After a Year-Long Delay, the Nokia Steel HR Hybrid Smartwatch is Now Available for Pre-Order

Nokia has announced that its Steel HR hybrid smartwatch will ship in time for the holiday season, almost a year after it was supposed to launch under the Withings moniker.

The watch was first announced in September 2016, but its scheduled launch the following month never happened as Nokia began negotiating its takeover of Withings, which was eventually finalized in June.


Shortly thereafter, Nokia relaunched several Withings products under the Nokia brand, including the Nokia GO and Nokia Steel watches, as well as Nokia BPM+ and Nokia Body+ connected devices.

The Steel HR finally joins the existing line-up and will be available in 36mm and 40mm case sizes. It features a simple and stylish analog watch face with unobtrusive digital meters for tracking heart rate and movement over the course of the day. In addition, the watch features automatic and learned activity tracking for over 10 activities, a comprehensive sleep monitor, and text, call and event alerts.

Nokia says it has also made some software improvements to the smartwatch since its Withings iteration, including an improved heart rate algorithm to ensure more accurate tracking. A design change has also been made that replaces the face with sapphire glass to guarantee up to 50 meter waterproofing.

The Steel HR syncs with the Nokia Health Mate iOS app, costs $179.99, and is available to pre-order from the Nokia website in either black or white.


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Nokia Refocuses on Digital Health Products in VR Market Rethink

Nokia on Tuesday announced that it is halting the development of its $45,000 Ozo virtual reality camera, citing "slower than expected development of the VR market" as the reason behind the company's rethink.

The news comes at the expense of 310 jobs in the U.S., the U.K., and Finland – the home of Nokia – as the company optimizes its investments in virtual reality and targets faster growth in digital health products and services instead.

In digital media, the slower-than-expected development of the VR market means that Nokia Technologies plans to reduce investments and focus more on technology licensing opportunities. The unit aims to halt development of further versions of the OZO VR camera and hardware, while maintaining commitments to existing customers.
Nokia acquired French health tracking company Withings in 2016 for an estimated $192 million, signaling the company's long-term investment in the consumer digital health and the Internet of Things sector. Withings completed its rebrand to the Nokia label in June of this year and simultaneously launched two new connected health products under the Nokia brand.

Nokia announced the professional-grade Ozo camera back in 2015, when it cost $60,000 price tag. The 360-degree 3D camera is capable of live streaming, live monitoring and automatic stitching. Disney, UEFA, Sony Pictures and other media companies bought Ozo camera units, and Nokia later dropped the price to $45,000, but sales clearly didn't warrant continued development.

Related Roundup: Apple VR Project
Tag: Nokia

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Apple Begins Paying $2 Billion in Cash to Nokia as Part of Lawsuit Settlement

Nokia disclosed its financial results for the second quarter of 2017 this week, and within the results the company mentioned that it received an "up-front cash payment" of approximately €1.7 billion ($2 billion), part of which was said to be recognized during the Q2 2017 results. Nokiamob then reached out to Nokia, and the company confirmed that the cash payment came from Apple.

The payment is part of a settlement agreement reached between Apple and Nokia in May of this year, regarding a lawsuit began by Nokia in December 2016. In the original lawsuit, Nokia sued Apple in the United States and multiple other countries, with a complaint that stemmed from a disagreement between the two companies over licensing fees for Nokia technology.


The legal battle continued to escalate as Apple responded with its own antitrust lawsuit against Nokia. In Apple's claims, the company said that Nokia was transferring patents to patent holding entities in a bid to gain additional royalties from Apple, violating FRAND (Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory) deals Apple had established with Nokia.

In the settlement news this past May, the companies agreed to a multi-year patent license deal, where Nokia would provide "certain network infrastructure products and services" to Apple, and Apple would then return all Nokia-owned health products to Apple retail and online stores.

In regards to the $2 billion payment from Apple, Nokia said it would disclose its plans for the money in its Q3 earnings later this year.
Second, we got a substantial upfront cash payment of €1.7 billion from Apple, strengthening further our cash position. As said earlier, our plans is to provide more details on the intended use of cash in conjunction with our Q3 earnings.

Nokia Technologies led the way, with sales up 90% versus the same period last year. That was largely, but not completely, driven by our recently-announced agreement with Apple; and you can also see the impact of that agreement in our cash position.
So far, Apple has only partially paid the $2 billion cash sum to Nokia, so besides finishing that payment, Apple will also continue to pay royalties to the company during the term of the agreement.

Tag: Nokia

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Apple Resumes Selling Nokia’s Digital Health Products Following Settled Legal Dispute

Apple today resumed carrying Nokia's digital health products on its online store in the United States and Canada, nearly two months after reaching a business cooperation agreement with the Finnish company.


The products available to purchase again include Nokia's Body Cardio Scale, Body+ Scale, BPM+ Blood Pressure Monitor, and Thermo Thermometer. Each of the accessories were previously sold under Withings, but Nokia retired the Withings brand last month, roughly one year after acquiring the French company.

Apple's website indicates the products are also available for pickup at Apple's retail stores between Friday, July 21 and Monday, July 24.

Apple had removed all Withings accessories from its online and retail stores around the world in December due to a legal dispute. On May 23, however, Apple and Nokia announced they settled all litigation related to their intellectual property dispute and agreed to a multi-year patent license.

The legal dispute began last December, when Nokia filed dozens of patent infringement lawsuits against Apple in the United States and other countries. Apple countersued Nokia, accusing the former phone giant of transferring patents to patent holding entities to squeeze additional royalties from the iPhone maker.

As part of the settlement, Nokia will receive an up-front cash payment from Apple, with additional revenues during the term of the agreement. Nokia will also be providing "certain network infrastructure product and services" to Apple.


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Nokia Completes Withings Rebrand With Two New Connected Health Products

Withings on Tuesday completed its rebrand to the Nokia label, following news of the buyout last spring, and as part of the transition two new connected health products have been released under the Nokia name.

The Nokia Body ($60) is a new connected Wi-Fi scale featuring readouts for weight, BMI, body fat and water percentage plus bone and mass, while the Nokia BPM+ ($130) is a small blood pressure cuff with Bluetooth. Both products appear to be slight variations on Withings devices, but with lower price tags.


The Withings Body Cardio scale is still available under the new Nokia branding, as are the Withings Steel watch and Withings Go fitness trackers, now called the Nokia Steel and Nokia Go. Older products like the Aura sleep monitor alarm clock and the Thermo thermometer will also remain available.

Other Withings products like the Steel HR will return later in the year under the Nokia rebrand, with some of the portfolio discontinued. Nokia health products can be purchased at health.nokia.com.

Nokia has also refreshed the Withings Health Mate app, which communicates with the devices to offer users detailed analytics on their weight, activity, sleep, and blood pressure. New app sections include eight-week wellness programs such as Sleep Smarter, Pregnancy Tracker, and Healthier Heart.

Nokia announced the rebrand earlier this year at the Mobile World Congress, after the company acquired the French health tracking firm in 2015 for an estimated $192 million.

Tags: Withings, Nokia

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Apple and Nokia Settle Patent Dispute With New Licensing Agreement

Nokia and Apple announced today that they have settled all litigation related to their intellectual property dispute and agreed a multi-year patent license.

Under the collaborative agreement, Nokia said it will provide "certain network infrastructure products and services" to Apple. In turn, Apple agreed to return all Nokia health products to Apple retail and online stores.

"This is a meaningful agreement between Nokia and Apple," said Maria Varsellona, Chief Legal Officer at Nokia, responsible for Nokia's patent licensing business. "It moves our relationship with Apple from being adversaries in court to business partners working for the benefit of our customers."
In December of last year, Nokia filed multiple complaints against Apple in several countries, accusing the Cupertino company of infringing several of its patents. In response, Apple sued Nokia in an antitrust lawsuit against several patent assertion entities which it claimed were trying to collect excessive fees for Nokia patents. 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.

Just days after the legal dispute flared up, Apple pulled all Withings-branded, Nokia-owned accessories from its online and retail stores around the world. Nokia stood its ground, however, claiming that it had not been able to reach a licensing agreement with Apple and therefore had to defend its rights.

Following the latest development, Nokia will receive an up-front cash payment from Apple with additional revenues forthcoming. The figure remains undisclosed, but net sales in Nokia patent licensing will reflect the value of the agreement, while Nokia expects related revenues to be reflected in the second quarter of 2017. No other details of the terms of the agreement have been released.

"We are pleased with this resolution of our dispute and we look forward to expanding our business relationship with Nokia," said Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operating officer.


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Apple and Nokia Settle Patent Dispute With New Licensing Agreement

Nokia and Apple announced today that they have settled all litigation related to their intellectual property dispute and agreed a multi-year patent license.

Under the collaborative agreement, Nokia said it will provide "certain network infrastructure products and services" to Apple. In turn, Apple agreed to return all Nokia health products to Apple retail and online stores.

"This is a meaningful agreement between Nokia and Apple," said Maria Varsellona, Chief Legal Officer at Nokia, responsible for Nokia's patent licensing business. "It moves our relationship with Apple from being adversaries in court to business partners working for the benefit of our customers."
In December of last year, Nokia filed multiple complaints against Apple in several countries, accusing the Cupertino company of infringing several of its patents. In response, Apple sued Nokia in an antitrust lawsuit against several patent assertion entities which it claimed were trying to collect excessive fees for Nokia patents. 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.

Just days after the legal dispute flared up, Apple pulled all Withings-branded, Nokia-owned accessories from its online and retail stores around the world. Nokia stood its ground, however, claiming that it had not been able to reach a licensing agreement with Apple and therefore had to defend its rights.

Following the latest development, Nokia will receive an up-front cash payment from Apple with additional revenues forthcoming. The figure remains undisclosed, but net sales in Nokia patent licensing will reflect the value of the agreement, while Nokia expects related revenues to be reflected in the second quarter of 2017. No other details of the terms of the agreement have been released.

"We are pleased with this resolution of our dispute and we look forward to expanding our business relationship with Nokia," said Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operating officer.


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MWC 2017: Nokia Announces Withings Rebrand and Nokia 3310 Reboot

All Withings products will be rebranded under Nokia by the summer, according to Withings CEO Cédric Hutchings. The announcement was made on Sunday during Nokia's event at Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona, Spain.

Withings makes iOS-compatible smart connected home products as well as a range of health and fitness wearables. Nokia bought the French health tracking company last year for an estimated $192 million. The acquisition saw Withings' 200 employees integrate into Nokia Technologies when the deal went through in June.


As well as the rebranding, the Withings CEO said the company would release a redesigned Health Mate app later this year that will bring an "improved user experience" and new data sharing features. Nokia is also set to launch a new Patient Care program similar to Apple's Healthkit that will allow patients to share data medical doctors.

In related news, Nokia also announced a new modern variant of its original 3310 mobile phone, first launched back in September 2000. Made by HMD Global, which bought the right to make Nokia phones last year, the new version retains the same name – and even includes classic game Snake – but runs Nokia's more advanced Series 30+ software. It also features a 2.4-inch QVGA display, a 2 megapixel camera, and a microSD slot.


The new 3310 supports Bluetooth and comes with Opera Mini installed for basic web surfing. Talk time is said to be 22 hours, but the big draw is likely to be the featurephone's 31-day standby time.

The Nokia 3310 will be available in a number of candy colors and should arrive later in the spring for the price of $52.


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Apple Pulls All Withings Accessories From Apple Online Store Following Nokia Lawsuit

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.

withingsbloodpressure
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.


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Nokia Sues Apple for Patent Infringement in Germany and the U.S. Following Licensing Disagreement

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.

nokialogo
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.


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