Nokia World 2013 Liveblog

nokiaworldADNokia is expected to announce a bevy of new devices starting from 6pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time. Follow the news as it’s announced right here!
As always, hit refresh for the latest updates!
5:20 Nokia’s chosen to hold its Nokia World conference in Abu Dhabi, which means that, for once, the timing is quite pleasant (relative to Australian time) to liveblog all the announcements. It’s expected to lay out its roadmap for devices going forwards, having sold off its hardware devices business to Microsoft.
But what will that mean? There’s the strong suggestion that it’ll announce its first tablet, but will that be a Windows RT model, or a full-blown Windows 8.1 offering — and if so, what will Nokia do to differentiate itself from the many Windows 8.1 competitors rushing to market? We’ll find out — starting in just 40 minutes.
As with previous Liveblogs, I’m typing as I go, so any typos or missed bits are my own fault; apologies for those upfront will save time later on. Feel free to add your own comments at any time.
5:30 There’s also the issue of whatever happens to these devices once (presuming it clears legal hurdles) Microsoft takes over. Nokia could conceivably build quite a bit of hype for devices that Microsoft isn’t in fact prepared to release to market, or for that matter hold back on projects it had in the pipeline that now look shaky given the long term direction of the company.
Whichever way that goes, I fully expect the keynote to start with a noisy video, possibly featuring synth-pop.
5:35 It’ll also be interesting to see whether Nokia’s live web stream — which you can watch here, if you’re so inclined — holds up to the strain. Right now, it’s relaxed guitar music and a spinning clock…
5:40 Apparently, one of the hashtags for this shindig is #innovationreinvented
I’m not entirely sure those two words actually go together beyond the realms of marketing speak, Nokia.
5:50 Would it be entirely wrong of me to play some Star Wars: Tiny Death Star while I wait for it to start? I think not!
(though I can’t play it on a Nokia Tablet… at least, not yet)
5:56: A brief onscreen image. No sound, though. It looks… Like a Lumia. Crowd filing in. I feel like I’ve been here before.
Many times. The inevitable “please find your seat” guy.
Somebody should patent that. If you got away with it, you’d make a FORTUNE.
NW_1
6:00 Events never start on time. This was to be expected.
Ah, there’s the Nokia ringtone.
Elop
Elop: “We have been on a path to design beautiful phones. Today I am excited to share the next generation of Nokia phones.”
The Next Generation? Will there be a Riker phone?
Next three members of Asha family coming up — more social, better camera.
The Asha 500, 502 and 503, which is 3G. All in colour, with clear sealed bodies. That’s… different. I kind of want to hold one to see whether it makes a difference.
502 and 503 both have a 5MP camera. Now taking pics of Elop, which I somehow suspect has been stage rehearsed more than once.
Tapping to share photos; starting next month, Asha will be Whatsapp compatible. That’s quite a big 3rd party announcement.
nw3
Whatsapp has been being built for Nokia devices since 2009. That’s quite a long lead time.
Asha targeted because “it allows us to reach emerging markets”. Nokia’s long had a history in affordable devices, so that makes a lot of sense. Once again, though, I wonder how that’ll fit into Microsoft’s ongoing strategy.
Every day, 250,000 Whatsapp registrations across Nokia devices. I wonder what the full numbers would be across all devices?
500, 502, 503 have “fastlane” summary of info, same as the 501. Notifications, in other words. But upgraded. Now showing a demo.
nw4
Can choose what you want on your fastlane. Which makes for more comfortable users, I guess, given the privacy issues it could raise. Fastlane will also be an OTA update for 501 users.
$69USD for the Asha 500. This quarter in Asia-Pacific.
$89USD Dual SIM Asha 502, but not this quarter for Asia Pac
Asha 503 $99 in Single or Dual SIM, this quarter in Asia Pacific.
(none of those absolutely mean that these will appear in Australia; I expect to see a flood of Nokia press releases when this concludes)
Now moving on to Lumia coverage.
Nokia Lumia 1520! It’s bright yellow. 6″ display screen. The “clearest and sharpest display experience” Nokia’s ever done. Full 1080P.
Obviously running Windows Phone. Does that make it a Whablet?
(I’m so sorry…)
“The first to introduce three column capability” — not that tough when you’re quite easily the primary Windows Phone maker, though.
20MP PureView camera. Usual oversampling; I wonder what the sensor size is compared to the 1020 or PureView 808?
Nokia Cam, to bring Pro and Smart features together. That’s something I really wanted on the Lumia 1020.
nw5
Nokia Storyteller: Tags photos and videos with HERE information. Demo now. This would need to be good to stand out; it’s not like tagging is new.
Zooming out to show HERE tag information. Looks swift (but then onstage demos are usually managed to within an inch of their lives).
nw6
Four microphones to capture directional audio. Again, I’d want to test that in the real wild, but the demo looks quite slick.
I wonder what Nokia AU will price this at? The Lumia 1020 is at a relatively high price tier already, and telcos aren’t exactly falling over themselves to subsidise handsets the way they used to.
There seem to be quite a few of you. Nice! A reminder: Hit refresh for the latest updates!
Ah, 32GB PLUS microSD. That’s quite welcome.
Vine also coming to WP8. Light applause.
Instagram “in the coming weeks”. Heavier applause. It’s about time!
6 inch screen now being touted as good for the full suite of MS Office apps. Makes sense, but arguably fails the “sex appeal” test.
They’re spending a LOT of time on the 1520.
Now showing off Temple Run 2. Not quite what I would have chosen for games demoing, but hey…
Nokia Beamer: Share your phone screen to ‘any other Internet screen’.
nw7
Ah. Another 6″ device; the Lumia 1320. Only 720p.
So, it’s the Lumia 5c to the 1520’s 5s? (Somebody is going to hurt me for that one)
Lumia Black: A combined MS/Nokia apps update package. Wonder how the telcos will handle that one?
1320 not until next year.
1520: $749USD before taxes. Rolling out in Hong Kong (which means we may get some direct imports depending on bands)
“We can go even larger. And we are.”
Ah, here’s the tablet. The Lumia 2520.
nw8
Nokia’s plan is to shift tablet usage away from just consumption in the evenings. That’s very similar to the kind of “it’s not just for consumption” language that a certain other company uses.
High speed Internet — so LTE onboard by the sound of it. That’s an interesting shift away from the Windows tablet pack, most of whom have gone Wi-Fi only with an eye to tethering to an existing mobile.
It has the new Nokia Camera app. STOP MAKING PEOPLE TAKE PHOTOS WITH TABLETS!
6.7MP rear camera, 2MP front facing camera. Use the Lumia in your pocket, Nokia fans. Please.
Tablets are good for photo browsing. That I have no issue with.
Now showing how Geotagging… geotags. Looks like a nice app, but the point of geotagging is that it places you where you were when a photo was taken. This is a bit on the obvious side.
Hmm. My live feed just dropped. And now is choppy. Which may be from my end, of course.
Stream seems to have fallen over everywhere. They’re apparently showing off Nokia Music right now.
Ah, it’s Windows RT, not full Windows 8.1. That’s an interesting move, given they’ll be Microsoft-owned very shortly. Their own in-house Surface 2 competitor. Not the way I would have liked them to go.
Grabbing info from all over the web — that webcast seems to be dead, dead, dead — there’s a power cover/keyboard that extends battery life to a claimed 16 hours.
Pricing at US$499, in the US and UK later this year. Keyboard an extra $149.
Sounds as though Elop is wrapping up (and at a guess, techs are rapidly kicking the live stream server as hard as they can).
Yep; it’s all over. Now, to get some local details (which I’ll throw into its own post) and ponder on what all that means for Nokia and Microsoft.

Author: Alex

Alex Kidman is a multi-award winning Australian technology writer, former editor at Gizmodo, CNET, GameSpot, ZDNet, PC Mag, APC, Finder and as a contributor to the ABC, SMH, AFR, Courier Mail, GadgetGuy, PC & Tech Authority, Atomic and many more. He's been writing professionally since 1998, and his passions include technology, social issues, education, retro gaming and professional wrestling.

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