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Microsoft BUILD 2014 Day 1: consistency and superiority accross the whole Windows family extended now to TVs and IoT devices as well—$0 royalty licensing program for OEM and ODM partners in sub 9” phone and tablet space
OR Microsoft is going against Android and Apple with a vastly updated Windows/Windows Phone 8.1 for $0 royalty fee on smartphones and tablets with screens under 9”, integrated Windows desktop experience (upcoming in the next update), capability of creating Universal Windows apps accross the whole Windows family (demonstrated with the Modern version of the Office upcoming later), an open-source cross-platform WinJS framework, the first true digital assistant for phones (Cortana), showing that for TVs, as well as planning for IoT devices.
Update: the expectation was somewhat higher:
although was met when looking back to Nadella’s March 27 Office for iPad announcement:
Microsoft showcases latest updates to Windows, opportunities for developers April 02, 2014
SAN FRANCISCO — April 2, 2014 — Wednesday at Build 2014, Microsoft Corp.’s developer conference, the company announced several advances to Windows including Windows Phone 8.1, the availability of Windows 8.1 Update, a converged developer platform, and a $0 royalty licensing program for OEM and ODM partners developing smartphones and tablets with screens under nine inches.
Microsoft detailed new developer opportunities on the Windows platform with a common platform across devices, a single toolset, a common infrastructure across the Windows and Windows Phone stores, and a clear commitment to interoperability. The announcements highlight Microsoft’s continued commitment to its partners and the developer community by maximizing opportunities across the broadest range of devices and services.
Also as a part of the conference, Nokia announced three new Lumia smartphones for Windows Phone 8.1, including the flagship Lumia 930, the affordable Lumia 635 and the first dual-SIM Lumia 630.
“The news today shines a light on continued Windows innovation in ways that benefit our customers, partners and developers alike. Our commitment is to make Windows more personal and accessible to individuals, and to ensure a vibrant ecosystem through closer collaboration with our industry partners,” said Terry Myerson, executive vice president, OS Group at Microsoft.
… <more is inserted in the below keynote report>
The essence of the Day 1 keynote:
Microsoft Build 2014 keynote in seven minutes [The Verge YouTube channel, April 2, 2014]
The Full Day 1 Keynote record on Channel 9: 2 hours, 59 minutes, 13 seconds or a YouTube copy of that from MicrosoftEurope:
Terry Myerson: Executive Vice President, Operating Sy stems group
- Making your creativity come to life
- Using public translation APIs to translate everything said here
Joe Belfiore (~ 1 hour): Corporate Vice President, Operating Systems group
==> Full transcript
- Running PC, tablet and phone within the Operating Systems group
Windows Phone is the world’s most personal phone
- 2 additional partners: Micromax and Prestigio (working with Qualcomm and Longcheer)
- Windows Phone 8.1: ==> Made more personal
– new Action Center
– new lock screen APIs
– option to choose a high density tile layout with custom background as well … even on a small screen
Cortana Microsoft Build 2014 8.1 Update Personalized Digital Assistant named Cortana Microsoft VP Joe Belfiore unveils 2 new phones with hardware partners Micromax and Prestigio using Windows Phone 8.1
Windows Phone gets even more personal
Microsoft unveiled Windows Phone 8.1 and introduced Cortana, the world’s first truly personal digital assistant with a persona inspired by a much-loved “Halo” character. Powered by Bing, Cortana gets to know you and gets better over time by asking questions based on your behavior and checking in with you before she assumes you’re interested in something. She detects and monitors the stuff you care about, looks out for you throughout the day, and helps filter out the noise so you can focus on what matters to you.
Other new features that make Windows Phone 8.1 smartphones even more personal include Action Center, which complements Live Tiles by showing new activities and notifications at a glance; and Senses, a suite of features that takes the work out of managing data use, storage space and battery life. Windows Phone 8.1 also makes it easier for IT professionals to manage devices and for professionals to connect to essential business apps and services with features such as simplified device enrollment, a built-in mobile device management client, S/MIME for encrypted mail and VPN support.
Windows Phone 8.1 will start rolling out to current Windows Phone 8 users over the coming months. It will also come pre-installed on new phones starting this month. Cortana will launch shortly in the U.S. as a beta, in the U.K. and China in the second half of 2014, and in other countries in 2015. Registered developers can update their phones to Windows Phone 8.1 as part of the developer program later this month.
– working long for one a half year on (video): Cortana (launching as a Beta, in order to learn with linguistic & search things) – a digital assistance for Windows Phone; powered by Bing (knows the whole Internet); learns about you …; also replaces the search function for you …; can be extended via 3d party apps; giving Cortana a notebook in order to put the user in contact with Cortana; about the people matter most to you; about the places you use to frequent; has permission to read all e-mail on the phone in order to prompt pro-actively the owner on …; good with the calendar too; … example queries via voice …; works with typing as well; reminders; only Cortana can do: people reminders …; new version of Skype; starting apps for you via Cortana (like Hulu, even yommunicating with like for Facebook);
==> The first true digital assistant for phones
==> The Ultimate Assistant: Halo’s Cortana Coming to Windows Phone
- Consumers can choose for their device:
– VPN, S/MIME support, MDM capabilities, … many, many more hosted capabilities
==> The right choice for business
==> Building the Mobile Workplace with Windows and Windows Phone
- Apps from the Store: … store experience more engaged for you …, new version of Calendar … with other views
- Improved basic performance: … WiFi Sense to connect to automatically when sensed … even securely share with friends automatically (no need to tell the WiFi password); … from ordinary phone call to a video call, even for RCS apps as well; Word Flow [Keyboard] typing … world’s fastest typing on the smartphone (the previous record was Samsung Galaxy …); focus on settings; IE11 with a bunch of new features
- to consumers rolling out in next few months
- on very new phones late April
Windows 8.1 Update
- boot straight to the desktop
- going automatically to enterprise mode
- mouse and keyboard experience of Windows, e.g. enhanced taskbar to work with Windows Store apps: no different swithching mode for Modern apps and desktop apps; PC settings tile on Start Screen; right click context menu …; power user … on Start Screen; pre-pinning the Windows Store to the taskbar to make it mouse and kleyboard friendly; new apps pin to the Start Screen or the taskbar …
- starting April 8
- [The update also enables Microsoft’s hardware partners to deliver low-cost machines that require only 1 GB of RAM and 16GB HDD. On Intel’s Bay Trail Cost Reduced options.]
Windows 8.1 Update: easier to use, runs great on more devices
Continuing its commitment to deliver improvements through regular updates, Microsoft also announced Windows 8.1 Update, which includes improvements that provide more of what people love about Windows across more devices: quicker access to what’s important, a more familiar and consistent experience across touch and non-touch devices, and more ways to discover great apps.
Key features of the update include user interface improvements for mouse and keyboard users, the ability to access the taskbar from any screen and pin Windows Store apps to the taskbar alongside desktop apps and favorite websites, and performance and compatibility enhancements to Internet Explorer 11. These improvements provide faster, more direct access to the things customers care most about, so activities such as powering down, searching the Web and switching between apps are easier than ever. Navigating with the mouse and keyboard will feel more familiar and intuitive because there’s more consistency with where controls are and how they work. Specific to the enterprise, Windows 8.1 Update offers improved Internet Explorer 8 compatibility on Internet Explorer 11, extends mobile device management functionality, and eases deployment with increased predictability for new operating systems and line-of-business apps by leveraging familiar management tools.
Current Windows 8.1 customers will receive the Windows 8.1 Update for free through Windows Update, while Windows 8 customers will receive the update free through the Windows Store, beginning April 8, 2014.*
David Treadwell: Corporate Vice President, Operating Systems group
==> Full transcript
- about things for developers
Microsoft’s Universal Windows App Allows Devs To Create For Any Platform [Pureinfotech, published on April 3, 2014]Microsoft announces universal Windows apps, which simply means that apps created for the Windows platform will now run on all platforms including PCs, tablets, phones, and Xbox One.
Universal Windows apps:
==> Windows Runtime comes to phones
- Update for Visual Studio 2013 for universal Windows apps: demo
==> Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 RC: Windows Phone 8.1 Tools, Shared Projects and Universal Windows Apps
- Streamline the Windows Store experience across …
- Modern (touch-first) version of Office: demo … also showing the same binary working on the phone
- hundreds of new features added for Windows Phone 8.1 based on developers’ and customers’ requests
Windows developer platform: easily build innovative apps, reach more people
Microsoft also announced enhancements in the way developers can build applications that target the full range of Windows devices using Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 Release Candidate. Among other new capabilities, with the introduction of universal projects, developers are able to create apps that can be easily optimized to take full advantage of Windows devices. Developers of all types can draw upon their existing skills to deliver shared experiences for Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1 Update. Universal projects allow developers to use approximately 90 percent of the same code, a single packaging system, and a common user interface to target apps for phones, tablets and PCs.
To improve the developer experience on Windows, Microsoft announced updates to Windows Store to improve app discoverability and monetization, as well as easier shopping for end users with improved search, more personal recommendations and better merchandising. In addition, later this week, Microsoft will release the next version of Windows App Studio, a Web-based tool for non-developers that enables the creation of universal Windows apps in a single project.
To help developers build innovative apps for Windows using a natural user interface, Microsoft detailed plans for Kinect for Windows v2, coming this summer, with a new sensor and SDK that will enable developers to create Windows Store apps, with the Kinect sensor, for the first time. The Kinect for Windows v2 sensor offers more precision, responsiveness and intuitive capabilities. Developers and partner companies, such as Reflexion Health and Freak’n Genius, are already doing great things through the Kinect for Windows v2 developer preview program.
- DEMO of the above
Windows enabling cross-platform apps:
– announcing: making WinJS cross-platform
– open-source via GitHub
==> MS Open Tech Open Sources WinJS, Part of the Windows App Platform
- DEMO My
- Now about the TV … no better television than Xbox
- going to enable Universal Windows apps running on Xbox
|My insert here: Satya Nadella email to employees on tuning our organization [Microsoft, March 31, 2014]
Today marks the start of another big week for Microsoft as we gear up for the Build conference in San Francisco. We continue to push on the momentum from last week’s news about how we will thrive and grow in a mobile-first, cloud-first world, as shown by the great Office apps for iOS, rich new APIs for developers and our new Enterprise Mobility Suite.
In advance of Build, I want to highlight three announcements about how we’re continuing to evolve and tune our organization for maximum focus and impact.…
Next, I have asked Phil Spencer to take on a new role leading Xbox, combining the Xbox and Xbox Live development teams with the Microsoft Studios team. Phil will report to Terry Myerson, allowing us to keep gaming close to the group developing operating systems across devices. In this new job, Phil will lead the Xbox, Xbox Live, Xbox Music and Xbox Video teams, and Microsoft Studios. Combining all our software, gaming and content assets across the Xbox team under a single leader and aligning with the OSG team will help ensure we continue to do great work across the Xbox business, and bring more of the magic of Xbox to all form factors, including tablets, PCs and phones. Phil will continue his close partnership with Yusuf Mehdi, who leads business strategy and marketing for Xbox, George Peckham, who heads up third-party partnerships and Mike Angiulo, who will continue leading Xbox hardware. Over the years, Phil’s team at Microsoft Studios has helped build a community of more than 80 million Xbox owners and 48 million Xbox Live members through blockbuster game franchises such as “Halo,” “Gears of War,” “Kinect Sports,” “Fable,” “Forza Motorsport” and many others. He’s helped drive the development of brand-new entertainment offerings like the partnership with the NFL and the formation of Xbox Entertainment Studios [Nancy Tellem]. I love the way the Xbox team is focused on great games and gaming experiences (go, “Titanfall”!), connects with its fans, pushes the boundary of entertainment and has embraced the power of the cloud in such interesting and impactful ways. Phil is the right person to lead Xbox forward.
- bringing Kinect to PC ==> Kinect 2.0 for Windows with greatly improved SDK, not just for games
- non-gaming Kinect apps: video
- Kinect: this is the future
==> Windows Store app development is coming to Kinect for Windows
- Graphics: on Xbox One phenomenal ==> Xbox graphics platform to make available for everyone ==> bringing into DirectX 12
Internet of Things (IoT):
- Windows ported to ARM
- Now Intel Quark (i.e. x86 for IoT)
- Windows for IoT will be available for $0
- Universal Windows apps to run in a window
- New Start Menu: live tiles combined
- what is shown here is just for start to improve the Windows desktop
- (upcoming in the next update of Windows)
Making Windows devices more affordable
Microsoft is evolving its Windows business model to enable partners to offer lower-cost devices in the highly competitive smartphone, tablet and PC categories. Microsoft will offer to hardware partners $0 Windows with services including a one-year subscription to Office 365.
With Windows 8.1 Update hardware partners can also more easily build lower-cost machines — such as devices with 1 GB of RAM and a 16GB hard disk drive — without sacrificing the experience customers expect. The combination of new efficiencies and innovations from Microsoft hardware partners means customers will be able to choose from a wider range of Windows devices, particularly budget-friendly notebooks and tablets.
Additional information from Terry Myerson’s Thoughts on Day 1 of Build 2014 [Blogging Windows, April 2, 2014] post:
I wanted to use this post to share some thoughts from what I said in the keynote:
1. We believe in our ecosystem of device manufacturers and devs (developers, developers, developers!), and that their creativity has incredible potential to change the world – and we want to help them do that.
2. We believe in the Internet of Things, and that as the devices get smaller, the cloud gets bigger.
3. We believe in natural user interfaces, and the power of things like voice and gesture to transform how users will interact with their devices and apps in the coming years.
Today we announced that the Windows 8.1 Update will support Intel’s Bay Trail Cost Reduced options, along with 1GB RAM and 16 GB storage configurations which are popular on entry level tablets and notebooks. We’re also working with Intel on enablement programs that make it easy for their partners to onboard new Windows devices quickly, much as we are with Qualcomm.
We showed Windows running on an Intel Quark chip. It’s a processor the size of a pencil eraser that is running a full version of Windows, enabling developers to use all their Windows knowledge and skills to create new and exciting devices and experiences. When we are ready to ship Windows for the Internet of Things, we will make that available for zero dollars to encourage creation of these new devices and experiences in this new and exciting category.
Finally, I previewed some work we are doing for the next iteration of Windows, which builds on the journey we began with Windows 8 just over a year ago as well as the releases we’ve done since then. In particular, I showed some early thinking on how the user experience in Windows will evolve in a way that will help developers’ apps make their way to users across devices and form factors.
We set out to do this is a thoughtful way – one where we could enable more productivity for customers working in desktop mode, while building smart bridges to the new modern user experience and ensuring customers can get access to all your great apps in the Windows Store no matter where they are in the experience, or which device type they’re on.
As I said today, these are glimpses of our roadmap, with a particular focus on the parts of our roadmap that are most relevant to our developer partners. We’ll continue to invest in these and many other areas to build a great platform and experiences for developers, customers and partners and you’ll hear more from us when this work is closer to being ready to ship out to the world.
Stephen Elop (still Nokia, but soon Microsoft):
==> Full transcript
- Lumia 520 the best selling smartphone in the world: will have WP 8.1
- WP 8.1 for all other existing Lumias
- The next-generation of Lumia devices:
– Lumia 930: flagship for WP 8.1, with unprecendented images and video, Creative Studio app grealy updated, new/updated Living Images app, fantastic cinema video experiences (4 microphones included), all MS services well integrated, 2.2 GHz Snapdragon 800 SoC, from June starting in Europe, with more more than 100 operators
– Lumia 630: 4.5” ClearBlack display, 3G dual-SIM as well (different tiles for each SIM), designed for hyper-social people, Cortana is also available, SensoreCore introduced for health and fitness apps … Lumia services (HERE maps, etc.), 1.5GHz Snapdragon 400 quadcore, from May starting in Asia, $159 single SIM
– Lumia 635: 4.5” ClearBlack display, 4G LTE, …, 1.5GHz Snapdragon 400 quadcore, from May starting in Asia
- Two new SDKs:
– Imaging SDK 1.2
– new SensoreCore SDK to create motion based apps
Satya Nadella: CEO
==> Full transcript
- developer roots of Microsoft
- Q&A via the DPE collection made before the conference
- Why build for Windows if one develops for Android? –> innovating in every dimension … you will see a progress in a rapid pace … pretty unique pieces, e.g. bring end-users, IT profs and devs together … create a developer opportunity accross the Windows family expanding … we are betting on this platform ourselves
- Plans for easy development accross platforms? –> David Treadwell part … the only platform with APIs on every platform amd native, managed and the web … working w/ PhoneGap, Unity e.t.c. …
- What MS is doing to compete against Apple and Google in the tablet space? –> tablets accross all prices ranges … innovate with Surface to make the most productive table … what is the role of a tablet in the device family … consistency of user experience
- Approach to UX design now and in 5 years with Microsoft? –> we have fantastic people for UX … see inspiration for other platforms … Cortana … modern apps to mouse and … Bill Buxton about natural UI … the broadest range of input modes today
- How to design for the cloud, and how MS is supporting that? –> Scott Guthrie tomorrow … data-tier built for scale-out and other consideration long taken into account, Service Bus etc. … lot of focus on tools, samples that truely take advantage of the cloud
- Different APIs released for different products? –> Windows Universal apps is the first step in the direction of bring great consistency for developers … consistency of semantics for these APIs
- What’s the plan with latency as we are moving and more apps to the cloud? –> build robustness … data center build-up throughout the world … great effort to enable apps to run in a true distributed way
- How MS can better support start-ups? –> BizSpark program with 70K start-ups … seed fundings and accellerators throughout the world
- The vision for Microsoft going forward? –> Drive in this world of mobile first, cloud first … interactions of differnt kinds getting digitized … create platforms .. build the best experiences
- Plans to becoma a Master CEO? –> … 2514 … watch Scott Guthrie keynote tomorrow
Cortana (yes!) and Many, Many Other Great Features coming in Windows Phone 8.1 [by Joe Belfiore on Windows Phone Blog, April 2, 2014]
Whew, what a day! What a week! I’ve just gotten off the stage at Build in front of 5,000 of our beloved developers talking about the future of the Windows platform. And now I’m here to tell YOU about the stuff we’ve been working on to delight all our Windows Phone users and fans!
During my time on stage, I went over what’s next for Windows PCs, tablets, and phones with two major updates: Windows Phone 8.1 and the Windows 8.1 Update. Both releases bring a lot of new features for consumers and businesses alike, built from the feedback we’ve heard from customers along the way. We’ve also continued to invest in our partners, enabling lots of great new phones, tablets, laptops and PCs for you to choose from in the months ahead.
Windows 8.1 Update: Focused on Mouse/Keyboard
For PCs and tablets, we’ve made improvements in Windows 8.1 that will noticeably improve the experience when you’re using a PC without a touch-screen. We’ve made commands easier to find with mouse/keyboard, we’ve made switching between apps—especially Windows Store apps—much easier with mouse/keyboard… and we’ve made it easier to find new apps to install.
To learn more about the update to Windows 8.1 for your PC and tablets, head on over to the Windows Experience Blog and read Brandon’s post. What I really want to cover in detail here is…
Windows Phone 8.1: More Personal, Smarter, and even a “World Record Holder”!
If you’re a Windows Phone user, you already know that we set out to create an experience that puts you and the things you care about most front and center. As a result, we believe Windows Phone is the world’s most personal smartphone… and with Windows Phone 8.1, we’ve added a BUNCH of new features that make your smartphone even more a reflection of your personality and desires.
Want to experience it all in one giant demo? Then watch this marathon 15-minute video. Else… read on!The world’s most personal smartphone just got more personal. Watch the innovations of Windows Phone 8.1 come alive.
Start screen: Make the Live Tiles Yours
We want your Windows Phone Start screen to genuinely reflect your personality and the people and things you care about—so we are making it even more customizable!
In 2013, we added a third column on devices for 5-inch screen or larger devices, like the Lumia 1520, to enable more stuff to show up on the screen. People really liked this so we are enabling this on all screen sizes in Windows Phone 8.1. Pin away! We’ve also added the ability to customize your Start background with a favorite picture or one of the options we’ve provided, which will make many of the tiles on your Start screen become clear so you can see the background you selected as you scroll up and down.
Lock screen: Lots of new “themes” to choose from!
The Lock screen is the very first thing you – or your friends—see when you grab your phone, and in Windows Phone 8.1 we’re providing a new app that lets you set a wide range of interesting “Lock Screen Themes” which show all kinds of different visuals and animations. Make it yours…
Cortana: Your PERSONAL Digital Assistant
Of everything we’re announcing today, I’m most excited to introduce you to the world’s first truly personal digital assistant, now on Windows Phone. We were inspired by the popular character from Halo who served as a brilliant AI and a deeply personal digital assistant to Master Chief… so we called her Cortana.
Powered by Bing, Cortana is the only digital assistant that gets to know you, builds a relationship that you can trust, and gets better over time by asking questions based on your behavior and checking in with you before she assumes you’re interested in something. She detects and monitors the stuff you care about, looks out for you throughout the day, and helps filter out the noise so you can focus on what matters to you. Cortana will launch shortly here in the U.S. first as a “beta,” and then will launch in the US, the U.K. and China in the second half of 2014 with other countries to follow afterwards into 2015.
In Windows Phone 8.1, you get to Cortana by either a Live Tile on your Start screen or by pressing the search button on your device. This will take you to Cortana Home. To interact with Cortana, you can either speak or type—if you’re in a meeting, just type and Cortana won’t talk out loud. But if you ask her a spoken question, she’ll answer verbally and even carry on a natural conversation.
When you interact with Cortana for the VERY first time, she will start learning things about you… like your name, how to pronounce it, and ask for some personal interests.
Once she’s learned a bit about you, Cortana’s home populates with information that is curated just for you. You’ll see things like flight information she’s found from your email confirmations, weather, the latest news, and even traffic information once she learns your commute routine, such as from work and home.
To develop Cortana, we talked to a number of real personal assistants. One technique these assistants spoke about was keeping track of the interests and preferences of their bosses in a notebook. We thought… what a great idea! So all the stuff Cortana curates for you is stored in Cortana’s Notebook. This information enables Cortana to be proactive and helpful throughout the day. For example, she’ll let me know if my upcoming flight back to Seattle is on time and, if I choose, will even pop-up to recommend what time I should leave for the airport based on traffic. Cortana can also manage your phone when you don’t want to be disturbed by setting quiet hours where she will silence any notifications, in-coming calls, and texts. Cortana understands the “inner circle” of people-closest-to-you, and she can let them break through at any time during quiet hours. And Cortana is the only digital assistant that lets you setup people reminders. You can have Cortana remind you that your buddy owes you $20 the next time you talk to him. And ALL of these interests and preferences are under YOUR CONTROL via Cortana’s notebook.
What’s more, because Cortana is powered by Bing, some of the interests in Cortana’s Notebook will light up on Bing.comwhen you sign in on the web. Bing.com will give you access to the things Cortana tracks for you, like your weather, stocks, news, and flights.
We’ve also designed Cortana to be able to interact with 3rd Party Appsinstalled on your phone. You can ask Cortana to help you make a video call in Skype, watch a TV show in Hulu Plus, look up a news feed on Facebook or send a tweet using the Twitter app – all of which we demoed during this morning’s keynote.
And finally, Cortana isn’t just a dry computer returning search results. Just as she has in the game Halo, Windows Phone’s Cortana has a bit of personality. But you’ll have to talk to her yourself to see what I mean by that. Or… I bet you’ll be able to find some videos on the web pretty soon to see what I mean.
We think you’re going to really love having Cortana as your personal assistant!
A Whole Slew of New Delighters
Action Center: Live Tiles are a great way to “glance and go,” and now we’ve added Action Center to enable you to see notifications from ANY app – pinned or not—and to give you a customizable way to quickly access the settings you care about most, like Wi-Fi, Flight Mode, Bluetooth and Rotation Lock.
Word Flow Keyboard: The keyboard in Windows Phone is smart enough to learn your writing style and even knows the names of people in your contacts for faster typing. Best of all, our new Word Flow Keyboard lets you glide your fingers over the keys to type INCREDIBLY quickly… a kid was able to BREAK THE OFFICIAL WORLD RECORD previously held by the Swype keyboard on a Samsung Galaxy S4 using Word Flow by 8 seconds!
Skype:The new Skype app for Windows Phone 8.1 brings the best of Skype on a smartphone. It’s integrated with the Phone dialer, so if you’re on a call you can quickly and easily “upgrade” your ordinary phone call to a Skype video call at the tap of a button! And… the new Skype app is designed to work seamlessly with Cortana so you can use Cortana to setup your calls within Skype.
Calendar:The new Calendar has been redesigned to add a new week view which lots of people have been asking for and it has many nice touches—like panning right to get to the next day or week or month! What’s more, it looks a lot like Outlook on your Windows PC… e.g., the weather is integrated at the top – just like in Outlook.
Music, Video, Podcasts: We’ve made a ton of improvements to these experiences, which are now split out as separate apps and all of which can be updated via the Store. In Music, you can edit your playlists and manage your cloud collection really easily and effectively. Video makes it possible to buy or rent videos from Xbox Music, and Podcasts now lets you subscribe to any RSS feed AND provides a Bing-powered podcast search for every country where Windows Phone is available. Oh… and we’ve improved the phone volume control by including separate sliders for your ringer/notifications and for your apps and media. Just the way you asked for it!
People Hub, Email and Accounts: The People Hub has higher-fidelity feeds for your social network content (large photos!) and it connects directly to 3rd-party social networking apps so that you can have easy access to all the full functionality of the 3rd party apps once they are installed. Email now supports S/MIME secure email, and we’ve broadened our support for different account types, now including iCloud.
Photos & Camera: The Photos experience now jumps directly to your most recent photos and shows as collections automatically organized, in a view grouped by date and location. Online photo albums are now supported via app-extensibility, so 3rd parties can plug in their services. In the Camera, we’ve updated the UI and added “burst mode” photography that lets you capture exactly the perfect moment—just like on Windows 8.1.
Data Sense, Wi-Fi Sense, Storage Sense, and Battery Saver:We’ve added a number of features in Windows Phone 8.1 that are designed to help you get the most out of your data allowance, battery life and storage.
Data Sense lets you track how much data usage you use in a given month and will give you a breakdown of usage by app so you can see which app is using the most of your data. As you near your data limit, Data Sense will more aggressively offload data to Wi-Fi and limit cellular usage… and in 8.1 there’s a new “high savings” mode that cranks up the compression of images as you browse the web so you can browse even farther using less data than WP8.
Wi-Fi Sense will automatically connect you to free public hotspots it finds to help you save cellular data. And, if you’d like, you can opt-in to automatically and securely enable your friends and contacts to auto-connect to your home Wi-Fi, so they can use the internet connection at your house without hassling you for the password and typing it in manually. If you turn off Wi-Fi in Wi-Fi Sense, you can have Cortana automatically turn it back on when you reach one of your favorite places as identified in Cortana.
We’re introducing Storage Sense to help you get the most out of the memory and storage on your phone. It will help you manage content you have on an SD memory card if your device supports those. You can also move content – like apps, music, photos – between the storage built in to your device and an SD memory card.
And Battery Saver gives you a clear breakdown of how apps are using your battery so you can make more informed usage decisions. With “automatic mode” enabled, it can dramatically extend your battery life.
Windows and Windows Phone Together
Your Microsoft Accountallows Windows and Windows Phone to work together in amazing ways. Windows Phone 8.1 furthers the integration between phone and PC. If you change your theme color, that change will sync across all your Windows devices. If you buy an in-app purchase in some of the newer apps written for Windows Phone and Windows 8.1, the purchase works on your phone AND your PC. And other settings like your home Wi-Fi password will also sync.
Ever wanted to project your phone screen onto a PC, TV set or projector? We’ve added support for that as well—connect your Windows Phone to a compatible PC using a USB cable and you can run an application on the PC to show the phone screen. Some of the forthcoming new phones will also support wireless Miracast display to compatible TVs and other devices.
And finally with Internet Explorer 11 for Windows Phone, you will be able to see all the open tabs you have on all your Windows devices and all your Favorites too. Plus the new Internet Explorer gives you InPrivate browsing, password caching, and a super-handy reading mode.
Great for Business Users and IT Managers
Windows has long been the choice for the enterprise and professionals. Windows Phone fits easily and seamlessly into a corporate ecosystem making it easier to work when you are on the go. Last year, PC Magazine’s readers selected Nokia Lumia/Windows Phones as the Business Choice Award for smartphonesby scoring them the highest in end-user satisfaction.
With Windows Phone 8.1, we’re making it even easier for IT professionals to manage devices and for professionals to connect to essential business apps and services with features such as customizable MDM enrollment, support for loads more MDM policies, LOB application & certificate management, S/MIME and VPN support. Stay tuned for a detailed blog post later today on the Windows for your Business Blog that covers all the key features for businesses.
Sounds Great! When Can I Get It? And on which phones?
Windows Phone 8.1 will start rolling out to existing Windows Phone 8 users and will come pre-installed on new phones, including the Lumia 630 and 635 and Lumia 930announced by Nokia today, in the coming months. If you want to try out Windows Phone 8.1 and you are a registered developer, you can update your phone as part of the Developer Preview Program in the first part of April.
We are very proud of the progress we are making with Windows Phone. Industry analyst IDC proclaimed Windows Phone the fastest growing smartphone platform in 2013, and we think the future is even brighter. At Mobile World Congress, we announced our commitment to growing the number of device partners making Windows Phones, and were proud to welcome nine new partners to the Windows Phone ecosystem. Today we announced two more partners – Prestigio in Europe and Micromax in India – to further ensure that individuals around the world will have access to the amazing experience that only Windows Phone delivers consistently across all price points.
We know we have lots more to do – for developers, for business customers, and for consumers. Today’s announcements at Build were all about taking the next steps – making it easier than ever to build great devices and write great apps for Windows, and enabling a new generation of cool experiences for customers that show the power of designing around people, delivering truly personal computing, and helping us all to get more out of the technology in our lives.
Tags: Windows phone, Build 2014, Word Flow Keyboard, Battery Saver, Start screen, Email, camera roll, Windows Phone 8.1, Xbox Video,Enterprise, Announcement, inprivate, Action Center, Photos, Windows 8.1, Business, Devices, VPN, Cortana, Platform, skype, Xbox Music,Lock Screen, Windows 8.1 Update, podcasts, People Hub, calendar, Microsoft Accounbt, Windows, Live Tiles, Internet Explorer 11, Nokia, Wi-Fi Sense, Data Sense, Storage Sense
Windows 8.1 Update – important refinements to the Windows experience [ by Brandon LeBlanc on Windows Experience Blog, April 2, 2014]
As Joe mentioned here, today we’re announcing two important updates to the Windows platform: Windows Phone 8.1 andWindows 8.1 Update. With these updates, we continue to refine and improve Windows based on feedback from customers to deliver ongoing value to all their Windows devices. Joe’s post goes into detail on all the awesomeness that’s in Windows Phone 8.1(Cortana is rad – trust me!) but also gives some great context around our new engineering culture in the Operating Systems Group now that we’re in this mobile-first, cloud-first world. It also underscores how we are moving more quickly to improve the Windows experience for customers. In this post, I wanted to share a little bit more about the update for Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1.
With the current generation of Windows, we made a pretty big bet on touch and mobility. Along with building on top of the strong foundation in Windows 7, we also introduced a brand new approach to the Windows user experience that brought touch to the forefront. Since the original introduction of Window 8 in 2012, we have been continuously refining the experience, and we are making steady progress. More than 40 percent of Windows PCs at big box retailers, like Windows Stores Only at Best Buy, this past holiday season were touch-enabled – up from only 4 percent a year ago. As Joe recently said at Mobile World Congress, customer satisfaction for a device running Windows 8 with touch is actually higher than it was for a PC running Windows 7 without touch. We believe deeply in the notion that delivering a compelling personal and modern experience across all the devices that matter in your life should not mean sacrificing familiarity. Windows 8 and 8.1 were first steps, and we continue to make refinements based on customer and partner feedback.
Last fall, less than a year after we shipped Windows 8, we released Windows 8.1– bringing a large set of customer-driven improvements including the return of the Start button, tutorials, more personalization options, the ability to boot to desktop, improvements to multi-tasking, and more. Today marks the next step as we release a new update for your Windows experience.
The Windows 8.1 Update delivers a collection of refinements designed to give people a more familiar and convenient experience across touch, keyboard and mouse inputs. It also brings improvements for business customers, really accelerates opportunity for developers, and enables device makers to offer lower cost devices.See what’s new with Windows 8.1 in the latest update, including easier mouse and keyboard functions, a new taskbar, and Bing’s improved Smart Search!
Easier access to your favorite apps and key controls:
On the Start screen, on select devices you will now find Power and Search buttons at the upper-right corner next to your account picture. You can now more quickly shut down your PC if you need to and do a search right from the Start screen.
If you like using the desktop, you will be happy to know that select devices will now boot to desktop as the default setting. And on your taskbar, you can now pin both desktop apps and apps from the Windows Store as well as your favorite websites. You can now pin any app you want to the taskbar so you can open or switch between apps right from the desktop. I’ve got some of my favorite apps like Xbox Music, Skype, Facebook, Flipboard, and Mint pinned to my taskbar. You can also access the taskbar from anywhere when you’re using a mouse; you can see the taskbar on any screen by moving your mouse to the bottom edge of your screen. Just click on any of the apps pinned to your taskbar to open or switch to them.
More familiar mouse and keyboard options:
We’ve made it so your mouse works more consistently anywhere in Windows. If you move your mouse to the top of the screen when using a Windows Store app, you will see the familiar Close and Minimize buttons. And as I mentioned above, when you move your mouse to the bottom of the screen in a Windows Store app, the taskbar comes up.
On the Start screen, if you right-click on an app tile, you will get a context menu next to the app tile that shows you what you can do with the tile, like unpin from Start, pin to the taskbar, change the tile size or even uninstall the app. Right-clicking on an app tile on the Start screen works just like right-clicking on something on the desktop.
Simpler way to find new apps:
After installing the update, you’ll find the Windows Store is now pinned to the taskbar by default so you can easily discover new apps (yes, you can unpin it if you don’t want it there).
And after installing new apps, you’ll notice a message at the lower-left corner of the Start screen that points you to the Apps view so you can see what you recently just installed.
Seamless browsing on all devices:
With today’s update, Internet Explorer 11 adapts your browsing experience by detecting your Windows device and input type – whether an 8-inch touch tablet in portrait mode or a 24-inch desktop with mouse and keyboard. The web is still front-and-center but new design enhancements make your browsing experience feel like it was made just for your device – like the number of tabs on-screen, the size of the fonts and menus. You can also now control when the browser remains on-screen or hides away for full-screen browsing. Check out 22tracksto see these updates in action.
Improvements for business customers: We are introducing several key improvements for businesses such as Enterprise Mode Internet Explorer (EMIE) and extended Mobile Device Management (MDM). EMIE enables Internet Explorer 8 compatibility on Internet Explorer 11 so companies can run existing web-based apps seamlessly on Windows 8.1 devices. And with extended MDM, we are introducing additional policy settings that can be managed with whatever MDM solution an enterprise chooses including whitelisting or blacklisting Windows Store apps and websites. Look for a blog post later today on the Windows for your Business Blog that discusses these in greater detail and a post on the Springboard Series Blogon deployment guidance for the Windows 8.1 Update.
New low cost devices:With the Windows 8.1 Update, we have enabled our hardware partners to build lower cost devices for Windows such as devices with only 1GB RAM and 16GB of storage that provide customers with the experience they expect from a Windows device without sacrificing performance.
We have made the Windows 8.1 Update available today for MSDN subscribers, and will begin to roll it out for free to Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 customers via Windows Update next Tuesday April 8th. For the majority of folks, they will receive the update automatically. If you are still on Windows 8, you can get the Windows 8.1 Update via the Windows Store on April 8th as well.
NOTE: The Windows 8.1 Update will be KB2919355 for those of you interested.
We’re really excited to get this update out to everyone! Moving forward, we’ll continue to deliver improvements through regular updates like this one to Windows, allowing us to respond more quickly to customer feedback as your needs change.
Tags: Windows 8, Keyboard, Start screen, Windows Store, Windows 8.1, search, Apps, Windows 8.1 Update, Windows, Update, Pinning,Taskbar, Mouse
Extending platform commonality through universal Windows apps [by Kevin Gallo on Building Apps for Windows, April 2, 2014]
Today during our BUILD conference in San Francisco we unveiled the latest Windows software for phones, tablets, and PCs. Windows Phone 8.1 further establishes Windows Phone as the world’s most personal smartphone, with an even more engaging Start screen, the fastest keyboard on the market, thanks to Word Flow, and of course Cortana – the only personal digital assistant built around you. We also shared Windows 8.1 Update features such as UI improvements for mouse and keyboard users, the ability to pin Windows Store apps to the taskbar, and Internet Explorer compatibility enhancements. These OS features, and a new wave of devices that consumers will love, open up new opportunities for developers.
With this release of the Windows developer platform we set out to accomplish three major goals: 1) Reach customers across phones, tablets, and PCs; 2) Deliver innovation that supports developer investments; 3) Make cross-platform technology easier and more capable.
Reaching customers across phones, tablets, and PCs
Windows Phone 8 brought the same core set of operating system components used by Windows 8 to the modern UI of Windows Phone. Today we’re taking an even bigger step with Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1 Update by empowering developers to create universal Windows apps for a common Windows runtime.
Since universal Windows apps run on the same Windows runtime, developers have a common way of building and architecting apps for phones, tablets and PCs; from how they handle suspend and resume and do background processing, to the way they manage in-app security.
To help developers create universal Windows apps for Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1, we’ve announced the release of Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 RC. In addition to enhanced productivity and collaboration features, Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 RC includes Shared Projects that allow developers to create an app that is easily tailored to render a contextually appropriate experience across Windows phones, tablets and PCs. Get the tools now!
Innovation that supports developer investments
Windows now also offers an expansive set of common APIs for everything from displaying notification toasts to accessing the file system and device capabilities. With Windows Phone 8.1, we are adding a wide array of new features including support for Bluetooth LE to connect to devices, Action Center extensibility to more effectively connect with users, triggers to ensure battery-friendly multitasking, VPN so end users can connect to their workplace, and many more.
Even Cortana delivers developer extensibility. Cortana brings a significant evolution of the speech technology developed by Windows and Bing, which first appeared in Windows Phone 8. In Windows Phone 8.1 we expose new enhancements to the Speech API that developers can use to integrate their apps with the Cortana family of services. Developers can now leverage speech recognition and voice commands to denote a series of actions triggered by heuristically derived scenarios that are surfaced through the Cortana speech recognition service. Fewer steps and more types of natural verbal exchanges open more apps. All of this is delivered through a simple API so developers who use Windows Phone 8 speech features today can plug into Cortana with little additional effort.
Developers are interacting with tablets and Windows computers in new ways as well. Kinect for Windows v2 will be released this summer. Soon developers can start building Kinect apps for Windows Store and publish or commercially deploy Kinect apps and solutions.
We’re also improving the way people find and use apps, as well as increasing monetization options and providing a more consistent Store experience across devices and markets. Developers can choose to link apps among phones, tablets and PCs so when a user downloads an app on one device they can install it on all of their Windows devices, increasing usage and engagement. Windows 8.1 Update brings the Store icon and pinned apps to the taskbar on the desktop. Developers are also getting more ways to market and monetize apps, such as common price tiers that bring the popular $0.99 and $1.29 price point to PCs, and updated advertising SDKs that support more rich media standards for better fill rates.
Also, by popular demand, we’ll soon be piloting a program through which developers can directly respond to app reviews to address potential confusion or other issues that may be hurting their ratings. These are just a few of the new Windows Store features being detailed this week during BUILD. Todd Brix will share much more detail about what’s new in Windows Store later today.
Make cross-platform technology easier and more capable
We’ve also been working for developers who may not already be on the Windows platform by supporting a mix of languages, runtimes, frameworks, and protocols that run across devices. Middleware partners like Unity have helped developers bring thousands of titles to the Windows Store. In a newly released beta version, Unity is delivering support for Windows Phone 8.1, including universal Windows apps.
Microsoft Open Technologies also works with various open source communities to contribute code to popular C++ frameworks and optimize them for Windows devices. For example, Windows Store supports Cocos2D-X, openFrameworks, OpenCV, Cinder, and Ogre3D apps. Box2D and Bullet also have joined the Windows Store. jQuery now fully supports Windows Runtime, so web developers can build Windows 8 apps reusing their existing code and skills. Developers who use HTML5 to build cross-platform apps for iOS and Android with tools like Apache Cordova will find it easy to port their apps to Windows.
In fact, we’re taking a much more pragmatic approach to the web in general. We know that HTML is a critical cross-platform technology. Windows Phone 8.1 brings the same powerful hardware-accelerated IE11 HTML engine in Windows 8.1 to the phone. We’ve made great strides in extending IE to developers by focusing on open standards. Now we want to focus even more on interoperability. We already support WebGL and other technologies, such as media streaming extensions for adaptive streaming scenarios.
Where we go from here
We’re enabling universal Windows apps for a common Windows runtime today, and we know we have more work to do, including expanding the range of devices running universal Windows apps so developers can reach more customers in more places, from Xbox One and the Internet of Things scenarios, to millions more desktop Windows users. We also continue to strive to make the app development, submission, and management process faster and easier. In the coming weeks and months, you’ll see additional updates to the Windows platform – including tools and Store – all designed to deliver even better experiences and enable greater opportunity for our developer community.
Nokia X family of smartphones, leading local brand partners for Windows Phone and the potential of all that on the Indian market
For some observers in the Western media the Nokia X family is a kind of challenge to Microsoft unlike my earlier post describing it as Nokia’s “best of everything” X range smartphones to conquer the smartphone market between the Asha and Lumia devices [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Feb 24, 2014]. In Will Satya Nadella and Microsoft Pick Up The Challenge Laid Down By The Android-Powered Nokia X? Forbes contributor, Ewan Spence simply concludes that:
If Nadella is looking to move Microsoft towards a future with more focus on easily accessible services rather than hardware lock-in, then the Nokia X should continue to receive some love and affection, along with continued support in the media and from the press teams in Redmond. It may even be made available for other manufacturers looking for an Android base to build on with some preferential patent licensing bundled along with the deal.
Other journalists accustomed to the U.S. market, where you don’t buy your smartphone but getting it as part of your paid subscription “for free”, even critisizing the Nokia X performance (see two critics on the right) unlike the head of UX Design, an American (see his view on the left) in charge of the team in Beijing, China “with global scope and BRIICA (Brazil, India, Indonesia, China, Africa) focus”:
Doug Walston, Head of MP [Mobile Phones] UX Design, Nokia – Beijing*:
“With the X family,” says Doug, “we were really focused on the needs of new people using smartphones, especially those in emerging markets. We wanted to create a beautifully simple device that gives access to a wealth of apps.”
“Apps don’t need to be rewritten to tap into Fastlane. We’ve used some special sauce (and native platform hooks) so it all just works.”
“If there’s an element of the interface of which I’m particularly proud, it’s the home screen. It’s so distinctive, bold and direct. It’s a break from the confusion that you see elsewhere in phones at this price.”
“The simplicity of the interface also means that it has a very low overhead on performance. Typically for a phone with all these features, you would expect a horrid battery life and a laggy interface in this segment, but that isn’t true of the X family at all. The performance is surprisingly good.”
From Not just a pretty face – the UI of the X family [Nokia Conversations blog, Feb 26, 2014]
Jane McEntegart, Writer/Editor at Tom’s Hardware:
Nokia X 1.0 is not slow or sluggish, but in the brief time we played with it, it wasn’t blazing fast either. The tile-interface also didn’t feel quite as sleek as it does in Windows Phone 8.
From Hands On with Nokia’s Windows Phone-flavored Android OS [Tom’s Hardware, Feb 24, 2014]
Tom Warren, Senior Reporter for The Verge, the resident Microsoft expert:
If you put the Nokia X side-by-side with the company’s Lumia 520 handset it might be hard to tell them apart.
Using the X software can be quite frustrating, however, as the entire interface is prone to slow response and a lot of lag. Closing or switching between apps on the X takes far longer than other, even entry-level, smartphones, and browsing the web will quickly test your patience. The third-party apps we saw on the X, such as Facebook, looked as they do on other Android smartphones, but they too suffered from poor performance. Nokia’s choice to combine the functions of home and back into the single back button is confusing, and it’s difficult to predict exactly where in the interface the button will take you when you press it. Part of the reason for the laggy interface and apps … is more likely related to the Android version in use on these devices.
Nokia appears to be positioning the X as a method to draw people to Microsoft’s cloud services.
From This is Nokia X: Android and Windows Phone collide [The Verge, Feb 24, 2014]
Is the head of MP UX design is right or such a harsh critic as Tom Warren? You could decide it for yourself by watching the video below. Draw special attention to the Fastlane performance difference between the Nokia X with 512MB of RAM and Nokia X+/XL with 768MB ([3:46-4:30] vs. [5:53-6:26]). It is also not an accident that “Resizeable tiles” are demonstrated on the 768MB version. My impression is, that if you are buying the 768MB versions (Nokia X+ or Nokia XL) you won’t feel the problems Tom Warren outlined above, won’t feel at all:
Nokia Launches Nokia X At Mobile World Congress In Barcelona [Red Robot – Intelligent Distribution YouTube channel, Feb 24, 2014]
[0:06] Press conference
>> [0:50] Elop’s 1st introduction: the new Nokia 220
>> [1:20] 2nd introduction: the new Nokia Asha 230
>> [1:32] 3d introduction: the new Nokia X and Nokia X+
>> [2:07] Preloaded great applications on the Nokia X family, hundreds of thousands of Android apps, Nokia signature experiences (HERE Maps, Nokia Mix Radio)
>> [2:42] Fastlane as a fantastic element of Nokia X experience
>> [2:57] 4th introduction: the Nokia XL
[3:40] B-roll (i.e. alternative) footages (with no sound):
> [3:42] Nokia X: Runs Android Apps, 4″ display, Fastlane, 3MP camera, 1GHz Dual Core Processor, Dual SIM
>> [3:46] Nokia X: Fastlane
>> [4:30] Nokia X: Skype
>> [5:08] Nokia X: Nokia Store
>> [5:33] Nokia X: Third Party App Stores
> [5:49] Nokia X+: Runs Android Apps, 4″ display, Fastlane, 3MP camera, 1GHz Dual Core Processor, 768MB RAM, Dual SIM
>> [5:53] Nokia X+: Swipe
>> [6:26] Nokia X+: Resizeable tiles
>> [7:15] Nokia X+: Nokia Mix Radio
>> [8:02] Nokia X+: Demo App: Plants VS Zombies 2
> [8:40] Nokia XL: Runs Android Apps, 5″ display, Fastlane, 5MP camera with flash, 2MP fron-facing camera, 1GHz Dual Core Processor, 768MB RAM, Dual SIM
>> [8:45] Nokia XL: Swipe
>> [9:26] Nokia XL: Camera: 5MP with autofocus and flash
Even more, as the rest of my post goes through the below details (i.e. sections 1. to 4.), you will find (along with with me) that from the point of view of focusing on the BRIICA (Brazil, India, Indonesia, China, Africa) markets (which was the task of the development team in Beijing China) this is an excellent product with no problems mentioned by some media people in the West. There is even no conflict with Microsoft at all (another critical speculation typical to the Western Media) as the Nokia X family is also preparing the ground for the upcoming super low-cost (higher levels as well) Windows Phone devices from local and regional brands like the #3 Karbonn and the #4 Lava (Xolo) in India, as well as Gionee which is a large local brand in China with strong recognition in India as well, not to speak of those who will supplied from Foxconn, the biggest white-label phone manufacturer in China.
- Why does this post concentrate on the Indian market?
- Nokia X family has been well positioned for the highest growth Indian market
- The feature phone and smartphone markets in India according to CyberMedia Research India and IDC
- New low-cost Windows Phone partnering strategy by Microsoft especially aimed at the Indian market
1. Why does this post concentrate on the Indian market?
Answer #1: The Indian smartphone market is expected to double and touch 80 million by the end of current fiscal, a top Samsung India official said today.
“We are expecting smartphone sales in the country to touch 80 million mark by the end of current fiscal [Samsung’s fiscal years are the same as the calendar years], while total sales were around 40 million in 2012-13,” Samsung Mobile and IT India Head Vineet Taneja said.
From Indian smartphone market to double to 80 million by fiscal end: Samsung [The Economic Times (of India), Feb 18, 2014]
Answer #2: “Now is the right time because there is a rapidly growing low-price affordable smartphone segment that’s really taking off in a number of growth economies. We’re seeing that in countries like Indonesia, Russia, Vietnam and a number of others,” [Stephen] Elop [former Nokia CEO and soon-to-be Microsoft executive vice president] says in the interview, shot at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
While Nokia X is based on Android, the user interface “is remarkably similar to the Windows Phone interface,” he says.
That means these customers, many of whom have never owned a smartphone before, will learn to navigate in Microsoft’s world first, with the potential over time to buy higher end Nokia Lumia phones that run Windows Phone as Lumia prices drop.
“And so we’ve gone for that and we’ll take advantage of that to keep people in the Lumia family but using Nokia X as a feeder system into our Windows Phone strategy,” Elop says.
The strategy isn’t meant for the U.S. where cellular carriers widely and generously subsidize the price of high-end phones in order to lock customers in to long-term contracts, he says.
The above excerpts are from the Nokia’s Stephen Elop Talks Android video interview:
From Nokia chief: Nokia X Android smartphone is a gateway drug to Windows Phone [Network World, Feb 25, 2014]
Answer #3: is in another post of mine: Nokia’s “best of everything” X range smartphones to conquer the smartphone market between the Asha and Lumia devices [‘Experiencing the Cloud’ Feb 24, 2014] but before reading that here is Nokia X/ Nokia X Plus Hands On (Dual SIM) [WPXBOX YouTube channel, Feb 24, 2014] video from which you can easily understand why is it “best of everything” instead of a stock Android smartphone:
Answer #4: in section 2 of this post I will show you that these smartphones will quite probably have a competitive on line pricing starting at most from:
– Rs 7400 ($119) for Nokia X vs. the list price of EUR 89 [$122]* (Rs 7582)
– Rs 8000 ($129) for Nokia X+ vs. the list price of EUR 99 [$136]* (Rs 8434)
– Rs 8600 ($139) for Nokia XL vs. the list price of EUR 109 [$150]* (Rs 9284)
* Although these prices are before local taxes.
Answer #5: India will be key to future smartphone growth as it represents more than a quarter of the global feature phone market. “Growth in the India market doesn’t rely on high-end devices like the iPhone, but in low-cost Android phones. Nearly half of the smartphones shipped in India in 2013 cost less than US$120,” said Kiranjeet Kaur, Senior Market Analyst for mobile phones at IDC Asia/Pacific.
From Smartphone Prices Race to the Bottom as Emerging Markets Outside of China Come into the Spotlight for Future Growth, According to IDC [press release, Feb 24, 2014]
Answer #6: In addition to existing partners — Nokia, Samsung, HTC and Huawei — Microsoft has announced it is now working with Foxconn, Gionee, Lava (Xolo), Lenovo, LG, Longcheer, JSR, Karbonn and ZTE to develop on the Windows Phone platform. … Customers can expect to see an even broader array of devices, from iconic to lower-cost options, coming to market. … The expanded Windows Phone ecosystem will also provide mobile operators and retail partners with additional opportunities to offer white-label Windows Phone devices under their own brands.
From Microsoft adds nine new Windows Phone hardware partners [press release, Feb 23, 2014] where Karbonn is the #3 and Lava (Xolo) the #4 brands (after #1 Samsung and #2 Micromax), while Gionee is a local brand in China with strong recognition in India as well, and Longcheer as a local Chinese brand that has long been in India as well (albeit with top recognition already lost). Finally Foxconn is the biggest white-label phone manufacturer in China whose production has already influenced the Indian market very much.
We are adding support for Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 and 400 series chipsets, with options that support all major cellular technologies, including LTE (TDD/FDD), HSPA+, EVDO and TD-SCMA. We will also support soft keys and dual SIM where our partners want it for their devices. One nice benefit of these additions is that many hardware vendors will be able to use the same hardware for both Android and Windows Phone devices [obviously if they are using the Qualcomm SoCs]. From Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president of Microsoft Windows Phone in Scaling Windows Phone, evolving Windows 8 [Windows Phone Blog, Feb 23, 2014]
Q. Many of your recent partnerships and announcements have focused on emerging markets. Is that a major priority?
A. It’s not our only focus, but it’s a very big one. The purpose of low-cost phones in emerging markets is to drive volume. From Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president of Microsoft Windows Phone in Q.&A. With Joe Belfiore on the Future of Windows Phone [Bits blog of The New York Times, Feb 23, 2014] That is the Nokia X family will not only prepare the ground for its own Lumias but for these upcoming low-cost Windows Phone devices as well (also why IMHO Microsoft will not kill the Nokia X family after Nokia devices and services becomes part of it)
2. Nokia X family has been well positioned for the highest growth Indian market
X marks the sweet spot [Nokia Conversations, Feb 25, 2014]
We asked Jussi Nevanlinna, VP for Mobile Phone marketing, some of your questions about the new Nokia X family, why it’s important for Nokia and why customers will be delighted with the phones.
First of all, why now? Why is the timing now right for an Android-based smartphone from Nokia?
There are a couple of answers to that question.
To launch the Nokia X family, we needed to be able to create a product that was true to Nokia’s heritage in design and build quality. But we also needed to make it very affordable. Lots of different components had to come into place for us to create something that’s clear and easy to use, but also high quality and within people’s financial reach.
The other answer is that the market itself is moving. We’re the number one manufacturer in growth markets in the ‘entry-level’ and ‘feature phone’ categories. But a lot of those people are now aspiring to smartphone products. There are a significant number of users worldwide who are about to experience the Internet through a mobile device. As you can imagine, we want to be ready for them.
The Nokia X family is based on the Android Open Source Platform (AOSP). Does that put the future of the family at the mercy of Google?
To fully explain, this is a Nokia smartphone that runs Android apps. At its heart, we have AOSP on top of which we have added Nokia design and usability expertise to create the user interface that people see. Then we have added Nokia experiences like HERE Maps and Nokia MixRadio, and Microsoft services like Skype, Outlook.com and OneDrive. What we don’t have is Google services: this was deliberate. Instead, we have implemented Nokia and Microsoft services to create something truly differentiated.
So who is the target audience for the Nokia X family?
These are global products, which will be available pretty much everywhere except North America, Korea and Japan. We have a particular focus on growth markets – for example, India and China, Thailand and Indonesia then over to Egypt, Kenya and Nigeria, and South America, especially countries like Brazil, and Mexico. They are all places where we’re seeing this big shift from feature phones to affordable smartphones.
Our Nokia X family customers are young, social, very aspirational and are fans of Nokia. They love our brand and our product design. And they also love Android apps: the quantity and choice is very appealing to them.
So we’re offering them the best of three worlds:
- Nokia design and build quality;
- Microsoft cloud services; and
- Android apps.
Does the X family compete with the Lumia family and maybe mean lost sales for Lumia?
Our approach to compete in the affordable smartphone market is twofold. While Lumia remains our primary smartphone platform and we continue to push the prices down, Nokia X addresses price points that are generally lower than those reached by Lumia, and we’ll keep pushing the Nokia X prices down even further.
In fact we see Nokia X as a stepping-stone to Lumia. With Nokia X we are bringing people the best of Nokia and Microsoft services and experiences, making a future switch to Lumia natural.
Some might see creating an Android-based device as strange considering that the plan is for Nokia’s devices and services business to join Microsoft soon?
I can’t speak on Microsoft’s behalf; what I can say is our strategy with Mobile Phones has been, and remains, connecting the next billion. Microsoft is equally focussed on ‘mobile first; cloud first’. As I have explained, getting people exposed to and loving Microsoft and Nokia services in the affordable segment creates a natural pathway to Lumia, which is designed to be the pinnacle smartphone experience.
Technology becomes cheaper all the time. When it becomes possible to create a Lumia for $100, will the X family be retired?
I think the key word is ‘family’. We will be announcing more products in the family over the course of the next year, and the price range it covers will change to suit the markets. We will be taking Nokia X into even more affordable price points.
What do app developers need to do to make their Android apps available for the Nokia X family?
The short answer is: nothing. In the vast majority of cases, Android apps will run very well on the Nokia X family, out of the box.
Furthermore, we’re working with developers to make it very easy to submit apps into the Nokia Store. In most cases, they simply republish their apps to Nokia Store .
Where apps depend on functionality that isn’t on the Nokia X family devices, like Google Maps, we’ve created API plugins for the Android SDK to allow developers to simply tick the box to use HERE Maps instead.
And what advantages can developers and customers gain by using Nokia Store?
Android developers stand to make big gains by supporting the Nokia X family. We have heard many times that they find it hard to monetise their apps. One reason for that is, in emerging markets, people are a lot less likely to have credit cards. The Nokia Store offers in-app payments through operator billing, and we have the largest network of operators signed up for that. It’s been shown through experience that when operator billing is available, then revenues increase by up to five times.
That’s one reason the Nokia Store offers a better alternative. The other is from the user’s side. The Nokia Store is curated. The apps are screened and scanned so you won’t bump up against malware or inappropriate content. So they can shop in our store with confidence and security.
And worldwide, people are very comfortable with using third-party app stores that aren’t owned by Google. In Russia, the Yandex Store dominates the Android marketplace. In China, Google Play isn’t available, so all app purchases are through third parties. So you see, non-Google stores are already the norm for most Android owners.
Nokia X is a phone made for India [India Today, Feb 24, 2014]
The Finnish handset maker has finally unveiled its much talked of Android phone, the Nokia X, at the ongoing Mobile World Congress 2014.
Nokia has launched a family Android phones with three variants–Nokia X, X+ and XL–at affordable prices. All three Nokia X variants are going to be low-cost phones with the Nokia XL expected to be priced around Rs.9,000 [$145]. For now, the prices that have been revealed are: Nokia X for 89 euros, the X+ 99 euros and the larger LX carries a price tag of 109 euros.
Specs-wise, these are basic level phones. All three devices are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon Dual Core processor and are dual SIM. The Nokia X comes with 4-inch display, the X+ has a bit of more storage options and the XL variant comes with 5-inch LCD screen and and 5-megapixel rear and 2-megapixel front cameras.
The Nokia X phones do not come with pre-installed Google Play Services. As a result the Play Store isn’t available on the Nokia X or Nokia X+. Though, Android apps can be downloaded through Yandex Store.
Once, Nokia was the leader of Indian mobile industry. Nokia feature phones used to be first choice of the Indian consumers. But it could not keep pace with the emergence of smartphones. Its competitors like Samsung, Sony and Micromax took away the markets from the Finnish handsets maker with innovative smartphones at affordable prices.
With affordable Android phones, the world’s largest smartphone maker, Samsung, is dominating the Indian market. Even, the home grown tech company Micromax made a market for itself with range of affordable Android phones having great features.
With its budget prices and widely used Android OS, the Nokia X series of smartphones will target the consumers looking to upgrade themselves from feature to smartphones. As the smartphone market is growing in India, given its brand reputation in the country, Nokia phones are going to give its competitors a run for their money in the sub Rs.10,000 [$161]segment. An Android phone from the Nokia at affordable price will be a good deal.
Well aware of its advantageous positing in the price-sensitive Indian market, Nokia has listed the X series devices on its India website as coming soon just after unveiling the devices at the ongoing Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona.
The current (Feb 25, 2014) lowest online price for Lumia 525 (in India) is on Snapdeal.com:
Competing with the following models of the marketing leading brands (Samsung, Micromax, Karbonn):
Rs 11230 [$181]Rs 9244 [$149] … Rs 12100 [$195]Rs 9379 [$151] … Rs 12990 [$207]Rs 9997 [$161]
For comparison the preceding the Lumia 520 on the same site:
Then some leading competitors for the Nokia X range (also from Snapdeal.com):
Which means a competitive on line pricing starting at most from:
– Rs 7400 ($119) for Nokia X vs. the list price of EUR 89 [$122]* (Rs 7582)
– Rs 8000 ($129) for Nokia X+ vs. the list price of EUR 99 [$136]* (Rs 8434)
– Rs 8600 ($139) for Nokia XL vs. the list price of EUR 109 [$150]* (Rs 9284)
* Although these prices are before local taxes.
For comparison the top of the Asha Touch range, the Asha 503 on the same site (currently):
Rs 7399 [$119] (list price) –> Rs 6549 [$106] Black/White –> Rs 6894 [$111] Yellow
–> Rs 6939 [$112] Red
Which means that the price of Asha devices could be lowered after the Nokia X devices appear on the market. This is especially true with the introduction of Asha 230 using the same SoC:
As the Asha 230 was announced for EUR 45 [$62]* (Rs 3823) you got an immediate price indication for such a decrease. In fact this new model is an effective replacement for the current Asha 500 as the entry level Nokia Asha Software Platform 1.1 device which has:
- 2 MP rear camera instead of a 1.3 MP one on Asha 230
- standby time up to 840 h (2G), talk time up to 14 h (2G) because of an 1200 mAh battery instead of the 1020 mAh one on Asha 230
but has the best online price of Rs 3999 ($66), actually from Nokia India against the list price of USD69 before taxes or subsidies.
3. The feature phone and smartphone markets in India according to CyberMedia Research India and IDC
From CMR announces top Telecom trends for 2014 in India [CyberMedia Research India press release, Dec 31, 2013]
CMR today released its MarketVision 2014 for Telecommunications in India. Below are the key trends identified for 2014 for some priority segments.
2013 witnessed the first time decline in growth of feature phones in India and this trend is going to further sharpen in 2014 as the primary focus of the industry as well as consumers would remain around the smartphones.
CMR identifies the following trends for 2014 in Smartphones
- LTE enabled smartphone releases to be among priority areas of the vendors.
- Chinese ODM’s have started taken a direct OEM route towards India Smartphone market. CMR expect around 10 Chinese ODMs entering into India Mobile market in 2014.
- ‘Made in India’ smartphones amount to 47% of the total sales. With such tremendous growth and success witnessed by these brands in the local market, 2014 will be the time to look at newer geographies including MENA, Latin America and the SAARC [South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation] region for the home grown vendors. CMR expects 3-4 such brands looking for new geographic markets.
- With the increasing confidence and reliance of Indian consumers on the online retailing, particularly after the emergence of successful platforms like flipkart, CMR expects the role of ‘etailing’ becoming important for emerging brands who for various reasons cannot establish their physical distribution network across the country, particularly the non-metro cities and towns.
- While the ecosystem partners like ODMs and app developers will be exploring Windows as a platform for mobility, CMR identifies Tizen, Firefox, Ubuntu and Sailfish among the new open source OSs emerging in 2014 in the India market.
- CMR expects vernacular apps to start getting focus in 2014 from the developer community in the country. Since national elections are going to be among the predominant themes for 2014, we expect a lot of apps being developed around this space which could be owned by a political party or being promoted by a neutral app developer.
62.9 million mobile handsets shipped in India during July-Sept 2013, a Y-o-Y growth of 10.9%; September registers, 19.5 million handset shipments; Nokia retains overall leadership [CyberMedia Research India press release, Nov 19, 2013]
- Smartphone shipments cross 11.1 million units; Samsung still the market leader in smartphones category with Micromax and Karbonn at #2 and #3, respectively. Top 3 vendors make up nearly 63.1% of the total smartphone shipments.
- Featurephone segment witnesses the first ever negative growth in shipments in the India Mobile handsets market.
According to CMR’s India Mobile Handsets Market Review, 3Q 2013, November 2013 release,India registered 62.9 million mobile handset shipments for the period July-September (3Q) 2013. During the same period, 11.1 million smartphones were shipped in the country.
Commenting on the results, Faisal Kawoosa, Lead Analyst, CMR Telecoms Practice said, “We have been saying that the way forward is smartphones. JAS 2013 is the first quarter to actually report this trend in numbers. This means vendors can expect to see large opportunities in the upgrades market where many featurephone users will upgrade to a smartphone. It may also so happen that new smartphone purchases register lower volumes vis-à-vis upgrades. But this phenomenon may be a few quarters away.”
“So there is going to be a huge opportunity as well as competition in the entry- to mid-level smartphone segments, which is where the volumes would remain for a while,” Faisal further added.
India Smartphones Market
The India smartphones market during July-September 2013 saw a rise in shipments by 152.3% over and above the July-September 2012 number, taking the contribution of smartphones to 17.6% of total mobile handset shipments during the period July-September 2013.
Commenting on these results, Tarun Pathak, Analyst, CMR Telecoms Practice said, “The India smartphones market continues to be a competitive space with close to brands vying with each other. Going forward, we expect this segment to be even more competitive as we expect some of the China-based ODM partners entering directly into the India market during 1H 2014. It will be interesting to see what impact this will have on the market share of existing smartphone players.”
“Another interesting observation is that local handset brands have now close to 47% market share in the India smartphones market and this momentum has been a source of confidence to a couple of players to enter new geographies outside India where the smartphone market is on the rise. Going forward 3G smartphone shipments will continue to rise and we can expect to see a few smartphone vendors introduce 4G-enabled devices by the end of 2013,” Tarun concluded.
Notes for Editors
This release is a part of the CyberMedia Research (CMR) Smart Mobility Market Programme.
CyberMedia Research (CMR) uses the term “shipments” to describe the number of handsets leaving the factory premises for OEM sales or stocking by distributors and retailers. For the convenience of media, the term shipments has been replaced by ‘sales’ in the press release, but this reflects the market size in terms of units of mobile handsets and not their absolute value. In the case of handsets imported into the country it represents the number leaving the first warehouse to OEMs, distributors and retailers. CyberMedia Research does not track the number of handsets brought on their person by individual passengers landing on Indian soil from overseas destinations or ‘grey market’ handsets. These are, therefore, not part of the CyberMedia Research numbers reported here.
CyberMedia Research (CMR) tracks shipments of mobile handsets on a monthly basis. However, as per convention, the market size is reported on a calendar quarter basis where appropriate to the context; in all such cases this refers to an aggregated number for the three calendar months in the quarter to which the press release refers.
About CyberMedia Research
A part of CyberMedia, South Asia’s largest specialty publisher, CyberMedia Research (CMR) has been a front runner in market research, consulting and advisory services since 1986. CMR offers research and consulting services – insights, market intelligence, market sizing, ecosystem mapping and go-to-market services – covering the Information Technology, ITeS, Semiconductor & Electronics, Telecommunications, Government, SMB & Entrepreneurship, Smart Infrastructure, Energy & Utilities and Healthcare & Life Sciences verticals.
Cyber Media Research Ltd., an ISO 9001: 2008 company, is a member of the Market Research Society of India (www.mrsi.in) and enrolled with ESOMAR (www.esomar.org) CMR’s forthcoming studies include stakeholder satisfaction surveys, mega spender assessments and market mapping studies for these domains.
For more details, please visit http://www.cybermediaresearch.co.in or http://www.cmrindia.com/
The India smartphone market grew by 229% year over year (YoY) in the third quarter of 2013 (3Q13). According to International Data Corporation’s (IDC) APEJ Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, vendors shipped a total of 12.8 million smartphones in 3Q13 compared to 3.8 million units in the same period of 2012. 3Q13 grew by close to 28% over the units shipped in the second quarter of 2013 (2Q13).
The 5.0 inch-6.99 inch screen size smartphones (phablets) continued to show sustained growth in 3Q2013 as well – the phablet category contributed to 23% in the overall market in terms of volume.
The overall mobile phone market (Feature Phones and Smartphones) had a 12% growth YoY and a 7% growth quarter over quarter (QoQ) with the share of feature phones sliding further to make 81% of the total market in 3Q13 despite the feature phone market growing at 3% in 3Q2013 over 2Q2013.
Source: IDC Asia Pacific Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, 3Q 2013
The third quarter of 2013 witnessed a slowdown in the numbers for top local vendors such as Micromax and Karbonn – while international vendors like Samsung and Nokia powered by their new product launches made up for close to 30% of the overall market in 3Q2013.
“The growth in the smartphone market continues to drive the overall growth numbers for the phone market – given that there’s still a huge potential for smartphone penetration in India, this trend is expected to continue in the coming quarters”, said Manasi Yadav, Senior Market Analyst with IDC India.
“The change agents for this rapid shift of consumer preference towards Smartphones have been the narrowing price gap between Feature phones and Smartphones. The Smartphone market is expected to maintain these elevated levels of growth in the near future” comments Kiran Kumar, Research Manager with IDC India.
Top Five Smartphone Vendor Highlights
Samsung: Samsung maintained its leadership spot with about 33% in terms of market share. Its smartphone shipments grew by close to 36% from 2Q 2013 to 3Q2013. The third quarter saw quite a few new launches across price points by Samsung – however the low-mid tier phones such as Galaxy S
Duos and Galaxy Star continued to drive their volumes.
Micromax: Micromax held on to its second spot with about 17% in terms of market share in 3Q2013. Some of the top selling models were A27 and A26 in terms of volumes – we have seen a dedicated marketing and advertising push from the brand with continued investments to up the brand recall.
These efforts are expected to bear fruit in the coming quarters in time for their upcoming launches.
Karbonn: The market share for Karbonn in 3Q2013 was close to 11%, some of the top selling models for this brand were A6 and A50. There has been a significant pick-up for the Titanium range of phones especially S5 and S2 specifically.
Nokia: The Lumia range of devices continued to show a growth trajectory in 3Q2013 and garnered close to 5% market share – the trend is expected to continue with greater support from Microsoft in the coming quarters. The third quarter of 2013 saw a few notable launches like the Lumia 625 and Lumia 925 which have been able to generate positive interest from consumers and developers alike.
Lava : Lava made it to the top 5 for the first time in 3Q2013 owing to huge shipments coming in from its XOLO and IRIS range of competitively priced devices. Some of the top selling models for the brand are IRIS 349 and IRIS 402. Keeping in mind the shifting consumer preferences, there has been a conscious shift from feature phones to smartphones, which is expected to continue in the upcoming quarters too.
Singapore and London, February 24, 2014 – Emerging markets have become the center of attention when talking about present and future smartphone growth. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, in 2013 the worldwide smartphone market surpassed 1 billion units shipped, up from 752 million in 2012. This boom has been mainly powered by the China market, which has tripled in size over the last three years. China accounted for one out of every three smartphones shipped around the world in 2013, equaling 351 million units.
Recently the surge in growth has started to slow as smartphones already account for over 80% of China’s total phone sales. The next half billion new smartphone customers will increasingly come mainly from poorer emerging markets, notably India and in Africa.
“The China boom is now slowing,” said Melissa Chau, Senior Research Manager for mobile devices at IDC Asia/Pacific. “China is becoming like more mature markets in North America and Western Europe, where smartphone sales growth is slackening off.”
Emerging markets in Asia/Pacific outside of China, together with the Middle East and Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, and Latin America, account for four fifths of the global feature phone market, according to IDC data. “This is a very big market opportunity,” said Simon Baker, Program Manager for mobile phones at IDC CEMA. “Some 660 million feature phones were shipped last year, which could add two thirds to the size of the current global smartphone market.”
India will be key to future smartphone growth as it represents more than a quarter of the global feature phone market. “Growth in the India market doesn’t rely on high-end devices like the iPhone, but in low-cost Android phones. Nearly half of the smartphones shipped in India in 2013 cost less than US$120,” said Kiranjeet Kaur, Senior Market Analyst for mobile phones at IDC Asia/Pacific.
“Converting feature phone sales to smartphone sales implies a relentless push towards low cost,” added Baker. IDC research shows nearly half the mobile handsets sold across the world have retail prices of less than US$100 without sales tax. Two thirds of those have prices of less than US$50.
“The opportunity gets larger the lower the price falls,” continued Baker. “If you take retail prices without sales tax, in 2013 nearly three quarters of the US$100-125 price tier was already accounted for by smartphones. Within US$75-100 the proportion was down to just over half, and between $50-75 it was not much more than a third.”
Many smartphone vendors have begun gearing up for this next wave of cost pressure. Samsung is increasingly switching production to Vietnam, where manufacturing costs currently undercut mainland China. Even Hon Hai [better known outside as Foxconn], one of the largest contract manufacturers for handsets in China, has announced plans for a plant in Indonesia to furnish a lower production cost base.
In addition to the table below, an interactive graphic showing worldwide sub-$100 feature phone shipments by region is available here. The chart is intended for public use in online news articles and social media. Instructions on how to embed this graphic can be found by viewing this press release on IDC.com.
The China Smartphone Market Hiccups as Growth Streak Ends with First Sequential Decline in 2013 Q4, Says IDC [press release, Fev 13, 2014]
Singapore and Hong Kong, February 13, 2014 – After 9 consecutive quarters of explosive growth, which propelled China into the top smartphone market in the world, the China smartphone market experience its first slowdown in 2013 Q4.
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Asia/Pacific Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, shipped 90.8 million units compared to 94.8 million in 2013 Q3, declining by 4.3% quarter on quarter (see Figure 1). Several factors drove this stumble – for one, China Mobile’s 4G TD-LTE network went live on December 18, translating into supplies of 4G handsets not able to reach the market fully until 2014 Q1. The increasing popularity of phablets and channel inventory also played a role, whereby operators cut phone subsidies on phones with smaller screens, triggering distribution channels looking to clear out those stocks.
“The world has increasingly looked to China as the powerhouse to propel the world’s smartphone growth and this is the first hiccup we’ve seen in an otherwise stellar growth path,” says Melissa Chau, Senior Research Manager with IDC Asia/Pacific’s Client Devices team.
“There will certainly be future drivers to unlock further smartphone growth in China, as Apple demonstrated with its China Mobile tie-up in January, and the massive device migration to come of phones only supporting 2G and 3G networks to devices supporting 4G networks. However, we are now starting to see a market that is becoming less about capturing the low-hanging fruit of first time smartphone users and moving into the more laborious process of convincing existing users why they should upgrade to this year’s model”
Looking ahead at the prospects for the Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) region, with mature Asia/Pacific markets like already having hit market saturation and China growth facing more moderate increases, two trends will become more prominent.
First, growth will increasingly shift to ever-more emerging markets. While India volumes significantly lag China, India has taken the number three ranking of largest smartphone markets in the world in 2013, surpassing Japan, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Germany and France, which were all ranked higher in 2012.
Second, Chinese phone players which have previously been content to make their mark on the China market itself, are looking to expand their ambitions overseas. While this trend has started already through 2013, IDC expects it to become more common in 2014.
“Chinese players are getting hungrier to turn themselves into international rather than China-only brands. Nowhere is this more clear than Lenovo’s acquisition of Motorola’s handset business, and even smaller players, some unknown to much of the world, like Oppo, BBK, Gionee and of course Xiaomi are ramping up on international expansion.”
Asia/Pacific (Excluding Japan) Smartphone Shipments by Sub-Region, 2011Q1-2013Q4
- Mature markets include Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan
- SEA markets include Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam
Source: Asia/Pacific Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, February 2014
4. New low-cost Windows Phone partnering strategy by Microsoft especially aimed at the Indian market
Mobile World Congress, Microsoft and Nokia [The Official Microsoft Blog, Feb 24, 2014]
The following post is from Frank X. Shaw, Corporate Vice President of Communications at Microsoft.
Mobile World Congress is in full swing in Barcelona this week, one of the biggest events of the year for the mobile industry. I love Barcelona, and am sad to miss MWC this year. There is something about the combination of the history and tradition of Barcelona past and the energy and innovation of Barcelona present, with all the attendees of MWC a punctuation mark. And there is always something new, companies with something to say.
Microsoft is no exception. On Sunday afternoon, we hosted a press conference where we reinforced the momentum we’re seeing for Windows Phone – the fastest growing mobile OS with 91 percent year-over-year growth. We announced we’re working with nine new Windows Phone hardware partners , including Foxconn, Gionee, Lava (Xolo), Lenovo, LG, Longcheer, JSR, Karbonn and ZTE as well as a collaboration with Qualcomm to help more manufacturers build Windows Phones faster. You can read Joe Belfiore’s blog post [see also below] from yesterday for more details.
Nokia held its press conference earlier Monday. They announced a number of new devices from their Mobile Phone division including Nokia X, which will compete with Android devices in the affordable smartphone category and introduce the Microsoft cloud to a new set of customers in growth markets.
There’s been lots of speculation about what this announcement means for Microsoft and about our pending acquisition of Nokia’s Devices and Services business. Here are a couple of points to put things into context.
First, our transaction with Nokia has not yet closed. Today, we operate as two independent companies as required by antitrust law, and we will until the acquisition is complete. The anticipated close timeframe for the acquisition remains end of the first quarter of 2014.
Second, we’re pleased to see Microsoft services like Skype, OneDrive and Outlook.com being introduced on these devices. This provides the opportunity to bring millions of people, particularly in growth markets, into the Microsoft family. The Skype team on Monday announced an offer in select markets for the first customers who purchase a Nokia X, one month of Skype’s Unlimited World Subscription. Read the Skype blog for more details.
Finally, our primary smartphone strategy remains Windows Phone, and our core device platform for developers is the Windows platform.
It is a fascinating time in the industry today. The rate of improvements in devices, the breadth of services offered, the way consumers and businesses are using devices of all shapes and sizes to do more – it is a reminder to all of us that what is considered status quo in Barcelona this year has the potential to look very different in the rear view mirror a year from now.
We’d have it no other way. 🙂
Microsoft adds nine new Windows Phone hardware partners [press release, Feb 23, 2014]
New hardware partners and tools will accelerate global scale.
Microsoft Corp. on Sunday announced nine new hardware partners for Windows Phone and direct access to tools that will broaden the portfolio of devices for consumers and introduce new price points to accelerate growth in key markets. In addition to existing partners — Nokia, Samsung, HTC and Huawei — Microsoft has announced it is now working with Foxconn, Gionee, Lava (Xolo), Lenovo, LG, Longcheer, JSR, Karbonn and ZTE to develop on the Windows Phone platform.
With this latest news, Microsoft is now working with seven of the top 10 smartphone manufacturers in the world in addition to leading brands in China, India and Taiwan, representing more than 56 percent of the addressable market globally (IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, 2013). Customers can expect to see an even broader array of devices, from iconic to lower-cost options, coming to market.
“We are pleased to add these new partners to our expanding Windows Phone ecosystem. They will be key contributors to continued growth across price points and geographies for Windows Phone,” said Nick Parker, corporate vice president of the OEM Division at Microsoft.
Windows Phone is the fastest-growing smartphone operating system, according to IDC, and posted the largest increase for 2013 (90.9 percent), more than doubling the growth of the overall market during the year.
Microsoft also unveiled expanded hardware support that provides more flexibility so Windows Phone partners can build devices to meet the unique needs of their region or customer segments. Microsoft is adding support for Qualcomm Snapdragon™ 200 and 400 processors by Qualcomm Technologies Inc. with options that support various major cellular technologies, including LTE (TDD/FDD), HSPA+, EVDO and TD-SCMA. Windows Phone will also support soft keys and dual SIM, critical requirements particularly in Asian markets. These changes allow for manufacturing partners to easily leverage existing design investments to diversify their portfolio to include Windows Phone devices, including larger screen phablets.
On Sunday, Microsoft launched the Windows Hardware Partner Portal, which is designed to speed up device commercialization while minimizing development costs. Speed and economies are especially important for manufacturers needing to compete and win in the dynamic high-volume smartphone segment. The Windows Hardware Partner Portal is now open to all smartphone device manufacturers to learn about and begin the process to develop on the Windows Phone platform. Windows Phone device manufacturers will also be able to leverage the great services Microsoft has to offer in that market, which could include Office Mobile, Skype, Xbox and Bing; a growing app catalog; and features like Live Tiles and People Hub, which make Windows Phone so uniquely personal.
To further help enable smartphone device manufacturers to quickly and easily broaden their portfolio to include Windows Phone devices, Microsoft and Qualcomm Technologies are collaborating to give OEMs and ODMs that are working with the various Qualcomm Reference Designs for Snapdragon 200 and 400 processors direct access to Microsoft tools, content and adaptation kits to build devices on the Windows Phone platform. With Microsoft and Qualcomm Technologies, through its Qualcomm Reference Design program, delivering the building blocks to help design and build Windows Phones, Microsoft hardware partners will be able to focus on differentiating their offering based on apps and services. Device manufacturers will now be able to choose from hundreds of ways to customize their Windows Phone devices while keeping the consistently high-quality experience that the Windows Phone platform provides.
“We are making it easier, faster and more affordable for partners to develop a Windows Phone,” Parker said.
The well-established Qualcomm Reference Design program offers Qualcomm Technologies’ leading technical innovation, differentiated hardware and software, easy customization options that save engineering costs, access to an ecosystem of hardware providers, and testing and acceptance readiness for regional and leading operator requirements.
The expanded Windows Phone ecosystem will also provide mobile operators and retail partners with additional opportunities to offer white-label Windows Phone devices under their own brands. Mobile operators will also have more options to build custom apps and services for their Windows Phone devices that increase customer satisfaction, retention rates and revenue streams.
Scaling Windows Phone, evolving Windows 8 [Windows Phone Blog, Feb 23, 2014]
The following post is from Joe Belfiore, Corporate Vice President of corporate vice president of Windows Phone and Windows Program Management & Design at Microsoft.
A lot of you folks know me as “the Windows Phone guy.” Over the past five years I’ve been co-managing the Windows Phone product team on a mission to make Windows Phone a delightful and successful platform. Recently my job changed to focus not just on Windows Phone but also on the user experience of Windows 8 and future versions of Windows. Today Nick Parker and I had a chance to talk to media and analysts from around the world attending Mobile World Congress in Barcelona—we shared some updates about Windows and Windows Phone, and we announced a new phase in our plan to continue growing and scaling Windows Phone globally.
Let’s start with Windows Phone.
We’ve experienced steady growth in recent years due to our “highly personal” approach to the smartphone experience and the amazing devices we’ve seen from our hardware partners HTC, Huawei, Nokia and Samsung. Together we’ve solidified our spot among the top three operating systems and celebrated some impressive milestones:
- Recognized as the fastest growing OS with 91% year-over-year growth in 2013 (IDC, February 2014)
- More than 10% share across Europe—which is more than double compared with last year. (Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, January 2014)
- Most important to me, we’ve seen high customer satisfaction data—a fact that even our competitors have acknowledged!
- Reached critical mass in the Windows Phone Store (now over 240,000 apps) and are still growing – fast – with an average of 500 apps added each day. We’ve had key additions such as Instagram, Vine, Waze and Mint—and today, we announced Facebook Messenger will be available in the coming weeks.
This past year was especially busy as we delivered three updates to the Windows Phone platform—we continued building the platform out for scale (via new chipsets, new carrier/country support, and more screen sizes) and we enabled some great scenarios for customers (e.g. the Nokia Lumia 41 MP camera and advanced camera features).
New Windows Phone Hardware Partners
Broadly speaking, our partners overall are the engine of growth for Windows. In addition to our great partners HTC, Huawei, Nokia and Samsung, today in Barcelona we announced we’re now working with nine new Windows Phone partners, including: Foxconn, Gionee, JSR, Karbonn, Lava (Xolo), Lenovo, LG, Longcheer and ZTE. Collectively, Windows Phone partners make up an impressive 56 percent of the global smartphone market, according to IDC.
This is exciting news for phone buyers around the world. With seven of the top 10 global OEMs—in addition to some of the leading brands in China, India and Taiwan— now collaborating with Windows Phone, you can expect to see an incredible new range of devices across screen sizes and price points. And of course we’re committed to delivering this device diversity without compromising the consistent, designed-around-you Windows Phone experience our users have grown to love.
Some of these partners are names that might not be familiar to you, but they’re leading the global expansion in the smartphone category. They bring competitive products to market because of their knowledge of the local markets, channels and consumers. They are important partners that will help broaden availability of Windows Phones to new and emerging markets.
New Windows Phone Hardware Support
Getting a wider range of device builders to create Windows Phones required us to enable even more hardware flexibility and to make the engineering process of building a Windows Phone even easier. Thus we also announced:
- We are adding support for Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 and 400 series chipsets, with options that support all major cellular technologies, including LTE (TDD/FDD), HSPA+, EVDO and TD-SCMA. We will also support soft keys and dual SIM where our partners want it for their devices. One nice benefit of these additions is that many hardware vendors will be able to use the same hardware for both Android and Windows Phone devices.
- To streamline the process of building a Windows Phone device, today we launched the Windows Hardware Partner Portal so that all our hardware partners will have direct access to the tools and content needed to build and market their Windows Phone devices efficiently and cost-effectively.
We also are working closely with Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. to help manufacturers anywhere in the world quickly and easily broaden their portfolio by building Windows Phone devices through the well-established Qualcomm Reference Design (QRD) program. Making it easier for manufacturers to take advantage of reference design options is an important step for Windows Phone. ABI Research notes a major smartphone industry shift towards reference designs since they speed time to market, and estimates that more than 400 million reference design smartphones will be shipped in 2014.
Evolving Windows 8
As part of my “new job,” I talked as well about Windows on tablets and PCs, and what to expect from us in the near future.
We are committed to making Windows the best place for our partners to build great devices. Today that means different screen sizes, input methods, connectivity needs, and usage scenarios. Above all, we want that experience to feel natural for our customers. We want it to be familiar and tailored to the device. We want your stuff to be there no matter where you are, ready for whatever you need, and we want it to run beautifully on hardware made by partners around the world.
With Windows 8, there’s no doubt that we made a big bet and took a first step toward that future. We bet on touch and on mobility in a big way, and included a fresh take on what a touch-based interface could be for customers. We believe deeply in this direction and the future will continue to build on Windows 8.
We shipped Windows 8.1 in under a year in response to customer and partner feedback, and we’ll continue to refine and improve Windows to deliver a productive and delightful experience for all users on all devices. And, you’ll see us continue on a more rapid release cadence where we deliver ongoing value to all your Windows devices.
Over the next few months, we’ll continue to deliver innovation and progression with an update to Windows 8.1, coming this spring. We’re especially excited about several things I want to preview with you here.
- We’ll enable our partners to build lower cost hardware for a great Windows experience at highly competitive price points.
- We are making improvements to the user interface that will naturally bridge touch and desktop, especially for our mouse and keyboard users. We have a number of targeted UI improvements that keep our highly satisfying touch experience intact, but that make the UI more familiar and more convenient for users with mouse/keyboard. Don’t worry, we still LOVE and BELIEVE IN touch… but you’ll like how much more smooth and convenient these changes make mouse and keyboard use!
- We are enhancing support for enterprise customers via a few tweaks, particularly including features that greatly improve IE8 compatibility in Internet Explorer 11, which is especially critical for web-based line of business applications. Additionally, we’re extending mobile device management capabilities and making deployment easier.
More news still to come
Speaking of our enterprise customers, we are also hard at work on delivering a compelling new update for Windows Phone that will add key features for consumers, as well as a big investment in enterprise customer capabilities, including VPN, S/MIME support, enterprise Wi-Fi, extended mobile device management and certificate management. Along with a host of great developer and consumer value, we expect to deliver this to customers this spring with new phones following as we move into summer.
2013 was an exciting and busy year chock full of big changes in our industry and at Microsoft. I’m really excited about seeing what the new and hot technologies are as Mobile World Congress opens tomorrow, and even more excited about the work we’ll be able to deliver for customers, partners and developers over the next several months. Stay tuned!
Q.&A. With Joe Belfiore on the Future of Windows Phone [Bits blog of The New York Times, Feb 23, 2014]
Joe Belfiore is the corporate vice president of Microsoft Windows Phone, and he oversees the software that powers handsets using the company’s operating system. Microsoft is expected to close its $7.2 billion deal to buy the handset and services division of Nokia by the end of March. The acquisition will give Microsoft control of both mobile software and hardware, as it looks to expand its 4 percent market share in global smartphone sales. Mr. Belfiore will play a crucial role in Microsoft’s efforts to take on Apple and the cellphone makers that use Google’s Android operating system.
On Sunday, Mr. Belfiore declined to comment on rumors that Nokia would unveil an Android-based phone on Monday at the Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona. But during a news conference earlier in the day, he said, “What they do as an independent company is up to them. There are some things they do that we are excited about. There are other things that we are not so excited about.”
The following is an edited interview with Mr. Belfiore on other questions facing Microsoft and Windows Mobile.
Q. You have talked about 2013 being a year that Windows Phone had to eat its vegetables. What do you mean by that?
A. We faced a massive problem. It would have been very difficult to create a range of devices for every operator at every price that included every app in the world. We decided to focus on building something at a limited set of price points in a small, limited number of countries. That’s what we did this year. We had to get that right. Now that we’ve done that, we want to get Windows Phone at more price levels and in more countries.
Q. It’s difficult to attract users if you can’t offer them the apps that they want. But to get the apps, you need users. How do you solve that problem?
A. There’s no magic solution. We have to grow phone volume where we can. To increase our market share, we have to be available where customers are at low-cost and high-end price points. The stage is now set. Given our hardware partners, and Microsoft and Nokia coming together, we are in a good position to kick-start our market share.
Q. The Microsoft-Nokia acquisition is expected to close this quarter. What excites you about the deal?
A. There are some straightforward benefits. We can build on our existing healthy engineering relationship between software and hardware. And when one company takes products to market, it can tell the story with one voice. That will be a benefit. The biggest problem we face is how to get the word out about what we do. Those marketing activities, the storytelling around our products, are underestimated.
Q. When Microsoft closes the deal with Nokia, it will compete directly with other handset makers that also use the Windows Phone operating system. What is your response to that?
A. We can help build the market for Windows Phones. When there’s a healthy ecosystem, there’s a sales opportunity for all our partners. There are some markets and some countries where Nokia already competes with other manufacturers. But there’s a large opportunity out there. There are niches that are partners will be able to fill.
Q. Many of your recent partnerships and announcements have focused on emerging markets. Is that a major priority?
A. It’s not our only focus, but it’s a very big one. The purpose of low-cost phones in emerging markets is to drive volume. But doing high-end products like the Lumia 1520 and Lumia 1020 also gives an aspirational view of the way the product line will go.
Q. In a year’s time, where would you like the Windows Phone experience to be?
A. A year from now, I would like to have widespread consumer knowledge of the type of value proposition that is available with Windows Phone. People who use the phones have a favorable experience with them. But we need to get the word out there.
Q. Smartphones that use either Android or Apple’s iOS have almost 95 of the global market share. What is your response to analysts who say that Microsoft should give up on Windows Phone?
A. We benefit from investing in mobile innovation. And we think we have a lot to offer our partners and customers. The mobile market will continue to grow, the opportunities will continue to grow. We are not going anywhere.
Q. Microsoft has just appointed a new chief executive. How does Windows Phone fit into his vision?
A. The way we’ve built our team and how we have approached innovation is massively focused on mobile first, cloud first. That’s very much aligned with the vision that he has outlined.
Nokia’s “best of everything” X range smartphones to conquer the smartphone market between the Asha and Lumia devices
– NOKIA X DUAL SIM, Go! With Nokia X [Nokia India product page, March 10, 2014]
… Starting from: Rs 8,599 [$140] …
– Nokia X Price in India – Buy Nokia X Black 4 GB Online [Flipkart.com, March 13, 2014]
Rs. 9990[ $163] 18% OFF Rs. 8175 [$133] Inclusive of taxes (Free home delivery) …
– Nokia X Pre Orders: More Than 1 Million In Just 4 Days, in China [G for Games, March 14, 2014]
– Source from the above Weibo: Nokia X – Jingdong Mall [March 3, 2014]
… RMB 599 [$97] … (RMB 699 [$114]) …
End of Updates
… OR how the market impetus noted as Nokia should introduce an Android forked smartphone for the $75-120 range in order to enhance its Asha Software Platform strategy [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Jan 17, 2014] has been met now
… OR how and why Nokia segmented the mobile market better than everybody else (note also that: “our new Nokia X, Nokia X+ and Nokia XL smartphones primarily for growth economies” and those products will not even be available in North America)
To understand that see: Playback: Nokia’s MWC 2014 keynote in four minutes [The Verge YouTube channel, Feb 24, 2014]
… OR how that is a very powerful answer from Nokia to the current mobile phones situation:
… OR what are the incredible new developer advantages from Nokia to support that strategy:
- multiple platforms from Asha, Nokia X and Lumia, which means list prices starting at EUR 45 [$62]*;
- access to one of the largest mobile operator billing network in the world (in more than 60 markets and with more than 160 operators), which is a powerful revenue driver (up to five times that of credit-card billing offered within other platforms);
- ~75% of Android apps portable without code changes, while for the rest porting is supported in a way that it takes usually less than 8 hours
… OR how the following points from View from Redmond via Tim O’Brien, GM, Platform Strategy at Microsoft [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Feb 21, 2014] are now getting a very powerful meaning:
- “Consumers are now calling the shots <—> consumerization of IT”, i.e. enterprise computing is not ruling ICT alone any more, and as a result of BYOD the private, consumer devices are even dictating.
- “Sales are not simple for developers anymore” Instead of the earlier uniform way of selling developers should use the most sophisticated approaches—think of the fremium, or advertisement based models as examples—in order to earn their revenue.
- “The times of single platforms are gone, as developers own several platforms now”
Nokia X and XL hands-on with Nokia’s Jussi Makinen [SlashGear YouTube channel, Feb 24, 2014]
My transcript (done because conveying unique information not available elsewhere):
0:05 My name is Jussi Mäkinen and I’m working at the Nokia X range product marketing and I’m going to give you a demo of the new Nokia X range family.
0:15 We have today introduced three new products. We have the Nokia X which is a device combining great Nokia design, Android applications with the power of Microsoft services like Skype. We have also introduced the Nokia X+ which is exactly same as Nokia X but with more memory, with 768 MB of internal memory, and then 4 GB of user memory for storing applications.
0:41 Also we introduced the Nokia XL, a 5 inch screen Nokia XL that has great Nokia design, changeable covers, really stirdy kind of designer things, a lot of cool kind of things like beatings and holds ups for a long-long time. It also is a same thing, so Android applications that you can download from Nokia Store and many global and local app stores, and you have of course the Microsoft services like Skype, for example.
1:11 The user interface is inspired by—I would say—three things. So we have taken the best out from the Windows Phone world. So the home screen with these tiles. For example I have a live imaging tile here that updates from time to time, and you have the great design that’s really kind of shows you great way that we can feed people into the Lumia ecosystem.
1:33 We have taken from the Nokia Asha, we have taken the Fastlane [see in: New Asha platform and ecosystem to deliver a breakthrough category of affordable smartphone from Nokia [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, May 9, 2013] So this is inspired by not only Nokia Asha but also the Nokia N9, MeeGo. So we have the kind of Fastlane of all your favorite applications, so you can find your favorite applications faster. So it isn’t taking your time and gives you more freedom.
1:51 Also from the Android you can see this way to access most-used settings from here like WiFi, Bluetooth and sound, and so on.
2:00 So it’s really kind of —I would say—the best of everything.
2:04 We have the power of Microsoft services, and here—for example—we have the swipe keyboard. So you can write very easily just by swiping. So we have taken that into account as well. The Microsoft services are of course first and foremost in this product. We have Skype, we have Outlook on that phone, then you can download more from different app stores, so this is really important for us.
2:27 And again, one more user interface thing, just a small thing we have taken again from Asha, is the contextual menu that you can access inside applications.
2:37 So I would say that it’s really kind of best of all worlds: taking that great Nokia design that built to last, and Android applications with power of Microsoft services.
2:47 I’ve been working on this product now for one a half year on the product development side, and it’s a kind of really there has been a kind of opening for this product. Not only in a way [of being] in the right price point between Lumia and Asha, but also in the consumer mindset. When we have done consumer research everybody has been saying, or I’ve been asking people all around the world like: “What is the feature that you want to have in your Asha?” And people have been saying that “We want Android”. And this is exactly what we were doing here. Giving people what they want.
3:19 And I think we’ve positioned that with Nokia and with Microsoft uniquely in order to do this, unlike any other company out there.
From Nokia connects the next billion with affordable smartphones [press release, Feb 24, 2014]
Stephen Elop, executive vice president of Nokia’s Devices & Services, commented on the launches:
“Nokia has connected billions of people around the world, and today we demonstrated how our portfolio is designed to connect the next billion people to great experiences.”
“Our deliberate approach is to offer four tiers of products including our affordable entry-level devices like the new Nokia 220; our entry-level Asha touch phones like the new Nokia Asha 230; our new Nokia X, Nokia X+ and Nokia XL smartphones primarily for growth economies; and our Lumia portfolio, which is where we introduce the greatest innovation and provide full compatibility with the Microsoft experience,” he added.
Nokia X family delivers the best of all worlds
The Nokia X family features Nokia’s renowned handset quality and design, with a fresh, tile-based user interface inspired by our Lumia family. All devices come with Fastlane, a screen which lets people switch between their favorite apps more smoothly. People can access curated, quality-tested apps from Nokia Store, more than a dozen third-party app stores and by sideloading. Out of the box, they can enjoy signature Nokia experiences including free* HERE Maps, with true offline maps and integrated turn-by-turn navigation, and Nokia MixRadio for free* music streaming and downloadable playlists. All devices are also pre-loaded with a variety of third-party apps and games.
The Nokia X family is also an affordable introduction to popular Microsoft services, including free* cloud storage using OneDrive. With the purchase of any Nokia X family smartphone in select markets, people will get one month of Skype’s Unlimited World Subscription for a limited time, ideal to make international calls to landlines in more than 60 countries and to mobile phones in 8 countries.
The first device, the Nokia X, comes with a 4″ IPS capacitive display and 3MP camera. The Nokia X+ is optimised for multimedia enthusiasts, who can enjoy even more games, music, photos and video thanks to more memory and storage. Both the Nokia X and Nokia X+ will be available in bright green, bright red, cyan, yellow, black and white**. The third family member, the Nokia XL, boasts a 5″ display with 2MP front-facing camera – ideal for Skype video calls – and a 5MP rear-facing, autofocus camera with flash. The Nokia XL will be available in bright green, orange, cyan, yellow, black and white. The entire Nokia X family is powered by the Qualcomm® Snapdragon(TM) dual core processor and supports Dual SIM, letting people switch SIM cards to get better tariffs.
The Nokia X will go on sale immediately, starting at EUR 89 [$122]* and rolling-out in Asia-Pacific, Europe, India, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa [i.e. NOT in North-America]. The Nokia X+ and Nokia XL are expected to roll out in these markets starting early second quarter, priced at EUR 99 [$136] and EUR 109 [$150], respectively.
* All prices are suggested retail before local taxes and subsidies. Actual in-market prices may vary.
- The entire process – from downloading SDKs and porting, to integrating Nokia HERE in place of Google Maps – has been seamless. Satyajeet Singh, VP Products, Zomato
- The API analyzer made it very simple to identify the areas of change, making app portability even simpler. Vinodkumar Putta, Team Lead, Zomato
- Nokia X services API documentation is fabulous and helped me port my app in a few hours. Pedro Monteiro Kayatt, Lead Developer, Naked Monkey
- Porting our apps to Nokia X was a very pleasant experience due to in-app billing and push notification APIs being compatible with Google’s architecture. Marko Štamcar, Senior Android Developer, Outfit7
- From a development perspective it’s not going to cost you anything and it just take you a few hours to do. Samuel Forrest, VP of Business Development, PICSART
Nokia X is ready for your Android Apps! [Nokia Developer Blog News, Feb 24, 2014]
We’re happy to announce that Nokia X is now ready for your apps!
Nokia X is a new developer platform made to run Android apps, including yours. It’s an easy, risk-free way to turn your Android app on to a whole new user base without adding to your code base.
We’re excited to be able to deliver your Android applications on Nokia X smartphones. If you’re as ready as we are, head over to Nokia Publish now to get started—it should only take a few minutes to test and submit your app. (Note that if your app uses Google Cloud Messaging, Google Maps, or Google In-App Billing, you will need to migrate to our APIs[ link] for those services.)
If you want to learn more before jumping in, check out five simple reasons why you should publish your Android app to Nokia Store now.
Five reasons to publish your Android App to Nokia Store [Nokia Developer Blog News, Feb 24, 2014]
- Nokia X opens new markets to your existing apps
Nokia’s sales leadership and brand strength in the fastest growing smartphoneand mobile app markets provide the launchpad for your apps’ success. With Nokia X, you can reach an untapped pool of savvy – and app-hungry — new smartphone users around the world.
Learn more …
- Nokia X’s monetization tools create additional revenue streams for your apps
Monetization tools like Nokia In-App Payment, combined with Nokia’s extensive operator billing network, provide your existing apps with new monetization mechanisms in emerging markets. Consumers in many high growth markets do not have international credit cards, making revenue collection a challenge. Nokia X leverages Nokia’s wide operator billing coverage, which extends to over 3 billion mobile subscribers, with over 160 operators in more than 60 markets. Operator billing has been shown to deliver up to a 5x increase in revenues and a 10x increase in purchases over credit-card billing in the Nokia X targeted markets, meaning more revenues opportunities for your apps.
Learn more …
- Android app compatibility
Nokia has tested over 100.000 Android apps and approximately 75% are directly compatible and ready to be published to Nokia Store. If your app uses Google services for maps, push notifications or in-app payments, you will need to replace these APIs with Nokia specific APIs that have been built to work almost identically to those they replace. Nokia services have been designed to minimize porting effort from apps using corresponding Google services and allow developers develop and distribute a single app package targeting both ecosystems.
Learn more …
- Develop apps for Nokia X using your existing Android SDK, toolkit and skillset
If you already develop Android apps, you can continue to use your existing tool chain. Nokia provides a plugin package to the Android SDK, including the services APIs and the Nokia X emulator.You’ve already got the other tools and skills you need.
Learn more …
- Nokia Developer programs provide the marketing and technical support you need
Through programs like DVLUP, Nokia Developer Offers and local outreach, Nokia offers you opportunities to promote your apps to new users and potential customers, while our online training, events and support tools make sure you’re putting your best app forward.
Learn more …
Nokia X Platform overview [Nokia Developer, Feb 24, 2014]
Nokia X is a customized platform built on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), the software stack upon which some of the most popular smartphones in the world are based. Nokia X lets you leverage your existing Android apps, while taking advantage of Nokia’s optimizations to help you grab more downloads and generate more revenues in targeted markets.
Will your Android app work on Nokia X?
Nokia Store testing has shown that approximately 75% of Android apps will run properly without any modifications; they’re ready to be published in Nokia Store.
Develop and distribute a single APK targeting multiple stores.
If your app uses Google services for push notifications, maps or in-app payments, you’ll need to make a few changes, but it won’t take long (usually less than 8 hours). Nokia services have been designed to minimize porting effort from apps using corresponding Google services and allow developers develop and distribute a single APK targeting multiple stores.
Nokia X platform details
The core Nokia X platform is built on AOSP v4.1.2 [Jelly Bean], which supports API level 16. On top of this, Nokia has added several enhancements to improve both the user experience and the developer experience:
Nokia service APIs
Distribution and billing
Nokia X app development uses a plugin to the Android SDK, so it will be familiar to developers who have used the Android SDK before. The Nokia X services SDK includes support for emulating Nokia X devices for testing and debugging.
The above video has been expanded in XTRAORDINARILY XCELLENT: THE NOKIA X FAMILY [Nokia Conversations, Feb 24, 2014] by the following information:
Today Nokia introduces a brand new family of smartphones, the Nokia X family, a range of handsets that combines Nokia design, build quality and services with the ability to run Android apps.
The first three phones in the family – the Nokia X, X+ and XL – are priced between the existing Asha and Lumia lines, at €89 [$122], €99 [$136] and €109 [$150] respectively, to appeal to new smartphone users looking for popular apps and their first cloud services.
The X family boasts Nokia’s exciting, high quality hardware design and a range of bright colours. The brand new, tile-based Home screen offers you a simple, elegant way to manage your apps and phone functions and also reintroduces a redesigned version of the enormously popular Fastlane notifications centre – a second Home screen if you like – from the latest Asha devices.
My insert here: The new Nokia X family – Your Fastlane to Android™ apps [Nokia YouTube channel, Feb 24, 2014]
Xciting services bring a smile
The Nokia X family offers terrific value with acclaimed Nokia and Microsoft services and experiences. HERE Maps with turn-by-turn navigation and offline maps are included. Nokia MixRadio offers hundreds of free streaming and offline playlists. Free cloud storage from Microsoft OneDrive with 7GB of space for free is included out of the box. There’s also access to Outlook.com as your email service. And there’s Skype with a month’s free calls to international landlines in selected markets.
All three of the devices are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon Dual Core processor and are Dual SIM. A range of third-party apps comes preinstalled, including BBM, Plants vs. Zombies 2, Viber, Vine and Twitter. As many more as you can fit can be obtained from the Nokia Store, third-party app stores and sideloaded.
Xtreme family resemblance
The table below covers the differences between the devices, but these are the highlights:
- The Nokia X is the entry level member of the family, with 4-inch IPS LCD screen, 512MB RAM and a 3-megapixel camera. It will be available in green, black, white, yellow, cyan and red.
- The Nokia X+ offers you a little more, as the name suggests: there’s 768MB RAM and a 4GB MicroSD card is included in the box. It comes in the same colours as the Nokia X.
- Lastly, the clue is in the name for the Nokia XL, as well, with its 5-inch screen. The Nokia XL also boasts 768MB RAM, the free MicroSD card and it has both a 2-megapixel front-facing camera for Skype calls, as well as a 5-megapixel rear camera with autofocus and flash. The same colours are available as for the Nokia X and X+, except bright orange replaces the red with this model.
Check the speX
4-inch IPS LCD, 800 x 480px
4-inch IPS LCD, 800 x 480px
5-inch IPS LCD, 800 x 480px
Up to 32GB
Up to 32GB
MicroSD; 4GB card included
Up to 32GB
MicroSD; 4GB card included
3-megapixel fixed focus
3-megapixel fixed focus
5-megapixel with autofocus and flash
8225 Qualcomm Snapdragon
1GHz Dual Core
8225 Qualcomm Snapdragon
1GHz Dual Core
8225 Qualcomm Snapdragon
1GHz Dual Core
ESGM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
WCDMA 900 / 2100
ESGM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
WCDMA 900 / 2100
ESGM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
WCDMA 900 / 2100
115.5 x 63 x 10.4mm
115.5 x 63 x 10.4mm
141.3 x 77.7 x 10.8mm
2G = Up to 28.5 days
3G = Up to 22 days
2G = Up to 28.5 days
3G = Up to 22 days
2G = Up to 41 days
3G = Up to 26 days
2G = Up to 13.3 hours
3G = Up to 10.5 hours
2G = Up to 13.3 hours
3G = Up to 10.5 hours
2G = Up to 16 hours
3G = Up to 13 hours
The Nokia X will be available to buy immediately in Asia Pacific, Europe, India, Latin America, the Middle-East and Africa [i.e. NOT in North-America]. The Nokia X+ and XL are expected to be available from Q2 2014. The prices quoted do not include any local taxes or operator subsidies.
We’ll be bringing more details and interviews with the Xperts on the new Nokia X family over the next few days. But let us know your first impressions below.
Note 1: The 8225 Qualcomm Snapdragon 1GHz Dual Core is based on 45nm Cortex-A5 cores and corresponds to the previous Snapdragon tiering which was upto Qualcomm decided to compete with the existing Cortex-A5/Krait-based offerings till the end of 2012 [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Sept 30, 2012] in which it was described as follows:
From the announcement point of view the [MSM]8225 was launched by Qualcomm Brings Snapdragon S4 Processors to High Volume Smartphones and Expands Qualcomm Reference Design Development Platform and Ecosystem Program [press release, Dec 8, 2011] in which it was declared that:
The MSM8625 and MSM8225 chipsets will be available on Qualcomm’s third generation QRD development platform in the first half of 2012, in addition to being available as standalone chipsets. QRD development platforms based on both the MSM7x27A and MSM7x25A chipsets [the previous entry level from Qualcomm] are currently available. Qualcomm has shipped over 100 million MSM7225 and MSM7227 chipsets [the preceding even to those “A” chipsets entry level from Qualcomm], and smartphones based on these chipsets are operating on multiple carrier networks worldwide.
Note 2: The hardware is therefore quite similar to HTC Desire X [Qualcomm Developer Network, Aug 30, 2012]
HTC Desire X
Qualcomm MSM8225 snapdragon
Super LCD capacitative touchscreen
GPRS, EDGE, 3G, WLAN, USB, Bluetooth 4.0
Up to 750 hours
Talk Time (GSM):
Up to 6 hours
For more information on that see: Nokia N9 UX [?Swipe?] on MeeGo 1.2 Harmattan [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, June 24, 2011 – Aug 10, 2012]
Nokia welcomes Android developers; expands global developer footprint with momentum across Lumia and Asha [press release, Feb 24, 2014]
New Nokia X software platform opens fast-growing segment to Android(TM) developers to monetize and expand the reach of their apps.
Nokia’s market-leading operator billing network powers in-app purchases, gives developers global reach.
Leading apps available for Nokia X devices include BBM, Facebook, LINE, Skype and Twitter.
Nokia Lumia momentum continues with addition of BBM, Adobe Photoshop Express and Facebook Messenger.
Nokia Imaging SDK 1.1, with powerful editing features, now available for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8.1 tablets and PCs.
Barcelona, Spain – Today at Mobile World Congress, Nokia unveiled five new affordable handsets including a new family of smartphones debuting on the Nokia X software platform. Based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), and backed by Nokia’s deep ties with operators, the Nokia X platform gives Android(TM) developers the chance to tap into, and profit from, a rapidly expanding part of the market. The launch builds on Nokia’s leadership in delivering innovation to more price points with its family of Lumia smartphones, and the latest momentum for Windows Phone.
“Today Windows Phone is the fastest growing mobile ecosystem in the world, and we continue to see incredible momentum with our Lumia smartphones,” said Bryan Biniak, Vice President and General Manager, Developer Experience at Nokia. “Now, with the introduction of the Nokia X family of devices, we’re delivering the same design, quality and innovation Nokia is known to lower price points to capture the fastest-growing segment of the smartphone market.”
Monetization, plus porting made easy
With billing agreements in more than 60 markets and with more than 160 operators, Nokia provides developers with access to one of the largest mobile operator billing network in the world, offering the scale and global reach needed to successfully monetize their apps and generate higher revenues.
“The reach of Nokia’s operator billing network provides developers with a powerful revenue driver – up to five times that of credit-card billing offered within other platforms,” said Amit Patel, Vice President, Developer Relations at Nokia. “Combined with Nokia In-App Payment, developers have the freedom to build on the model that works best for them.”
The vast majority of Android apps can be published to the Nokia Store as is. For those that require modifications, the Nokia X analyzer tool significantly reduces porting time by identifying the required changes. To make porting even easier, developers only need to maintain one code base and distribute a single application package file (APK) to target multiple stores.
At launch, leading global apps will be available for the Nokia X family of devices, including Facebook, LINE Free Voice and Messages, LINE Camera, LINE Bubble, Picsart, Plants vs. Zombies 2, Real Football 2014, Skype, Spotify, Swiftkey, Twitter, Viber, Vine and WeChat, among others. And in a first for Nokia customers around the world, BBM, a premier mobile messaging platform, will also be available on the Nokia X family of devices in addition to Windows Phone.
“BBM continues to provide a best-in-class mobile messaging platform with productivity, collaboration and community-building as cornerstones,” said David Proulx, Senior Director, BBM at BlackBerry. “We continue to see great enthusiasm for the BBM experience around the globe and we are thrilled to work with Nokia to preload BBM on devices beginning with Nokia X in select markets. We welcome Nokia X users to the BBM community.”
“LINE’s partnership with a global player such as Nokia is indeed an honor. Delivering LINE on Nokia X represents our commitment of ensuring that people around the world will experience the joy of communication through LINE on Nokia X smartphones,” said Shin Jung-ho, CEO of LINE Plus Corporation. “We are pleased to announce that LINE will continuously offer a variety of features to Nokia X platform to enhance users’ exciting experience in communication, social sharing, imaging, and gaming.”
Lumia momentum continues while developers embrace cross-platform opportunity across Nokia’s product portfolio
Many partners such as Facebook, BBM, Twitter, LINE, Viber, Electronic Arts, Gameloft and Rovio are also making their key apps available across Nokia’s device portfolio of feature phones, Asha, Nokia X and Lumia. Facebook Messenger, a fast, free and reliable way to stay in touch, will also be coming soon across Nokia’s four tiers of products. Global food delivery app, Foodpanda/hellofood, will also launch across the Nokia Asha, Lumia and X family of devices.
Developer innovation on Nokia Lumia continues, which reflects Windows Phone’s status as the fastest-growing mobile ecosystem in the world. Today, Nokia also announced that leading partners, including Adobe Photoshop Express, Facetune and JUSP will soon launch for Windows Phone – joining other must-have apps and games including Instagram, Vine, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Subway Surfers, among others that have recently launched.
Adobe’s Photoshop Express app, already available on Windows 8, is coming to Windows Phone later this year to allow consumers to edit easily across Windows PCs, tablets and smartphones. European mobile payment provider JUSP will launch across Windows PCs, tablets and smartphones in the coming weeks, while Facetune will soon let users create high-end portraits from everyday photos with intuitive and powerful tools previously reserved for the pros.
“In a world of mobile development, speed and time-to-market is of the utmost importance,” said Biniak. “At Nokia, we’re focused on helping developers accelerate the development process across platforms, while also providing access to the latest innovation and tools to help them focus on what they do best – creating the next great app.”
Nokia Imaging SDK 1.1 now for Windows
Built on the technology that powers Nokia’s own imaging apps like Nokia Storyteller and Nokia Camera, Nokia introduces a key update to the latest Nokia Imaging SDK – version 1.1. Nokia’s Imaging SDK 1.1 brings powerful image editing features to Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8.1 tablets and PCs. Developers can now utilize the capabilities of the SDK to deliver a converged Windows app experience across any Windows Phone 8 device, such as the Lumia 1020 and 1520, as well as the Nokia Lumia 2520 tablet.
The Nokia Imaging SDK 1.1 is available today at developer.nokia.com.
Also starting today, the Imagin8 Mission competition further encourages developers registered with DVLUP to create innovative imaging apps. Among many prizes, the developer of the best new or updated app will win a trip to experience zero gravity with the ZERO-G Corporation. More information at developer.nokia.com/imagin8.
Nokia Developer Exchange Marketplace
Nokia now offers premium merchandising slots in 181 countries to its key partners through the Nokia Developer Exchange Marketplace. This new offer represents an expansion of the Campaign feature introduced in October 2013 for DVLUP, Nokia’s rewards program for developers. Inaugural partners participating in the exchange include Electronic Arts, Gameloft, AE Mobile, Miniclip and Outfit7.
“Even in digital, selling is all about ‘location, location, location,'” said Daniel Morel, Chairman and CEO, Wunderman. “With Nokia Developer Exchange Marketplace, developers have access to prime real estate for their apps, they can leverage performance metrics and do so much more. It’s a big step forward.”
“Nokia Developer Exchange Marketplace is an exciting new proposition,” said Sam Browne, Managing Partner of Carat Global, the number one-ranked agency network in the world. “Nokia’s investment illustrates ongoing intent to build, support, and cooperate with the developer community. Partners will have unique access to a range of valuable media properties, with a proven capability to deliver high consumer reach, and the opportunity of app distribution growth. Both large and small partners can view this as a significant new marketing asset.”
The new Air Command S Pen User Experience making the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 phablet, and Galaxy Note 10.1, 2014 Edition tablet next-generation devices
… in addition to the technology advances presented in the Samsung Exynos 5 Octa with Heterogeneous Multi-Processing and GPU Compute is the hidden gem in the Galaxy Note 3 and GALAXY Note 10.1, 2014 Edition, launched at ‘Samsung UNPACKED 2013 Episode 2’ event [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Sept 12, 2013] post and innovations in the Companion Device Computing as envisaged and implemented by Pranav Mistry and his TTT team from Samsung: the case of Galaxy Gear + Galaxy Note 3 [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Sept 12, 2013] post.
(Note: for hardware specification go to Samsung Exynos 5 Octa with Heterogeneous Multi-Processing and GPU Compute is the hidden gem in the Galaxy Note 3 and GALAXY Note 10.1, 2014 Edition, launched at ‘Samsung UNPACKED 2013 Episode 2’ event [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Sept 12, 2013].)
[ Hardware & Design ]
The GALAXY Note 3 comes with a wider (5.7″) Full HD Super AMOLED display, yet slimmer (8.3mm) and lighter (168g) hardware design, and is powered by a 2.3 GHz Quad-Core [Qualcomm Snapdragon] processor [for LTE version, and Samsung Exynos 5 Octa for 3G only version], 3GB of RAM, 32/64 GB or user memory, 3,200 mAh battery and runs on Google’s Android 4.3 Jelly Bean OS. Also, equipped with a 13MP rear camera with Smart Stabilization and high CRI LED flash, you can take crisp photos, even in low light and active situations. Plus, it can record and play in full HD (1080p), and record in UHD (*may differ by market).
The GALAXY Note 3 also features a textured back cover and delicate stitching that delivers a premium look and feel.
[ Everyday Made Easier with S Pen ]
Air Command, a palette of features and commands which you can activate on any screen simply by hovering and clicking the S Pen button, lets you access useful features for everyday tasks such as Action Memo, Scrapbook, and S Finder.
[ Smarter Large Screen Experience ]
With a larger Super AMOLED screen, the GALAXY Note 3 not only provides a stunning and defined viewing experience but also enables multitasking capabilities that allow users to fully utilize the larger screen. The enhanced new Multi Window allows you to easily move content between applications in one quick step with the Drag and Drop mode.
For more information : http://www.samsung.com/galaxynote3
More description from Design the Story of your Life with Samsung GALAXY Note 3 [press release, Sept 4, 2013]
Click S Pen to make life easier, faster and more exciting
The new S Pen reinvents and modernizes the classic note-taking experience by providing the ability to accomplish everyday tasks with just one click. The advanced S Pen is designed to be fully functional as a communication driver between the phone and the user by creating essential input and control features. It plays an integral role in how users interface with the device, making all daily routines easier.
A simple click of the S Pen button while hovering over the screen introduces users to Air Command, a palette of five powerful features that truly make tasks easier and faster. With the Air Command feature, there is no need to toggle between screens, memorize commands or look up different menus. The Air Command feature provides access to the following key functions:
- Action Memo allows users to handwrite a note, and automatically execute a function or convert that handwritten information into formatted content. Action Memo can instantly initiate a call, add to contacts, look up an address on a map, search the web, save a task to a to-do list, and more
- Scrapbook enables users to organize or track down content and information from various sources including the web, YouTube and Gallery in one place so that users can easily look back at collected content all at once. When consumers save content for future use, Scrapbook also collects source material or URLs allowing them to easily refer back to the original source.
- The Screen Write feature captures the full screen image of the current page on the device and allows users to write comments or additional information onto the captured image.
- S Finder allows users to expansively search for content on their device regardless of the type. By putting in keywords or filters such as date, location, and content type, users can search related documents, events, communication threads, and even the Help page – all in one place. In addition, users can also search for hand-written content in their Notes and memo applications, as well as symbols and formulas.
- Pen Window allows users to use the S Pen not only for drawing sketches or writing notes, but now also for opening a small application window for a true multitasking experience. Simply by drawing a window of any size, anywhere on the screen, users can easily and quickly open another application window such as YouTube, calculator or Browser without pausing current activity on the screen.
For more advanced note-taking, the new S Note presents a comprehensive solution that enables consumers to easily write, organize, edit and browse notes with a user-friendly interface and the Easy Chart feature. The new S Note can also be synced with Evernote or a Samsung account and be enabled for accessing and viewing from different devices. Furthermore, when a user wants only a certain part of an image to be taken from the web or Note 3 content, the advanced new Easy Clip feature allows them to roughly draw around the desired image and then it converts that content into a more precisely cropped image.
Larger Note screen delivers enriched viewing experience and enables you to do more
The Samsung GALAXY Note 3 delivers a larger screen and the increased size is matched with powerful improvements that allow users to fully utilize the additional screen space. The 5.7-inch Full HD Super AMOLED screen provides a stunning and defined video viewing experience for watching Full HD content, distinct clarity for reading and an elegant canvas for content creation.
My Magazine provides a personalized news, social media, entertainment and in-the-moment content experience. Developed through a partnership with Flipboard, it offers an integrated content consuming experience in a modern and dynamic magazine-style layout.
The GALAXY Note 3 enables enhanced multitasking capabilities that allow users to fully utilize the larger screen.
- With the new Multi Window, users can toggle seamlessly between applications without closing the window or opening a new page, allowing for enhanced productivity and collaboration across programs. Consumers can also run one application in two windows at the same time. For instance, users can read the news in one browser while conducting a web search in another, or send an instant message through ChatON to a friend while reading a message from another friend.
- In addition, using Drag and Drop mode within the new Multi Window, users can easily drag and drop content such as a text or image from one window to the other in an instant.
- Pen Window from Air Command further enhances multitasking experience by allowing consumers to draw a window on the screen and launching popular applications while continuing current tasks on the GALAXY Note 3.
An improvement to Group Play, video sharing, is now available. Originally introduced along with the GALAXY S4, Group Play allows users to play the same music, to play games together, and to share documents. It now enables consumers to share videos and play content together with their friends simultaneously. Users can also connect up to five devices alongside each other to create a “big screen” viewing experience.
For a tour of the new user experience watch the Samsung GALAXY Note 3 + Gear: Official First Hands-on [SAMSUNGmobile YouTube channel, Sept 4, 2013] video:
For more information go to the separate Companion Device Computing as envisaged and implemented by Pranav Mistry and his TTT team from Samsung: the case of Galaxy Gear + Galaxy Note 3 [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Sept 12, 2013] post. The overall theme of ‘Design Your Life’ for these two companion GALAXY devices you can understand by watching the Samsung GALAXY Note 3 presents “Dreams”, a digital short film [SAMSUNGmobile YouTube channel, Sept 10, 2013] video:
Here is also the demonstration of Samsung GALAXY Note 3 Group Play Video Sharing @IFA2013 [SamsungTomorrow YouTube channel, Sept 9, 2013]
as well as of the nice Samsung’s Mobile Console for Galaxy Note 3 @ IFA 2013 [SamsungTomorrow YouTube channel, Sept 9, 2013]
What about the new Air Command S Pen User Experience on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, 2014 Edition tablet?
Here it is from the Samsung Unveils GALAXY Note 10.1: Unparalleled Tablet Viewing, Productivity and Mobility [Samsung Tomorrow, Sept 5, 2013] article
(Note: for hardware specification go to Samsung Exynos 5 Octa with Heterogeneous Multi-Processing and GPU Compute is the hidden gem in the Galaxy Note 3 and GALAXY Note 10.1, 2014 Edition, launched at ‘Samsung UNPACKED 2013 Episode 2’ event [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Sept 12, 2013].)
Richer Viewing Experience, Enhanced Multitasking
The large, bright and crystal clear screen delivers four times the pixel density of the original GALAXY Note 10.1, providing a premium content viewing experience.
The magazine style UX allows users to organize their favorite resources in an easy to use dashboard and then access that content for a stylish reading experience. Whether watching videos or reading magazines and e-books, the new GALAXY Note 10.1 provides an immersive media consumption experience. New design characteristics, like a warm and textured back cover with stitching, inspire a sense of elegance and sophistication.
The device’s screen size also enables enhanced multitasking. With Multi Window, users will be able to run separate instances of the same application, and use an enhanced S Pen to drag and drop content from one window to another. Pen Window enables users to simply draw a window of any size on the screen, and instantly access unique in-application features such as YouTube or calculator.
Improved S Pen and S Note Functionality
The updated S Pen included with GALAXY Note 10.1 improves responsiveness, delivers day-to-day efficiency enhancements and produces more creative input capabilities. The tablet also includes GALAXY Note 3’s updated S Pen features such as Action Memo, Scrapbook, Screen Write and S Finder. Combined with the tablet’s larger screen, these enhanced S Pen capabilities present users with unique creative opportunities and the space to explore them.
With new Scrapbook capabilities, users can easily indicate any interesting content with the S Pen and organize it into individualized scrapbooks, creating a log of discussion points for a future work conversation, a wish list for new clothes or a home redesign project, or a personal favorites list.
S Note has been upgraded with a more intuitive, easy-to-use interface. Users will have access to both note files and notepads, with the ability to use the S Pen to take handwritten notes. With Easy Chart, hand-drawn visualizations of data can be instantly transformed into more formal charts and graphs.
Offering Content for Enhanced Entertainment and Creativity
The new GALAXY Note 10.1 will also offer a host of exciting partner content that complements the device’s entertainment, productivity and creativity properties. With premium partner applications and free memberships and services, the new GALAXY Note 10.1 provides everything a user might need in one place.
The Samsung Content Gifts include content from leading news sources such as Bloomberg Businessweek+, The New York Times, Autodesk Sketchbook for GALAXY for painting and sketching, a redesigned version of social broadcast network Twitter optimized for the device, and much more.
In addition, the GALAXY Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) will also include a Samsung Apps widget that will direct users to additional beneficial content provided by Samsung. The widget will live on the home screen and include a “Special Offer for GALAXY” section that will highlight unique, country-based content for users.
Finally watch this Samsung UNPACKED 2013 Episode 2 livestream (full length) [SAMSUNGmobile YouTube channel, Sept 7, 2013] in order to get the full context of the announcement, the event starts at [8:20]
[0:19:55]: GALAXY Note 3 and GALAXY Gear will be launched starting from September 25th in more than 140 countries. And all of these products will be promotionally available in October worldwide.
See also: Exclusive: List of countries receiving Galaxy Note III’s Exynos 5420 or Snapdragon 800 variant, SM-N9005 specs confirmation [SamMobile, Aug 15, 2013]
Companion Device Computing as envisaged and implemented by Pranav Mistry and his TTT team from Samsung: the case of Galaxy Gear + Galaxy Note 3
See also the The new Air Command S Pen User Experience making the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 phablet, and Galaxy Note 10.1, 2014 Edition tablet next-generation devices [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Sept 12, 2013] post for another aspect of the advancement of the state-of-the-art.
Samsung Galaxy GEAR – Pranav Mistry (Samsung Unpacked 2013 Episode 2) [Pranav Mistry YouTube channel, Sept 9, 2013], Mistry’s and his team’s professional background see in the last section of this post
Samsung Introduces GALAXY Gear, a Wearable Device to Enhance the Freedom of Mobile Communications [press release, Sept 4, 2013]
Samsung GALAXY experience is now extended through GALAXY Gear
Berlin, Germany – September 4, 2013 – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. today introduced the GALAXY Gear, a perfect companion device that further integrates the Samsung GALAXY experience into everyday life. Samsung GALAXY Gear combines smart device connectivity, tailored technological features, and stylish design as a single premium accessory.
“Samsung’s ongoing smart device innovation leadership reflects our commitment to listen to our consumers, who want their daily lives to be easier and more enjoyable. Samsung GALAXY Gear benefits consumers by integrating smart device technology even deeper into their everyday lives, and bridges the gap between the mobile device and fashion worlds to create truly wearable technology,” said JK Shin, CEO and President of IT & Mobile Division, Samsung Electronics. “Samsung GALAXY Gear frees users from the need to constantly check their smart devices while maintaining connections. It provides what we call ‘smart freedom,’ by allowing users to choose how, why, when and where they are connected.”
… <continued at the Samsung Tomorrow blog entry below>
Samsung GALAXY Note 3 + Gear : Official First Hands-on [SAMSUNGmobile YouTube channel, Sept 5, 2013] with additional official explanation from here include after the video
From the hardware design and specifications to making your everyday tasks easier and faster, we go hands-on with the new Samsung GALAXY Note 3 and the GALAXY Gear.
The new Samsung GALAXY Note 3 delivers a smarter large screen experience for the best viewing experience and more powerful multitasking, and introduces significant new S Pen improvements that help to make everyday tasks easier and faster.
The Samsung GALAXY Gear is a wearable, perfect companion device that further integrates the Samsung GALAXY experience into everyday life by combining smart device connectivity, tailored technological features and stylish design as a single premium accessory.
This video will take you through some of the key features with narrative that you’d encounter in your day-to-day life. Watch the video from start to end, or skip to specific sections which you wish to find out more about using the direct time-code links below.
[GALAXY Note 3]
2. Utilizing the S Pen
No need to toggle between screens, memorize commands or look up different menus
Handwrite a note, and automatically execute a function or convert it into formatted content. Action Memo can instantly access to many key functions of the phone.
Organize or track down content and information from various sources in one place so that you can easily look back at collected content all at once.
New Easy Clip
When you roughly draw around the desired image, then it converts that content into a more precisely cropped image.
Expansively search for content on your device regardless of the type. By putting in keywords or filters, you can search related documents, events, communication threads, and even the Help page – all in one place. In addition, you can also search for hand-written content in their Notes and memo applications, as well as symbols and formulas.
New S Note
The new S Note can also be synced with Evernote or a Samsung account and be enabled for accessing and viewing from different devices.
3. Smarter Large Screen Experience
New Multi Window
You can toggle seamlessly between applications without closing the window or opening a new page, allowing for enhanced productivity and collaboration across programs. You can also run one application in two windows at the same time!
Pen Window from Air Command further enhances multitasking experience by allowing consumers to draw a window on the screen and launching popular applications while continuing current tasks on the GALAXY Note 3.
2. Notification & Smart Relay
It notifies you of incoming messages and delivers a preview of those messages and creates the opportunity for you to accept or discreetly ignore those messages.
3. Hands-free Call
The built-in speaker allows users to conduct hands-free calls directly from the Gear, maintaining connections to their mobile communications without disrupting their daily routines. You can also draft messages, create new calendar entries, set alarms, and check the weather on the GALAXY Gear with S Voice.
When you are on the move or participating in physical activities, you can record both photos and video with a 1.9 Megapixel camera to create quick, visual records, as well as share them on their social networks.
For more information : http://www.samsung.com/galaxynote3
More information is in The new Air Command S Pen User Experience making the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 phablet, and Galaxy Note 10.1, 2014 Edition tablet next-generation devices [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Sept 12, 2013] post
Introducing GALAXY Gear, a Wearable Device [Samsung Tomorrow, Sept 5, 2013]
Samsung Electronics introduced the GALAXY Gear, a perfect companion device that further integrates the Samsung GALAXY experience into everyday life. Samsung GALAXY Gear combines smart device connectivity, tailored technological features, and stylish design as a single premium accessory.
“Samsung’s ongoing smart device innovation leadership reflects our commitment to listen to our consumers, who want their daily lives to be easier and more enjoyable. Samsung GALAXY Gear benefits consumers by integrating smart device technology even deeper into their everyday lives, and bridges the gap between the mobile device and fashion worlds to create truly wearable technology,” said JK Shin, CEO and President of IT & Mobile Division, Samsung Electronics.
Experience new mobile communications freedoms
Samsung GALAXY Gear lets users to live in the moment while staying connected to their Samsung GALAXY devices. It notifies users of incoming messages, such as calls, texts, emails and alerts, delivers a preview of those messages and creates the opportunity for users to accept or discreetly ignore those messages. When an incoming message requires more than a quick glance, users can simply pick up their Samsung GALAXY devices and the Smart Relay feature will instantly reveal the full content on the screen.
The built-in speaker allows users to conduct hands-free calls directly from the Gear, maintaining connections to their mobile communications without disrupting their daily routines. For example, a user leaving the grocery store, whose hands are full with shopping bags, could still make a call by speaking into the GALAXY Gear without touching the screen. Users can also draft messages, create new calendar entries, set alarms, and check the weather on the GALAXY Gear with S Voice.
Capture daily life from your wrist
In addition to enabling smart device controls, Samsung GALAXY Gear introduces several features that help users easily capture life’s meaningful moments which otherwise might be missed. With the Memographer feature, a 1.9 Megapixel camera, users who are on the move or participating in physical activities can record both photos and video to create quick, visual records of important information or events from their daily lives, as well as share them on their social networks. Extending the quick-record concept, Voice Memo lets users capture important thoughts or conversations from their wrists and save those voice recordings into texts on their Samsung GALAXY devices.
A growing list of controls for favorite features
With the GALAXY Gear, users gain a wide range of favorite features that further increase the benefits of this new accessory.
New security enhancement Auto Lock automatically secures the companion smartphone screen any time that GALAXY Gear is more than 1.5 meters away from the smartphone, and then unlocks the smartphone when the companion devices are near each other again.
Find My Device helps users find the location of their smart devices when they have been misplaced by making them beep, illuminate and vibrate.
With Samsung GALAXY Gear, users can also control the music played on their Samsung GALAXY devices. As with traditional music players, it helps users browse, play and pause songs even when their smart device is not within reach.
Finally, the GALAXY Gear also works like a Pedometer to track physical activity via enhanced, built-in sensor technology. This feature systematically and automatically monitors users so they can track key personal data such as calories burned, steps taken and distance covered.
Standalone Watch and Iconic Fashion Accessory
Samsung GALAXY Gear embodies understated elegance. Its refined design, executed in, high-quality finishes, conjures images of luxury jewelry while still being understated enough to go well with any outfit. A rounded and simple flowing form wraps around the body, integrating with the user’s personal environment, and maintaining comfort at all times.
The GALAXY Gear also serves as a wristwatch and includes several face options that create the opportunity for users to personalize their watch face. It will come preloaded with 10 different clock options and more choices will be downloadable via Samsung Apps. The GALAXY Gear experience can be further personalized by selecting from six colors that will be available at launch: Jet Black, Mocha Gray, Wild Orange, Oatmeal Beige, Rose Gold, and Lime Green.
Samsung GALAXY Gear will be launched with the GALAXY Note 3 in more than 140 countries around the world starting from September 25.
Samsung GALAXY Gear will be on display at the Samsung booth # 20 at IFA 2013, September 6 through September 11, 2013. Full details and product images are available at http://www.samsungmobilepress.com or m.samsungmobilepress.com.
Endorsement by featured application partners:
[Evernote] Phil Libin, CEO
“The potential for wearable devices is incredibly exciting. Evernote strives to be a second brain, providing information to people when and how they need it, so they can lead better, smarter lives. It is important for us to be involved with products like the Samsung GALAXY Gear so we can start delivering on that promise, and better understand how and when people want to consume information through these new, innovative devices.” Phil Libin, CEO, Evernote
[Glympse] Bryan Trussel, Co-founder & CEO
“Samsung is setting a very high bar for wearable technology with this stylized and incredibly functional device. Location sharing is a natural fit with the watch, and we are thrilled to partner with a smart, innovative company like Samsung to provide their users with Glympse location technology.”
[Path] Dave Morin, CEO
“Path’s intimate social graph lends itself perfectly to wearable devices like the Samsung GALAXY Gear, sharing only relevant notifications from the people who matter most,” said Path CEO Dave Morin. “Taking advantage of the built-in camera and touchscreen, Path on GALAXY Gear lets users to easily take photos, give feedback to friends, and post their location. We’re excited to evolve the Path experience on this breakthrough wearable device as well as our partnership with Samsung.”
＊ The availability of each Samsung Hub and Google service may differ by country.
＊ All functionality, features, specifications and other product information provided in this document including, but not limited to, the benefits, design, pricing, components, performance, availability, and capabilities of the product are subject to change without notice or obligation.
Then the general reception of the concept (as presented at the event) in the same business media:
Underwhelmed by Samsung’s Galaxy Gear Watch: Om Malik [Bloomberg YouTube, Sept 5, 2013]
Pranav Mistry’s and his team’s professional background
Working Experience (from his CV)
- Head, Think Tank Team at Samsung and Director of Research, Samsung Research America
2012 to current, Samsung Research America, Samsung Electronics
- Co-Founder at Miztry Ltd.
2011 to current, Miztry Limited, Hong Kong
- Research Assistant at Fluid Interfaces, MIT Media Lab
2008 to 2012, Fluid Interfaces Group, MIT Media Lab.
- Visiting Researcher at Japan Science and Technology Agency
winter 2009, JST ERATO IGARASHI Design Interface Project, Tokyo.
- Researcher at Microsoft Research
summer internship (summer 2009) with Adaptive Systems and Interaction, MSR.
- Research Assistant at Ambient Intelligence, MIT Media Lab
2006 to 2008, Ambient Intelligence Group, MIT Media Lab.
- Teaching Assistant at Media arts and Sciences, MIT
2007, New Paradigms in HCI, MIT Media Lab.
- Research Intern with Global Connection Project
summer internship (summer 2007) with GigaPan Project (CMU, NASA, Google and UNESCO).
- UX Researcher at Microsoft
2005 to 2006, Microsoft India Development Center.
- Project Manager at Microsoft
summer internship (summer 2004) with Incubation Team at Microsoft India Development Center
We’ve evolved over millions of years to sense the world around us. When we encounter something, someone or some place, we use our five natural senses to perceive information about what is facing us. That information helps us make decisions and chose the right actions to take in a situation. But arguably the most useful information that can help us make the right decision is not naturally perceivable with our five senses, namely the data, information and knowledge that mankind has accumulated about everything and which is increasingly all available online. Moreover, Information is confined traditionally on paper or digitally on a screen. ‘WUW’ attempts to free information from its confines and releases it into the world, seamlessly integrating it with the physical world.
With the miniaturization of computing devices that fit inside our pockets, we are always connected to the digital world. However, there is no link between our interaction with these digital devices and interaction with the physical world. ‘WUW’ bridges this gap by augmenting the physical world around us with digital information and proposing natural hand gestures as the mechanism to interact with that information. ‘WUW’ brings the intangible information out into the tangible world. By using a camera and a tiny projector mounted on a hat or coupled in a pendant like device, ‘WUW’ sees what you see and visually augments any surfaces or objects you are interacting with. ‘WUW’ projects information to any surface, walls, and the objects around us, and to interact with the information through natural hand gestures, arm movements, or with the object itself. ‘WUW’ is like having the entire world as your computer.
He got honored as ‘Young Global Leader 2013’ by World Economic Forum. His personal page there says:
Pranav Mistry is a research assistant and a PhD candidate at the MIT Media Lab. Designer, engineer and inventor, Mistry is passionate about integrating the world of information with real-world interactions, and is the inventor of SixthSense. Some of his previous work includes intelligent sticky notes that can be searched and located, and send reminders and messages; a pen that can draw in 3D; a public map that can act as Google of the physical world; and an invisible computer mouse. SixthSense was awarded the 2009 Invention Award by Popular Science. Mistry also won the Young Innovator Award TR35 by Technology Review and was named on 2010 Creativity 50 list of the most influential and inspiring creative personalities of 2010. This year, Asian Scientist honoured him as one of the 15 ultimate scientists of Asia to watch.
Think Tank Team [Samsung Information Systems America (SISA), Sept 4, 2013]
The Think Tank Team (TTT) was created in May of 2012 as a group of interdisciplinary researchers, scientists, designers and engineers. Located within Samsung Research America in the heart of Silicon Valley, the team is led by Pranav Mistry and crewed by experts in fields from industrial design to physics, with experience in institutions such as MIT, Disney Imagineering, Art+Com, RISD, and others. Areas of interest include electrical engineering, optics, computational imaging, machine learning, natural language processing, visual design, computational graphics, material science, biochemistry, and others. The team’s work covers a large time scale, from products that are ready to be mass-produced, to ideas that will take many years to come to fruition. The team is always looking for people and ideas that will expand its horizons in new ways, with the mission of re-imagining existing products, creating new product classes, and exploring new materials, technologies, affordances, and experiences.
SEEKING EXPERTS FOR THINK TANK TEAM [SISA, Sept 4, 2013]
Full Time Positions and Internships
Who are we?
We are a small team of interdisciplinary researchers, scientists, designers and engineers located in San Jose. We are passionate about inventing experience-centric future products and technologies. We aim for real-world impact by turning our disruptive concepts into products that connect objects, environments, information and people. Our team is led by Pranav Mistry and crewed by experts in fields from industrial design to physics, with experience in institutions such as MIT, Disney Imagineering, Art+Com and others. Together we combine new designs, materials, technologies, and approaches to create the products of tomorrow.
Who are we looking for?
We seek talented and passionate researchers, designers and engineers to join our team. Areas of work include electrical engineering, optics, computational imaging, robotics, machine learning, natural language processing, visual design, computational graphics, material science, biochemistry, and others. We are looking for people who share our passions and wish to expand our mission to frontiers we haven’t thought of.
If these challenges pique your interest, send a portfolio demonstrating your combination of hands-on skills and creative thinking capabilities to TTTemail@example.com .