A look at some of the big stories in mobile today: Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) details updates to its own mobile cloud services, SkyDrive; Nintendo launches a new, tablet-like device; Nokia (NYSE: NOK) gets its debt downgraded amid another rumor that it is an acquisition target; new smartphone purchasing stats from the UK.
— Microsoft: Not to be outdone by Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) (too late, you might argue…), Microsoft yesterday detailed how it plans to update SkyDrive, its cloud-based mobile storage service, to cover photos, documents (pictured), videos and other content. The update does not appear to include an integrated music service, which has been one of the central and most-talked-about aspects of the iCloud service announced by Apple earlier this week. These updates will come with the Windows Phone 7 “Mango” update later this year.
Meanwhile, DigiTimes is reporting that Microsoft is considering launching its own tablet later this year, although Microsoft did not comment on the rumor.
— Nintendo: Among the cascade of gaming announcements coming out this week around E3, Nintendo yesterday unveiled the Wii U, its latest Wii product. This new console features a 6.2-inch touchscreen controller that is the company’s closest-yet approach to a tablet form factor, although it does not work as a standalone device. It will start shipping in 2012.
— Nokia: More bad news for the handset maker. Fitch has downgraded Nokia’s long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) and senior unsecured rating respectively to BBB- and BBB+. The BBB- is a particularly negative state of affairs; the next grade down is classified as a non-investment grade. The chief reason for the lower ratings are “serious concerns” the agency has about the quick erosion in market share that Nokia is seeing at the moment.
Unsurprisingly, the news has been followed up with yet another acquisition rumor, this time concerning Samsung buying Nokia. Both companies declined to comment on the speculation. Last week, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop denied that Microsoft was looking to acquire his company.
— New smartphone stats: Research from WPP-owned the media agency Kinetic Worldwide found that some 45 percent of consumers in the country said they already owned a smartphone, and a further 17 percent said they planned to acquire one in the “near future.” In London, the proportion of current owners is even higher, at 65 percent. The figures are based on a survey of 500 people. Among tablets, the iPad was the most resounding winner when responents were asked what tablet they most wanted to have. Only four percent own one now, with another 11 percent saying they would like to buy one.