Although Nokia’s Camera Extras app was scheduled to hit Lumia 900 smartphones sometime next week, owners in the US and China will be pleased to know they they can get it now. Nokia has officially pushed the free app into the Windows Phone Marketplace for both regions, giving Mango-flavored Lumia users four new options for capturing photos. Along with a much-needed self-timer, you’ll find three other modes: Panorama, Action Shot (for photographing fast-moving subjects) and Smart Group Shot (selects the best faces from a sequence of frames). Don’t fret if you don’t have a 900 or live outside of the aforementioned either — Nokia plans to release the Scalado-bred software for all Lumia smartphones worldwide in July. Hit up the links below for more info, and be sure to let us know how it works for you in the comments.
The Finnish firm will keep a 10 percent stake in the 1998-founded company and described the decision as ”the best option for the next step in Vertu’s journey”.
News of the deal comes as the company announced restructuring plans that will see it shed 10,000 jobs by the end of 2013, while it also revealed that it will acquire assets from mobile imaging firm Scalado.
Nokia created Vertu to design and sell high-end, luxury mobile devices and accessories. Many of the devices are encrusted with jewels and built from precious metals, stones and other stamps of luxury. The product line stretches from an entry-level $5,100 phone to the top of the range $83,000 Signature Diamond.
Virtual also produces bespoke devices, and its most expensive handset — which included three carats of diamonds and rubies – sold for $350,000.
Its regular devices are often co-branded with high-end brands, including Ferrari, in partnerships that are aimed at appealing to high-end, wealthy consumers.
Nokia has not revealed exact sales figures for the Vertu business, but it claims that the brand has “delivered double digit sales growth over the past few years”, with the Vertu range of devices and services hitting a “discerning and growing” audience.
That growth has brought interest from EQT VI and Jan Ståhlber, a partner at the firm, says it is planning to invest in retail expansion, marketing and product development to growth the Vertu business.
Further details of the deal have not been disclosed but it is expected to be closed during the second half of 2012.
The sale of Vertu has been long expected and a $200 million deal with Permira, which is also a private equity group, was mooted by financial media back in April.
Vertu is headquartered in the UK and employs 1,000 staff worldwide.
Last week we brought you news that Samsung was linked with the buyout of rival mobile company Nokia. We didn’t buy it at the time, and now Samsung has put an end to rumours by calling such reports “purely speculative” and “not true.”
Samsung’s reported interest drove Nokia shares up six percent on Friday but have fallen two percent following the Korean vendor’s denial, says Reuters, which obtained comment from the Samsung.
TNW’s Robin Wauters argued that an acquisition of Nokia by Samsung didn’t make much sense, especially as it would guarantee it a lot of burden and headaches and regulatory issues worldwide. Samsung, being the biggest user of Google’s Android operating system, is currently almost the opposite of Nokia, which has bet the company on Windows Phone.
It didn’t help that exactly a year to the day, Samsung was reported to be lining up the exact same deal. You’d be tempted to argue that someone had decided to troll the markets.
Nokia continues to fight its way back into the smartphone market, releasing new feature phone devices to appeal to ‘the next billion.’
A befuddled Joker once pondered “Where does he get all those wonderful toys?” Soon you’ll have a chance to inspire the same sort of wonderment amongst your friends — at least the more eagle-eyed ones. Nokia has announced it’s launching a Batman-themed Nokia Lumia 900, with the minimalist logo of (spoiler alert) Bruce Wayne’s alter-ego laser-etched onto the back. It’s the same treatment that was given to a special edition Lumia 800 earlier and, no surprise, it’ll be available exclusively in Batman’s favorite color. It’s also exclusive to Europe, at least initially, where it’s said to be going on sale in a few weeks. Act fast and you might have yours in time to listen to Christian Bale grumble his way through the conclusion of the Dark Knight Trilogy.
What exactly can Nokia’s new wunderphone do? The proof is in the pudding… er, pictures below. Enjoy. Resolution junkies can get a full-size, unadulterated version of the picture above just past the break.
It’s a tale as old as the introduction of the 808 PureView, itself. Something about a bar and Tokyo and scribbling ingenious ideas on a napkin — you know, the same ‘ol humble origin story that seems to surround every impactful creation. Spoon-fed mythology aside, Nokia’s decided to shift things into meta mode by composing a making of mini-doc for its hump-backed Symbian Belle cameraphone shot entirely with that much-ballyhooed 41-megapixel sensor (insert feigned amazement here). If you haven’t heard Espoo spin this yarn before, settle in for an eight minute, accented tribute journey that takes navel-gazing and self-congratulations to an uncomfortable level. We get it, guys, the camera’s good. Really, really good — there’s no need to sell us on it any further. ‘Tis a pity, then, that the handset’s been restricted to “select markets.” Hop on past the break to gawk at this scripted enthusiasm first-hand.
As much as we’re familiar with mobile device torture tests, they’re normally inflicted by us or otherwisenot-so-voluntary. Nokia, however, has stepped up to the plate and doled out the abuse to the Lumia 900itself with a hammer and nail, all based on a wager that the Windows Phone’s use of Gorilla Glass would hold up to Sonim-level punishment. The company’s Chris Ruble and Mike Meyers (not that Mike Myers) used a Lumia 710 as a dry run before an on-camera demo that not only saw the 900 assaulted with the hammer, but used as a blunt instrument itself — all without a crack or scratch. We imagine that other toughened-glass phones would survive the hit, and there’s every possibility that smacking the polycarbonate plastic would leave more than a scuff mark. Nokia’s test still proves that its pride and joy can withstand more than just a casual roughing up, and you can see the slightly cringe-inducing test in the video below.
Going by Microsoft’s Greater China COO Michel van der Bel, the launch of Windows Phone in China is off to an auspicious start — enough to give Apple the shakes. He claims that devices like the Nokia Lumia 800c have helped Windows Phone reach seven percent of the Chinese market, or just enough to get past the six points of the iPhone. We’re waiting on hard data before we take van der Bel’s word: the top smartphone makers worldwide aren’t depending much or at all on Windows Phone, and the iPhone has athriving gray market in China that masks some of its real numbers. Having said this, we’ve seen signs of Windows Phone enjoying a bit of a surge even in an iOS- and Android-loving Europe, so we’ll be watching to see if there’s an uptick in the number of buyers saying ni hao to Microsoft in the near future.
Earlier this morning, it even hit an all-time low of 2.34 euros per share.
Yup, Nokia’s definitely no longer the most valuable Finnish company.
As pointed out by Yle.fi, Nokia’s stock price is down 37.5 percent since the beginning of the year, and down almost 61 percent in the last year.
Its current market capitalization hovers around 8.8 billion euros.
Along with high-ranking executives Stephen Elop (CEO) and Timo Ihamuotila (CFO), the company was recently slammed with a class action lawsuit filed by an angry shareholder, who claims they willfully misled and defrauded shareholders by making false statements about a potential Windows Phone fueled turn-around that never came. Nokia’s new chairman sees no need for immediate changes.
Nokia, which just filed patents lawsuits against rivals HTC, RIM and Viewsonic over 45 of its patents in the US and Germany, plans to debut a new series of tablet computers and “hybrid” mobile devices this year in hopes of a comeback.
Good luck with that. No matter what it does, Nokia will still find giants like Apple, Samsung and other rivals trying to stop it from turning this particular ship around.
Here’s a chart for the quarterly evolution of Nokia’s stock price in the last 5 years:
Earlier today we ran a story – as did many, many other publications – about Apple’s iPhone 4S-only service Siri recommending people to buy the Nokia Lumia 900 when asking what the ‘best smartphone ever’ is. OMG, right?
Siri bases its answer on search engine Wolfram Alpha for the most part, which itself draws from a limited set of data and just a handful of user reviews, so of course it wasn’t really a decent answer to the question.
Not that it stopped Microsoft from mentioning it on the Windows Phone blog …
But, as others have pointed out (hi MG!), it doesn’t really mean anything.
It was funny, though. Wanna know what else is funny?
When you ask the Nokia Lumia 800 in my case what the best smartphone ever is – thus using Microsoft’s TellMe service in combination with Bing – the first result you will get is this Business Insider article with the following headline: