Reporters are drunkenly finding their way home from a long week in Barcelona, where the Mobile World Congress conference yielded a number of exciting new phones and tablets. Most notably, Samsung launched the Galaxy s5, Nokia launched a new Nokia X lin…
As the classic saying goes, don’t hate the player, hate the game. But HTC and Nokia couldn’t help themselves yesterday during Samsung’s big Galaxy S5 reveal and took to Twitter for a bit of internet trolling. HTC, again, reminded its followers about a big reveal on March 25th. The President of HTC America threw down as well, tweeting the image comparing the gold Galaxy S5 to a… Read More
Back in October last year, I first heard rumblings that Nokia was working on an Android handset. “Devs rumor but rather solid, not confirmed by eye,” said my source. Not long afterwards, others began to report similar rumours. However, at the time it remained unclear if this was simply the remnants of an existing skunkworks project that or something more significant.
Later today Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will be appearing onstage at Mobile World Congress — his first appearance at the Barcelona-based event — to talk about bridging digital divide. Ahead of that Internet.org, the Facebook-led project to help bring connectivity to developing economies, has unveiled a number of new projects: an education partnership with Nokia and local carrier Airtel, edX and the government in Rwanda called SocialEDU; a project with Unilever in India; and a new Internet.org Innovation Lab with Ericsson in its Menlo Park HQ.
More proof, if proof were needed, that Android won the smartphone OS wars: Nokia, the former world No.1 smartphone maker and, nowadays, the primary OEM for Microsoft’s third-placed Windows Phone platform has just announced a new family of smartphones built upon the Android Open Source Project — confirming a slew of earlier rumours that Nokia was cooking up an Android device strategy. The first device in Nokia’s Droidy new family was unveiled today at its Mobile World Conference press conference in Barcelona, with both the forthcoming family and this its debut member known as the Nokia X (Update: Nokia also announced the Nokia X+: the same handset but with additional memory, (coming early Q2, for €99/$136); and the Nokia XL, a larger handset with a 5-inch display, also coming in early Q2 for €109/$150). The twist is it doesn’t look like the standard icon-filled Android that the market is used to, being dressed up in a new Nokia UI. “The Nokia X software platform is built upon AOSP, Android Open Source Project,” said Nokia’s marketing director for its mobile phones division, Neil Broadley. ”What we’ve done is we’ve built the Nokia X software platform on standard Android open source, and then on top of that we’ve built the Nokia user experience layer — so the Nokia UI — so Fast Lane and the homescreen. “The homescreen is tile-based, so it’s similar to a [Windows Phone-based] Lumia. It incorporates some elements of that — some limited live information into the tiles. We’ve also put in Nokia and Microsoft services.” “The sub-$100 price range is a massive opportunity for us,” said Nokia’s outgoing CEO Stephen Elop, describing the range as a “different but complementary opportunity to introduce a new family that strengthens our affordable [devices] family”. “The Nokia X takes people to Microsoft’s cloud, not to Google’s cloud,” he added. The 4-inch wVGA, dual-core 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon handset, which comes in Nokia’s now familiar spectrum of eye-arresting colours (including bright green, red and yellow) and also packs a 3MP camera, costs €89/$122 (excluding taxes & subsidies) — and is launching immediately, shipping as early as next week. Nokia said it is planning a global rollout for the X but the initial focus will be on “key, fast-growing emerging markets” — including India, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Russia. Aka, markets where low cost Androids are already well established. The Nokia X’s price-point undercuts the affordably
Nokia has unveiled a new accessory designed to make sure users of its Lumia smartphone are never parted from their handset. Or at least, that when they leave the house with their tagged keys or bag, they’ll be reminded to pick up their phone too.
On this week’s Droidcast, me and Chris Velazco get tough on smartwatches, but first we discuss Nokia Android “Nokia X” device plans and other infertile hybrid animals, and HTC’s renewed commitment to customer care and how that might affect its fortunes. Finally, we talk a bit about Chromecast, Google’s mobile-to-big screen media streamer and its new SDK. Long story short, we know a lot about Nokia’s unreleased Android phone except for why it exists; HTC made some promises to customers in an AMA recently; and Google has made the Cast SDK part of its most recent stable release of Google Play services, so we should see a slew of apps offering up support for that home theater companion. We invite you to enjoy weekly Android podcasts every Sunday at 4:00 p.m. Eastern and 1:00 p.m. Pacific, in addition to our weekly Gadgets podcast at 3 p.m. Eastern and noon Pacific on Fridays. Subscribe to the TechCrunch Droidcast in iTunes, too, if that’s your fancy. Intro music by Kris Keyser Direct download available here.
Happy Valentine’s Day, lovebirds. We’ve got quite the treat for you.
This week, rumors spread that Nokia and Microsoft are working on an Android phone, to be released later this month. Meanwhile, LG has been making waves with the new curved-screen LG G Flex. And finally, we all returned from a super fun, 7th annual Crunchies award show, where Kickstarter won best overall startup.