In the wake of its legal dispute with Nokia, Apple has pulled all Withings-branded accessories from its online store and presumably from all of its retail stores around the world.
Apple appears to have pulled the accessories in the last day or two, eliminating Withings products like the Body Cardio Scale, the Smart Body Analyzer, and the Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor. When searching for these products on Apple’s site, they are no longer listed as available for purchase.
Apple has stopped offering all Withings products because Withings is owned by Nokia following a spring 2016 purchase worth an estimated $192 million. The Withings brand has been integrated into Nokia’s Digital Health unit and is led by Cedric Hutchings, formerly the CEO of Withings.
A cached version of the listing for the Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor, no longer available from Apple.com
Earlier this week, Apple filed an antitrust lawsuit accusing Nokia and several patent assertion entities of illegally transferring patents to attempt to extort excessive royalty fees from the Cupertino company. Apple had established FRAND (Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory) deals with Nokia, but by transferring patents to patent holding companies, additional royalties can be demanded.
In response, Nokia filed 40 patent infringement lawsuits against Apple across 11 countries, accusing the Cupertino company of failing to establish licensing deals for Nokia patents that cover displays, user interface, software, antenna, chipsets, and video coding.
According to Apple, Nokia has been conspiring with patent assertion entities (Acacia Research and Conversant Property Management) in an “illegal patent transfer scheme” to wring money out of Apple because Nokia’s cell phone business is failing. Nokia, meanwhile, says that it has not been able to reach a licensing agreement with Apple and must defend its rights.
Tags: Withings, Nokia, Patent lawsuits, lawsuits
Discuss this article in our forums
Nokia announced today that it has sued Apple for patent infringement in Germany and the US. According to the suit, Apple did agree to license a few Nokia patents in 2011, but has declined offers since then. “Through our sustained investment in research and development, Nokia has created or contributed to many of the fundamental technologies used in today’s mobile devices, including Apple products,” said Ilkka Rahnasto, Nokia’s head of Patent Business, in a statement.
The suit was filed in Regional Courts in Dusseldorf, Mannheim and Munich in Germany and the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. A total of 32 patents are involved and cover a range of technologies that include everything from the display and user interface to chipsets and video encoding.
Apple is no stranger to patent infringement lawsuits. It paid $24.9 million in a Siri patent lawsuit earlier this year and $625 million in a Facetime patent lawsuit as well. Of course, it’s had the occasional victory too, like when it sued Samsung for patent infringements and won.
Nokia today announced that it has filed several complaints against Apple in Germany and the United States, accusing the Cupertino company of infringing on Nokia patents.
Nokia’s lawsuit stems from a disagreement between Apple and Nokia over licensing fees for Nokia technology. Apple this morning filed an antitrust lawsuit against several patent assertion entities that it claims are attempting to collect excessive fees for Nokia patents through lawsuits and royalty demands.
According to Apple, Nokia’s failing cellphone business has prompted Nokia to transfer patents to patent assertion entities to get out of FRAND (Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory) licensing deals it established for essential patents, allowing the company to collect higher royalties. From Apple’s complaint:
With its cell phone business dying, Nokia began to seek out willing conspirators and to commence its illegal patent transfer scheme in full force; that scheme has continued in full effect to the present. The driving force behind Nokia’s strategy was to diffuse its patent portfolio and place it in the hands of PAEs. Acacia and Conversant were its chief conspirators.
Nokia’s own patent infringement complaint against Apple claims that Apple has declined to establish licensing deals for Nokia technology that is used in Apple products.
Ilkka Rahnasto, head of Patent Business at Nokia, said: “Through our sustained investment in research and development, Nokia has created or contributed to many of the fundamental technologies used in today’s mobile devices, including Apple products. After several years of negotiations trying to reach agreement to cover Apple’s use of these patents, we are now taking action to defend our rights.”
Nokia has filed lawsuits in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas and Dusseldorf, Mannheim and Munich in Germany. The lawsuits cover 32 patents that cover technologies including display, user interface, software, antenna, chipsets, and video coding. Nokia says additional actions are to come.
Tags: lawsuit, patent, Nokia, Patent lawsuits
Discuss this article in our forums
It looks like we won’t have to mourn the demise of the Nokia brand for much longer. HMD Global, the new owners of the Nokia name, unveiled their first device today: the Nokia 150. But don’t get too excited yet. It’s a Series 30+ dumb phone that looks almost identical to the Nokia 216 that debuted back in September (which was notably Microsoft’s last Nokia device).
The $26 Nokia 150 sports a 2.4-inch screen, a VGA camera and an impressive 22 hours of battery life (remember when our phones could last for days without a charge?). It’ll be built by Foxconn subsidiary FIH, who bought Nokia’s feature phone business from Microsoft in May, for distribution in PAC, IMEA and Europe early next year.
HMD previously announced that it would release new Nokia-branded phones and tablets powered by Android, which was heartening news for fans of the brand. Arto Nummela, HMD’s CEO who previously served as an exec at Microsoft and Nokia, said in a recent interview with the Economic Times that those devices will appear in the first half of 2017. Judging from recent rumors, it sounds like HMD might unveil its Android smartphones at Mobile World Congress in late February.
Finnish software house Jolla has announced that its smartphone OS, Sailfish, has been accepted for use by Russia’s government. It means that the platform — which rose from the ashes of Nokia and Intel’s doomed MeeGo — can now be used for official government business. The company also let slip that it’s in discussions to do a similar deal with leaders in South Africa and China, as well as other BRICS countries. As for why, it’s probably not because Vladimir Putin was as outraged as the rest of us when Nokia axed the N9.
Instead, the move is another step along the geopolitical cold war that’s beginning to spread out across the technology world. Russia — as well as regimes like China — feel that the west has too much influence in the digital sphere. A few years back, both nations began pushing for homegrown alternatives to Windows, Android and iOS. That way, leaders could burnish local industry, reduce western cultural dominance and mitigate the risk that the CIA and NSA were watching them.
Microsoft, Apple and Google are also the target of much political ire outside of the US — although these days that’s changing, too. Not to mention that Russian spies breached American Windows systems several times over to steal various state secrets. After all, if your “enemy” is using compromised technology that you can exploit, you certainly don’t want to be tied in to the same platform. That’s why both Russia and China have essentially banned purchases of Windows computers as well as iOS and Android devices.
The groundwork for the deal was laid a while back, and Sailfish has already been licensed by a local company called Open Mobile Platform. OMP is pushing to create a developer community in Russia that can help make the software more secure. In an interview with TechCrunch, Jolla co-founder Sami Pienimäki believes that we’ll (well, Vladimir Putin) see Sailfish OS devices arrive for sale as early as 2017.
Source: Jolla (.PDF)
Nokia made some great smartphone cameras back in the day, but we certainly didn’t expect that to lead to the Ozo, a $60,000, 360-degree 3D virtual reality camera. Now, the Finnish company will provide expertise and Ozo cameras to Sony Pictures, which will use them to create VR content. The studio will also take advantage of the Ozo Live VR broadcast capability “to transport fans to Sony Pictures events that they couldn’t otherwise attend,” the company wrote.
There are other VR rigs out there that can take higher-quality images. And it seems odd that a camera manufacturer with Sony’s professional experience would turn to Nokia, of all companies, for equipment and advice. However, Ozo does offer live VR broadcasting, real-time on-set Oculus Rift VR playback and rapid stitching from the eight cameras. With other systems, it can take ages to patch together multiple videos, meaning producers often have no idea what they shot until much later.
You can also do live 4K VR output, provided you have a powerful Mac or PC. In fact, it produces a signal that broadcasters can send through standard UHD equipment, which end-users can decode with an HTC Vive, Oculus Rift or Gear VR headset. That helps it fit in with Sony’s “established production processes and workflows, and enable the real time capture and broadcast of VR content,” Sony Pictures VP Scot Barbour said in a statement.
Sony will also bundle Nokia’s Ozo player into its Privilege Plus app to “bring unique content straight to fans.” (As a reminder, that’s the streaming video player for Xperia Lounge, which is Sony’s answer to Google Play on Android.) If Sony Pictures can produce some decent content on Ozo, that might finally give users of that not-very-popular app a reason to try it.
It’s one thing to wire a house with gigabit fiber, but it’s another matter to outfit an entire apartment building — you need a huge pipeline to accommodate everyone. Nokia, however, might have a solution. It just partnered with SK Broadband to wire an apartment complex in Seoul, South Korea with fiber optics delivering aggregate speeds of 52.5Gbps. That doesn’t guarantee that every user will get that speed (only “selected” customers saw those rates), but it increases the chances that you’ll receive gigabit-class bandwidth in your rental.
The trick was to use Nokia’s “next generation” approach to passive optical networks, which lets internet providers implement multiple fiber technologies on an existing line. That, in turn, will save your telecom from having to spend a fortune to upgrade your tenement (assuming it already has fiber, that is).
It may take a while before it’s easy to get gigabit internet access in any one-bedroom. Nokia has the luxury of running this fiber in South Korea, where population density and government plans work in its favor — the country wants gigabit broadband available to all residents by 2020. It’d be a tougher prospect in the US and other countries where gigabit-grade data largely remains a pipe dream. Regardless, it’s an important step towards democratizing ultra-fast speeds that have been limited to a handful of people worldwide.
Microsoft may have all but given up on Windows Phones, but rookies in the New York City Police Department are now getting them with their gun and badge. As CNET reports, the NYPD only started handing out department-issued smartphones and email addresses in 2015, and the official device of the largest police force in the United States are the Lumia 830 and Lumia 640 XL.
Those phones debuted in late 2014 and early 2015, respectively and the department reportedly passed on iOS and Android devices because the Windows Phone platform offered the best remote management and security features. The NYPD and Microsoft also worked collaborated on a suite of crime-fighting apps like a direct 911 line that goes to an officer rather than a dispatcher, a police records search, in-house messaging, a case management system and a media library for training videos and policy updates. According to the department, the ability to route 911 calls directly to officers has dropped the response time for crimes in progress by over 12 percent.
While those Nokia workhorse might seem a little bit out of date, CNET notes the department is looking into upgrading to Windows 10 devices by next summer. And, in any case, any smartphone at all is a vast improvement over the department’s previous policy — a downright archaic system of shared voice mailboxes.
Microsoft’s association with the Nokia brand has been especially turbulent, but it appears the company has one last hurrah for its feature phone business. Today, it announced the Nokia 216, a Series 30+ handset that can browse the web and lasts up to a month on standby. It’s as basic as Nokia feature phones get, but it’s notable in that it’s probably the very last Nokia-branded handset Microsoft will ever produce.
You see, when Microsoft acquired Nokia in 2014, it bought both the feature phone business and Lumia brand. This gave the Redmond company access to Nokia’s manufacturing plants, patents and feature phone brand for 10 years. Microsoft quickly dropped the “Nokia” from Lumia smartphones and hoped that interest in the Finnish company’s budget handsets would “on-ramp” users to Windows Phone.
That never materialized. Microsoft, with next to no interest in its phones, then decided to sell the feature phone business to Foxconn subsidiary FIH Mobile for $350 million and the naming rights to Finnish company HMD Global, which was founded by ex-Nokia employees with the purpose of creating Nokia-branded Android smartphones and tablets.
Confusing, right? Don’t forget that Nokia Oy, the company that sold its phone businesses to Microsoft in the first place, is still successful in its own right. It operates a multi-billion dollar cellular networking business, makes a $45,000 VR camera, bought wearable maker Withings and recently sold its mapping business to a group of German car makers for a tidy sum.
Microsoft’s feature phone deal is still undergoing regulatory scrutiny but both companies expect it to complete by the end of the year. With October almost upon us, it’s safe to assume that the Nokia 216, with its 0.3-megapixel camera and all-important headphone jack, will be the last new model out of the door before Microsoft can finally wash the unsuccessful Nokia venture out of its hair.
Via: The Verge
Sure, researchers have been showing off terabit data speeds in fiber optics for years, but they’ve seldom been practical. That exotic technology may work over long distances, but it can quickly fall apart when you throw typical network loads in the mix. However, it’s about to become much more practical. Nokia Bell Labs, Deutsche Telekom and the Technical University of Munich have shown off 1Tbps data speeds in a field trial that involved “real conditions,” with varying channel conditions and traffic levels.
The secret was a new modulation technique, Probabilistic Constellation Shaping. Instead of using all the networking’s constellation points (the “alphabet of the transmission”) equally, like typical fiber, it prefers those points with lower amplitudes — the ones that are less susceptible to noise. That helps transmissions reach up to 30 percent further, since you can adapt the transmission rate to fit the channel. It’s so effective that the team got close to the theoretical peak data speeds possible for the fiber connection.
You’re likely not going to see these terabit fiber lines in regular use for a while, since there’s a large gap between a field test and making commercially available lines. The timing might be ideal, mind you — 5G cellular data is just gathering momentum, and telecoms will need gobs of bandwidth to cope with the increased demands. A realistic 1Tbps fiber option would make sure that the internet’s wired backbones don’t collapse under the load.
Via: FossBytes, ZDNet