Posts tagged Nokia

Nokia Now Exists Only In Movie Form

Someday—maybe next week—our children and/or our children’s children will look up from the FX channel’s infinite loop of The Matrix and ask: “What the hell is that banana-shaped hunk of space gray Neo’s talking into?” 

You’ll laugh, and sigh … and then feel really old remembering the Nokia 8110. Once considered a status symbol for early adopters, this particular model was already a couple of years old in 1999, when The Matrix hit theaters. 

Even with the sliding cover that Nokia added exclusively for the Wachowski’s prop department, the phone looks as ridiculously outdated as the brick-sized Motorola DynaTAC Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) lugs around in American Psycho (2000). 

See also: Goodbye, Nokia Lumia—Hello, Microsoft Lumia

Now that Microsoft’s sounded the death knell—changing the name of Nokia’s smartphone business, which it bought last year, to Microsoft Lumia—old movies and TV shows remain the only place Nokia will live on. Pay attention and you’ll notice Nokia products were actively placed in a lot of movies. lot of movies

Product Replacement

Each Nokia that catches our eye as we veg on the couch watching Alias on Netflix or some other crap is yet another reminder that the only thing constant about change is that it sucks. 

It means, for instances that the name Nokia, maker of the first mobile phone, may be remembered primarily as a product placement eyesore in Man of Steel (2013). The Nokia Lumia 925 is Superman’s cellphone of choice in a superhero reboot drowning in $160 million of brand promotions:

Product placement, when done right in a movie that does well, can be the best advertising a brand can hope for. (In the DVR age, nobody watches commercials anymore.) Alas, all the box office hits in which Nokia phones are prominently displays weren’t enough to save even the name. 

Yet in the movies, Nokia phones perform all kinds of amazing (fictional) feats. The ultimate feat of technology in Tron: Legacy (2010) isn’t the de-aging of Jeff Bridges. It’s how his character’s son breaks into a tech giant’s super servers using a Nokia N8. 

See also: An Ode To Jim Rockford’s Answering Machine

In fact, there’s no end of super heroism made possible with a Nokia device. In The Dark Knight (2008) Wayne Enterprises applied science head Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) enables his boss, Bruce Wayne (Oh, hey! Christian Bale) to infiltrate a high security company in China by purposely neglecting to pick up from reception his overclocked Nokia Tube 5800 when leaving the building. Operation Sky Hook ensues. 

Despite all the near-future technologies still fiction in the Minority Report (2002), it was the brand new Nokia 7650 Tom Cruise’s PreCrime cop used when he wasn’t rocking touch screens and interactive heads-up display.

In The Hurt Locker (2008), a guy uses a Nokia 1600 to detonate a bomb … which probably isn’t the best example of product placement in a movie:

 Equally questionable is the John Turturro’s Nokia N93i in Transformers (2007) which goes all evil Decepticon at an inopportune time.

Good times. Sadly, there will be no more of them, at least under the Nokia name.



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Nokia Makes HERE Maps Available To All Android Users

Nokia’s HERE Maps app, which had previously just been available for Samsung Galaxy Android phones is now available to all Android users. However it’s not in Google Play; users have to download it directly from the HERE site. In order to install the HERE app, you’ll need to go into…

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Goodbye, Nokia Lumia—Hello, Microsoft Lumia

Two future Microsoft Lumia users

Nokia’s outposts around the world are letting the cell-phone brand’s fans know that they’re saying goodbye: Microsoft is changing the name of Nokia’s smartphone business, which it bought last year, to Microsoft Lumia.

Nokia France and Nokia UK will be among the first to usher in the new name, according to posts on the business’s country-specific Facebook pages, followed by other countries over the coming weeks. (The Verge was the first to report on the coming changes.) 

Cutting Off The Roots

With this, Microsoft officially sheds one of the last few vestiges of the old business from its acquired line of smartphones. It seems sudden: The Nokia name was emblazoned right on the front of the Nokia Lumia 730 and 830, unveiled just last month. But the writing has long been on the wall. 

The Redmond, Wash.-based corporation, which bought the Finnish company’s devices and services division last spring for $7.2 billion, renamed it Microsoft Mobile and laid off more than 12,000 employees. Nokia’s mobile site also started redirecting visitors over to Microsoft Mobile’s new site last month, right around the time when a leaked internal document indicated that Microsoft was preparing to drop the Nokia name.

Nokia still exists—the remaining business, which consists of a digital mapping unit, telecom infrastructure, and intellectual-property licensing, will keep the Nokia name after Microsoft finishes excising it from the devices business.

Microsoft didn’t have to dump “Nokia” this quickly. The original acquisition deal allowed the company to continue using both the “Nokia” and “Lumia” brand names for several years.

But the company likely wants to clean up its smartphone branding. With Nokia continuing to operate as a separate company, removing the name from Microsoft’s phone business heads off confusion.

It may seem brutal, considering how Nokia was practically synonymous with cell phones for decades. But the changes come during the run-up to the holiday shopping season. 

That’s a key time period for any gadget company—particularly one trying to push Windows up from a distant No. 3 position in smartphone operating systems.

Photo courtesy of Nokia UK

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SearchCap: Google UX Ranking, Google Bill Reminders & Nokia Here Maps

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web. From Search Engine Land: Nokia’s Here Maps Come To Android Phones (Sort Of) Nokia’s Here Maps, which power maps on Windows Phones, has released a beta version for Samsung Galaxy Android…

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12,500 In Nokia Division Laid Off By Microsoft

The job cuts are deep at Microsoft and Nokia got slashed the deepest.

Microsoft today announced that it will lay off 18,000 people (of about 127,000) over the next year with most of those cuts coming in the next six months. Of those cuts, Nokia will lose 12,500 employees that had come when Microsoft bought the cellphone manufacturer in a $7.17 billion acquisition that became official in April of this year.

“12,500 professional and factory positions will be eliminated through synergies and strategic alignment of the Nokia Devices and Services,” Microsoft said in a press release.

Microsoft did not go into specifics of which particular programs and departments are being cut in the Nokia division or in the remaining 5,500 positions that will be eliminated.

“[W]e are working to integrate the Nokia Devices and Services teams into Microsoft. We will realize the synergies to which we committed when we announced the acquisition last September. The first-party phone portfolio will align to Microsoft’s strategic direction. To win in the higher price tiers, we will focus on breakthrough innovation that expresses and enlivens Microsoft’s digital work and digital life experiences,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in an email to employees published by the company.

The cuts at Microsoft are larger than most analysts predicted. The projection was that Microsoft would cut about 10% of the workforce with most of those cuts coming on the Nokia side and global marketing positions. The 18,000 positions that Microsoft cut about to almost 15% of its total workforce.

Lead image: Former Nokia CEO and current Microsoft executive Stephen Elop at Mobile World Congress 2014 by Dan Rowinski for ReadWrite.

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Nokia X Gets Axed By Microsoft

Adding insult to injury, Microsoft will kill some of the Nokia X Android smartphones that Nokia released earlier this year.

“We plan to shift select Nokia X product designs to become Lumia products running Windows. This builds on our success in the affordable smartphone space and aligns with our focus on Windows Universal Apps,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in an email explaining the 18,000 job cuts coming to Microsoft, including 12,500 from the Nokia division.

See also: Why Microsoft Won’t Immediately Kill The Nokia X Smartphone

Microsoft was never really happy that Nokia built and Android smartphone right before the acquisition of the smartphone manufacturer became official earlier this year. Reports said that Microsoft thought the Nokia Android phone was “embarrassing.”

One source was overheard at a Nokia dinner at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February saying, “Microsoft is a Windows company.” Nokia twisted the fork on Microsoft a little bit with the Nokia X announcement, even if Microsoft claims to have known the plan all along. That’s why the Nokia X ran Android in the background but utilized Microsoft’s cloud and core services, instead of Google’s.

At least that was the theory.

In conversations with both Microsoft and Nokia executives at various industry events this year, each and every one said that there were no plans to kill the Nokia X series of Android devices.

“Essentially the story is that Microsoft wants to connect the next billion people to the cloud,” said Jussi Nevanlinna, Nokia’s VP of product marketing for smartphones at Nokia before the acquisition, to ReadWrite in an interview in February. “What we bring is very wide reach. We have access to these consumers … We are a volume platform to connect the next billion people to Microsoft’s cloud and services.”

When asked about what Microsoft thinks of the Nokia X smartphone during Mobile World Congress earlier this year, VP of Windows Phone at Microsoft Joe Belfiore hedged his bets.

“We have a terrific engineering relationship with Nokia. What they do as an independent company is what they do. They will do some things we are excited about and some things that we are not excited about,” said Belfiore.

As recently as Microsoft’s Build developer conference in April this year, Nokia VP of marketing for smart devices Hans Henrik Lund unequivocally said that the Nokia X would continue into a second generation.

“Oh absolutely. Of course they will. Because again, it makes sense. Because we can get consumers onto Microsoft services as opposed than potentially going to Google services,” Lund said in an interview with ReadWrite.

New Nokia X devices are unlikely at this point at Microsoft focuses on its Lumia portfolio. In an email announcing the layoffs to the Nokia team, former Nokia CEO and current VP of devices at Microsoft outlined the strategy for device manufacturing going forward.

We will be particularly focused on making the market for Windows Phone. In the near term, we plan to drive Windows Phone volume by targeting the more affordable smartphone segments, which are the fastest growing segments of the market, with Lumia. In addition to the portfolio already planned, we plan to deliver additional lower-cost Lumia devices by shifting select future Nokia X designs and products to Windows Phone devices. We expect to make this shift immediately while continuing to sell and support existing Nokia X products. 

Currently, three sizes of Nokia X Android smartphones running Windows cloud services are on the market around the world.

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Amazon Fire Phone: Bing For Search, Nokia For Maps

The emerging consensus from the early “hands on” or “first look” reviews is that the Amazon Fire Phone has some novel and interesting features but that it doesn’t measure up, overall, to the iPhone or “true Android” devices. I’ve argued that Amazon…

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Microsoft Begins Life As A Smartphone Manufacturer As Nokia Deal Is Finalized

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop

Microsoft and Nokia will consummate their marriage by the end of this week. On Monday, Microsoft said its $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia’s devices and services division, which was announced in September, will be finalized by Friday.

In the deal, Microsoft will subsume nearly 32,000 Nokia employees including CEO Stephen Elop, who will become the head of devices at Microsoft reporting to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. 

Reports surfaced over the weekend that Microsoft would rename Nokia as “Microsoft Mobile.” Microsoft has not confirmed the name change at this time. Under the original agreement of the acquisition, Microsoft is allowed to use the “Nokia” and “Lumia” smartphone brand names for several years after the acquisition is finalized.

Microsoft announced a couple of tweaks to the original agreement on Monday, noting that it will bring on a 21-person team in China in addition to working on new mobile devices; part of the original agreement said Microsoft would take control of a manufacturing facility in Korea, but that is no longer the case. Microsoft will, however, take control of the domain and its social media sites for up to one year.

Nokia will continue to exist as a company outside of Microsoft. Nokia retains its patents portfolio, brand name and the Nokia HERE maps team that employs about 6,000 people globally. 

Microsoft, on the other hand, will now embark into previously uncharted territory as an original device manufacturer that designs and builds its own hardware. With Nokia in tow, the pressure is on Microsoft to grow its own market share and the general viability of its mobile platform, Windows Phone. Earlier this month, Microsoft released the developer preview of the latest version of Windows Phone, Windows Phone 8.1, which introduces a new voice-activated personal assistant called Cortana plus a handful of other new features and improvements.

Lead image (Stephen Elop at Mobile World Congress 2014) by Dan Rowinski for ReadWrite

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Nokia Unveils Three New Lumia Smartphones At Microsoft Build 2014

Nokia announced thre new Lumia devices at Microsoft Build 2014 today: The Lumia 930, Lumia 630 and Lumia 635.

The Nokia Lumia 930 is very similar to the Lumia Icon device, which launched in February exclusively on Verizon. The 930 will come in a variety of colors with a 5-inch, full HD display. It will have wireless charging, a 20-megapixel PureView camera with Carl Zeiss optics and a 2.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor—top-of-the-line hardware in comparison to other top end smartphones on the market right now.

The 930 will introduce a new feature for Nokia smartphones called “Living Images” that shows a snippet of video within a photo. Combined with the Nokia Story Teller app, users can create interesting slideshows that include both moving images and still photos.

The Lumia 630 is an update to the popular Lumia 520, one of the best selling cheap smartphones in many international markets. The 630 is a dual SIM device that can handle multiple SIM cards for international users who need to change carriers as they cross borders or for users who need both a personal and business phone number on the same device. The 630 is a 3G-only phone, while the 635 supports faster LTE wireless-data networks.

The 630 and 635 both feature a 1.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor, run Windows Phone 8.1 and will launch in Asia and India in May, and in the U.S. in July. Both the single and dual-SIM devices will be available for less than $200 without a two-year contract.

Nokia announced that Windows Phone 8 will be updated to Window Phone 8.1 in an over-the-air update coming this summer.

Top image: Stephen Elop at Build 2014 by Owen Thomas for ReadWrite

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Yahoo Rolling Out Indoor Maps (via Nokia)

Yahoo has started to integrate indoor maps into its newly upgraded mapping product. Even though Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer didn’t want to go head to head with Google in “local” (read: maps), Yahoo has been improving its mapping and local search user experiences of late. The inclusion…

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