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The Nokia X2 Is Official, Microsoft Tries Its Hand At Android

 

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Last week Nokia teased an announcement on their website? Based on the teaser, many had speculated that this could be a new Nokia Android phone, and sure enough it is. Nokia has since officially announced the Nokia X2 and for those who were looking forward to an Android powerhouse, it looks like you guys will be disappointed.

However for those who love the Nokia brand and just want something cheap and functional, perhaps the Nokia X2 with its price tag of €99 could be of interest to you. In terms of hardware, it’s not the most powerful but like we said, it should be good enough to get the job done. The phone will be powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon 200 processor under the hood.

It will come with a 4.3-inch WVGA ClearBlack LCD display, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of onboard storage, a microSD card slot for memory expansion and 15GB of free OneDrive cloud storage, a 5MP rear-facing camera, a VGA front-facing camera, and a removable 1,800mAh battery. It will also support dual SIM functionality, so if you own more than one line, this should come in handy.

According to Nokia, the Nokia X2 will be available “immediately” in select countries. They did not specify which countries the phone will be available in so you will have to check your local Nokia website to see if it is available.

Nokia X2 Capture

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Nokia has released an Android launcher

 

 

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The Android launcher scene might be getting a little out of control — even Nokia (whose X phones are now under Microsoft’s wing) is getting into the game. The Finnish firm has just released Z Launcher, a home screen replacement that gets you to frequently-used apps, contacts and sites as quickly as possible. The software learns your habits and surfaces the content you’re most likely to use based on where you are, what you’re doing and the time of day. It might put your calendar app at the top when you’re in the middle of the workday, or highlight Instagram when you’re out on the town. You also don’t have to dive into the app tray if you’re looking for something specific; you can draw an item’s first letter to bring up a narrow set of results.

Z Launcher’s interface may be simple, but getting a copy may prove tricky. It’s currently available only to a limited number of users in a rough alpha release. And while the alpha should run on many Android phones, Nokia has only tested on the Nexus 5 and recent Galaxy S models — don’t be surprised if other devices throw a fit. We’ve also noticed that the launcher download process is hit-or-miss, so you may have to be patient. Still, this is your big chance at seeing how Nokia designs an interface for other companies’ handsets.

AVAILABILITY

Z Launcher is currently optimized for popular devices including Nexus 5, Galaxy S5, S4, S3, Moto X, HTC One and Sony Xperia Z1. We are currently supporting English language markets.

Download Z Launcher here to try it out.

How To Install:

1. Unlock Your Android

First you need to confirm that your Android device allows direct installation of Z Launcher

Open Settings and navigate to Unknown sources option (under Applications or Security depending on your device). For example the screens are shown for Samsung S4:

  1. On the homescreen tap on ‘Settings

  2. Tap on ‘Security

  3. Scroll down and tap on ‘Unknown Sources‘. If it is not already enabled, tap to enable it and accept the confirmation prompt with OK.

2. Install Z Launcher and go!

With the file downloaded to your phone, the final step is to install it and set it as the default Home for your Android

  1. When the download is complete, go to your notifications screen and tap the newly-downloaded zLauncher.apk.

  2. Tap “Install” and agree to the Android permissions

  3. When the app is done installing, Tap “Open”. Z Launcher will run and take you through a tutorial

  4. At the end of the tutorial (or the first time you press the “Home” button on your Android) you may be prompted to set a default Home app for your Android. Select Z Launcher and tap the “Always” button (don’t worry, you can go back to your old Android launcher at any time!)

Nokia investing $100M in smart-car technology

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Fresh after selling its mobile-phone business to Microsoft, Nokia is now turning its attention to another area potentially ripe for rapid technological change: smarter cars.

Nokia Growth Partners, the company’s venture capital group, plans to invest $100 million into companies that bring more computing and communications technology to cars, the company said in conjunction with the Global Mobile Internet Conference this week. “The car is really becoming a platform like when the mobile handset became a smartphone and all the apps and services developed around that,” partner Paul Asel told Bloomberg.

Nokia has a significant presence in auto electronics through its Navteq division, which supplies mapping and navigation data for vehicles’ sat-nav systems. Through its Here brand, Nokia’s technology also extends to smartphones and tablets, too; the company has 6,000 employees working on mapping technology. But much bigger changes are afoot that goes beyond navigation and likely will mean driving will become a profoundly different experience.

The auto industry, prodded by Google, is moving toward a more radical transformation involving self-driving cars, car-to-car communications, platooning that links cars into efficient highway trains, and coordinated city transportation infrastructure.

“We’re seeing innovation that’s happening across the auto ecosystem through the combination of mobility and the Internet,” Asel said.

Competitively, but Nokia Growth Partners has been a bright spot, said Rajeev Suri, Nokia’s new chief executive, in a statement Monday.

“NGP has been consistently performing well bringing in both new innovation and financial return to Nokia. Our new $100 million venture fund launched today further underlines our belief that the connected car is a significant growth opportunity where NGP is poised to make great investments,” he said.

Microsoft Plans To Close Nokia Acquisition On Friday

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Microsoft is set to finalize the $7 billion (£4.4bn) acquisition of Nokia’s mobile devices unit at the end of this week, following antitrust negotiations in Asia

Microsoft is scheduled to conclude its acquisition of Nokia’s mobile handset unit at the end of this week, the company said.

Today we are excited to share that we have completed the steps necessary to finalize Microsoft’s acquisition of the Nokia Devices and Services business,” announced Microsoft’s Brad Smith, general counsel and executive vice president of the software giant’s Legal and Corporate Affairs department in a 21 April statement. Microsoft first announced that it was acquiring Nokia’s smartphone manufacturing operations on 2 September, 2013.

Windows Phone competition

“The transaction will be completed this Friday, 25 April, when we’ll officially welcome the Nokia Devices and Services business as part of the Microsoft family,” added Smith.

Nokia is Microsoft’s premier Windows Phone producer. In a bid to catch up to Apple and Google in the hotly contested smartphone market, the companies formed an alliance in 2011. As part of the partnership, Nokia replaced the Symbian smartphone operating system with Microsoft’s mobile Windows Phone OS.

Addressing the massive deal, funded by Microsoft’s overseas holdings, then-chief executive Steve Ballmer described the transaction in an email to staffers as “a smart acquisition for Microsoft, and a good deal for both companies”.

The acquisition, originally expected to close during the first quarter of this year, hit some speed bumps. “As with any multinational agreement of this size, scale and complexity, our two companies have made adjustments to the original deal throughout the close preparation process,” revealed Smith. The alterations, he explained, entailed “numerous agreements to address items ranging from manufacturing to IT”.

Antitrust concerns

In December, China’s Ministry of Commerce subjected the deal to an antitrust investigation over concerns that Microsoft would hike patent fees for the country’s smartphone makers, namely Lenovo, Xiaomi and ZTE, once the tech titan took ownership of Nokia’s IP. China granted final approval earlier this month.

“The original deal had all employees in Nokia’s Chief Technology Office continuing with Nokia,” said Smith. The terms were changed “so the 21 employees in China working on mobile phones will join Microsoft and continue their work”.

Smith explained that the companies also ran into complications in South Korea. Originally, Microsoft was to acquire Nokia’s manufacturing plant in that country. “The agreement was adjusted and Microsoft will not acquire the facility,” said Smith.

Finally, Microsoft is taking over Nokia.com and related social media accounts “for the benefit of both companies and our customers for up to a year”, said Smith.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is reportedly mulling a name change once the acquisition is completed. Nokia Power User posted a leaked email to Nokia’s business suppliers that indicated that the brand will be renamed Microsoft Mobile.

Download our eMerchantNG Android App here…we look forward to your feedback to help improve the BETA App.

If the App doesn’t install, please go to your “Settings”, “Security”, under “Device administration” tick ”Unknown Sources” and re-install again.

Thank You.

Nokia Excites Customers with the launch of three ‘Iced’ Devices

Nokia has expanded its highly successful range of Asha devices with the addition of three new phones known as the Nokia Asha ICE range; Asha 500, Asha 502 and Asha 503 which come encased in a glamorous and beautiful crystal layer.

The devices launched in Lagos, Abuja, Benin and Port Harcourt features a new unique innovation known as layered design, achieved using the ‘dual shot’ technique which is unique to Nokia. It combines an inner layer of bold, bright colour surrounded by crystal-clear transparency. The combination adds a distinctive look to the phone’s monobody design, as well as durability.

Head of Marketing, Nokia West and Central Africa, Deborah Shepard said the new devices will be available for Nigerian customers in Easy Swap dual SIM and single SIM variants. She noted that the Easy Swap Dual SIM technology which is unique-to-Nokia allows people to switch between SIM cards on the go, to get better tariffs or alternate between SIM cards for SMS, voice and data, without having to turn off the device.

“In addition to the stunning new look, the Asha ICE range boast of new features and apps that will impress our customers such as the amazing swipe feature that enables people take pictures with a single swipe and share instantly on their social network with a simple tap, its colourful variants and most importantly,  its affordability. For the first time, WhatsApp will also be available to Asha Platform devices along with other popular chat and messaging apps already available for Asha Platform devices, such as WeChat, Line, eBuddy and Nimbuzz” Shepard added.

While the Asha 503 will be available as single SIM device, the Asha 500 and 502 will also be available in single SIM and Easy Swap dual SIM. The devices feature the updated Fastlane home screen, a unique, second screen that acts as a shortcut to the phone’s recently accessed apps, features and content, as well as future activity, such as calendar appointments. The updated screen enables live updates, which alert people to new activity through notifications on Fastlane.

By clicking on the Fastlane item with new notifications, people will be directed to the relevant post, so they never miss an important update. Fastlane can be further personalised and made more private by selecting what content can appear on-screen, and by deleting unwanted Fastlane items, on the go.

The Nokia Asha range was introduced into the Nigerian market in 2012 and since then has experienced massive acceptance with deep market penetration in the country. Nokia has continued to expand the Asha range with smart and colourful devices embedded with cool features and applications that appeal to its customers across the country.

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Sony Xperia Z1 best-selling smartphone in November

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Swedish manufacturer of carrying cases for portable electronics, Krusell, released its Top 10 list of smartphones for November 2013 – based on the number of pieces custom-made mobile- and smartphone cases ordered from Krusell during November 2013

The list of Krusell is unique due to the fact that it reflects the sales of phones in six continents and in more than 70 countries around the globe.

“Sony Xperia Z1 keeps the first place on Krusell’s Top 10 list for November, while three new devices have entered the list, and Nexus 5 might be the largest surprise this month,” said Ulf Sandberg, MD at Krusell.

“Another eyebrow raiser on the list is Samsung’s Galaxy Core which has entered the market a little bit outside the limelight partially due to the number of devices that Samsung launches. Nokia’s two models are climbing, and I foresee that next month Nokia 1520 will also climb into the chart,” he concluded.

The Krusell Group, with $30-million in turnover and more than 500 employees around the globe, is a Swedish lifestyle-house in which several consumer electronic brands reside such as Krusell, Motörheadphönes and Walk On Water.

After more than 20 years in the mobile phone industry, Krusell also develop, manufacture and sell laptop-, tablet cases and audio products. Moreover, Krusell is a subcontractor to Sony, Samsung, Garmin, Koenigsegg and Fuji Film.

1. Sony Xperia Z1

2. Apple iPhone 5

3. Samsung I9500 Galaxy S4

4. Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini

5. Samsung Galaxy Core I8260

6. Nokia Lumia 1020

7. LG Nexus 5

8. Nokia Lumia 925

9. Sony Xperia Z

10. Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Nokia Delights Customers with Asha Christmas Promo

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With the yuletide season fast approaching, Nokia has partnered with number one online retail store, Jumia, to delight its customers with a new consumer promo tagged Asha Christmas Rush Promo.

According to Marketing Manager, Nokia West Africa, Kesiena Ogbemi, the promo is aimed at rewarding numerous Nokia Asha customers across the country with fantastic prizes which include; N4,000 worth of Jumia gift vouchers, recharge cards worth N1,000 to make calls and chat on social media platforms and other exciting prizes. Through this promo,Nokia will reward the first 210 customers who purchase the Nokia Asha 210 smartphone.

To participate in the competition;customers can purchase the Nokia Asha 210 smartphone from retail outlets nationwide and get a PIN code to win. Customers can send a text with the following message “Nokia Asha 210, the phone IMEI number and PIN code gotten when they purchased the phone” to the code number 39405. This qualifies lucky customers to win any of the great prizes and enjoy the Christmas season.

Head of Marketing, Nokia West Africa, Deborah Shepard noted that the promo will give Nokia the opportunity to reach out to its customers across Nigeria during the Christmas season with gifts that will make the yuletide a memorable one. “We want our customers to feel our impact during this season giving them great gifts that will make the Christmas holiday beautiful. We have also partnered with Nigeria’s biggest online retail store, Jumia to give people amazing gifts when they win a gift voucher. With the gift voucher, customers can pick gifts items from Jumia store worth N4,000 and have a merry Christmas celebration,” Shepard said.

The promo is valid till the December 20,2013.

Airtel Offers Nigerians Opportunity to Own Nokia Lumia 520 Smartphone

L-R: Head, Operator Channel, Nokia Middle East and Africa, Scott Smith; General Manager, Nokia West Africa, Chris Brown; Senior Manager, Data and Portals, Airtel Nigeria, David Umoh; Head, Data Services, Airtel Nigeria, Funmi Omotayo and Head, Smart Devices Business Portfolio, Nokia India, Middle East and Africa, Stefan Gerrits during the launch of Airtel’s new promo on the Nokia Lumia 520 held at Nokia Office, Victoria Island, Lagos.

L-R: Head, Operator Channel, Nokia Middle East and Africa, Scott Smith; General Manager, Nokia West Africa, Chris Brown; Senior Manager, Data and Portals, Airtel Nigeria, David Umoh; Head, Data Services, Airtel Nigeria, Funmi Omotayo and Head, Smart Devices Business Portfolio, Nokia India, Middle East and Africa, Stefan Gerrits during the launch of Airtel’s new promo on the Nokia Lumia 520 held at Nokia Office, Victoria Island, Lagos.

 

Leading telecommunications service provider, Airtel Nigeria and Nokia, have partnered to provide Nigerians the opportunity to exchange any of their current handsets for one of Nokia’s swank smartphones, the Lumia 520.

To qualify for the Airtel/Nokia phone upgrade programme, customers are to visit any of Airtel shops with their old but functional device of any given brand and network, then pay an exchange fee of N23, 990, to own the Lumia 520.

The offer also gives customers who embrace it up to N10, 000 worth of value for exchanging their old devices for the new Lumia 520 as they stand to enjoy 6 months free airtime for net calls and data worth  N6, 000.

In addition, customers will also enjoy the device value discount worth more than N4, 000, based on the current market retail value of N28, 000.

L-R: General Manager, Nokia West Africa, Chris Brown; Senior Manager, Data and Portals, Airtel Nigeria, David Umoh; Head, Data Services, Airtel Nigeria, Funmi Omotayo and Head, Smart Devices Business Portfolio, Nokia India, Middle East and Africa, Stefan Gerrits at the launch of Airtel’s new promo on the Nokia Lumia 520 held at Nokia Office, Victoria Island, Lagos.

L-R: General Manager, Nokia West Africa, Chris Brown; Senior Manager, Data and Portals, Airtel Nigeria, David Umoh; Head, Data Services, Airtel Nigeria, Funmi Omotayo and Head, Smart Devices Business Portfolio, Nokia India, Middle East and Africa, Stefan Gerrits at the launch of Airtel’s new promo on the Nokia Lumia 520 held at Nokia Office, Victoria Island, Lagos.

 

Speaking on the offer, the Chief Sales Officer of Airtel Nigeria, Inusa Bello, said the initiative is another first by any operator in Nigeria, saying it will further provide telecoms value to Nigerians, in line with its commitment to become the most loved brand in the daily lives of Nigerians.

Said “The phone upgrade programme is yet another unique initiative by Airtel and Nokia to provide Nigerians a rare opportunity to own smartphone devices, complete with innovative applications to enhance their communication experience.  Also, the additional value of free voice and data services is one more reason for consumers to port to Airtel.”

L-R: General Manager, Nokia West Africa, Chris Brown; Operator Account Manager, Nokia West Africa, Beatrice Olumhense; Head, Data Services, Airtel Nigeria, Funmi Omotayo and Head, Operator Channel, Nokia Middle East and Africa, Scott Smith; at the launch of Airtel’s new promo on the Nokia Lumia 520 held at Nokia Office, Victoria Island, Lagos.

L-R: General Manager, Nokia West Africa, Chris Brown; Operator Account Manager, Nokia West Africa, Beatrice Olumhense; Head, Data Services, Airtel Nigeria, Funmi Omotayo and Head, Operator Channel, Nokia Middle East and Africa, Scott Smith; at the launch of Airtel’s new promo on the Nokia Lumia 520 held at Nokia Office, Victoria Island, Lagos.

 

The General Manager, Nokia West Africa, Mr. Chris Brown, said Nokia was ecstatic that the Lumia 520 had been chosen as the smartphone of choice for consumers to get their first smartphone experience on. He also applauded Airtel for leading the way on a much requested upgrade opportunity which will offer consumers the best starter kit with the device discount and a fully loaded phone with free airtime and data for easy internet access.

L-R: Head, Operator Channel, Nokia Middle East and Africa, Scott Smith; General Manager, Nokia West Africa, Chris Brown; Senior Manager, Data and Portals, Airtel Nigeria, David Umoh and Head, Data Services, Airtel Nigeria, Funmi Omotayo during the launch of Airtel’s new promo on the Nokia Lumia 520 held at Nokia Office, Victoria Island, Lagos.

L-R: Head, Operator Channel, Nokia Middle East and Africa, Scott Smith; General Manager, Nokia West Africa, Chris Brown; Senior Manager, Data and Portals, Airtel Nigeria, David Umoh and Head, Data Services, Airtel Nigeria, Funmi Omotayo during the launch of Airtel’s new promo on the Nokia Lumia 520 held at Nokia Office, Victoria Island, Lagos.

 

 

Nokia to sell handset business to Microsoft for $7.2 bn

Two years after hitching its fate to Microsoft’s Windows Phone software, Nokia collapsed into the arms of the U.S. software giant, agreeing to sell its main handset business for 5.44 billion euros ($7.2 billion).

Nokia, which will continue as a maker of networking equipment and holder of patents, was once the world’s dominant handset manufacturer, but was long since overtaken by Apple and Samsung .

Nokia’s Canadian boss Stephen Elop, who ran Microsoft’s business software division before jumping to Nokia in 2010, will now return to the U.S. firm as head of its mobile devices business.

He is being discussed as a possible replacement for Microsoft’s retiring CEO Steve Ballmer, who is trying to remake the U.S. firm into a gadget and services company like Apple before he departs.

In three years under Elop, Nokia saw its market share collapse and its share price shrivel as investors bet heavily that his strategy would fail.

In 2011, after writing a memo that said Nokia was falling behind and lacked the in-house technology to catch up, Elop made the controversial decision to use his former firm Microsoft’s Windows Phone for smartphones, rather than Nokia’s own software or Google’s ubiquitous Android operating system.

Nokia, which had a 40 per cent share of the handset market in 2007, now has a mere 15 per cent market share, with an even smaller three per cent share in smartphones.

The sale of the handset business is not the first dramatic turn in the 148-year history of a company which has sold everything from television sets to rubber boots.

@: eMerchant_NG

What You Need to Know About Windows Phone 8

 

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A refreshed user interface. Windows Phone 8 offers a refreshed user interface. For the first time ever, you’ll be able to resize the home screen live tiles among three difference choices. If you like, for example, You can create smaller, more compact icons and bunch together four apps in the space that one icon used to occupy.

Consequently, the home screen appears to allow for much greater customization. You can, for example, create a row of four small icons for Twitter, Facebook, Foursqaure, and text messaging. That’s a great row to have at the top of your home screen for quickly accessing social networks without having to scroll down a list. The smaller icons, unfortunately, don’t come to life as the larger ones do, however.

The best hardware yet. Windows Phone 8 supports NFC for sharing files between two devices, higher resolution displays, dual-core processors, and much more. What’s this mean for you and me? You can expect the best Windows Phone devices that have hit the market. I’m already impressed with what I’ve seen so far.

Nokia has already unveiled the Lumia 920, which offers beautiful industrial design. The Lumia 920 is the company’s flagship device and includes fun features such as wireless charging — never before seen in Windows Phone devices — a first class PureView camera for stunning photos that appear to be excellent even in low light conditions, and much more.

HTC also has a flagship device up its sleeve and I’m torn between it and Nokia’s phone. The HTC Windows Phone 8X (it’s a lengthy name), offers the same 8-megapixel camera and imaging technology found in the One X. In particular, I love the wide-view front-facing camera that allows you to turn the camera around and pack more people into a shot. It also has a totally redesigned body. HTC actually rebuilt the device so that the battery sits next to the screen, instead of at the far back of the device. This allows the company to include a larger battery while keeping the phone relatively slim. The phone also offers NFC, a dual-core processor and a large display.

I have no doubt this will help folks gravitate toward Windows Phone 8 devices on store shelves. Seriously, how can you avoid not picking up and not playing with a neon yellow phone?

We also need to see some new, high-profile apps. The ecosystem is missing some major names, such as Instagram, but it’s off to a good start so far. If Microsoft can add a few big developers to the mix-up, as it has promised, the ecosystem and consumers will benefit in the long haul.

@9jamerchant