The scoop on the Nokia Lumia 920

Nokia will unveil its new flagship Windows Phone smartphone, the Nokia Lumia 920 at an event scheduled to be held on September 5th in conjunction with Microsoft. The smartphone has been designed to help Nokia maintain its place in the smartphone marketplace following the enormous challenge from the open-source Android-operated smartphone models that are flooding the market.

Rumor has it that the new Nokia smartphone will feature a 1.5GHz dual core processor, wireless charging capabilities, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera and a 4.5-inch HD display. The primary camera is speculated to be a PureView camera of around 8 megapixels.

What we have for sure so far are images of what appear to be the Nokia Lumia 920 smartphone. They appeared last week with the only details being the name and that it will feature a 4.5-inch screen. Judging from the leaked images, the smartphone will most definitely come in a range of colors, a speculation that we can only confirm come tomorrow.

Reputed for its manufacture of hardware and software-reliable phones, Nokia must have put their best into designing and producing the Nokia Lumia 920. This is something good to the ultimate user of the phone. However, the rigorous testing and vetting of the phone design’s strengths and weaknesses is an expensive one, an explanation given by many techies as to why Nokia phones can be so high-priced.

The Nokia Lumia 920 will be released into a market flooded with relatively cheaper smartphones operating on Android and iOS. To gain a position in the gamble, the phone must have an extra software touch. For instance, Windows Phone has an edge over Android on multitasking, an edge that Nokia must exploit if they intend to shake the market.

Though the release date is on the first Wednesday of October, it is unfortunate that most of us will have to wait until late October or November before we can lay our hands on the gadget and try out the features and performance.

Nokia Loses Mobile Phone Crown To Samsung After 14 Years On Top

Nokia has finally succumbed to pressure from the leading smartphone handset manufacturers and lost its crown as the leading cellphone vendor in the world. Samsung has taken its place at the top, while Apple remains in third place. Focusing in on just smartphone sales reveals Apple is still number one, with Samsung a very close second, and Nokia a long way behind in third.

This sets up a couple of interesting questions that will be answered over the coming years and beyond: Who will win in the titanic battle between Apple and Samsung for smartphone sales? Will Nokia be able to recover from this position, with Microsoft as its partner and Windows Phone as its operating system of choice?

Nokia Knocked Off Perch

For as long as I have owned a mobile phone Nokia has been the number one seller of the form factor. It has held the number one spot as mobile phone vendor since 1998, and in that time managed to see off plenty of competitors. Unfortunately that reign at the top of the pile has now come to a crashing end, with the news that Samsung has succeeded it as king.

According to data from IHS, Nokia’s handset shipments dropped from 114 million in Q4 2011 to 83 million in Q1 2012. That’s a drop of 27 percent. To be fair both Samsung and Apple also took a hit, with drops of 13 percent and 5 percent respectively. But that leaves them on 92 million and 35 million, meaning Samsung has hurdled Nokia to take the number one spot.

Apple Vs. Samsung

The smartphone sales figures are also interesting. Again, all three have taken a hit, with Apple dropping from 37 million to 35 million, Samsung from 35 million to 32 million, and Nokia from 20 million to 12 million. Apple has actually increased its lead over Samsung during the last quarter.

However, that doesn’t mean the titanic battle is over. Far from it, in fact. Samsung is expected to unveil its latest smartphone (almost certainly the Galaxy S III) at an event in London on May 3. Apple will then launch the iPhone 5 by October, although there is increasing speculation that it could arrive much sooner, possibly during WWDC in June.

Either way the scene is set for a huge fight between the two leading vendors of smartphones. The Galaxy S III is garnering almost-iPhone levels of anticipation and speculation, and I suspect many Android users will be looking to upgrade to it at the earliest opportunity.

Any Chance Of A Comeback?

This leaves Nokia in an awkward position. It has finally made the move to smartphones, partnering with Microsoft to offer Windows Phone on all its handsets, but reception to both the handsets and the OS that powers them have been mixed. To say the least. If Nokia wants to gain ground back on Samsung then it needs not only to produce compelling hardware but also for Microsoft to keep plugging away with Windows Phone. Perhaps Windows Phone 8 will be the turning point.

Image Credits: John Karakatsanis, Cheon Fong Liew, Maurits Knook

Is Nokia building a Google Wallet competitor?

Nokia has alluded to a Near Field Communication (NFC) driven wallet app for a long time, but is it finally almost here? According to NFC Rumors, Nokia is in talks with JP Morgan to bring an NFC payment app to Windows Phones and possibly devices powered by Symbian, their home brew OS.

Nokia is still the reigning leader in the number of handsets they produce each year, and this could provide much-needed competition for Google’s runaway train Android, which has been giving the Windows Phone an unceremonious ass-kicking in recent months.

Google Wallet, which has been released for public testing on the Sprint network and only with the Nexus S, has been met with positive reviews but is also being met with resistance, as payment with Wallet is contingent upon the presence of a MasterCard PayPass terminal. Nokia and Microsoft entering the fray may bring some clout to the idea of ubiquitous mobile payments and hasten the transition from traditional payment options.

So, if the rumor holds true, what does that mean for us? For starters, it gives credence to Google’s idea of carrying your wallet in your phone by showing the public that companies will be competing for the space. This should allow the mobile payment niche to start maturing and gain consumer confidence. It also shows that Nokia and Microsoft are poised to make some big moves with Windows Phone 7 on Nokia hardware.

A lot is unclear about this deal, like whether Nokia will be producing the software or simply facilitating it with hardware. Supposedly, we’ll be finding out soon, as the deal is with JP Morgan is nearly complete.