Nokia today said it has signed a multi-year patent licensing agreement with Huawei. Terms of the deal, including the patents in question and pricing structure, were not disclosed. Both companies make telecommunications equipment used by wireless network operators. Huawei also makes phones, while Nokia-branded handsets are made by HMD Global. "Huawei is one of China's largest companies and is among the world's leading smartphone manufacturers and we are delighted to welcome them to our family of patent licensees," said Maria Varsellona, chief legal officer at Nokia. Nokia said the only information it will share regarding the deal will appear as licensing revenue on its quarterly earnings statements.
HMD Global has made Android 8 Oreo available in beta form to the Nokia 6 smartphone. As expected, the beta software adds notification dots, picture-in-picture, autofill passwords, quicker boot times, and the latest security patch. Nokia 6 owners will need to join the Nokia Phones Beta Lab in order to gain access to Android 8. HMD Global didn't say how long it will test Android 8 on the Nokia 6 before a final release is made available. The company recently tested Oreo on the Nokia 8 and later made the update available in full. The Nokia 6 is HMD Global's mid-range handset with a 5.5-inch screen, NFC, fingerprint reader, 3 GB of RAM, 16-megapixel camera, and memory card slot.
BlackBerry today said it has agreed to pay Nokia a fee of $137 million over payments due for licensing certain patented technology. The decision was reached in the International Court of Arbitration and is binding. This particular disagreement did not pertain to allegations of patent infringement, though BlackBerry is pursuing Nokia for patent infringement in separate cases in Germany and the U.S. BlackBerry said it was disappointed with the court's decision.
The Nokia 8 handset is now being updated to Android 8 Oreo, according to HMD Global exec Juho Sarvikas. The company tested Oreo on the Nokia 8 through its Open Beta Labs earlier this year. Sarvikas says the update, now fully certified, is being rolled out to the Nokia 8 over several days. It should reach most users by the end of the week. Sarvikas indicated that HMD Global plans to release Android 8 Oreo in beta to the Nokia 6 and Nokia 5 in the near future.
HMD Global today announced the Nokia 2, an entry-level Android smartphone that promises two-day battery life. The phone has a metal frame, polycarbonate rear plate, and Gorilla Glass 3 front. The display measures 5 inches and offers 720p HD resolution. Underneath the hood, the Nokia 2 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 processor with 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of storage. The primary camera has an 8-megaixel sensor with autofocus and LED flash, while the front camera has a 5-megapixel, fixed-focus sensor. The phone packs a huge 4,100mAh battery for extended uptime. Other specs include CAT 4 LTE, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, WiFi, and FM radio, and support for dual SIM cards or one SIM and one memory card. The Nokia 2 runs Android 7 Nougat with the Google Assistant on board. The Nokia 2 goes on sale later this year for about $120. There's no word yet if it will be made available to North American consumers.
HMD Global unveiled the Nokia Phones Beta Lab, where it will make pre-release versions of software available to interested testers. The first release is a beta build of Android 8 Oreo, which is being offered to the Nokia 8 smartphone. As expected, the beta software adds notification dots, picture-in-picture, autofill passwords, quicker boot times, and the latest security patch. Nokia 8 owners will need to join the Nokia Phones Beta Lab in order to gain access to Android 8. HMD Global didn't say how long it will test Android 8 on the Nokia 8, nor how soon it might offer Oreo to other handsets. The Nokia 8 is HMD Global's current flagship smartphone. It has a 5.3-inch quad HD display, Snapdragon 835 processor, series 6000 aluminum shell, and 13-megapixel front and rear cameras with Zeiss optics.
HMD Global, the maker of Nokia-branded handsets, today said the 3310 3G will be available in the U.S. through Best Buy. The phone can be preordered online starting today and it will reach stores October 29. It costs $60 and is sold unlocked without a contract. The 3310 3G is a retro, bar-style feature phone with a 2-megapixel camera, a memory card slot, Bluetooth, and FM radio. This U.S. variant of the phone has quad-band GSM and WCDMA 1/2/5/8, which supports AT&T's network.
HMD Global today announced the Nokia 3310 3G, an updated version of its retro feature phone announced earlier this year. The new model is slightly larger and has a new interface, but externally looks like the 2G version of this year's 3310. The design is inspired by the 3110 that was one of Nokia's best-selling GSM phones when cell phones were first taking off globally. The 3310 3G comes in two versions, one of which has quad-band GSM and WCDMA 1/2/5/8, which would support AT&T's network in the US. It also has a 2-megapixel camera, a memory card slot, Bluetooth, and and FM radio. It will go on sale next month, first in Australia.
Qualcomm and Nokia today said they plan to jointly test potential 5G technologies in an effort to speed up adoption of the standard. Specifically, the companies intend to conduct over-the-air field trials of 5G New Radio (NR) Release-15, which is still being developed by the 3GPP. Nokia will supply its 5G First AirScale base station and Qualcomm will supply a prototype device capable of connecting to the network. They will explore 5G NR in the 3.5 GHz and 4.5 GHz bands, as well as mmWave spectrum in the 28 GHz and 39 GHz bands. They'll use technologies including massive MIMO, beamforming, adaptive TDD, scalable OFDM waveforms, advanced coding and modulation, and a low-latency slot structures. The goal is to reach multi-gigabit per second speeds with latency as low as 1ms. The interoperability testing will start in the second half of 2017. The companies hope to have their technology developed in line with the official adoption of the 5G standard, which is expected in 2019 or 2020.
The Nokia 8 is the first flagship phone from the "new Nokia". What separates it from the rest of Nokia's current lineup is the dual-camera system with Zeiss lenses. Zeiss optics were a key feature of old-Nokia phones, so it's nice to see that partnership revived. Not many people have seen the Nokia 8 in person yet, but we managed to snag some hands-on time with it. Read on for our impressions.
HMD Global, the sole licensee of the Nokia brand, today announced the Nokia 8 flagship Android smartphone. The handset is milled from 6000 series aluminum and polished to a high-gloss finish in black, blue, silver, and copper. The Nokia 8 boasts a 5.3-inch quad HD screen with curved Gorilla Glass 5, and it is powered by a Snapdragon 835 processor with 4 or 6 GB of RAM, and 64 or 128 GB of storage (depending on color selection.) All versions support microSD memory cards up to 128 GB. Like many modern flagships, the Nokia 8 adopts a dual-camera configuration with two 13-megapixel cameras on the rear with LED flash. One camera captures full color images and the other captures monochrome images along with depth and contrast information. Both feature Zeiss optics. The front camera has a 13-megapixel sensor, too, with a display-based flash. All three cameras have f/2.0 lenses. The Nokia 8 includes software that allows people to shoot photos and/or video with both the front and rear cameras at the same time. Other specs include a 3.090mAh battery, Bluetooth, GPS, WiFi, NFC, and Cat 9 LTE. The phone runs Android 7.1 Nougat and costs $700. HMD Global didn't immediately specify where the Nokia 8 will be sold.
HMD Global today said Arto Nummela, CEO and member of its Global Board of Directors, will leave the company effective immediately. Florian Seiche, who has co-lead the company as president since its founding, has been appointed acting CEO in Nummela's place. Sam Chin, Chairman of the Board, said, "Arto Nummela has played a key role in the creation of the HMD Global operation, building the team and launching our first products. On behalf of the whole Board, I thank Arto for his contribution and wish him well in his future endeavors." HMD Global is the sole licensee of the Nokia brand. Earlier this year, it debuted three Android-based smartphones under the Nokia brand. The company is widely expected to introduce a Nokia-branded Android flagship device in the weeks ahead. HMD Global did not provide a reason for Nummela's sudden departure. Earlier this week, HDM Global debuted the Nokia 130, an entry-level feature phone running Series 30+.
HMD Global today announced the Nokia 130, a bar-style handset that runs the Series 30+ platform with basic connectivity apps and a handful of simple games. The handset has a 1.8-inch screen, number pad, 1,020mAh battery, Bluetooth, music player, FM radio, and headphone jack. The Nokia 130 includes a camera, 4 MB of RAM and 8 MB of storage, and it supports memory cards up to 32 GB. It comes in red, gray, and black. Like the Nokia 3310, which was announced earlier this year, the new Nokia 130 supports GSM/EDGE 900/1800MHz, making it incompatible with U.S. networks. HMD Global is the only company that licenses the Nokia brand for handsets.
Vertu is through. The company plans to shutter its doors and jettison some 200 employees, according to the Financial Times. Vertu started out as the luxury arm of Nokia. It took Nokia handsets and dressed them up in fine materials, such as precious metals, leather, and jewels. Nokia sold the outfit in 2012 and it has bounced between a number of owners since. Vertu was most recently purchased by Turkish businessman Murat Hakan Uzan. Vertu has about $157 million in debt, though it recently signed a deal with Chinese phone maker (and Alcatel parent) TCL. The Financial Times did not say when Vertu might permanently close up shop. Vertu did not comment on the Financial Times' story.
HMD Global today announced a new partnership that will see Zeiss return to Nokia-branded handsets. HMD Global is the world's exclusive licensee of the Nokia brand. Earlier this year HMD Global released a trio of Android-based handsets. This rekindled relationship with Zeiss will see the two companies work together to improve HMD Global's imaging capabilities with Zeiss-branded optics on Nokia phones. HMD Global didn't say when it might bring Zeiss-equipped phones to market.
Nokia today said it has signed an agreement with Xiaomi that will see the companies collaborate in a number of different ways. Nokia will provide Xiaomi with network infrastructure equipment and the companies will work together on optical transport solutions for connecting data centers. The two plan to explore other business opportunities, such as augmented/virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things. Nokia and Xiaomi have also signed a multi-year, cross-licensing patent agreement with respect to standard essential cellular patents. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Amazon today added a handful of handsets to is lineup of discounted Prime Exclusive devices. The Prime Exclusive program offers phones at lower prices so long as you subscribe to Amazon Prime (which costs $100 per year) and are willing to view advertisements on the lock screen of your smartphone. The new additions include the Nokia 6, which is discounted to $180; the Alcatel Idol 5S, which is discounted to $200; the Alcatel A50, which is discounted to $100; the Alcatel A30 Plus, which is discounted to $80; and the Motorola Moto E4, which is discounted to $100. All the phones can be preordered starting today. The E4 ships June 30 and the rest ship July 10.
HMD Global, the company that makes Nokia-branded handsets, today said it will sell the Nokia 6 smartphone in the U.S. via Amazon. The 6 is the best of the three Nokia Android phones currently available, though it still falls in the entry-level segment. The Nokia 6 runs Android 7 Nougat, has a 5.5-inch full HD screen, includes stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos sound, relies on a Snapdragon 430 processor with 3 GB of RAM, and a boasts a 16-megapixel main camera with an 8-megapixel front camera. It packs a 3,000mAh battery, as well as Bluetooth, GPS, NFC, WiFi, fingerprint sensor, 3.5mm headphone jack, and microUSB. LTE 4G support for U.S. networks is limited at best. It supports LTE Bands 2, 3, 4, 7, 12/17, 28, 38. It is only partially compatible with AT&T's 4G network because it is missing LTE Bands 29 and 30. The Nokia 6 is more compatible with T-Mobile's LTE 4G network. The matte black and silver color options are expected to go on sale in July for $229, with the blue and copper colors arriving later.
Apple today said it has settled its patent complaints against Nokia and the two have signed a multi-year patent license. The two corporations sued one another in December of last year concerning licensing fees for Nokia's patents. Nokia said Apple refused to pay fair prices, while Apple accused Nokia of antitrust behavior. Nokia had sold its patents to patent-assertion firms that then demanded higher rates. Moving forward, Nokia will provide Apple with network infrastructure products and services, and Apple will resume selling Nokia-owned smart devices (Withings) as the two look at future potential digital health offerings. Apple is set to pay Nokia a significant upfront fee and then on-going payments. Both companies expressed positive sentiments in having the matter behind them. "We are pleased with this resolution of our dispute and we look forward to expanding our business relationship with Nokia," said Apple COO Jeff Williams. Companies often use lawsuits as a negotiation tactic.
Nokia is back in the phone game, now with proper Android smartphones. Their strategy is affordable, mass-market phones with premium design and construction. They have three models in this lineup, all with solid metal bodies, generic Android software, and low, low prices. We checked them out. Read on for our impressions.
Nokia today introduced a new version of the old Nokia 3310 phone. It includes a color screen, Snake, and the original Nokia ringtone. It only supports 2G GSM networks. It also comes in four colors. Nokia claims 22-hour talk-time and a month of stand-by. It will retail for "average global retail price of €49".
HMD Global — the new custodian of the Nokia brand for phones — today announced three new Android-based Nokia phones.
- Nokia 6: Already released in China, this 5.5-inch-screen, metal-bodied phone will released globally for 229 euros. Its display is full HD. It has stereo speakers and Dolby Atmos sound. It will come in Matte Black, Silver, Tempered Blue and Copper for €229, plus a glossy "Arte Black" special edition for €299.
- Nokia 5: This solid aluminum phone has a 5.2-inch HD screen and a fingerprint reader in the home button. It's powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 chip. It will come in four colors: Matte Black, Silver, Tempered Blue and Copper. It will retail for €189.
- Nokia 3: An affordable phone with a solid metal body, it has a 5-inch screen and 8 megapixel cameras on both the front and back. It will retail for €139.
Intel today announced the XMM 7560 LTE modem, a fifth-generation wireless radio that can produce broadband-like speeds in a variety of mobile devices. The XMM 7560 is manufactured using Intel's 14nm process and supports LTE Advanced Category 16 for downloads up to 1 Gbps and Category 13 for uploads up to 225 Mbps. The Intel XMM 7560 modem supports 5x carrier aggregation for up to 100 MHz combined bandwidth on the downlink, and 3xCA for up to 60 MHz on the uplink. It also supports 4x4 MIMO and 256QAM. Intel says the XMM 7560 works well with its SMARTi 7 RF transceiver, which supports up to 35 LTE bands and 230 carrier aggregation combinations for worldwide compatibility. The XMM 7560 also packs envelope tracking and other power optimization features to improve battery life in smartphones, tablets, and PCs. The Intel XMM 7560 will sample during the first half of the year and Intel expects to see it in consumer devices shortly thereafter. Separately, Intel this week announced new efforts in its push toward 5G. It is working with Nokia, AT&T, Telefonica, 5TONIC, Ericsson, and others to define, prototype, and deliver early 5G products.
BlackBerry filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Nokia this week. BlackBerry claims Nokia is using its patented technology in select telecommunications equipment that Nokia sells to network operators, such as T-Mobile, without the proper licenses. The 11 patents in question were originally held by Nortel Networks and, in a bankruptcy sale, later sold to Rockstar Consortium, a patent-holding collective including Blackberry, Apple, and Microsoft. Many of the patents are said to be standard essential. BlackBerry isn't looking to block Nokia's use of the patents. Moreover, BlackBerry is obligated to license them at fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms. "BlackBerry seeks to obtain recompense for Nokia’s unauthorized use of BlackBerry’s patented technology," said the company in a statement, but it didn't specify what sort of recompense or damages it is seeking. BlackBerry filed the complaint in Delaware.
The U.S. International Trade Commission today said it will investigate claims made by Nokia that Apple's smartphones and tablets violate its patented technology. Nokia filed its lawsuit with the ITC in December, accusing Apple of importing and selling "mobile phones, tablet computers, and components thereof" that infringe Nokia-held patents. Nokia is seeking an exclusion order and a cease and desist order. An administrative law judge will make a preliminary decision, followed by binding decision from the full ITC panel. The matter at hand pertains to ongoing, failed patent licensing negotiations between the two companies. Technology companies often use lawsuits to force business partners to agree to certain terms. Following Nokia's action against Apple in December, Apple filed a retaliatory lawsuit accusing Nokia of antitrust behavior. The government hasn't yet officially responded to Apple's legal filings.
HMD Global this week announced the Nokia 6, the first smartphone to fall under the company's plan to resurrect the Nokia brand. HMD Global is a Finland-based business with the sole license to design smartphones using the Nokia brand. Foxconn is HMD Global's exclusive manufacturer. The Nokia 6 is milled from a single block of aluminum and then anodized 2 times over 10 hours to ensure a smooth finish. The device has a 5.5-inch full HD screen with 2.5D Gorilla Glass. The Nokia 6 is powered by a Snapdragon 430 processor with 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of storage, and Qualcomm's X6 LTE modem. HMD says the main camera has a 16-megapixel sensor at f/2.0 with automatic scene detection and phase-detection autofocus, while the selfie camera has an 8-megapixel sensor. Dual amplifiers provide plenty of audio power and Dolby Atmos software helps shape the sound. The Nokia 6 will ship with Android 7 Nougat. Pricing is going to be set around $245. The device will ship during the early months of 2017. HMD Global did not say what LTE bands the phone supports, but it will only be sold in a China.
Nokia and Apple have this week filed patent-related lawsuits against one another in various jurisdictions. Nokia's claims, filed in Germany and the U.S., say that Apple is using Nokia's patented technology without permission. The companies have been negotiating licensing fees for Nokia's patents for several years and can't agree on pricing. "Since agreeing [to] a license covering some patents from the Nokia Technologies portfolio in 2011, Apple has declined subsequent offers made by Nokia to license other of its patented inventions which are used by many of Apple's products," said Nokia. The lawsuit is meant to force Apple to agree to Nokia's terms. On the flip side, Apple is accusing Nokia of antitrust behavior. It claims Nokia divested a number of its standard essential patents to patent-licensing firms (in this case, Acacia and Conversant) in order to circumvent fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory pricing principles that apply to such patents. "With its cell phone business dying, Nokia began to seek out willing conspirators and to commence its illegal patent transfer scheme in full force; that scheme has continued in full effect to the present. The driving force behind Nokia's strategy was to diffuse its patent portfolio and place it in the hands of PAEs. Acacia and Conversant were its chief conspirators," said Apple in its complaint. Apple's lawsuit was first reported by PatentlyApple.
Nokia today said it plans to return to the smartphone business during the first half of 2017 through its partnership with HMD Global. HMD Global recently completed a series of transactions between HMD, FIH Mobile Limited, and Microsoft that will allow it to make phones bearing the Nokia brand. The partnership between HMD and Nokia was first announced in May. HMD Global is a Finland-based business and will design smartphones that will then be manufactured exclusively by Foxconn. Foxconn is one of the world's largest device makers and manufactures the iPhone for Apple. HMD Global will pay Nokia licensing and royalty fees for smartphone and tablet sales. HMD Global boasts experienced Nokia veterans among its leadership team, but Nokia itself has no investment nor ownership stake in HMD. HMD Global and Nokia are relying on the know-how of the former Nokia execs at HMD's helm and the strength of the Nokia brand to return to the market. Nokia sold its smartphone business to Microsoft in 2014, which was then wholly based in Microsoft's Windows Phone platform. Moving forward, Nokia-branded handsets will run Google's Android platform. "We've been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm shown around the world for the return of the Nokia brand to smartphones," said Brad Rodrigues, interim president of Nokia Technologies.
T-Mobile today listed the "Alcatel IDOL 4S with Windows 10 VR" on its web site. The unique version of the Idol 4S not only runs Windows 10, but sports many of the upgrades available in the related BlackBerry DTEK60, such as the high-end Snapdragon 820 processor, 21-megapixel camera, and USB Type-C connector, none of which are in the standard Idol 4S. The Idol 4S with Windows 10 also includes free VR goggles (for a limited time) for use with "pre-loaded games and videos". Curiously, while the standard Idol 4S includes a Quad-HD display ideal for VR, this version steps down to a full-HD display, according to T-Mobile's specs. The Idol 4S with Windows 10 also supports Windows Continuum, which lets you connect a screen and keyboard to turn the phone into a full Windows 10 computer. Other features of the phone include a memory card slot, stereo speakers, 8-megapixel front camera, and 4 GB of RAM. T-Mobile's specs do not mention NFC. Pricing and release date have yet to be announced. Microsoft is
Microsoft today updated its Outlook email and calendar app for Android and iOS devices. The refreshed communications and scheduling tool offers a number of new features aimed at the calendar. For example, Outlook now offers design elements borrowed from Sunrise (a calendar app acquired by Microsoft.) The Outlook calendar will show things like coffee cup and bike emoji when people schedule coffee meetings or bike rides. Moreover, Outlook will autocomplete addresses when filling in meeting locations, as well as allow users to tap the time/date on the calendar to create events with those details filled in automatically. Meeting participants will be notified automatically if the organizer adjusts meeting start/end times, and users can create Skype for Business meetings directly from their phone. Last, Outlook will allow people to discover and subscribe to interesting calendars, such as sporting events, holidays, and more. Microsoft's Outlook email and calendar app for iOS and Android is free to download from the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.
AT&T and dozens of other companies are escalating the war on robocalls with a new Strike Force aimed at disrupting spammers' ability to call and pester consumers. AT&T CEO Randal Stephenson says carriers, device makers, OS developers, network designers, regulators, and lawmakers will all need to work together to create a play book to tackle the problem. "In parallel with technological solutions, we need our regulatory and law enforcement agencies to go after the bad actors. Shutting down the bad guys is a necessary step, and a powerful example to others. Our goal isn't complicated: Stop unwanted robocalls. Easy to say. Hard to do," said Stephenson in remarks made at the FCC's first meeting of the Robocall Strike Force. Industry player are gathering today to discuss initial plans and are expected to report back with more solid short- and long-term plans on October 19. Some of the companies participating in the Strike Force include AT&T, Apple, Blackberry, Comcast, Ericsson, Google, LG, Microsoft, Nokia, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon.
Microsoft today made the Windows 10 Anniversary update available to devices running Windows 10 Mobile. The update is the first major improvement to the Windows 10 platform. It adds features and makes improvements to phones such as the Lumia 650, 950, and 950 XL. Some of the changes impact the Edge browser and Maps app. Unlocked devices can snag the update through the settings menu, but carrier-locked phones will need to wait for the carrier-specific update to arrive. The Windows 10 Anniversary update is free to download and install.
HMD Global has hired a former Nokia executive to help kickstart its phone ambitions. HMD Global is a Finnish company that licensed the Nokia name with the intent of making Nokia-branded smartphones. Today HMD Global picked up Pekka Rantala, former CEO of Rovio, to serve as its Chief Marketing Officer. Before he worked at Rovio, Rentala spent 17 years at Nokia. HMD Global will design Android-based smartphones and tablets that will be manufactured by FIH Mobile, a subsidiary of Foxconn. Microsoft sold its feature phone business — the last remnants of Nokia's former hardware unit — to FIH earlier this year. HMD expects to spend $500 million over the next few years to increase its ability to make and market mobile devices. In addition to branding rights, Nokia is supplying HMD with cellular standard essential patent licenses in return for royalty payments, but Nokia itself is not investing in HMD. Nokia continues to focus on its core telecoms business.
Starbucks today released a new application for Microsoft's Windows 10 Mobile platform. The app, available in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, allows Windows users to find stores, manage account details, and make payments. People can use the app to send e-gifts, check their account balance and transactions, leave digital tips, and track Starbucks rewards. Starbucks for Windows 10 Mobile is free to download from the Windows Store.
Microsoft revealed more job cuts on Thursday as it continues to wind down its mobile phone business. The company plans to reduce headcount by 2,850 employees, primarily in its mobile phone and sales businesses. These cuts are in addition to the 1,850 job eliminations announced in May, also in the phone unit. Microsoft expects to finalize the cuts by the middle of 2017. Windows Phone's presence in the smartphone market has been hovering around 1% for the last few quarters.
Microsoft today released a camera app for the iPhone called Microsoft Pix. The app uses artificial intelligence to set parameters such as exposure, aperture, and color in order to get the best possible shot. The app has a long list of features. Microsoft says its AI includes face recognition so it automatically knows when it is photographing people to create better portraits. Pix can shoot regular photos and videos, as well as capture bursts. The app can bracket images, allowing users to pick the best one. Pix includes a GIF creator and timelapse mode, and syncs with the iPhone's camera roll in order to make for easier sharing. Microsoft Pix is free to download from the iTunes App Store.
Microsoft has updated its Groove Music application for Android and iOS devices for the first time since September 2015. Microsoft says the refreshed application offers a number of performance and feature improvements. For example, playback should be more reliable, albums and songs should download faster, and a wider variety of screen sizes and resolutions are supported. The app gains a tool for exploring new releases and popular songs from top artists, as well as new sorting options for viewing music collections. Last, the sign-in process is quicker when using a Microsoft account. Microsoft warns that app will need to rebuild users' libraries from scratch to improve sync. This may take a few moments when the app is first launched. Groove Music is free to download from the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.
Nokia and Samsung have broadened an existing patent cross-licensing agreement to include more intellectual property. The companies ended patent litigation between the two in February with an initial cross-licensing agreement. Nokia and Samsung have built on that initial agreement to more fully take advantage of each company's offerings. Nokia and Samsung did not say what technologies the patents include, nor how much money is involved. Nokia did say, however, that the deal will push expected revenue from its patent-licensing business to more than $1 billion for the year. Nokia chiefly focuses on wireless networking infrastructure. Samsung operates a networking business, too, in addition to its consumer electronics, display, memory, and other component businesses.
Samsung today said it has agreed to acquire Joyent, a U.S.-based cloud services provider. Samsung will use Joyent's assets to support various products, including mobile devices, internet of things, and its own cloud-based software. Samsung's competitors, such as Apple and Microsoft, offer cloud services like iCloud and OneDrive to help tie together their respective ecosystems. Joyent will help Samsung fill that gap in its online services. Joyent will continue to operate as a standalone company and will retain its current client base. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions.
Verizon Wireless said it will discontinue its $2.99 Visual Voicemail service come July 8. All customers who use the Visual Voicemail app will be transitioned to Verizon's free, basic voicemail service. Verizon says customers won't lose their existing voicemails, but may need to make room in their voicemail inbox, as well as reset their voicemail greeting. The list of phones impacted by the change is significant, including old and new models from BlackBerry, Casio, HTC, Kyocera, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Pantech, and Samsung. Verizon did not say why it is discontinuing the Visual Voicemail service.