Nokia Comeback at MWC 2017: HMD Global VP Talks About The New Nokia Phones

Nokia announced its global comeback at its event ahead of MWC 2017 with the launch of three Android smartphones– Nokia 6, Nokia 5 and Nokia 3. HMD Global also re-launched the iconic Nokia 3310 and the Snake game. The 2017 edition 3310 is thinner, lighter and incredibly durable, according to HMD Global.

“Nokia Android Smartphones will be completely different from the rest. The Nokia factor will be visible in the display, camera, experience and the overall build quality,” said the company.

Ajay Mehta, VP, India HMD Global in an exclusive interview with Siddhartha Sharma of News18.com shares the road ahead for Nokia in association with HMD Global. Excerpts…

WATCH VIDEO: Ajay Mehta, VP, India HMD Global in a selfie interview with News18Tech

We are very excited in writing the next chapter in Nokia’s history.

My favourite is the Nokia 6. It offers a very immersive entertainment experience. It is cut out of a 6000 series aluminium slab. It is diamond cut integrated with the glass which boosts the build quality. The drop test is just fantastic. The core experience is just brilliant.

Also read: Nokia at MWC 2017: Nokia 6, 5, 3, Nokia 3310 And The Snake Game is Here

We are looking at building real experiences. We are focusing on design and craftsmanship. Apart from the design, we are also looking at the quality of the material. Along with the innovative manufacturing processes of our partner Foxconn, we will provide the latest Android OS.

(Follow MWC 2017 Full Coverage Here)

Samsung Galaxy S8 Launch Date Confirmed

Samsung Electronics said it would launch its next key device in the aftermath of a burning-battery scandal, the Galaxy S8, on March 29.

In past years, the trade fair was the scene of major Samsung launches. This year, Samsung postponed the presentation of its next major handset.

Also read: Nokia 6, 5, 3, and 3310 Launched at MWC 2017: All You Need to Know

The company withdrew the Galaxy Note 7 last October due to faulty batteries, which led some devices to catch fire.

Also read: Samsung Galaxy S3 Tab, Windows 10-Based Galaxy Book Launched

That caused a loss of consumer trust, wiping out $5.3 billion of operating profit, and allowing Apple’s iPhone to overtake it in sales.

Don’t miss: Nokia 3310 First Look Video: Check Out The Iconic Little Nokia Phone

MWC 2017: Nokia, BlackBerry, Huawei, Moto And Others Pile in to Exploit Samsung Weakness

Phonemakers are piling in to fill a gap in the market left by Samsung, still licking its wounds from a costly recall of its flagship Note 7 and with no key device of its own to launch at the telecom industry’s biggest annual fair.

China’s Huawei, the most likely contender to fill the hole in the premium end of the market, took the wraps off a new phone in its quest to displace Samsung as the world’s no. 2 smartphone maker after Apple, during a rush of new product releases on Sunday ahead of this week’s World Mobile Congress.

Chinese challengers Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo and Gionee are in hot pursuit, while BlackBerry and Nokia announced models exploiting their retro appeal.

Also read: Nokia at MWC 2017: Nokia 6, 5, 3, Nokia 3310 And The Snake Game is Here

Samsung itself presented two new tablets pending the launch of its next flagship device, the Galaxy S8, expected now at the end of March rather than at Mobile World Congress, its usual showcase.

“The past six months have undoubtedly been one of the most challenging periods of our history,” Samsung’s European marketing chief David Lowes told a news conference in Barcelona. “We’re determined to learn every possible lesson.”

Samsung withdrew the Galaxy Note 7 last October after faulty batteries led some devices to catch fire, leading to a loss of consumer trust, wiping out more than $5 billion of operating profit, and allowing the iPhone to overtake it in sales.

“The competition is feisty but I think we have a good chance,” Richard Yu, chief executive of Huawei’s consumer business group, told Reuters in an interview.

Samsung’s smartphone market share dropped to 17.7 percent in the fourth quarter, while Apple’s rose to 17.8 percent, according to market research firm Strategy Analytics.

Also read: Samsung Galaxy S3 Tab, Windows 10-Based Galaxy Book Launched

Independent research analyst Richard Windsor of Radio Free Mobile doubts whether Samsung can quickly regain its position.

“Samsung has taken a massive $5.4 billion hit to profits, apologised profusely for the recall and admitted shortcomings in its quality and assurance process but I don’t think that the full effects of this issue have fully hit home,” he wrote in a blog post. He pointed to a survey from Harris Poll which shows that Samsung’s reputation has fallen from No. 7 in the United States to No. 42, just one position above the U.S. Postal Service.

Huawei has aggressively expanded its mid- to high-end phones and is going head to head in Asia and Europe with Apple and Samsung in the premium phone market.

Its new high-end P10 phone will go on sale from March at 649 euros ($685) in Europe, its key target market, likely ahead of the expected Samsung S8 launch.

Huawei, which made its name as a builder of telecom networks and only entered the phone market this decade, has made no secret of its ambition to be the world’s number two.

Also read: Samsung MWC 2017: ‘Green Peace’ Protester Goes For The Centrestage

But fortunes can change rapidly in the smartphone market, with little-known names in the West pushing established Asian players such as ZTE, LG Electronics and Lenovo-Motorola into the second tier.

Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi are now the fourth, fifth and sixth-biggest smartphone makers in the world, according to Strategy Analytics, with Sony number 16, and HTC in 20th place.

“The long game in smartphones simply is a marketing game,” said Tim Coulling, an analyst at research firm Canalys.

(Follow MWC 2017 Full Coverage Here)

Samsung MWC 2017: ‘Green Peace’ Protester Goes For The Centrestage

Just as Samsung event at the Mobile World Congress was about to begin, Samsung Senior VP and CMO got a ‘not too pleasant’ surprise.

A protestor almost got on the stage holding a ‘Green Peace’ banner. The banner points at the fact that Samsung had failed to share a strategy as to what it was going to do with the 4.3 million units of Galaxy Note 7 which were recalled after its batteries started exploding.

People across the globe had suggested Samsung to come up with a plan to recycle the devices in one form or another or at least their unfaulty parts. Samsung had failed to comment or take action on these suggestions and instead just focussed up on getting to the cause of the battery failures.

Samsung’s David Lowes then waved the protestor off by saying “you’ve made your point.”

Nokia 6, 5, 3, and 3310 Launched at MWC 2017: All You Need to Know

Nokia on Sunday (February 26) launched three Android smartphones – the Nokia 6, Nokia 5 and Nokia 3 along with the iconic Nokia 3310 and the Snake game at Barcelona.

Nokia 6 will debut in global markets this year. HMD Global made the announcement at its MWC 2017 event on Sunday.

The highly-anticipated portfolio of Nokia phones launched at MWC has three new smartphones – the Nokia 6, the Nokia 5, and the Nokia 3.

nokia-6

Nokia 6, which was launched in China earlier, has gone global with a 5.5 inch full-HD screen with 2.5D Gorilla Glass. Nokia 6 is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor has 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB ROM.

In the camera department, the Nokia 6 has a 16 megapixel rear camera and an 8 megapixel front-facing camera. According to HMD, the dual amplifiers will “deliver a 6 dB louder sound than a regular amp”. Nokia 6 also has Dolby Atmos — designed to give audio a more 3D sound effect.

The Nokia 6 sports a unibody design that is made from a single block of 6,000 series aluminium, says HMD. The device will be available in Matte Black, Silver, Tempered Blue and Copper colours and will retail at an average global retail price of €229.

Nokia 6 Arte Black is a limited edition variant that is launched to celebrate the worldwide Nokia 6 portfolio. The Arte Black edition of Nokia 6 will come with 64GB storage and 4GB RAM and come in a high-gloss black colour and will retail at an average global retail price of €299.

nokia-5-new

Nokia 5 sports a smaller 5-inch display. It packs in a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor with 16GB internal storage, 2GB RAM, a 13MP rear cam and 8MP wide-angle front camera and runs the latest Android 7.1.1 Nougat (with Google Assistant). The Nokia 5 similar to its sibling but due to its curved edges, it is easy to differentiate.

The Nokia 5 will ship alongside the Nokia 6 starting Q2 of 2017 and will be avilable in Silver, Tempered Blue, Matte Black, and Copper coloured variants. Nokia 5 will start retailing at €189.

Nokia 3 is a low-end model with a polycarbonate body that is held together by an aluminium frame. It has a laminated 5-inch display and is powered by a MediaTek 6737, has 2GB RAM, 16GB storage. There’s also an 8MP front and rear cam. It runs the Android 7.1.1 Nougat and will retail at a price of just $147 when it launches in Q2.

nokia-3310-1

Nokia 3310 debuted in a re-imagined form and how! Th2 2017 edition 3310 is thinner, lighter and incredibly durable, according to HMD Global. Nokia 3315 boasts of an incredible 22-hour talk-time and month long stand-by.

The Nokia 3310 is available in four colours – Warm Red and Yellow, both with a gloss finish, and Dark Blue and Grey both with a matte finish. The Nokia 3310 will retail at an average global retail price of €49.

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Healthcare technology experts contemplate the Trump effect

There’s a lot of speculation about what will happen to healthcare innovation and technology under the Trump administration.

How will the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) impact healthcare technology? What is the future of innovation in and around value-based care delivery?

In a Nov. 10, 2016, post on CIO.com, fellow IDG Contributors Network blogger Paddy Padmanabhan predicted that “A Trump presidency is less likely to enact legislation that will result in a dismantling of any of the IT investments and infrastructure in healthcare; it’s more likely bring about policy changes that will leverage the digital infrastructure that is already in place.”

Others question whether Trump understands healthcare technology in the first place. In a November column in Healthcare IT News, Mike Miliard wrote, “With regard to health information technology in particular, Trump said very little (if anything) about it during [the] campaign. ‘I’m not sure he’s capable of understanding the nuances of health IT policy,’ one lobbyist told Politico.”

Digging deeper into policy, a panel of healthcare technology experts met in San Francisco to explore the new administration’s impact on the industry. The fireside chat, produced by patent-pending HIPAA-compliant email provider Paubox and hosted at incubator 500 Startups, gathered some of the best in healthcare tech thought leadership, including:

  • Geoffrey Clapp, health technology expert and Paubox adviser.
  • Rebecca Woodcock, entrepreneur in residence, 500 Startups and head of digital health track.
  • Noah Lewis, Managing director, GE Ventures.
  • Lan Anh Nguyen, CEO, ManageUP PRM.

“We thought it would be a pivotal time to get a lay of the land… on where digital health is heading under a new presidency,” said Hoala Greevy, the CEO of Paubox.

“It’s a world of opportunity for you as entrepreneurs,” Clapp said. “As an entrepreneur, problems didn’t change this month because an executive order got changed.” And it’s that kind of pragmatic talk that needs to be had about the next four years in healthcare technology. Differentiating between what the president can realistically impact and what he cannot.

In the end, we learn it may all be OK. “It’s not a scary world. Don’t run for the doors,” said Noah Lewis.

This video offers an overview of the panel discussion:

More videos from the fireside chat can be found on YouTube.

This article is published as part of the IDG Contributor Network. Want to Join?

Bring it BACK… with MODs! Psion 5 storms great tech revival poll

The AA-powered, pocket-sized touch daddy

The ground-breaking personal digital assistant (PDA) pulled in a record 1,199 votes to land first place in The Reg poll: what technology is ripe for revival next?

The catalyst was HMD’s decision to revive the much-loved Nokia 3310.

Second by a long way was the Sony Walkman Stereo Cassette player, with 672 votes, and in third place was Atari’s 2600 console – which succeeded in turning 1970s youf arcade game culture into a wholesome front-room experience.

The Series 5 benefited from 10 years of development on organisers from plucky British tech firm Psion, which started life building software with Sinclair Research.

With the Series 5, Psion managed the successful combination of hardware and software.

An ARM handheld computer ahead of its time, it weighed just 350 grams, packed a set of rich productivity apps – making it a hit with business types – keyboard and touch-screen input and a battery life of up to 20 hours courtesy not of some specialized or sealed unit but a pair or ordinary AAs. All that in clamshell you could snap shut and pop in your pocket.

Downsides? Too few to mention, but downsides nonetheless: a tiny, grey scale screen useless in direct sun and a screen cable with a reputation for breaking.

Reflecting on his 5mx, the slightly faster twin of the Series 5, which appeared in 1999, Reg reader David Robinson wrote:

Martin an gof concurred:

  • keep the form-factor
  • keep the stylus
  • keep the thing running for a week on a pair of AAs

Not everything was perfect, and those AA batteries came with a downside.

According to G R Roslyn:

If it were to return, how should the Series 5 be reborn?

The EE 701 Paddock had some ideal keep the keyboard, fix the screen cable and uipdate with two decades of advances in tech: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, SD or MicroSD, capacity colour touchscreen.

The only question: operating system. Linux or Android? ®

Artificial intelligence ‘will save wearables’!

Can you hearable me?

Don’t be silly.

What it does is pile the next hype on to the last hype, and call it “Hype 2.0”.

“With AI integration in wearables, we are entering ‘wearable 2.0’ era,” proclaim analysts Counterpoint Research in one of the most optimistic press releases we’ve seen in a while.

It’s certainly bullish for market growth, predicting that “AI-powered wearables will grow 376 per cent annually in 2017 to reach 60 million units.”

In fact it’s got a new name for these – “hearables”. Apple will apparently have 78 per cent of this hearable market.

The justification for the claim is that language-processing assistants like Alexa will be integrated into more products. Counterpoint also includes Apple Airpods and Beats headphones as “AI-powered hearables”, which may be stretching things a little.

It almost seems rude to point out that the current wearables market – a bloodbath for vendors – is already largely “hearable”. Android Wear has been obeying OK Google commands spoken by users since it launched in 2014:

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Apple built Siri into its Apple Watch in 2015 with its first update, watchOS 2:

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Microsoft’s Band built in Cortana:

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If a “smart” natural language interface had the potential to make wearables sell, surely we would know it by now. But we hardly need to tell you what sales of these devices are. Many vendors have hit paused, or canned their efforts completely. You could even argue that talking into a wearable may be one of the reasons why the wearable failed to be a compelling or successful consumer electronics story. People don’t want to do it.

Sprinkling the latest buzzword – machine learning or AI – over something that isn’t a success doesn’t suddenly make that thing a success. But AI has always had a cult-like quality to it: it’s magic, and fills a God-shaped hole. For 50 years, the divine promise of “intelligent machines” has periodically overcome people’s natural scepticism as they imagine a breakthrough is close at hand. Then it recedes into the labs again. All that won’t stop people wishing that this time AI has Lazarus-like powers.

We can’t wait for our machine-learning powered Sinclair C5 – the Deluxe Edition with added Blockchain.

Can you? ®

Telstra gets jump in 5G race

Telstra has raised the stakes in the mobile wars with the telco reinforcing its long-running partnership with Sweden’s Ericsson to give its core network a 5G makeover.

It’s the first definitive step in Telstra’s “Network of the Future” initiative announced in October and the telco’s network boss Mike Wright said the latest three-year network development and rollout plan will help fast-forward Telstra’s capabilities.

The optical network forms the foundation for Telstra’s fixed and mobile networks and the partnership will see Ericsson supply, install and integrate solutions designed to make Telstra’s networks ready to deal with higher traffic growth and the demands of 5G and Internet of Things.

Mr Wright added that the futureproofing drive won’t detract from Telstra’s ongoing efforts to ensure that its existing network services remain up to scratch.

“We have always been very keen to exploit new technologies for our networks and deliver the best service, customers should be excited that we are not hanging on to the past,” Mr Wright said at a media event in Barcelona on the eve of Mobile World Congress,

“Rather than add to the old network year on year, we are investing early and starting to bring forward the underlying replacement and evolution of the optical layer of our network.

“We can use it as in the traditional way in the short term but it’s ready for the evolution when we start to overlay new technologies over the network,” he added.

The initiative is part of the $3 billion Telstra is committed spending on its core networks over the next three years in the wake of a string of ­embarrassing outages on its network. It also gives Telstra a jump in the evolving 5G race locally, given that Optus and Vodafone are also starting to tout their capabilities and investment plans.

The national optical network expansion is one of a series of programs outlined by Telstra and Ericsson with the two working with chipmaker Qualcomm to conduct interoperability testing and an over-the-air field 5G trial based on standards still under development.

The trials are intended to give Telstra a head start in accelerating the commercialisation of the global 3GPP 5G standard, with Mr Wright saying that it will see the telco do some “actual testing with trial customer traffic.”

“If the testing goes well, if the standards go well, we will be setting ourselves up to be up there as one of the world’s first networks that are ready to bring up a 5G network,” Mr Wright said.

Telstra and Ericsson are also working together on what the telco claims to be the first national IoT-enabled mobile network. The companies have started Cat M1 trials in Melbourne and Tasmania. Cat M1 technology uses the 1.4 MHz spectrum band to provide average upload speeds between 200 kilobits per second (kpbs) and 400 kpbs. The technology, which is expected to become commercially available by 2017, allows the deployment of large numbers of low cost, low power consuming sensor devices.

Telstra and Ericsson are working with device vendors Sierra Wireless, Altair and Bosch in the local trials, one of which saw a sensor network deployed at Pooley Wines in regional Tasmania to collect data like soil moisture and temperature, rainfall, solar radiation and wind speed.

Ericsson’s ANZ head Emilio Romero said that the series of programs are the building blocks of Telstra’s future.

“Together we are putting the network fundamentals in place for Telstra’s Network of the Future program,” he said.

“Contributing to these advances are Qualcomm Technologies, Ciena, Sierra Wireless, Altair and Bosch — technology evolution such as those discussed are only possible through strong collaborative approaches.”

“These collaborations will deliver Telstra advanced network capabilities in optical, 5G, IoT and Cloud, and in turn support Telstra’s customers to receive the benefits from early technology innovation,” he added.

* The author travelled to Mobile World Congress as a guest of Oppo.

MWC 2017: Motorola Launches Moto G5 And Moto G5 Plus

Motorola has launched Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus in the MWC 2017 as the fifth generation of the Moto G family.

These are the first phones in the Moto G-series which come with a metal design.

Moto G5 comes with a 2800 mAh battery and a 1.4 GHz octa-core processor. The phone also sports a fingerprint reader in the front.

Moto G5 includes a 13-megapixel camera with phase detection autofocus (PDAF) and a 5-megapixel front camera.

Moto G5_Fine Gold

Moto G5 launched at the MWC 2017 in Barcelona. (Image: Motorola)

Moto G5 Plus on the other hand, comes with a 12-megapixel camera with Dual Autofocus Pixels and f/1.7 aperture.

The smartphone is powered by a 3000 mAh battery with TurboPower charging options which will deliver up to six hours of battery life in 15 minutes of cahrging, as claimed by the company.

Moto G5 Plus is powered by a 2.0 GHz octa-core processor and comes with 4G LTE support

As the additional features, Moto G5 Plus includes Moto Actions – One Button Nav, which lets users navigate through screens using the fingerprint reader.

Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus will be available beginning in March in various countries across Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific and North America.

Moto G5 will be available in Lunar Gray or Fine Gold.

Moto G will be sold starting at €199 (-14,000) with 2GB RAM and 16GB storage. Moto G5 Plus starts at $229 (-16,000) with 2GB RAM/32GB storage and €279 (-20,000) for 3GB RAM/32GB storage.

Follow MWC 2017 Full Coverage Here

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