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Nokia has unveiled its first phablets as well as its first tablet computer at a company event in Abu Dhabi.
The Windows Phone handsets introduce the ability to change which objects in a photo are in focus after it is taken.
The Windows RT tablet has a 4G data chip, unlike Microsoft’s recently unveiled Surface 2.
Nokia World in Abu Dhabi is likely to be remembered as the Finnish firm’s last major event before it completes the sale of its hardware unit.
Microsoft agreed to buy the business for 5.4 billion euros ($7.4 billion) in a deal which the companies have said should be finalized by early 2014.
Microsoft’s share of the handset and tablet markets is growing but from a relatively low level, according to market research firm Gartner.
Windows Phone took a 3.3% share of smartphone sales in the April-to-June quarter, said the firm, with Nokia proving the most popular brand.
It also forecast that about 1.7% of all tablets shipped over 2013 as a whole would be powered by either Windows RT or the full Windows 8 operating system.
Nokia World in Abu Dhabi
Nokia showed off two phablets at the UAE launch. Both the Lumia 1520 and Lumia 1320 feature 6in (15.2cm) displays, allowing extra rows of apps to be displayed on their home screens than possible on smaller models.
The firm said that the extra space would also make it easier to use the phones’ touchscreen keyboards, suggesting this would appeal to business users who used productivity software.
A new Beamer app will allow the phones to stream the contents of their screens onto to a web browser on a separate display. It works by sending data via Nokia’s computer servers.
Another new app – Refocus – lets owners determine which parts of a photograph are in focus and which are blurred after it is taken. The phones achieve this by taking a series of images in quick succession at different focus lengths rather than replicating the light field effect captured by a Lytro camera.
The Lumia 2520 becomes the only Windows RT tablet made by a manufacturer other than Microsoft.
Dell, Asus, Lenovo, Acer and Samsung had all initially backed the platform only to later change tack.
The operating system runs on an ARM-based chip allowing it to offer superior battery life to the full Windows 8 system running on tablets powered by x86 processors, but it does not support as many programs.
Nokia’s tablet is slightly more compact than Microsoft’s version and also distinguishes itself by supporting an optional 4G Sim card.
However, bearing in mind Microsoft has already taken a $900 million write-down after weak sales of its original Surface RT tablet, one analyst questioned whether the firm would want to produce two competing models.
Nokia also added three models to its Asha range of low-end handsets targeted at emerging markets and shoppers on a budget. They run Nokia’s proprietary Series 40 OS rather than Windows Phone.
The most expensive of the devices, the Asha 530, now supports 3G data in addition to 2G, allowing faster internet access.
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Apple shares have tumbled 10% as investors fret over whether the company could lose its dominance in the smartphone market.
About $50 billion was wiped off Apple’s value after the biggest daily drop in the firm’s stock in four years.
Flat profits and record quarterly revenue of $55 billion were not enough to overcome disappointment over sales of the company’s new iPhone 5.
Analysts said the firm was in danger of becoming a victim of its own success.
Earlier, shares in some of Apple’s key Asian suppliers also fell.
LG, which provides displays for Apple products, fell 3.1%, and Hon Hai, which assembles iPhones and iPads, dropped 3.2%.
Apple was unable to repeat its usual growth in profits, which were unchanged from a year earlier at $13.1 billion.
The firm said late on Wednesday it had sold more iPhones (47.8 million) and iPads (22.9 million) in the final three months of last year than in any previous quarter, but investors had expected more.
Apple shares have tumbled 10 percent as investors fret over whether the company could lose its dominance in the smartphone market
Shares in the firm have fallen by a third since September over concerns the company may be losing its edge over increasingly confident competitors.
Shares currently stand at $460, down from over $700 four months ago. Apple still remains the world’s most valuable company, however, just ahead of Exxon Mobil.
On Thursday, a number of brokers cut sharply their price target for the shares, with Deutsche Bank slashing its forecast from $800 to $575.
The iPhone’s once dominant position is being challenged by Samsung and other makers of Android-based devices, which now make up a far greater percentage of overall smartphone sales than the iPhone.
Nokia, once itself the leading mobile phone manufacturer, reported on Thursday a return to profit in the final quarter of last year, with strong sales of its new Lumia smartphone, its first major product launch since the company teamed up with Microsoft.
Samsung is due to announce its results on Friday, and investors will be keen to find out how its successful Galaxy smartphones sold in the final quarter.
With Apple no longer seen as the market leader in innovation, some analysts believe it may now have to rethink its core strategy, which is based on focusing on a handful of premium products.
“Apple’s modus operandi to date has been to cream the high-end off each market, but as the company’s grown it may now need to target more of the mainstream,” analysts at Evercore Partners said.
Normura’s Stuart Jeffrey agreed: “To re-accelerate growth, Apple likely needs to launch new products, yet few seem likely before June.”
Others, however, argue that investors’ expectations are wholly unrealistic, and the company remains hugely successful.
Asha, the budget smartphone line from Nokia, is outselling its premium handset offering, the Windows-run Lumia, by over two to one.
Nokia’s quarterly results, published on Thursday, revealed the total number of both Asha and Lumia devices sold in the last three months of 2012 was 14 million. Only 4.4 million were Lumias.
There have also been rumors that Apple may offer a lower-priced iPhone model.
Reports that a senior Apple executive denied this have been withdrawn.
“We forecast that by 2016, 31% of the global overall handset market will be low-end smartphone,” said Ian Fogg, principal analyst at IHS.
“An entry-level smartphone is very different from a high-end smartphone,” he said.
“Smaller, cheaper devices have processors from two or three years ago, they have small screens with low resolution, and weaker cameras. They can all do email and the web but gaming and browsing is a much better experience on the higher end phones.”
Asha, the budget smartphone line from Nokia, is outselling its premium handset offering, the Windows-run Lumia, by over two to one
However, the difference in cost to the consumer is significant.
“Apple still play out at the premium end of the market,” said Ian Fogg.
“Can they remain profitable and successful being in a small part of the handset market or do they need to be a bigger player to get the economies of scale right?”
“Apple makes high quality products, it doesn’t make cheap products,” he added.
“That doesn’t rule out Apple creating a cheaper iPhone that still has high quality components. Look at the iPod range – they started with a premium price product, then they added the mini, the nano, the shuffle – they went to a range of products hitting different price points.”
Ian Fogg pointed out that there are currently variations of the iPhone 4, 4S and 5 available at different prices.
“Their strategy has been to reuse previous generation model rather than build a new model,” he said.
“Apple, I’m sure, is evaluating that strategy. Is it better to use a tried and trusted design that they know how to manufacture and that the consumer understands, or is it better to design a new model that hits that price point?”
At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this month, Chinese phone manufacturer ZTE announced plans to launch a lower-end smartphone running on Mozilla’s Firefox operating software in Europe this year.
“I think Apple should be more aggressive with its smartphone range,” said Ian Fogg.
“I think the strategy they have had of reusing previous year’s models has been quite smart, but there is also an opportunity to design a new product that hits that low price point.”
Nokia has apologized after it emerged that an advert featuring video footage which appeared to have been filmed with its new flagship smartphone Lumia 920 had in fact been created using different equipment.
The Verge tech site revealed the issue after it noticed a window reflection revealed a cameraman holding what appeared to be an SLR camera.
In a blog post the handset maker said it should have “posted a disclaimer”.
The news threatens to take the shine off the launch of the Lumia 920 phone.
Investors had already shown doubts about whether the Windows Phone 8 handset could revive the Finnish company’s fortunes, sending its shares nearly 8% lower on Wednesday.
Nokia has apologized after it emerged that an advert featuring smartphone Lumia 920 had in fact been created using different equipment
In Thursday’s trade the stock fell a further 6%.
The advert showed a man filming his girlfriend using the new smartphone while both of them were riding bicycles.
The footage cut from professionally-filmed material, featuring both actors, to what looked like it was the video captured by the man’s Nokia device.
A split-screen sequence then showed what the smartphone’s footage would look like with Nokia’s optical image stabilization (OIS) feature turned on and switched off.
The footage was intended to support the firm’s claim that its technology helped reduce image blur. It was shown at a press conference on Wednesday to support Nokia’s boast that the Lumia 920 featured the best smartphone image quality on the market.
The Verge’s article said: “too bad it’s faked”.
Nokia’s blog acknowledged the problem in a post titled “An apology is due”.
“We produced a video that simulates what we will be able to deliver with OIS,” wrote the site’s editor Heidi Lemmetyinen.
“Of course, hindsight is 20/20, but we should have posted a disclaimer stating this was a representation of OIS only. This was not shot with a Lumia 920… we apologize for the confusion we created.”
Nokia also released footage that had been shot with the model.
Nokia has decided to add Groupon offers to maps on its Lumia smartphones.
By clicking on a green “G” icon, US users can now buy Groupon’s discounted deal-of-the-day vouchers from their handsets and then locate the retailers participating in the offers by using Nokia’s navigation system.
An analyst said the deal could be an advantage for Groupon, which had so far not been “local enough”.
Nokia said it was interested in different ways of monetizing its maps.
The new location platform will be integrated into the phone’s Windows Phone 8 operating system.
Nokia has decided to add Groupon offers to maps on its Lumia smartphones
“It is to our benefit to ensure that many different companies use this, and there will be companies taking advantage of the platform who may compete with other elements of Nokia,” said the Finnish company’s head, Stephen Elop.
“But that has to be okay. It has to be, you have to think that way. The competition… is not with other device manufacturers, it’s with Google.”
Nokia had been trying to make its maps available to a wide range of people, said Martin Garner, an analyst from CCS Insight.
He added there were already some major web players using them, including social network Foursquare and Yandex, Russia’s main search engine.
“It’s not a surprise that Groupon is doing this, it’s a logical extension,” he said.
“There’s a whole area of web use that could be made better if it used local information and maps, and one of the big weaknesses of Groupon’s strategy has been that it hasn’t been local enough.
“And by working with Nokia they can do this better. Lots of people are very interested in the local commerce, and this could be a way of making this work.”
When Apple’s voice-activated assistant Siri has been asked over the weekend “What is the best smartphone ever?”, it appeared to favor the iPhone’s rival, Nokia’s Lumia 900.
But Siri now responds to the same question with a jovial: “Wait… there are other phones?”
Nokia has accused Apple of “overriding the software” after the quirk was noticed.
Apple would not confirm that a change had been made.
The Siri software, which is featured on Apple’s iPhone 4S, uses the computational search engine Wolfram Alpha to serve answers to some questions.
For a question such as “what is the best smartphone ever?”, Wolfram Alpha would pool available reviews and comment in order to come up with what it feels is the right result.
When Apple Siri has been asked over the weekend "What is the best smartphone ever", it appeared to favor Nokia’s Lumia 900
In this instance, the “best” result was determined by reviews on the website of US retailer Best Buy.
Nokia’s Lumia 900 came out on top.
However, when asked the same question, the software no longer attempts to search Wolfram Alpha to find its answer, instead producing a default answer.
Nokia spokeswoman Tracey Postill told the Sydney Morning Herald: “Apple position Siri as the intelligent system that’s there to help, but clearly if they don’t like the answer, they override the software.”
However, Nokia said Tracey Postill’s comments were “lighthearted” and “taken out of context”.
“We were certainly flattered and honored,” Nokia spokesman Doug Dawson added.
808 Pureview, the 41-megapixel Nokia smartphone using Symbian, was among the new technology on show during the opening day of Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona.
Nokia 808 Pureview offers enhanced low-light performance as well as sophisticated image compression designed to help users share pictures.
Nokia hopes to regain ground lost to Google and Apple in the mobile market.
However, some have criticized Nokia’s decision to use its own operating system, Symbian, on the device.
Nokia’s other smartphones typically run on Microsoft’s Windows Phone software.
Symbian, which first appeared on Nokia phones in the 90’s, is widely regarded as inferior to the app and social media-driven Windows Phone system.
“The Pureview 808’s Symbian Belle operating system might detract from its appeal to a broader market, where it deserves recognition,” said Tony Cripps, a principal analyst with Ovum.
“It’s a pity that Nokia was unable to combine the photographic prowess of the PureView 808 with the style of the Lumia 900.
“Such a device may well have been the first smartphone to truly deserve the title of <<superphone>>.”
Nokia claims the 808 Pureview sets a “new industry standard” in mobile imaging devices.
“People will inevitably focus on the 41 megapixel sensor,” said Jo Harlow, executive vice-president of Nokia smart devices.
“But the real quantum leap is how the pixels are used to deliver breathtaking image quality at any resolution and the freedom it provides to choose the story you want to tell.”
Nokia 808 Pureview offers enhanced low light performance as well as sophisticated image compression designed to help users share pictures
Also on show were new models in the company’s Lumia range – including the 610, a cheaper device aimed at a “younger audience”.
Nokia also announced it plans to make the Lumia available in China “in the coming months”.
Nokia’s chief executive Stephen Elop said that introducing the cameraphone and entry-level smartphone were “the actions necessary to improve the fortunes of Nokia”.
Once the mobile world’s dominant player, Nokia has struggled to compete as sales of Google and Apple devices have soared in recent years.
Last month Nokia announced it was to stop manufacturing mobile phones in Europe, instead relocating to Asia at a cost of 4,000 jobs.