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BlackBerry Sues Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp Over Patents

Mar 6, 2018, 3:40 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

BlackBerry has filed lawsuits against Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, claiming all three violate its patented messaging technology. "Defendants created mobile messaging applications that co-opt BlackBerry’s innovations, using a number of the innovative security, user interface, and functionality enhancing features," said the company in its filings. BlackBerry says it has spent years negotiating with all three companies without coming to terms, leaving it no choice but to take legal action. Patent litigation has become part of BlackBerry's business strategy under CEO John Chen. The company recently filed suit against Nokia over 3G/4G patents and late last year settled litigation against Qualcomm for $940 million. BlackBerry has some 40,000 technology patents it hopes will generate income. Facebook was the only company that responded to the lawsuit publicly. "Blackberry’s suit sadly reflects the current state of its messaging business,” said Facebook General Counsel Paul Grewal. "Having abandoned its efforts to innovate, BlackBerry is now looking to tax the innovation of others." BlackBerry's core business is selling enterprise-grade software and services. TCL now manufactures BlackBerry-branded handsets.

Internet Giants Agree to Support Tiny KaiOS on Feature Phones

Feb 28, 2018, 4:33 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Kai says its small operating system is about to get a lot bigger. The company has struck agreements with Airfind, Facebook, Google, and Twitter, each of which will offer its core apps to the fledgling platform. KaiOS is based on HTML5 (the old Firefox OS) and can run on devices with as little as 512MB of RAM. Kai's goal is to serve as the platform of choice for the 500 million feature phones sold to those who want or need something less expensive than a modern smartphone. Airfind will bring its news and weather apps to KaiOS, while Google will bring Search, Assistant and Maps, and Facebook and Twitter will each bring their namesake apps. Kai has scored some wins with hardware makers, too. For example, Nokia's 8110 5G "banana" phone runs KaiOS, as does the new Doro Phone 7050, and a forthcoming device from Bullitt Group. Kai also has the support of silicon makers NXP, Spreadtrum, and Qualcomm. KaiOS' HTML5 core is easily targeted by developers. What gives Kai a leg up on older platforms is its support for 4G. Kai expects to launch a storefront for these apps in the coming months.

Hands On with HMD Global's New Nokia Android Smartphones

Feb 26, 2018, 4:26 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Feb 26, 2018, 4:37 AM

HMD Global debuted no fewer than three brand new handsets, including the Nokia 1 with Android Go, at Mobile World Congress this year. The devices range from an $85 entry-level phone to an $800 exercise in design chops. None of these phones support the LTE bands to work in North America, but we took a quick look anyway. Here are our first impressions.

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Hands On with the Nokia 8110

Feb 26, 2018, 3:43 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

The Nokia 8110 is HMD Global's attempt to tug at our heart strings. This throw-back handset conjures up a popular phones from nearly 20 years ago and adds a dash of modernity to it. Here's a quick look at this nostalgia play.

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Nokia Brings Back the 8110 'Matrix' Slider

Feb 25, 2018, 11:00 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Feb 25, 2018, 3:34 PM

HMD Global today announced the Nokia 8110, a feature phone that bears a striking resemblance to the Nokia handset used "The Matrix" from 1999. The 8110 is banana-shaped so it better fits the owner's face during phone calls. A plastic slider drops down to reveal the keypad. The phone has 2.4-inch full-color display and is based on the Snapdragon 205 processor with 512 MB of RAM and 4 GB of storage. It includes a 2-megapixel camera and ships with the refreshed Snake game of old. It supports European LTE bands. It goes on sale in May for $80.

HMD Global Updates the Nokia 6 with Better Specs

Feb 25, 2018, 10:55 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Feb 25, 2018, 3:06 PM

HMD Global today showed off a new version of the Nokia 6. The phone carries over the same design as the original, but improves the specs under the hood. It includes a 5.5-inch screen and premium materials. Key features include NFC and a fingerprint reader. It jumps from the Snapdragon 435 to the Snapdragon 630 and comes with either 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage or 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage. The frame is milled from 6000 series aluminum and now comes in black/copper, white/iron, and blue/gold. Other features include face unlock, wireless charging, USB-C, and Android 8 Oreo. It goes on sale in April for about $300.

Nokia 1 Runs Android Go and Brings Back Nokia's Xpress-On Covers

Feb 25, 2018, 10:49 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Feb 25, 2018, 2:56 PM

HMD Global today announced the Nokia 1, an affordable, entry-level smartphone that runs the Android Oreo Go platform. The phone features swappable rear covers, a feature the former Nokia called Xpress-On covers. The shell is made from polycarbonate with metal inserts to help strengthen the chassis. The phone includes a 4.5-inch FWVGA display and is powered by a quad-core MediaTek processor clocked at 1.1 GHz with 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of storage. The main camera has a 5-megapixel sensor with LED flash, while the front camera has a 2-megapixel camera. Both are fixed focus. Other features include Bluetooth, FM radio, GPS, LTE, and WiFi; a 2,150mAh removable battery; and microUSB port and 3.5mm headphone jack. The Android 8 Oreo Go Edition platform includes slimmed down versions of Google's core apps so the device runs smoothly. The Nokia 1 goes on sale in April.

Nokia 7 Plus Packs Dual Cameras with Zeiss Optics

Feb 25, 2018, 10:47 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Feb 25, 2018, 2:56 PM

HMD Global today announced the Nokia 7 Plus, a large Android slab machined from a single block of aluminum with copper accents. HMD Global says the rear is coated with a "ceramic-feel" paint for texture. The Nokia 7 Plus feature a 6-inch display with the 18:9 aspect ratio and full HD+ (2,160 by 1,080) resolution. The phone is powered by a Snapdragon 660 processor with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage. The phone has dual cameras on the back, both with Zeiss optics. The main sensor captures 12-megapixel images at f/1.75 and the secondary sensor captures 13-megapixel images at f/2.6 and offers 2x telephoto zoom. The selfie camera has a 16-megapixel sensor. The Nokia 7 Plus includes a "bothie" feature, which lets people take photos with the main and front cameras at the same time. Moreover, owners can apply AR stickers to bothies for fun. The phone packs a massive 3,800mAh battery that HMD Global says delivers two days of battery life. The battery also supports rapid charging. Other hardware features include Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, WiFi, LTE, and spatial audio. It relies on a USB-C connector and also offers a 3.5mm headset jack. The phone runs Android One, which means HMD Global has committed to offering rapid updates and security patches. The Nokia 7 Plus goes on sale in April for $399.

Nokia 8 Sirocco Relies On Stainless Steel Frame

Feb 25, 2018, 10:46 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Feb 25, 2018, 2:56 PM

HMD Global today unveiled the Nokia 8 Sirocco, a stylish update to the Nokia 8. The phone has a stainless steel frame and curved Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back. A 5.5-inch quad HD plastic OLED screen adorns the face. The Nokia 8 adopts the Snapdragon 835 processor with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage. The Nokia 8 Sirocco has the same camera configuration as the Nokia 7 Plus. The phone has dual cameras on the back, both with Zeiss optics. The main sensor captures 12-megapixel images at f/1.75 and the secondary sensor captures 13-megapixel images at f/2.6 and offers 2x telephoto zoom. The selfie camera has a 5-megapixel sensor with a display-based flash. The Nokia 8 Sirocco includes Dual Sight for "bothies." The software includes a new pro mode for manual control over the shutter and other features. The 3,260mAh battery supports rapid charging and wireless charging. The phone meets IP67 for protection against quick drops into water. Other features include Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, WiFi, LTE, and USB-C. It runs Android 8 Oreo One. The Nokia 8 Sirocco will be available in April for about $800.

Microsoft Disabling Notifications for Windows Phone 7.5 and 8

Feb 19, 2018, 11:01 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Microsoft says devices running Windows Phone 7.5 and 8.0 have reached end-of-life status and will no longer be supported. Beginning February 20, Microsoft will turn off push notification services for Windows Phone 7.5 and Windows Phone 8.0. This means devices running those platforms will no longer receive notifications, will not receive live tile updates, and will not be able to use Find My Phone to locate the device. Microsoft says Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 10 Mobile remain fully supported for the time being. Devices running Windows Phone 7.5 and Windows Phone 8.0 were originally sold in the 2011 and 2012 timeframe.

Nokia Weighing Whether Withings-Based Health Biz Still Worth It

Feb 15, 2018, 3:09 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Nokia today said it is weighing strategic options for its Digital Health business. Nokia acquired wearable-maker Withings in 2016 and used that as the basis of its Digital Health business, with is part of the Nokia Technologies group. The Digital Health unit is responsible for smartwatches, scales, and other digital health devices for both consumers and businesses. "The strategic review of the Digital Health business may or may not result in any transaction or other changes," said the company. "Any further announcements about the Digital Health business will be made if and when appropriate." Nokia didn't say if or when it might make a decision. Nokia's main business is in developing and selling telecommunications gear.

Nokia 8 Now Receiving Android 8.1 from HMD Global

Feb 13, 2018, 3:15 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

HMD Global has begun to distribute Android 8.1 Oreo to the Nokia 8 smartphone, according to executive Juho Sarvikas. HMD Global makes and markets Android handsets under the Nokia brand. The Nokia 8 is HMD Global's flagship device. It has a 5.3-inch screen, aluminum build, 13-megapixel cameras with Zeiss optics, and a Snapdragon 835 processor. The company released Android 8 to its Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 handsets earlier this year. It indicated that Android 8.1 will arrive for both these devices in the near future.

Turing Robotic Industries Declares Bankruptcy

Feb 7, 2018, 8:23 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Turing Robotic Industries, a company that promised to create a sleek, secure smartphone nearly three years ago, has moved into insolvency. TRI was located in Finland and formed by some ex-Nokia employees. It gathered most of its funding from Chinese investors. The idea was to create a high-end Android phone made of "liquidmorphium" that would deliver secure communications similar to the Blackphone. After making promises — and failing to meet them — for over a year, the company did ship a Sailfish-based handset during the late summer of 2016. It later announced the Appassionato handset (pictured) with features such as a 5.5-inch screen, Android 7, and a Snapdragon 821, but the phone never made it to market. TRI CEO Syl Chao took to the company's Facebook page to ensure those who live near its facility in Salo, Finland, to not worry about its bankruptcy. "We will be posting the latest developments concerning the future of TRI in the coming weeks," wrote Chao. TRI owes more than $2 million to investors, to say nothing of the money owed to customers who preordered (and never received) its handsets.

HMD Global Pushing Android 8 Oreo to Nokia 5 and Nokia 6

Jan 31, 2018, 8:15 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

HMD Global is delivering an Oreo treat to owners of the Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 smartphones. The company said it has begun pushing Android 8 to both handsets. Android 8 Oreo includes notification dots, picture-in-picture, quicker boot times, autofill passwords, Google Play Protect scans, and the January 2018 security patch. HMD Global said the update will roll out in phases over the next few weeks. HMD Global makes and markets phones under the Nokia brand.

Nokia's ReefShark Chips to Connect 5G Base Stations

Jan 29, 2018, 9:00 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Nokia today announced new 5G chipsets that will triple the throughput of base stations while also drastically slashing power consumption. The ReefShark chipsets pair Nokia's antennas with artificial intelligence in order to push the performance of base stations. Nokia claims the ReefShark chips were designed for plug-and-play with its existing AirScale baseband module. The basebands will only require a software update to accommodate the ReefShark chips and can be updated to full 5G when needed. Nokia says it was able to halve the size of the massive MIMO array in the chipsets, which reduces power consumption in baseband units by 64%. ReefShark also triples base station performance from 28 Gbps to 84 Gbps per module. Chaining together six baseband modules will support throughput speeds as high as 6 terabits per second at a single base station. Nokia says 30 operators have committed to ReefShark, which it expects to deploy during the third quarter. Nokia today also announced its Future X network architecture, which will further improve speeds and cut costs for deploying 5G. Nokia says Future X combines the 5G New Radio standard with a software-defined network controller to provide a complete set of network capabilities for commercial 5G deployments. Together with Nokia's ReefShark chipsets, the Future X network architecture has the potential to deliver machine learning-based automation that will reduce the cost of deploying 5G by 30%. Nokia didn't commit to a timeframe for deploying Future X.

Nokia and Huawei Sign Patent Deal

Dec 21, 2017, 9:39 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

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.

Nokia 6 Earns Its Oreo Beta

Dec 19, 2017, 11:48 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

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 to Pay Nokia $137 Million to Settle Dispute

Dec 1, 2017, 9:52 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

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.

HMD Global Pushing Oreo to Nokia 8

Nov 27, 2017, 8:13 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

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.

Nokia 2 Rounds Out the Bottom of HMD Global's Android Lineup

Oct 31, 2017, 7:26 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

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 Allowing Nokia 8 Owners to Beta Test Oreo

Oct 25, 2017, 7:21 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

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.

Nokia 3310 3G Hits Best Buy This Month for $60

Oct 20, 2017, 7:53 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

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.

Nokia Adds 3G and US Support to Retro 3310

Sep 28, 2017, 7:47 AM   by Rich Brome   updated Sep 28, 2017, 8:57 AM

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 Partner to Develop 5G NR Tech

Sep 11, 2017, 8:18 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

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.

Hands On with the Nokia 8

Sep 1, 2017, 1:38 PM   by Rich Brome   updated Sep 1, 2017, 1:39 PM

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.

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HMD Global Intros Nokia 8 Flagship Smartphone

Aug 16, 2017, 2:40 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

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, Maker of Nokia Phones, Parts Ways with CEO

Jul 19, 2017, 1:40 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

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 Trots Out the Nokia 130, an Entry-Level Feature Phone

Jul 17, 2017, 9:19 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

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 to Close Up Shop

Jul 13, 2017, 12:03 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

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 to Use Zeiss Optics On Future Nokia Phones

Jul 6, 2017, 7:28 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

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 and Xiaomi Sign Patent Agreement

Jul 5, 2017, 7:01 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

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 Loads Up Its Roster of Prime Exclusive Phones

Jun 27, 2017, 9:15 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

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.

Nokia 6 to Be Available from Amazon Next Month

Jun 26, 2017, 8:18 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Jun 26, 2017, 8:24 AM

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 and Nokia Bury the Patent Hatchet

May 23, 2017, 7:10 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

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.

Hands On with the Nokia 3, 5, and 6

Feb 27, 2017, 8:14 AM   by Rich Brome

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.

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Nokia Brings Back the 3310

Feb 26, 2017, 11:35 AM   by Rich Brome   updated Feb 26, 2017, 1:48 PM

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".

Nokia Expands its Android Lineup

Feb 26, 2017, 11:32 AM   by Rich Brome   updated Feb 26, 2017, 1:57 PM

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.
All three have a "pure" version of Android 7 Nougat, with Google Assistant, and will be available globally by June of this year. The current published specs show poor support for US LTE networks. It's unclear if US versions are planned.

Intel Claims LTE Modem to Deliver 1 Gigabit Speeds

Feb 21, 2017, 12:58 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

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 Sues Nokia Over Patents

Feb 15, 2017, 8:39 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

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.

ITC to Investigate Nokia's Patent Complaints Against Apple

Jan 24, 2017, 12:09 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

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.

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