Mobile phone giant Nokia on Tuesday assured its customers that all is well within the company, and that mobile consumers across the globe can look forward to a range of new devices from the market leader amid stiff competition from rivals such as Apple and Samsung.
Stephen Elop, chief executive officer of Nokia, said at CommunicAsia 2011 in Singapore on Tuesday, “Earlier this year, Nokia outlined a new course to change our direction. Just four months and ten days later, on June 21st, today, a new season is beginning at Nokia as well.”
Stephen said the company is putting in place the pieces needed to capture the next one billion users who will connect to the internet, many of whom will be in the Southeast Asian region.
He further said that Nokia will ship its first Windows Phone based device later this year and that the company will continue supporting its own platform, Symbian, till 2016.
The next generation Symbian Anna update for Symbian^3 handsets, he said, will arrive at the end of August this year. The Anna update for Symbian^3 devices, which includes N8, E7, C7 and C6-01, is expected to bring a new user interface, new icons, and all the other performance jazz promised earlier by the Finnish handset maker.
Nokia will start rolling out Symbian Anna from July. However, users across the globe will be able to download it via their PC or over the air only around the end of August.
Apart from that, at the Nokia Connection 2011 event, which was held in conjunction with CommunicAsia 2011 in Singapore, Nokia released a statement saying that Series 40 phones will now be pre installed with maps and places of interest.
The maps installed on the phones will be for the region that the phone has been bought in. This means the maps will be available to users even when the phone is not connected to the internet. Hence, users will save on the cost of downloading maps on their phones through mobile networks.
The updated Nokia Maps for Series 40 phones received extra attention simply because the feature comes free with the phone. This is a big boost to the capabilities of the Series 40 phones since these are low end phones targeted at emerging markets.
These maps do not depend on the Global Positioning System, but rather calculate the location of the user from the cell phone towers nearby. The phones will have smart routing software installed as well, so they will be able to provide turn by turn navigation.
At the same event, Nokia also showcased its next generation handset, the N9. The new handset is a full touchscreen smartphone with no buttons on the front panel. Flaunting a new industrial design with vivid 3.9 inch Amoled touchscreen display, the Nokia N9 is certainly a worthy successor to N8 and is also a worthy flagship MeeGo device.
The N9 is expected to be made available later this year.
Along with the announcement of the N9 smartphone, Nokia has also released the hardware specifications of its other MeeGo smartphone, the N950.
Nokia N950 will not be released for the general public; and rather it is expected to be a developer-only phone. It will therefore come sans support and warranty.
Nokia N950, according to the specifications released, is totally different from what the speculation and leaked images that were floating around on the internet till some time back indicated.
Nokia also unveiled three new handsets — C2-02, C2-03 and C2-06, all of which are touch and type devices. Of the three new handsets, C2-03 is a dual-SIM device and has the exact same specifications as those of C2-02, which is a single SIM handset.
All three new Series 40 handsets running mobile OS come with Nokia Maps for Series 40 application pre-loaded on them.
Mary McDowell, head of Nokia’s Mobile Phones business unit, while unveiling the handsets, said, “These phones all offer a web, maps and messaging experience second to none in the market. And with the choice of a touchscreen or a keypad, we really have made everything available and easy to use in an affordable phone that comes in both dual or single SIM options.”
She further said, “We want the web to be easy to access, fast and affordable for all. The technology behind the Nokia Browser means that consumers, especially those new to the mobile internet, can get the information they need quickly, as the Nokia Browser serves up relevant local content – making the whole experience more personal and enjoyable.”
The Nokia C2-03 is a dual SIM handset that offers Easy Swap feature and lets users change the SIM card without having to switch their mobile off or taking off the back cover. Apart from that, users can personalise the look, feel and tone of up to five different SIM cards.
All three handsets have touchscreens that support 240 x 320 pixel resolution, and have sliding keypads. This means you can either use the phone via its touchscreen or via the keypad for quick messaging. Sporting a 2 megapixel camera at the back, these devices have 10 MB of internal memory and the capability to expand the storage with a memory card of up to 32 GB.