Device operating systems

Nokia Lights Up Windows Phone 8 Devices

Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) is busy introducing its Lumia Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) Windows Phone 8 smartphone Wednesday morning, placing an emphasis on a better camera, smarter maps and built-in wireless charging for its new flagship 920 device.

The vendor's launch in New York, however, was short on details about availability, pricing and carrier partners. Nokia merely says that the new Lumia 920 will be available later this year.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has typically been first with the Lumia launches in the U.S.

Nokia's high-end hopeful features a Snapdragon dual-core 1.5GHz processor, NFC, 1GB of RAM, a curved 4.5-inch display and an eight-megapixel camera. Nokia, however, is focusing on upgrading other camera features rather than rushing the smartphone megapixel arms race.

Nokia's 920 "PureView" camera "captures between five and 10 times the light of any competitor's smartphone camera," explains EVP of smart devices, Jo Harlow. This should mean that the phone takes better pictures indoors without a flash.

Maps, meanwhile, are also a major feature of the phone. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop called location a "key differentiator" for the vendor. (See Nokia Puts Itself on the Map.)

The vendor has "City Lens" in the phone. So you can take a photo of a city block and get the names of cafes, shops and other buildings overlaid on the picture.

The vendor is also pushing indoor mapping as a useful feature. "We can get you to where you want to go inside the train terminal or bus station," claims Nokia's Harlow.

Maps will also be available off-line on the phone.

Other quirky features include glove swiping, so that you can use the touch-screen phone in cold weather without removing your mittens. Built-in wireless charging is also included in the phone.

Many of the same features will also be available in the Lumia 820, an updated smaller brother to the 920 with several colorful removable shells to customize the phone.

Indeed, the focus on the Windows operating system updates appeared centered around personalizing the phone to access particular people or content, often via "live tiles" that can be moved or re-sized on the face of the phone.

"This is the year for Windows," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer claimed at the launch event.

Ballmer and his Finnish friends will face stiff competition as we race into fall, however, with the next Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone launch widely expected on Sept. 12 and Samsung Corp. shifting millions of its Galaxy S III smartphone.

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— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:22:02 PM
re: Nokia Lights Up Windows Phone 8 Devices

Nokia keeps their hands warm with glove swiping but they still got cold feet!

Seriously though, a launch event with no actual launch date is kind of dumb. You think Apple will do that next week? I doubt it...

Michelle Donegan 12/5/2012 | 5:22:02 PM
re: Nokia Lights Up Windows Phone 8 Devices

Wow, Nokia's share price is down 15 percent on the Helsinki exchange. And down 10 percent in the U.S.

Does the Lumia 920 look that bad?



sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 5:22:02 PM
re: Nokia Lights Up Windows Phone 8 Devices

The lack of specifics is frustrating, but here's the spec sheet for the Lumia 920 at least: http://press.nokia.com/wp-content/uploads/mediaplugin/doc/lumia_920_datasheet_final.pdf. Has HSPA/LTE, so my guess is it's headed to AT&T first. 

Michelle Donegan 12/5/2012 | 5:22:01 PM
re: Nokia Lights Up Windows Phone 8 Devices

I doubt it too. No launch date, no operator partners and no price details ... the phones look pretty, though.

krishanguru143 12/5/2012 | 5:22:00 PM
re: Nokia Lights Up Windows Phone 8 Devices

What is there to like?  Dual-core phone?  The competition was three a few years ago and are now introducing quad core phones.  Is Microsoft always going to be late to the party?  WP is still limited to certain hardware, just like it has in the past.  Why will this release of WP be any better than WP7 or WP7.5.  Microsoft released WP7 and it went nowhere.  When WP7.5 was nearing being released, you had the product manager saying that it was the release to wait for.  It too went nowhere.  Now you have Ballmer saying that 2012 is the year for Windows?  The year is about up and will be nearly up by the time they do release it.  At the end of the day, WM and Symbian are still outselling WP.  No what else is, Bada.  How many handsets did Nokia move by giving the handset away for free or other items?  At one point it was buy a Lumia and get an Xbox 360 for free.  How many of those handsets do you think made it to eBay still new in the box?  How will the current users fare when apps are written for WP8 and they are left out?  The closest they will get to WP8 is a WP7.8 update but will do nothing for the app portion.  Microsoft is also going to port all WP7 apps to WP8.  Oh, where is the SDK for WP8?  Microsoft still hasn’t released it.  It is expected soon, but a little hard to get developers writing apps without it.  Is Microsoft really committed to WP when they are slow to release the SDK?  Microsoft can afford to lose money on WP, can Nokia?  The answer is no and their “partner” is not really a partner.  Is Nokia any better off now than they were before?  Nope.  They are selling less than 10% of where they were before in smartphones.  All the money spent on the Lumia 900 should little ROI.  If AT&T does pick the Lumiz 920 up, I wouldn’t expect a big fanfare about it.  The $150 million spent on the Lumia 900 to move around 300,000 units probably has AT&T reluctant to spend any money on future WP handsets.  That leaves it up to Microsoft and Nokia.  While Nokia has $12 billion in cash, they also have $6.5 billion in debt.  That is as of June 30, 2012 and with July and August behind us, I’m sure that cash is even less.  Sales have been slow and the pickup of WP slow.  Microsoft sure likes to boast about the number of apps and how fast they got there, but at the end of the day, does that really matter?  If you don’t have the volume of the handsets, the developers can’t make money.  With iOS it is 50 apps per device sold.  Where would a developer rather be, somewhere where there are over 200 million devices sold or where there are around 25 million?  With WP8, there are 0 customers today and current customers do not carry over.  Microsoft broke compatibility with the move to WP7 and then again with WP8.  What happens in 18 to 24 months when Windows 9/WP9 is released?  Current customers have to be asking themselves this as well as the developers.


Nokia would have been far better off sticking with MeeGo and Symbian and then testing the waters with WP8.  You have Nokia throwing each and every customer they had under the bus with the move to WP7 and then they did it again with WP8.  Sorry Nokia, you had two feet and you shot them both now.

Don’t forget, the board has a backup plan if WP doesn’t work out.  What it is, they won’t say and what the deem is a WP failure is not known either.

jggveth 12/5/2012 | 5:22:00 PM
re: Nokia Lights Up Windows Phone 8 Devices

The stock almost doubled in the two months leading up to the announcement.  Remember the phrase "Buy the rumor, Sell the news."

Plus it was a painful presentation to watch.  Is there anything here I can't do on another brand of smart phone I actually might want to buy? 

Gabriel Brown 12/5/2012 | 5:21:57 PM
re: Nokia Lights Up Windows Phone 8 Devices

"Plus it was a painful presentation to watch" -- agreed. For some reason Nokia presentations are like that. Windows and Elop haven't changed the firm's presenting style.

Caveat: I only watched for a few minutes.

Gabriel Brown 12/5/2012 | 5:21:56 PM
re: Nokia Lights Up Windows Phone 8 Devices

I have a quad core Samsung Galaxy S3 (Android) and the UI is very "laggy". Specsmanship of that kind can be misleading.

That said, I think I agree. The announcements were a little under-whelming. << that's about the gist of your post?


krishanguru143 12/5/2012 | 5:21:55 PM
re: Nokia Lights Up Windows Phone 8 Devices

If it is so good, why all the fuss about it?  MS is putting it on everything and the consumer has been saying no, no, no to it.

Gabriel Brown 12/5/2012 | 5:21:55 PM
re: Nokia Lights Up Windows Phone 8 Devices

I like quite a bit about the Metro UI.

There's room for improvement, obviously, but there are good bits to it.

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