in a fun, yet efficient manner.

Bubbles’ will appear on the screen if a user presses the Apps’ button whilst his phone his locked. The user can then either have some fun by simply throwing the bubbles away or initiate an action by dragging a bubble to the available drop point.

Below is a video of Nokia Bubbles in action on the Nokia N8 :

At the moment, users can use a bubble to unlock their phone, view an unread SMS, control the music player or the FM radio, call a specific contact or change the phone profile etc.

The application is still in beta so do expect some bugs. The application sure has a very interesting concept and hopefully, the future versions will improve the functionality of this app further. The application only supports the latest Symbian phones from Nokia like the N8, C7 and the C6-01.

The app can be downloaded for free from here.

Firefox 4 (Android)

It was only a couple of days ago that Mozilla released an updated version of Firefox 4 for Mobile for Android and Maemo. Compared to the previous beta releases, this new release of Firefox 4 for Mobile is way better.

The page loading times and the loading time of the application has been reduced drastically. In fact, the Mozilla team says that this new beta version of Firefox 4 is faster than the stock Android browser.

FIrefox4_Mobile

One big advantage of FF4 for Mobile is that it supports plug-ins. As of now, the mobile add-ons gallery for Firefox 4 features more than 100 plug-ins. The app does have its share of downsides including a very heavy memory foot print.

Readers can read more about Firefox 4 for mobile here. Android handset owners can download Firefox 4 for mobile from the Android Market.

Nokia N8, Nokia C7 and Nokia C6-01 PR1.1 Firmware Update Out

Beginning from today, Nokia has started rolling out the PR1.1 firmware update for its new Symbian (formerly Symbian^3) handsets like the Nokia N8, Nokia C6-01 and Nokia C7.

The new firmware update will improve the performance and stability of all the three handsets along with fixing some bugs. Other changes in this firmware won’t be visible to the end users, but will be helpful to developers.

Nokia_N8

Here is the official change-log from Nokia itself :

  • Meeting requests can be accepted directly from email invitations;
  • Maps integration in email, which means people can view the meeting location on the map when the address is mentioned in the location field in the invite.
  • For Nokia N8 users:
    a. New Quick Office 6.4 editor version, which offers editing possibilities and allows zooming in & out in Word documents.
    b. Three high quality games will also be preloaded on new devices Need for Speed Shift, Real Golf and Galaxy on Fire. (In some countries, Need for Speed is replaced with Asphalt 5). For current N8 users, these are available for free from Ovi Suite & Ovi Store.

Owners of any of the latest Symbian handset can update the firmware on their handset using Nokia Software Updater or Nokia Ovi Suite. They can also update the firmware on their handset directly via OTA (Over-The-Air).

Symbian is way behind Android and iOS in certain departments including a dated UI, extremely bad text input system and a pathetic web browser. Nokia has promised to fix most of these shortcomings in future firmware updates.

However, this PR 1.1 firmware update does not improve any of these aspects of the phone.   Seriously Nokia, it’s high time you do something which will be appreciated by both – the general public and bloggers.

Nokia N8 PR1.1 Firmware Leaks

Last year, Nokia launched its first Symbian^3 based handset the Nokia N8. The phone was heavily criticized for its poor web-browser, outdated UI and its disastrous text input system. Nokia had promised that they will release a new firmware for the N8 in January or early February which will improve some of the heavily criticized aspects of the phone.

Now, reports are coming in that the PR1.1 (v13.015) firmware for the N8 is under the final stages of testing before being rolled out to the public.

However, some folks over at the DailyMobile.se forums have managed to get their hands on this upcoming firmware for the N8. The PR1.1 firmware was listed on NaviFirm from where many users downloaded and flashed it on their N8. One user has even posted a video of the firmware in action on the N8.

Here is the video of PR1.1 firmware running on the Nokia N8-:

Users who flashed the firmware on their handset are reporting an improved browser performance and a more responsive music player. The overall performance of the handset and the RAM management have also improved. The Gallery app on the phone also seems to work a bit smoothly now.

Even though the browser performance has improved, it still crashes intermittently. Readers can also find a video of the browser speed test on the Nokia N8 running PR1.1 firmware here.

Nokia has promised more changes for the N8 including UI updates along with a web browser and text input overhaul in the upcoming firmware updates.

Nokia N8 Gets Software Apps Update 1.0

just got a Software update, the update is called Apps update 1.0 and is basically a performance update for the built-in apps.

nokia_n8_apps_update

Unfortunately there is no changelog available for the update yet. Will update the post when I come across it. Unfortunately this is not a Firmware update so don’t expect those touch lags and rotation lags to just go away.

I am still looking at what performance changes the update has brought, will update this post with more information shortly.

Nokia Sells 4 Million N8’s In Q4

According to a Finnish website Inderes Nokia has apparently managed to ship around 3.5million to 4 million N8 in Q4 of this year.   Inderes has based its statistics on a variety of factors which include the general popularity of the handset, recruitment and N8’s chip manufacturer’s instruction etcetera.

This piece of news has not been officially confirmed by Nokia itself, so readers should take this news with a pinch of salt.

Nokia_N8

The report also suggests that the Nokia N8 has met with overwhelming success in the Indian market along with UAE and Malaysia.   The report also predicts that the N8 has managed to outsell the highly popular Android phone the Samsung Galaxy S in Q4 of this year. These stats must be coming as a shocker for many people since the N8 has been criticized in many reviews online.

No wonder Nokia still sells the most number of smartphones all over the world and Symbian still is the leading mobile OS.

(Source)

Top 10 Phones Of 2010

The year 2010 was all about phones with 1GHz processor, huge screens, AMOLED displays and loads of internal storage and RAM. Every known hardware manufacturer released a new handset after every 3-4 months. However, only a few of them were good enough to stand out from the crowd.

Also Read: Top 10 Android Phone in the Market

There were some phones which gave Apple’s based a run for it’s money. Microsoft also entered the foray in late 2010 with their Windows Phone 7 platform which introduced some new phones. Even Nokia came up with a good phone using the platform. So which are the top 10 phones than made a mark in 2010? Here is a list of them in my opinion.

10 – LG Optimus One

Phones are not only about high-end hardware and Super-AMOLED screen/Retina Display. Not everyone in this world is rich enough to buy a high-end Android/WP7 handset or an iPhone. While most manufacturers do launch low-end to mid-range Android based handset, they sport either a very low amount of RAM, a weak processor, or an odd resolution (Samsung Galaxy 3). The LG Optimus One is a mid-range handset, but it packs quite a punch. The handset has a 3.2-inch HVGA display and packs 512MB of RAM. The handset is powered by a 600 MHz processor, ensuring that the phone chugs along nicely.

LG Optimus One

While most high-end handsets, including the Samsung Galaxy S series, are still waiting for their Android 2.2 update, the Optimus One runs on Android 2.2 right out of the box. LG has even confirmed that the handset will get the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update. No wonder, the Optimus One is the most popular handset to ever come out from LG’s stable.

9 – Samsung Focus

Samsung Focus

The problem with all Windows Phone 7 based handsets is that they are all too similar, both in hardware and in interface. The only phone which stands out from the WP7 handset crowd is the Samsung Focus. The Samsung Focus uses the awesome 4-inch Super-AMOLED screen found on the Galaxy S line-up of handsets. The Focus is powered by a 1GHz Snapdragon processor and has 512MB of RAM as well as ROM along with 8GB of internal storage. The back of the handset sports a 5MP snapper with AF (Auto-Focus) and an LED flash.

The Focus runs on WP7 and is carrier locked to AT&T. The only downside of the phone is the very low internal storage space (8GB). The Focus is the lone WP7 running handset in our Top 10 phones of 2010 and barely makes it to our list at number 9.

8 – Samsung Wave

The Samsung Wave retails for around $370 on Amazon, and that’s what makes it killer. At such a low price, the phone offers top-notch build quality and hardware. The Wave uses the same CPU that powers the Samsung Galaxy S series the 1 GHz Hummingbird processor from Samsung. The phone also packs a brilliant Super-AMOLED display, albeit a small one, at only 3.3-inches.   The Wave was the first handset from Samsung to run its brand new OS Bada.

Samsung Wave

The phone also sports Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0 and a decent 5MP camera with Flash. The Wave is still the best handset for users who hardly care about apps and games for their phone.

The stellar hardware and the killer price help the Samsung Wave to make it at number 8 on our Top 10 phones for 2010.

Real Golf For Nokia N8 Released For Free

Nokia has been releasing tons of firmware updates for all its various handsets in the last week or so. Today, the company has released a game Real Golf – for its recently released high-end flagship handset the Nokia N8. Real Golf includes all the top golfers including an exclusive appearance by Lee Westwood. The game features more than 15 hours of gameplay.

Here is a video of Real Golf running on the Nokia N8-:

Real Golf Running on the Nokia N8

N8 owners can download the update by going to Menu->Applications->SW Update. Users should keep in mind that the game might not be available as a free download for N8 owners in all the regions of the world.

Nokia N8 Plagued With Power Management Issues

The N8 is Nokia’s first phone based on Symbian^3 and the company has pretty high hopes from it. Nokia is expecting the N8 to make it a force to reckon with in the high-end mobile segment. However, the Finnish company plans have hit a roadblock. Scattered reports from all over the world are suggesting that the N8 is plagued with some power management issues.

The N8 will automatically switch itself off and will refuse to switch on after that. Even a hard reset (Menu+ Volume down+ camera key+ power on key) doesn’t helps in this case.

Nokia’s Niklas Savander has also accepted the issues but said that the problem affects a very small number of users so there is nothing to worry about. Here is the video in which Niklas talks about the N8 power management issues –

Niklas Savander Talks About The N8 Power Management Issues

Niklas suggests affected users to make a warranty claim and get a new N8.

(Source)