Fri, Aug 17, 2012 - Page 15 News List

Nokia to unveil Windows 8 smartphone on Sept. 5

PLAYING CATCH-UP:The Finnish maker is stepping up its partnership with Microsoft as it phases out its Symbian phones, amid intense global competition


Finnish telecoms giant Nokia and Microsoft plan to unveil a smartphone equipped with the US software giant’s Windows 8 operating system in New York on Sept. 5, a report said on Wednesday.

The Helsingin Sanomat daily did not cite any sources, but said the beleaguered Nokia could also unveil its first tablet computer at the event.

The Finnish company’s new strategy is phasing out its Symbian smartphones in favor of a partnership with Microsoft. That alliance has produced a first line of Lumia smartphones, which Nokia is counting on to help it survive in a rapidly changing landscape marked by stiff competition from Apple Inc’s iPhone, Research in Motion’s Blackberry and handsets running Google’s Android platform.

That took a hit when Microsoft warned that existing Lumia handsets would not be able to run its Windows 8 upgrade.

The company, which in 2008 enjoyed more than 40 percent of the global mobile phone market, was already struggling to maintain its leading position when it entered the Microsoft partnership.

Nokia no longer provides its global market share figures, but has reportedly now seen the number drop below 20 percent.

Meanwhile, Google is upgrading the maps designed for mobile devices running on its Android software as it braces for new competition from Apple.

The improvements in the latest version of mobile maps for Android center on listings for public transportation options in nearly 500 cities around the world. The update released on Wednesday includes directions and departure times for more than 1 million stations worldwide for the first time.

The changes come as Apple prepares to replace Google’s maps as the automatic navigation service on the iPhone and iPad. Apple is casting aside Google for its own mobile mapping service.

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