Nokia Lumia 800C And Lumia 610C Announced For China Telecom

Nokia recently announced the new Nokia Lumia 800C smartphone in China. This handset will be exclusively available for the China Telecom subscribers. The Nokia Lumia 800C is basically the CDMA variant of the company’s popular Lumia 800 smartphone. This handset runs on the Windows Phone 7.5 Operating System.

The Nokia Lumia 800C is the first CDMA Windows Phone in China. Apart from the Lumia 800C, Nokia also announced the Nokia Lumia 610C smartphone. It is also the CDMA variant of the Nokia Lumia 610 smartphone. The Nokia 610C is specially targeted at the youngsters for social networking and fast communications.

Stephen Elop, CEO of Nokia, said,

“We’re excited to introduce our first Lumia smartphone, the Nokia 800C, to this important market with our exclusive launch partner, China Telecom. Working closely together, we’ve created a compelling, locally relevant experience on the Nokia 800C especially tailored for people in China.”

nokia lumia 800c

Nokia Lumia 800C features a 3.7 inch AMOLED display, sporting a resolution of 480 × 800 pixels, 1.4 GHz single core processor, 8 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, HD (720p) video recording and playback, 512 MB RAM, 16 GB internal memory, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1, up to 335 hrs of stand-by time and a 1450mAh battery.

Nokia Lumia 610C features a 3.7 inch LCD display with 800 x 480 pixels resolution, Windows Phone 7.5 Mango OS, 5 megapixel auto-focus camera with LED flash, 256 MB RAM, 8 GB internal memory, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, XBOX Live Hub, up to 720 hrs of stand-by time, up to 9.5 hrs of talk-time and a 1300 mAh battery.

Nokia also offers exclusive applications such as magazines from Trends and special offers for free downloads of popular gaming titles such as Fruit Ninja and PVZ. The Nokia Lumia 800C comes with a price tag of 3599 RMB (approx. $570). This handset will be available for purchase from next month at Tianyi FlyYoung shops, Nokia brand stores, Suning, Gome, Funtalk and other retail outlets. Nokia has not yet announced the price and availablity of the Nokia Lumia 610C.

Apple Offers Royalty-Free Patent Licenses to Approve Nano-SIM Standard

Last week, we reported that Apple was trying to go against rival smartphone makers over the next industry standard for miniaturized  SIM cards. Apple is suggesting its own nano-SIM proposal in Europe’s standards’ body, ETSI. The company is said to have already won over  support by ”most of the European operators”.

Today, FOSS Patents reports that it has seen a letter sent by Apple to the European Telecommunications Standards Institutes (ETSI) regarding a royalty-free license of its nano-SIM design patent should be adopted as the next-generation standard and holders of other patents related to the standard offer similar terms to ease adoption. Supposedly, this would allow Apple to create smaller and thinner devices.

A perfectly reliable source that I can’t disclose has shown me a letter dated March 19, 2012 that a senior Apple lawyer sent to ETSI. The letter addresses the primary concern of critics of the proposal. The FT said that “the Apple-led proposal has caused some concern among its rivals that the US group might eventually own the patents”. But Apple’s letter has removed this roadblock, if it ever was any, through an unequivocal commitment to grant royalty-free licenses to any Apple patents essential to nano-SIM, provided that Apple’s proposal is adopted as a standard and that all other patent holders accept the same terms in accordance with the principle of reciprocity.

Motorola, Research In Motion, and Nokia are also said trying to push their own standards for these so-called “nano-SIM” cards. Nokia has raised objection about Apple’s use of a “drawer” to protect the nano-SIM card.


Nokia Is Paying AT&T So Employees Can Exclusively Use The Lumia 900

Since the dawn of Windows Phone, its relatively slow sales in contrast to other platforms is largely attributable to those on the front lines. Salespeople are unfamiliar with the platform, and thus naturally push Android and iOS devices to consumers far more than Windows Phone devices. To help solve this problem, it appears that Nokia and AT&T may strike a deal in which front-selling AT&T employees will have the ability to receive a Lumia 900 (for ‘Company Use’) at no cost.

They will, however, have to hand in their current ‘Company Use’ handset — which is either an iPhone or one of the flagship Android devices — in order to participate. So, it isn’t forced exclusivity, but the ability to receive the device completely free of charge may sway some employees to give Windows Phone a shot. Nokia expects that around 80% of Nokia employees will be using the Lumia 900.

So, how much will Nokia be paying AT&T to conduct this promotion? Up to $25 million, according to WPCentral. However, I think that it will be a sound investment. With employees genuinely interested and passionate in the Windows Phone OS, their ability to actually sell the handsets will be far better than if it continues to be something obscure that they don’t pay much mind to.

As a quality piece of hardware, the Lumia 900 is pretty much the perfect device to make people fall in love with the OS. Apparently, it is aptly a “hero” device, which, in carrier-speak means that it would be a heavily-promoted phone (think to the level of the iPhone and some flagship Android handsets), and will be touted significantly in stores. It will be the first Windows Phone to receive this status.

Perhaps with the iPhone available through other carriers, AT&T wishes to find a new platform to push to make itself truly unique from the competition. Whatever the case, this can only lead to good things for the Windows Phone platform.

Calm Down, Windows Phone Developers. Tango is Good for You!

Nokia Lumia 610

Recently, after a blog post on the Windows Phone Developer Blog, there was concern among the Windows Phone developer community about the impact of 256MB phones on the general app quality. The basic assumption made was that apps will now have to be catered for the lowest common denominator. Per these concerns, today’s phones with 512MB memory, and tomorrow’s super phones with possibly more, will be under-utilized, and app developers may not be able to push the limits on the resource usage within their apps.

Justin Angel, the newly hired Principal Engineer at Nokia, has been doing the rounds of popular Windows Phone podcasts to clear the air on this topic. I listened to WPCentral and WPDevPodcast episodes recently, and wanted to highlight the main points Angel made. So, here you go:

  • As mentioned in the original blog post, there are less than 5% of the total apps which are affected by the restrictions imposed on the maximum memory an app can use.
  • These affected apps, which use more than 90MB of memory, should have actually been declined certification in the first place.
  • Microsoft had two choices on handling these apps – pull them off the Marketplace, or what they did, which is mark them as incompatible with the low-end devices, and notify each developer with an email. This email explains what the developer can do to update the app so it passes certification the next time they submit it.
  • The updated developer tools ship with a second emulator to help understand how an app would perform under both 256MB and 512MB devices. The best practice suggested is to always test the app in the 256MB emulator. Angel also suggested that developers should use the memory profiler that comes with the tools, which will help them in understanding where their app ends up using more memory.
  • Microsoft has made some clever technological updates in the “Windows Phone 7.5 Refresh”, aka Tango, which enable even the 256MB devices to support up to 90MB of memory per app. This trickery is completely transparent to the developer (and naturally, to the customer).
  • Since the trickery only applies to the 256MB devices, current Windows Phone customers need not worry about it at all. Developers also need not worry about how their apps will perform before and after Tango on the first-generation devices, since on those devices there is going to be no impact at all.
  • As for loss of functionality or APIs, the generic background agents will not work in the 256MB devices. These are two new types of agents introduced in Windows Phone Mango, which allow arbitrary code to run in the background based on app developer’s discretion. The apps which use such agents are listed under the new settings section so the customer can go and de-select to turn them off. Angel mentioned that because of this ability provided to the phone owner, these generic background agents should not have been made a core part of any app anyway. Remember, push notification services are still available, so toast notifications, live tile updates, alerts, etc. should still work if you use the Push Notification Service (and related APIs).

So there you go, developers. There is virtually nothing to worry about with Tango. In fact, there is a LOT to be excited about. With the addition of 23 new markets including China, and the push by Nokia and others into these markets with low-cost devices, there is a very good chance that the lower end devices will actually outsell the top end devices. If your app works on these low-end devices, you will now have access to about 60% more customers!

If you are one of the 5% affected developers, please let me know if you have a reason to exceed the 90MB memory limit. I’d like to know why it is so.

Nokia Windows Phones Outsell Nokia Symbian Devices

In the UK, Nokia devices running Windows Phone have outsold Nokia devices running the older Symbian OS, reports Bloomberg. The difference isn’t by much; according to a research report conducted by Kantar Worldpanel — a research report based on interviews with mobile phone purchasers over three months, ending on Feburary 19th — 2.5% of UK phone buyers purchased a Nokia Windows Phone over the 2.4% who went with a Symbian device.

Something more alarming from this statistic is how small the numbers are in the scheme of things. In a place like the UK, where Nokia’s Lumia handsets are being marketed quite aggressively (at least compared to the US right now), 2.5% isn’t exactly a thrilling figure. Nokia’s lineup is hardly biting into the market share of the established Android and iOS platforms.

Interestingly enough, Kantar also notes that the Lumia 800 is responsible for 87% of Windows Phone sales in Europe altogether. While it’s nice to see people choosing a real OS over Symbian, it’s still disappointing to barely see Windows Phone in the rearview mirror of iOS and Android.

Back here in the US, we have the Nokia Lumia 900 to look forward to. But I’m even more excited about Apollo-based handsets; perhaps once it launches, Microsoft, along with manufacturers would greatly up their efforts to both develop quality devices and market the platform as a whole.

Apple’s nano-SIM Proposal Draws Controversy from Motorola, Nokia, RIM

The Financial Times (via Engadget) reports that Apple is planning to go against rival smartphone makers over the next industry standard for miniaturized SIM cards. Apple is apparently planning to suggest its own nano-SIM proposal in Europe’s standards body, ETSI.

According to the report, Apple’s version of the nano-SIM would call for a “drawer” to protect. It would be something similar to the designs already used in the iPhone and iPad. Last May, MacRumors pointed out that Apple had submitted a proposal for a standardized SIM card design. That design was smaller than the micro-SIM currently used in the iPhone 4S and iPad. Supposedly, this would allow Apple to create smaller and thinner devices.

Motorola, Research in Motion, and Nokia are also trying to push their own standards for these so-called “nano-SIM” cards. Nokia has raised objection about Apple’s use of a “drawer” to protect the nano-SIM card.

Apple is said to have already won over support by “most of the European operators”. In addition, the company has also reportedly taken some controversial actions to gain more votes in the final decision on proposals next week.


Nokia Hosting Lumia Launch Event On March 28

While HTC was the first company to launch a Windows Phone in China, it would appear that Nokia is acting fast to get a device launched in that market as well. Engadget China reports that Nokia is hosting a Lumia launch event in China on the 28th, during which they are expected to announce the devices, carriers, and availability dates; the phones won’t be available immediately. The Verge has received confirmation from a Nokia spokesperson that the company plans to actually launch the devices beginning in April, post-event.

So, which devices can we expect to go on sale in China? We know that Nokia will definitely be launching the Lumia 610, a Tango-era Windows Phone that’s tailored towards emerging markets. Thanks to diminished hardware requirements — along with some software-side limitations as well, which we covered here — Nokia were able to aptly price the 610 for emerging markets like China. Nokia may also launch the Lumia 800 in China as its high-end, flagship device in the region.

With HTC having already launched its Triumph mobile phone, along with LG and ZTE also wanting in on the Chinese mobile market, Nokia will have a fair bit of competition. It should be interesting to see how they — and the Windows Phone platform overall — perform in the region.

Is The Nokia Lumia 900 Launching On April 8?

Thus far, neither AT&T or Nokia have commented on the availability date of the Lumia 900 in the US, but rumors have stated that the phone was initially going to launch on March 18th, but it was delayed until the 22nd. Now, a new rumor has surfaced suggesting that the phone will be available to order online on April 8th (Easter), and will hit store shelves on the 9th. WPCentral spotted a comment on The Verge from someone who claims to be an assistant manager at an AT&T store in California who is stating that they are “gearing up” for the Lumia launch, and “its tentative for April 8″.

He also mentioned in his comment that AT&T will only initially be receiving black and cyan units, with the white one being sold if and when the device performs well. On top of this, a second commentor on the WPCentral post itself who also claimed to be from AT&T mentioned that he’s been told the phone is launching on the 8th as well. Now of course, this rumor, as with the others, should be taken with a grain of salt. I will attempt to ask around and see if I can get more information backing (or smashing) this rumor.

In a related note, WPCentral are hearing from a credible source that the finalized software for the AT&T Lumia 900 will be going out today, meaning that AT&T will have to reflash all of its devices.

Nokia to Launch Windows 8 Tablets in Q4 2012

Apparently, the rumors are true. According to a report by Digitimes, Nokia is likely to launch a Windows 8 tablet in Q4 2012. Nokia’s Windows 8 tablet will be powered by Qualcomm’s dual core platform – possibly Krait – and will probably be one of the best Windows on ARM devices at launch.

Nokia is currently the largest Windows Phone partner, and probably the only one that has put all its eggs (at least the ones that matter) in Microsoft’s basket. We have already seen interest by major notebook and tablet manufacturers like HP and Dell in Windows 8, and Nokia was only a logical ally for Microsoft in the tablet business.

Nokia will be outsourcing production of the tablets to Compal Electronics, and will ship out 200,000 units of the tablet in the first run.

Since Android has failed to dominate the tablet space unlike the smartphone space, I expect Windows 8 to have a very good chance of capturing a significant market share in tablets, with the Apple iPad being its only major competitor. However, the rumored Nexus Tablet by Google could change things.

On a side note, Windows 8 is going to have a very tough time competing with the iPad in the tablet market. With the iPad 3, Apple seems to have another winner on its hands, and its tablet platform is currently miles ahead of anything else on the market. The next few months are going to be very interesting.

Rumor: Nokia To Launch ‘AC/DC’ And ‘Prodigy’ Apollo Handsets

According to The Verge, Nokia are readying two new Windows Phone 8 ‘Apollo’ handsets that they plan to launch later this year on AT&T. The Prodigy — aptly codenamed — is geared to be a high-end flagship device that runs the new, major Windows Phone release in all its glory. The AC/DC on the other hand will be a mid-range device.

The device names — Prodigy and AC/DC — are believed to be codenames; they will probably be branded as Lumia devices when they officially hit the shelves later on this year. While we now have an idea of what Nokia may be planning as far as Apollo handsets for AT&T, we’re still in the dark when it comes to their plans for other major carriers in the U.S. are.

We know that Verizon is, for the most part, holding off on Windows Phones until Apollo — in fact, they terminated plans to offer a Nokia handset this January/February. And from what we’re hearing, Sprint have the same ‘wait until Apollo’ thinking when it comes to their Windows Phone strategy.

One thing’s for sure: It’s definitely cropping up to be a major update. Even HTC are holding out until Windows Phone 8 before releasing any serious devices to the market.