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Jul 17, 2014

Microsoft to Kill Asha, Series 40, and Nokia X in 18 Months

Today, Microsoft announced some major changes in its smartphone strategy moving forth, including a large number of layoffs from the former Nokia Devices and Services division, but it seems that the company did not reveal all on its plans for the future.

The company said that it would streamline production at some factories and that the engineering process would be restructured to only two of Nokia sites in Finland (though others would continue to operate as support), but it seems that there’s more to it. Within the next 18 months, we might see the Asha, Series 40, and Nokia X series of devices completely shut down, as the company is shifting focus on Windows Phone and Lumia devices. Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, has already said that some Nokia X devices will be re-purposed to Lumia phones, and Stephen Elop has reiterated that, while also saying that current Android devices will continue to be available for purchase and will also receive support. However, an internal memo from Jo Harlow, head of Microsoft’s phone business, clears things up a bit more, revealing that Asha, Series 40, and Nokia X devices are being moved into "maintenance mode" effective immediately, The Verge reports.

Thus, they will no longer receive new features, although support for them will still be offered for the next 18 months. Past that, these handsets will be completely removed from Microsoft’s plans. "This means there will be no new features or updates to services on any Mobile Phones platform as a result of these plans," Jo Harlow reportedly says in the aforementioned internal memo. "Whereas successful hardware was the goal at Nokia; delighting our customers with Microsoft platforms, services and applications through our hardware is our goal at Microsoft,” she also notes. Thus, Microsoft will focus completely on Windows Phone and on increasing its market presence in the high-end and entry-level segments, it seems.

"To drive success in the short term, we plan to focus our high end go-to-market strategy on the Lumia 930, Lumia 1520, and other high-end products that we will be announcing very soon," Harlow says. As part of the restructuring plans, Microsoft will also kill MixRadio, it seems. This service too has been moved to maintenance mode, and the company is said to be looking into transforming it into a third-party service, and is also considering spinning it off. Said memo also reveals that the Redmond-based company will work on the building of new flagship products to be released alongside the next iteration of Windows Phone, which will arrive next year under the codename of Threshold.

Nokia X
Image credits to Nokia/Microsoft

New Components for iPhone 6 Leaked: Bigger Battery and Sony Camera Sensor

New reports coming from Chinese and French sources give us a little more insight on the next generation iPhone. Apple future device may be greatly improved when it comes to taking photos and videos and the battery life may be considerably higher.

A report on a Chinese Sony related forum (http://www.digi-wo.com/thread-19938-1-1.html) explains that a component made by Sony will be included in the iPhone 6. The IMX220 camera sensor has a higher megapixel count than the current iPhone 5s camera: 13MP. It also sports a 1/2.3 inch sensor that records videos in 1080p (just like the previous iPhone model). Apple usually doesn't talk about camera specs, but it does compare it to previous models. For example, when the iPhone 5s came out, the device had a sensor that increases the are for pixels by 15 percent and the pixels themselves were larger. The aperture was increased with the iSight camera and light sensitivity was larger by 33 percent. The iPhone 5s also introduced a dual flash and auto image stabilization. The iPhone 5s camera has a sapphire crystal lens cover, backside illumination sensor, five-element lens and a Hybrid IR filter.

Another leak comes from the French blog Nowhereelse.fr and it is related to the battery of the next generation iPhone. According to the mentioned source, the iPhone 6 will incorporate a 1,810 mAh cell which is considerably larger than the 1,560 mAh one found in the iPhone 5s. Sure, the iPhone 6 may have a larger case and that can easily accommodate a larger battery, but it will supposedly have a larger display as well - 4,7 inch instead of a four inch one. The increase will kill the battery even faster so a larger capacity one is a must have. The source says the new capacity is still way behind the battery for Android-powered devices like Galaxy S5 and HTC One (M8). But then again, Apple is optimizing the internal components and software to have a lower power consumption. iOS 8 may also contribute at the way the battery is drained.

The tech giant from California is getting ready to release the new iPhone this fall. The new device might be announced on September 19th and launched a week later, on September 25th. The device will supposedly have a 4.7" diagonal display made from sapphire glass.

Sony sensor to be included in iPhone 6
Image credits to alibaba.com

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