China is proving to be an unexpectedly high hurdle to cross as Microsoft strives to purchase Nokia’s handset division.
In the run up to approving the deal, China’s Ministry of Commerce held a seminar on the 3rd March to hear the Nokia-Microsoft case.
At the event many smaller Chinese OEMs petitioned the Ministry of Justice to prevent Microsoft and Nokia from charging significant fees for the use of their patents.
Last year we reported that Microsoft-Nokia deal is in the second-phase of anti-trust investigation in China, as Chinese OEMs and regulators fear that Nokia’s patent fees for the China’s domestic handset vendors might go up after this deal gets over. Bloomberg then reported that local Chinese OEMs have asked regulators to make sure Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s handset business doesn’t result in higher patent fees on wireless technology.
Today, Bloomberg today reported that Google and Samsung have joined the Chinese OEM in expressing their concern about Microsoft-Nokia deal. They want to make sure this deal doesn’t result in higher fees on wireless technology patents that will remain with Nokia. The report also claimed that Google and Samsung fear that Microsoft will gain more power over the smartphone market and may abuse its patents.
Contrary to Samsung and Google’s concerns, Microsoft is always open to license their patents to other smartphone vendors under very reasonable terms. In fact, they have signed patent licensing deals with more than 20 Android OEMs and ODMs so far.
China’s Ministry of Commerce is conducting an anti-monopoly review and is likely to approve the deal, the officials said. The question is whether the ministry will demand the companies guarantee that the agreement doesn’t result in higher patent fees, the officials said.
WinP.cn reports that another image of the upcoming Nokia Lumia 630 has leaked, this time as part of a family portrait with the Nokia Lumia 1320 and 1520.
WinP.cn expects the new smartphone to be available in mid-April in China.
The handset will run Windows Phone 8.1 and is therefore expected to hit the market some time in April after the Build 2014 conference, where the OS is expected to be revealed. It will be the first Windows Phone with virtual keys rather than capacitive ones and will have a 854×480 pixel screen.
Thanks hengxiang32401 for the tip.
A screen shot of a dual-SIM version of the Nokia Lumia 630, which has earlier been revealed as the Nokia Lumia 635, has leaked out on China’s Baidu network.
The image, which appears to be from a certification service, clearly shows the dual phone and messaging apps, and is also accompanied by some sizing information, which shows the handset to be 66.7 mm x129.5 mm with a 4.5 inch screen, which makes the handset slightly smaller than the Nokia Lumia 920.
Unfortunately the information also reveals the handset has a 480×854 pixel screen, which scuppers any hope for a low-cost HD screened handset like some of Motorola’s latest devices. The handset will of course have virtual buttons, and from the image also appears to lack a camera button.
What do our readers think of this Nokia Lumia 620 successor? Let us know below.
It seems once the leak starts, soon the floodgates open.
Another shot of the new Windows Phone 8.1 notification centre has popped up on the internet, this time in China.
The picture was posted on Baidu by user Lumia920it and this time once again shows the Settings Page of the Notification Centre, which allows users to deselect services from showing up in the centre.
It also shows that the quick action toggles for WIFI and Bluetooth and so forth are selectable, which might help assuage those who feel screen space is used up by elements infrequently used.
The picture is essentially similar to the one leaked earlier here and I think mainly serves to show that the updated OS is in testing worldwide, and can not be too far from the market.
Via WinP.cn, thanks hengxiang32401 for the tip.
WPBar.cn has been trickling out some more info on the as yet unannounced Nokia Lumia 1520V.
The handset, which looks like a smaller version of the Nokia Lumia 1520, is shown in the screen shot to run Windows Phone 8.1 build 8.10.1270.
The screen shot also shows the handset will have the Quadcore Snapdragon 800 processor (SOC 8974) which is a relief, as it also confirms it lacks a 1080P screen.
So far WPBar.cn has revealed the handset has a 4.45 inch screen, and 2370 mAh battery. Despite the small screen size it will still however have the 3 column start screen.
The site expects to deliver more info in the coming weeks, with the handset expected to arrive in April 2014.
See a recent picture of the handset here.
The Nokia Lumia 1520v has once again made an appearance, as usual in China once again.
There on microblogging site Weibo MiLeaks has posted a picture of the device next to what appears to be an iPhone, showing the comparatively small size of the handset.
It does also show however that even the small screened handset will have the full 3 column home screen as seen on larger phablets.
Recently leaked specs suggest the handset will have a 4.45 inch 720P screen and 2370 mAh battery, but otherwise has not revealed any more specs of the device.
MiLeaks suggests we will not have to wait too long for it to arrival however, with the handset expected in April 2014.
Thanks to our tipster.
In a rather odd turn of events, it appears the still unannounced Verizon Nokia Lumia 929/Icon has now gone on sale thousands of miles away from its intended network.
Winp.cn reports that the handset is now on sale on the Taobao ecommerce site in China, and that the handsets are being imported from America.
In fact the 1080P smartphone is selling for as little as 3,800 Yuan ($630) which seems rather a bargain for the technology included.
Of course the handset is not completely compatible with local networks – with only 2G working on China Mobile and 2/3G on China Unicom, while a cracked SIM is needed for China Telecom, and LTE not working anywhere.
Are any of our readers tempted to re-reimport the handset back to USA? Let us know below.
See many more pictures after the break.
We have seen some rather ridiculous rumours recently of 2K Windows Phones coming soon. Here is a much more believable rumour from China.
WPBar.cn received some information about a Mini Lumia 1520 called the Lumia 1520V.
The handset will retain much of the specs which makes the 1520 great. It will have a 4.3 amoled 1080p screen, 2G Ram+32G Rom (without SD Card support),3000mah battery,Pureview 14 megapixel and wireless charging support.
It is not known if the handset will retain the quadcore processor, but given the needs of the 1080P screen this seems likely.
The handset is said to launch after the release of Windows phone 8.1 in April, and may be an international version of the Nokia Lumia 929/Icon.
See the picture posted above for a glimpse of the handset posted in China’s twitter.
Would our readers prefer this much smaller handset over the Nokia Lumia 1520? Let us know below.
We have already seen the Kantar numbers for November 2013, and while the results are thankfully encouraging in Europe, with Windows phone taking a respectable 10% of the 5 largest European markets, the numbers remain stubbornly flat in USA and China, at only 4.7% in USA and 2.7% in China.
Kantar analyst Dominic Sunnebo comments: “You don’t have to conquer China and the US to win in the smartphone market, but you do need success in one of them. At the moment there are few signs of progress in either country for Windows Phone and momentum needs to be made soon before OS loyalty severely limits the available market.”
Sunnebo notes China is the most amenable market, but that Microsoft, as a US company, may instead continue to futile attack the US market.
“China is likely to be the easier and more rewarding target for Windows. After all, Nokia has a huge existing presence in the market, retains strong customer preference and can sell handsets at the right price to capture the huge numbers of people with relatively modest budgets. However, with Microsoft soon running the show it’s hard to imagine a change in strategic direction away from the US.”
Which course do our readers think Microsoft should pursue? Let us know below.
NokiaPowerUser reports that the successor to the very popular Nokia Lumia 520, the Nokia Lumia 525, is already hitting new pricing lows in China, now being available for only 629 Yuan ($103), even cheaper than the Nokia Lumia 520 is now available for.
The handset launched only a few weeks ago for 999 Yuan, 300 Yuan cheaper than launch price of 1299 Yuan for Lumia 520. It seems Nokia has done what it does best, engineer out even more cost from the range, which should ensure the 52x series remains a Windows Phone monster for some time to come, and by upping the RAM to 1 GB has also ensured the cheap as chips handset will be a full citizen in the Windows Phone ecosystem.
The handset can be found for 629 Yuan at T-Mall here.
Earlier this week, we reported that Microsoft-Nokia deal is in the second-phase of anti-trust investigation in China, as Chinese OEMs and regulators fear that Nokia’s patent fees for the China’s domestic handset vendors might go up after this deal gets over. Today, Bloomberg reported that local Chinese OEMs has asked regulators to make sure Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s handset business doesn’t result in higher patent fees on wireless technology.
Huawei Technologies Co. and ZTE Corp.asked China’s Ministry of Commerce to set conditions on the deal making sure Microsoft doesn’t raise patent licensing fees afterward, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the matter. The ministry is conducting an anti-monopoly review of the deal.
Microsoft and Nokia is expecting to close the deal in early 2014 and any delay in China due to the above issues may further push the deal closing date in 2014. I hope Chinese regulators and Nokia soon sort out the differences to clear this deal.
We expected the Nokia Lumia 1320, the considerably cheaper brother of the Nokia Lumia 1520, to only make an appearance some time in January 2014, but it seems the handset could not be restrained, and has now been sprung on the Chinese market.
Nokia Conversations has announced the 6 inch 720P handset will go on sale today in China, followed by Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and other countries in the coming weeks.
Unlike its high-end brother the Nokia Lumia 1320 has a dual-core 1.7 Ghz Snapdragon processor, 1GB of RAM, 8 GB internal storage with microSD card expansion, and a 5 megapixel camera with flash and also VGA front-facing camera.
It also features a massive 3400 mAh battery, which can power the handset for up to 21 hours of 3G talk time and almost 100 hours of music playback.
See the full specs here.
The announced price is USD 339 before local taxes and subsidies, but the actual price per market has not been released yet.
See a trailer for the “big and beautiful” handset after the break.