News Scan: Nokia works on Android phone; FCC auction attracts speculators; more
>> Nokia works on Android-based phone
Nokia is working on an Android-based low-end smartphone codenamed Normandy despite its plan to sell its mobile phone business to Microsoft, The Verge is reporting. "It's now unclear whether Nokia will release the handset before the Microsoft deal is finalized, or whether Microsoft will continue with the plans for the device," the report relates. Sources consulted by The Verge say the Android phone is "full steam ahead" for release next year. Read more on the Nokia Android phone.
>> FCC wireless spectrum auction attracts speculators
The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) first major auction of wireless spectrum since 2008 is attracting speculators, The Wall Street Journal reports. The auction, set for January, will sell 10 megahertz of spectrum in the H block for mobile broadband services. "At least 10 of the 34 potential bidders announced last week are private investors" without wireless networks, the newspaper reports. Read more on the FCC auction.
>> WLAN equipment market growth slows
In the third quarter, wireless location area access network (WLAN) gear revenue fell below double-digit growth for the first item in 15 quarters, according to the latest stats from Infonetics Research. Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst for enterprise networks and video at Infonetics, attributes the slowdown to the transition from the 802.11n Wi-Fi standard to the faster 802.11ac standard. "Still, we consider this a temporary slowdown and expect growth to reaccelerate in the coming years as buyers focus on their WLAN infrastructure to support the growth of wireless devices and enable BYOD and employee mobility," he adds. Read more about the Infonetics WLAN stats.
>> Broadcom launches new smart chip for wearable devices
Broadcom has launched a new chip designed to power new use cases for wearable devices. The new Bluetooth smart chip is being added to Broadcom's Wireless Internet Connectivity for Embedded Devices (WICED) portfolio. "We are committed to pushing the boundaries on what wearables are capable off with our new WICED smart chip. By offering support for wireless charging and reduced power consumption, we are empowering OEMs to design more effective products for more market segments, fueling the next generation of wearables and sensors," explains Brian Bedrosian, Broadcom senior director of embedded wireless and wireless connectivity. Read more on the Broadcom chip.
>> Sales of corporate-owned smartphones jump
More than 35 percent of third quarter sales of smartphones used for business were corporate-liable, up from 32 percent in the year ago quarter, according to the latest stats from Strategy Analytics. Overall, 73 million smartphones were purchased for business use in the third quarter. "BYOD may very well be an unstoppable trend in many regions in the world, but the speed of its growth during a time when companies were still devising usage policies, discovering its management challenges and experiencing its impact first-hand, it's not too surprising that some momentum would swing back to corporate-owned devices," says Kevin Burden, director of mobility at Strategy Analytics. Read more on Strategy Analytics stats.
[More on smartphones: Spotlight: Employees use 'jammers' to hide jailbroken devices on corporate networks | Infographic: These mobile phone behaviors annoy co-workers]