UPDATED – Nokia to make Android Phones in 2016!

Nokia has just published a statement on its official company website claiming that it has “no intention to manufacture or sell consumer handsets”. Furthermore, the company also deemed as false recent reports that quoted a Nokia executive as confirming the company’s ambitions to manufacture smartphones out of an R&D facility in China.

Earlier this week, a couple of reports suggested that Nokia is staging a comeback to the smartphone market. The initial report, published on Monday by ReCode, quoted sources familiar to Nokia’s plans according to which the company is planning a return to the smartphone market in 2016. A few days later, a Chinese newspaper quoted Mike Wang, the President of Nokia China, communicating an intention to to manufacture smartphones in the Chinese city of Sichuan.

Nokia’s recent statement doesn’t specifically make any mention to plans of designing smartphones in the near future. The statement only mentions that the company has no plans to sell or manufacture consumer handsets, and this specificity leaves room for interpretation. ReCode originally reported that Nokia will licence smartphone designs to third party manufacturers, which is exactly what the company did with the Nokia N1 tablet, a device designed by Nokia, but manufactured and commercialized by Foxconn.
Nokia is bound by its deal with Microsoft not to release any Nokia-branded smartphones until the third quarter of 2016. We’re keeping an eye on the situation and we’ll get back to you as soon as there’s more to report.

Recently we heard rumors about alleged Nokia plans for re-entering the phone market in 2016. We are happy to report those plans are indeed true and Nokia will be marking its return next year with an Android smartphone.

Nokia sold its device business to Microsoft a year ago and it signed a non-compete clause preventing the company from producing smartphones under the Nokia brand until December 31, 2015 and feature phones under the Nokia brand for a decade.

nokia-lumia-930

Nokia used wisely these non-compete clauses and outed the powerful Nokia N1 tablet early this year. The N1 is designed by Nokia, including its Z Launcher for Android, but the rights for the branding, manufacturing, marketing and distributions were licensed to Foxconn.

The President of Nokia China confirmed Nokia is working on Android powered smartphones, which will be probably manufactured in factories in Sichuan, China (after further assessment) and will be launched in 2016. He also sheds some light on company’s future – the Nokia’s R&D center will permanently relocate to Sichuan, China.

Looking forward to Nokia’s next phone chapter? We certainly are.

Source

Samsung Galaxy S5, Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit launches in 125 countries today!

Samsung the world’s largest  phone maker released today its latest Galaxy S5 smartphone and wearables in 125 countries around the world as it battles squeezed profits and challenges to its top market position.

Such simultaneous launch is the biggest of its kind for any of its previous product. The previous generation S4, the best selling android phone ever, started selling in 60 countries, and its Note 3 was first released in 58 at the outset.

The Galaxy S5 goes on sale, fittingly, with Samsung’s new line of Gear wearables – the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and Gear Fit – which were introduced alongside the flagship at MWC back in February.

The Galaxy S5 flagship has been one of the most anticipated products of the season, with a 5.1-inch fullHD Super AMOLED display, quad-core 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16/32GB of expandable storage, a 2,800mAh battery, running on Android 4.4 KitKat with Samsung’s custom TouchWiz overlay.

Also introduced are a boatload of new features, including fingerprint scanner, heart rate sensor and S Health 3.0, and IP67 dust and water resistance.
Look for the Galaxy S5 alongside the new Gear wearables at local and online retailers starting today.

Nokia announces the X, X+ and XL, its first Android phones!

Nokia is officially launching its very first Android devices, known as the X and the X+, on stage at its annual Mobile World Congress press conference. We were a caught off guard a bit by the second (and third) device, but either way it’s still incredible to see Nokia take this particular approach. We’re not yet sure the difference between the two handsets, but we should find out soon. What we do know is that the X will have a 4-inch, 840 x 480 IPS screen, 512MB RAM, 4GB of storage expandable storage via microSD slot and 3-megapixel camera. Both handsets will be based on the forked AOSP Android OS, which Nokia says will have the advantages of the Android ecosystem, but with a “differentiated experience.” So far, Here Maps, MixRadio, Skype and Outlook will be offered. You can access the Nokia and third party stores using the devices, but not Google Play, obviously.

Nokia has built the interface around something called FastLane. When you swipe across it, it’ll bring up a sort of notification bar, featuring recent apps, missed calls and texts and other activities. When you bring up the Nokia store, it’ll show recommended apps, and Elop also showed Aero Express, a Russian-flavored app that he pulled down from the Yandex store. As for pricing, both the X and X+ will be available immediately and run 89 euros and 99 euros, respectively.

Well, Stephen Elop is just full of surprises today. On top of the two Android devices just launched, the Nokia X and the Nokia X+, we now have the Nokia XL, a bigger 5-inch Android device. It’ll have a WVGA IPS screen, a 2-megapixel front camera and an LED flash, but we don’t know any of the other specs so far. What we do know is the price: it’ll cost a mere 109 euros, in keeping with the intended emerging markets. As with the X and X+, there will be no Google services or Play store, so you’ll have to access apps through Nokia’s store and other third-party Android markets.

Google Play Gets Sleek Makeover on Android!

Buying new apps, books or music with your Android device may look a bit more swanky now, as Google announced the roll-out for a sharp new look for it’s Google Play store.

“The new design focuses on bigger images that jump off the page,” the company writes on the Official Android Blog. “Similarly themed content is grouped together so you can hone in on a magazine to read or an app to try.”

The redesigned Play Store is now available for Android phones and tablets running Android 2.2 (Froyo) or above, and it’s noticeably sparser and larger.

Google play updates look_2

Content is grouped together more closely, and Google has integrated more recommendation-based products to take advantage of the smaller display real estate. Most importantly, it’s much easier to go through checkout on the mobile device, allowing for a speedier purchase of games, books and video.

While roll-out has begun today, it’s important to note that it may not reach your particular phone model for the next few weeks. Still, the new look makes Google Play much prettier and more practical to use.

Samsung Galaxy S III: 30 million units sold !

Samsung has sold 30 million units of the Samsung Galaxy S III - Samsung Galaxy S III: 30 million units sold

Yesterday, we passed along the word that 3 million units of the Samsung GALAXY Note II had been sold globally in the first month after its launch. Now, Sammy is back to brag about its flagship Android device, the Samsung Galaxy S III. The Korean based manufacturer says it has sold a whopping 30 million units of the phone. The original Samsung Galaxy S sold 10 million units in 2011 and the Samsung Galaxy S II sold 20 million by earlier this year. Considering that the device has been available for about 5 months, this is quite an impressive feat. Interestingly, Samsung said that four out of the the 5 best selling weeks for the Samsung Galaxy S III came after the launch of the Apple iPhone 5.

We’ve seen the Samsung Galaxy S III come down in price as low as $100 and we wouldn’t be surprised to see some enterprising retailer take it down again for the holiday season. While this is obviously good news for the Korean based manufacturer, the industry is always about the, uh, next big thing which means in a few weeks, it will be time to look ahead to the Samsung Galaxy S IV. Already there has been speculation that the Galaxy S IV will sport a 13MP camera and be powered by a quad-core Exynos 5450 Cortex A15-based chip.