Nokia News Roundup – Credit rating to junk, Music hits v3.1 and exclusive access to WP8?

Although it’s been a slow news weekend there have been a few bits worth mentioning but not necessarily getting a full on post—mostly because they’re somewhat interesting but not necessarily important. This weekend's stories are:

  • Does Nokia have an exclusive early release for Windows Phone 8? We call shenanigans.
  • Nokia's stock - now with even more junk!
  • Nokia Music gets amped to version 3.1

Head past the break for the weekend’s collection of too small to pass but too big to print...


Does Nokia have "exclusive" access to Windows Phone 8? Errr...doubtful.

Last week there was some back and forth about when Windows Phone 8 would be hitting shelves. From past Microsoft cycles, we’re under the impression that an October-November timeframe was the most likely, especially with the release date of Windows 8 confirmed.

Mary Jo Foley (ZDNet) then heard from a single source the Windows Phone 8 would be released to manufacturers in September and then hit the shelves in November. That info was somewhat contradicted slightly by Nokia CEO Stephen Elop who then dropped October as when Windows Phone 8 would be coming.

To our ears that just simply reinforces the notion that Windows Phone 8 releases dates are not solidified yet and things are in motion. For others though, they started to read between the lines and took this info to mean that Nokia may have a 30-day or more exclusive on Windows Phone 8.

Personally, we find this conclusion quite a stretch. For one, ZDnet’s timeframe was a rumor not confirmed and second we don’t know what Elop was referring to i.e. street date or RTM or something in between. So to jump to the conclusion that Nokia would have earlier access to WP8 seems a bit much based off of this current information.

Second, we’re not even sure what “early access” or “exclusive” to the OS would even mean. Microsoft doesn’t sell phones, heck OEMs like Nokia rarely sell phones. It’s the carriers who buy and then re-sell them and they often time the releases when it’s convenient for themselves.  For instance, although Nokia was instrumental in getting 4g LTE into Windows Phone 7, they did not enjoy early access or a market advantage—the Titan II came out the same weekend as the Lumia 900.  So with carriers running interference, we don’t see how an OEM having earlier access would translate into a real-market advantage.

Of course Microsoft has pulled one over the eyes of its OEM partners before e.g. Surface, so we wouldn’t rule it out…just like we would rule out RIM ditching BB10 and going for WP8. But currently there’s just zero evidence that this is or will happen and that’s all that matters. Source: Mobile Syrup



Nokia stock downgraded to Junk status by Moody's

We’re not big financial people around here so we take ratings by credit agencies with a grain of salt (especially with the Libor scandal going on) but it’s still noteworthy that Moody’s has now come out and downgraded Nokia to Ba1 status making the last of the three (Fitch and Standard & Poor did it back in April). Speaking of Fitch, they dropped Nokia even further from BB+ to BB- this week too.

None of this should be too surprising. If you’re into stocks and returns on investments, something like Nokia is a bit risky these days (though we could argue that you have more to gain than lose). Regardless, headlines with “junk” and “Nokia” flying around never sound too good.

Obviously the bet here is that Nokia will have to ‘wow’ everyone with Windows Phone 8 this fall. Let’s hope. Source: TechRadar



Nokia Music upgrade to version 3.1

We’d like to tell you more about Nokia Music but alas our States crew doesn’t have access and our British crew is somewhere at a pub.

But alongside the Nokia Drive 3.0 update came a minor boost for the Nokia Music service. Now sitting at a comfortable version 3.1 the service has continually improved with every update and is a nice demonstration of how Nokia plans to keep supporting and growing the music app. Much like Zune, Nokia Music is the Finnish solution to where Zune isn’t available or has a limited catalog.

So what’s new with version 3.1? No one really knows as no changelog was included by anecdotal evidence from our readers suggest that it:

  • Loads faster
  • Has a different background picture
  • A note to mix radio

Have anything else to add that you noticed? Toss it up in comments. Thanks, Karsten, for the info

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.