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Symbian Foundation websites closed

December 17, 2010 6 comments

As mentioned in Jay’s previous post in November, today marks the official close of the Symbian foundation websites. While most of our readers likely never had much experience with or exposure to these websites, they posed a major resource for a lot of curious cats like myself who wanted to keep track of progress on Symbian development as well as contribute ideas for improvements and/or features that we wanted to see in the platform. Nokia has created their own Symbian blog which in due course is expected to be populated with news etc. concerning the platform progress, releases and projects being undertaken that are related to Symbian.

However, all indications point towards a more closed system of development being undertaken.Whether this is done in a similar manner to the Google Android method where code dumps are made regularly and changes made at the whim of the company overseeing development remains to be seen. This, however, is both a positive and negative in that the closed system has somewhat less red tape and bureaucracy standing between ideas/concepts and the realization and productizing of these concepts. Unfortunately this comes at the cost of valuable community feedback and input. Simply looking at the number of great and well supported ideas that were submitted to the Symbian Ideas site (now unavailable of course) is testament to the benefit of using collective intelligence and outside ideas.

 

 

Statement by Tim Holbrow, Executive Director of the Symbian Foundation after the break:

Read more…

Nokia taking Symbian development back in house, Foundation remains to control licensing and patents

November 8, 2010 24 comments

 

As mentioned before in the press release Jay posted, and has been rumored in the blogosphere for quite a while, it seems that Nokia and the Symbian board have taken a decisive step towards improving the Symbian OS, speeding up time to market, improving developer and OEM relations and at the same time cut out some of the bureaucracy that has held Symbian development up for so long. This move was hinted at when Lee Williams stepped down from the Symbian Foundation as executive director and was replaced by Tim Holbrow (former CFO) with rumors circling that winding down operations would commence imminently.  It seems that such a guess was not far off the mark.

I’m certain that a large percentage of people in the blogosphere are now shouting at the top of their voices that Symbian is dead, Nokia is down the toilet and are doomed and that Symbian has no place in the smartphone market (Engadget commenters are truly  remarkable no?). But I’d have to respectfully say that they are patently wrong. Below I’ll outline a few of the reasons why this change has happened and what the future may/may not hold for Symbian development in light of current news.

One of the most telling statements concerning Symbian development were the announcements of Sony Ericsson (SE) and Samsung, that they were discontinuing Symbian development and had no plans for the continued support and/or production of Symbian devices. Looking at those two announcements in a vacuum one might be inclined to think that two of the three major OEM  supporters and Foundation contributors (not dissing Fujitsu here) had withdrawn from an OS that was seemingly about to fail miserably.

Looking at the situation in context however, yields a starkly different story. Having tracked code package submissions to the Symbian Foundation from the fledgling days of S^2 & S^3, I’d yet to see any significant contributions of code by either company. While that’s not to say they didn’t provide any monetary support, the fact that the entire idea of the foundation was to distribute work amongst large companies with significant resources in the hope of faster iterating the OS than any single company could possibly achieve. Unfortunately for the Symbian Foundation, this was not to be, and Nokia has and will continue to contribute the VAST majority of the code.

 

 

 

Worse still, Android came along whereby OEM’s could get a free ride in essence, contributing little if any code, little if any monetary support while getting an OS that they could basically flash onto the base hardware provided by Qualcomm and run with it. While that’s not to say that this is a “bad” approach, in some ways it leaves the OEM’s at the mercy of Google’s whim and provides no real benefit, in the long term at least, for OEM’s looking to differentiate, grow profits significantly and control their own fates.

 

Android also had the benefit of provided an app store that integrated directly into the OS in the form of Android Marketplace, something that Symbian had categorically lacked before 2008. When Nokia came out with the Ovi Store in 2009, it became clearer still to all OEM’s involved with Symbian that not only could they not compete with Nokia in terms of hardware costs, reliability and scale, but they also couldn’t compete in terms of value added services to Symbian OS.  Worse still, Symbian Horizon, which would have been the go-to application repository for Symbian applications for all OEM’s, failed spectacularly leaving Samsung and SE high and dry with regards to added services, through no fault of the Symbian Foundation of course.

NB. Symbian in it’s base implementation comes without mapping applications and application stores

 

Having realized that there would be no financial benefit in sticking around, both companies decided to jump ship to an OS where all the work was done for them and they simply needed to toss an OS on some hardware and meet some nebulous requirements concerning the use of Google services and market and they’d be just peachy.

 

 

The second most telling statement made was by Nokia where they said that they had no intentions of sticking to the large-scale generational changes to the Symbian platform formerly known as S^3, S^4.x , S^5 etc and that they would be sticking to continuous, smaller scale improvements to what they would call “Symbian” with most recent devices getting the changes initially slated for the generational S^4 release. Furthermore, they publicly stated that Symbian development would give way to Qt development, in essence both dog-fooding and relegation of Symbian C++ to legacy status.

In hindsight, these events in addition to the rapid pace of development of both software and hardware in the mobile sphere has led to the predicament the Foundation has faced, and thusly the decision made in the conference call and board meetings today.

 

 

 

On the bright side of course, SEE2010 begins tomorrow with the MeeGo conference slated for the following week. Here’s to hoping for at least SOME positive news and seeing positive strides being taken in both domains.  Keep your browsers pointed here for more news on both Expos in coming days.

 

Tabula Crypticum

September 14, 2010 7 comments

The following blog post was dropped into our comments section not long ago and having read it from end to end, I can sincerely empathize with the author and agree almost whole-heartedly with his views.

I think the key takeaway from this article is that Nokia has an image problem and seems not to realize the severity of said image and the possible repercussions of such a problem. Let’s hope that Nokia World 2010 is the beginning of a change in direction for Nokia.

Give it a read and leave your comments both here and @ texrat’s blog.

http://tabulacrypticum.wordpress.com/2010/06/27/an-open-letter-to-nokia-for-2010/

Thanks a lot Randall. Great post.

Swype for Symbian^1

September 2, 2010 16 comments

The guys at Nokia Beta labs, responsible for the awesome “Nokia Bots” and ”Nokia Conversations” widgets and the “Photo Browser” application currently available in the Ovi Store have released a beta version of the text input program “Swype”. The Swype apps is available at the following link. Swype aims to significantly speed up text entry on touchscreen, button-less devices and is available on multiple platforms. Go give it a whirl and leave your feedback both here and at the Beta Labs page. Help them make a better product for us users will ya!

Currently available for the Nokia N97, N97mini, X6, 5800, and 5230

Video of Swype in action below.

via

What if Nokia were to buy Apple?

August 1, 2010 11 comments

Apple Goohpia In Motion
In a world of Nokia that’s waiting for the Nokia N8 (and successors) while competitors continue to innovate and advance, I thought I’d take a rather tongue in cheek look at what might happen with future devices should Nokia as a company merge with some of those competitors.

Note this is not meant to be a serious article, a realistic analysis, nor do I have any inside information about any upcoming takeovers. This is more of an exercise in thinking out loud from someone who doesn’t claim to be an expert on such things…

Read more…

Categories: Android, aPPLE, Aquisitions, Nokia Tags: , , , ,

Nokia to buy Palm for $4.1 billion

April 1, 2009 12 comments

Finnish mobile phone manufacturer, Nokia Corp (NYSE: NOK) said today it had agreed to buy US smartphone manufacturer Palm, Inc (NasdaqGS: PALM) for 4.15 billion dollars (3.14 billion euros)

“Nokia is committed to be at the forefront of mobile user interface and internet services. By joining forces with Palm, we will  impliment our shared strategy of delivering innovative web experience and services through a unified, single identity user management of all user information and media to our mobile devices.” Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, President and CEO, Nokia. “The integration of WebOS will give our consumers leading convergence devices that more than meet and exceed consumer expectations.”

California-based Palm, Inc will be launching the Palm Pre at the end of the month, the first and last Palm device to feature WebOS.

The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter of 2009.

http://www.reuters.com/article/rbssTechMediaTelecomNews/idOFLO0104L20RI0A9lP


Nokia to acquire Enpocket to create a global mobile advertising leader

September 17, 2007 Leave a comment

Press Release: Click

At the first London Nokia: Go Play event, OVI was announced. With OVI, Nokia is attempting to grasp mobile internet services by taking the next step at connecting people and allowing users to get at all their digital content whenever, where ever.

… we believe that mobile advertising will be an important element in monetizing those services for our customers and partners. Enpocket’s mature leading edge platform and people expertise are a strong fit with Nokia existing capabilities in the mobile advertising market,

said Tero Ojanperä, Chief Technology Officer, Nokia.

This acquisition is a game changing move to bring the reach and depth of Nokia to organize the market across the world, and make it easier for an ecosystem to develop.

The platform can deliver mobile advertising across multiple formats including SMS, MMS, mobile Internet advertising, and video. Enpocket is powering mobile advertising for leading mobile operators and publishers across the globe and has an ad sales force that is working with large brands.

Effective interactive advertising on the mobile device can create tremendous value for the mobile industry while bringing new Internet services to people around the world,

said Enpocket President and Chief Executive Officer, Mike Baker.

Enpocket and Nokia are combining to provide the leadership needed to define, build and standardize globally the business of mobile advertising so that brands can easily and efficiently engage consumers on their personal devices.

About Enpocket

Enpocket is the global leader in mobile advertising, providing brands with end-to-end, turnkey solutions that make marketing to the personal device simple and effective. With an award-winning platform and worldwide partner network of mobile operators and publishers, Enpocket delivers high ROI mobile advertising experiences. Powered by analytics, the Enpocket Platform delivers targeted ‘intelligent mobile marketing’ with measurable results. Enpocket is headquartered in Boston with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, London, Singapore and Mumbai. To learn more, please visit http://www.enpocket.com.

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