Jolla announces a new batch of smartphones for European customers

The newly-launched Jolla smartphone, made by a crew of mostly ex-Nokia(s nok) employees, is now available for purchase by people in the EU, Norway and Switzerland through the firm’s new online shop. This will be the third batch of €399 ($546) Jolla handsets to go on sale, with the last one having been largely aimed at patriotic Finns. Jolla said on Thursday that already-ordered phones would be delivered in time for Christmas – there’s been a hold-up due to “some technical logistics issues” — while newly-ordered devices will ship from January.

Nokia shareholders approve sale of handset business to Microsoft, report says

Nokia(s nok)’s extraordinary general meeting, convened to discuss the takeover of the Finnish firm’s handset division by Microsoft(s msft), is still ongoing at the time of writing. However, The Financial Times reports that it’s a formality — 99.7 percent of shareholders who voted before the meeting (that’s 4 in 5) have already said yes to the $7.2 billion deal. The remaining bits of Nokia are nothing to be sneezed at: the Here location business, a division creating new advanced materials, sensors and so on, and of course the NSN networking business.

On-demand photography outfit Scoopshot pulls in $3.9M to expand internationally

A lot of money is going into trying to disrupt the stock photography market – something investors hope will be possible through advances in the quality of smartphone cameras. This year in Europe alone we’ve already seen funding for Finland’s Scoopshot ($1.2 million), Germany’s EyeEm ($6 million) and Sweden’s Foap ($1.5 million).

Now Scoopshot has (sorry) scooped up more: a $3.9 million Series A round led by Conor Venture Partners and Finnish Industry Investment. The cash will help Scoopshot establish sales teams in the U.S. and U.K. The firm also said on Wednesday that it now has over 60 publishers using its on-demand photography service, including News Corp Australia and the California Newspaper Publishers Association.

Finland’s lower cooling costs for data centers pulls in more investment

As Finland struggles with Nokia’s woes with the company announcing it will sell its handset business to Microsoft and the overall economy due to contract by 0.5 percent this year, Finland is on a full court press to attract as much new IT spending as possible. So it was pretty great news that Google will invest over $600 million to expand its Hamina data center. Microsoft also announced in September that it would invest 250 million Euros in a Finish data center.

Finland’s cool climate is proving attractive to IT giants as it lowers cooling costs and Scandinavia is still close enough to the European mainland so that latency isn’t a problem. Mobile video demand continues to grow and Google, via Youtube, has enormous amounts of data to serve to that market. Add to these facts that Finland is going out of its way to lower taxes for Google and others, and you have a fairly attractive scenario.

Google’s capital expenditures are also proving to be massive, rising to $2.29 billion in Q3 from $1.6 billion the previous quarter as the company lays out cash for equipment, data centers and real estate. It’s truly becoming a race fought among IT giants building data center infrastructure and then figuring out more and more services to sell upon that infrastructure.

 

 

Nokia unveils its connected car platform: Here Auto

Nokia takes the first of many planned steps into the connected car, launching an embedded infotainment and navigation system called Here Auto that reaches beyond the vehicle into the broader world of smartphone apps.