Feeds

Nokia opens Maps to rivals, flogs uber-budget €15 phone

Saves 'best' of Maps for Nokia mobes

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Website security in corporate America

MWC 2013 A Linux phone running Mozilla OS can be found on Nokia’s stand at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week – but it’s not a "Plan B". It’s more a statement of intent from the Finnish handset company about its Maps platform, which Nokia is opening up and licensing more aggressively to non-Nokia mobile devices.

CEO Stephen Elop promised that Here Maps, as it is now known, “will be first and best on Nokia mobiles” although the company will open up APIs to achieve scale. Amazon already licenses the platform, the core of which arrived with Nokia's €7.7bn acquisition of NAVTEQ five years ago. This naturally raises questions of what to license when Nokia is competing with itself – as well as pricing questions. For example, what will Nokia deny licensees that’s “first and best”? What comes free, and what will require a royalty-paying licence? But evidently, Nokia thinks it can resolve these ancient conundrums - they aren't new...

For now, Nokia Maps is rebranded as HERE Maps (and HERE Drive and HERE Transit) on its own Lumias range - a range which has just expanded. Nokia announced two new low and midrange Windows models, driving the price of Windows Phone 8 even lower, as well as a phone that costs just €15, the Nokia 105.

The €139 (£120, $184), 4-inch Lumia 520 will launch in select markets including Hong Kong this quarter, and in Europe and China in Q2. It has no flash, but the camera is unexpectedly good nevertheless, particularly for a model at this price. The model is even cheaper than Nokia’s current budget model, the Lumia 620, which even at under £150 stands up well compared to budget Androids. The new 520, however, is aimed more at emerging markets like China, Mexico and Vietnam, where no-name Androids with Google services stripped out (often sold village-to-village by the “backpackman”) are dramatically shifting the market.

Lumia 720

Nokia also unveiled a midrange, unibody Windows Phone, the Lumia 720, similar in size to the 820 (with a 4.3 inch screen) but considerably slimmer and lighter (127g vs 160g) – there’s much less bulk here, although you can use a micro SD card for the first time in a Nokia unibody design. The 720 is sold on its imaging - a 6.7MP camera with wide f1.9 aperture) produces some excellent results, possibly the best in the mid-range, although we’ll have to wait and see. It will be released into Asia in Q1 and Europe in Q2, at around €249 (£220, $330) before taxes or subsidies. It also has a cumbersome looking clip-on wireless charging shell.

Lumia 520

The talktime specs hint at improved battery performance from Windows 8, using optimizations we haven’t see yet. As it is today WP isn’t too shabby at all by Android standards.

Nokia has also scored TD-SCDMA versions of handsets for China Mobile. TD-SCDMA is China’s home-grown flavour of 3G.

At the bottom end of the market the humble, dustproof 105 costs just €15; (£13,$20), has a 160x128 colour screen and the specs claim 780 hours of standby from a 800mAh battery. It will probably shift more units than most models announced this week combined. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
ISPs' post-net-neutrality world is built on 'bribes' says Tim Berners-Lee
Father of the worldwide web is extremely peeved over pay-per-packet-type plans
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.