Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

What Nokia Must Do To Stay Relevant In Mobile

Soulskill posted about 4 years ago | from the introducing-the-3d-cloud-social-farm-phone dept.

Cellphones 289

snydeq writes "Mikael Ricknäs reports how Nokia can turn around its three-year slide in the mobile market — one that has transformed the company's iconic N95 into a distant memory given the pace of innovation at Apple and around Android. Completely underestimating the impact of the iPhone, Nokia took too long to realize that Symbian's lack of touch capabilities would hinder its ability to compete in the smartphone market. Moreover, the company's move to open source the OS has significantly slowed down Symbian's development, according to analysts, leaving Nokia with both a lack of support from other vendors and a platform on which competitors can keep a close eye. Meanwhile, developer interest in Nokia's Ovi app store is nearly nonexistent. 'Nokia's problems are still fixable but the window is closing. I am not optimistic that they will be fixed in 2010 because there isn't much time left; if they aren't fixed in 2011, Nokia will be in big trouble.'"

cancel ×

289 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Did the author completely overlook,,, (4, Insightful)

JesseL (107722) | about 4 years ago | (#32856038)

... the N900?

As far as I'm concerned the only thing Nokia is missing is a better marketing campaign for their product that compares very favorably with the Apple and Android offerings.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (3, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | about 4 years ago | (#32856072)

I know what they overlooked...

N Gage 4.0

Seriously you guys, it'll work this time.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (5, Insightful)

SquarePixel (1851068) | about 4 years ago | (#32856088)

Nokia has a significant market share in mobile world. Not just the toys. Apple only has one product line while Nokia has many, many different phones suited for quite much everyone, and is generally looked up to in the business world (as is HTC too). Not everyone cares about buying some simple games from the app store, you know.

I think the story would be better worded as "What Nokia Must Do To Compete With Apple", as they already sure as hell know what to do in the mobile world.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (4, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 4 years ago | (#32856134)

Correction: "What Nokia Must Do To Compete With Apple and Android in US Smartphones"

For non-smartphones especially around the world, both Apple and Android do not have much of a presence compared to Nokia

OOH! OOH! I Know the Answer! (2, Funny)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | about 4 years ago | (#32856244)

What Nokia must do to stay relevant in mobile?

TIME TRAVEL!

WANTED; Somebody to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. P.O. Box [myconfinedspace.com]
322, Oakview, CA 93022. You'll get paid after we get back. Must bring your
own weapons. Safety not guaranteed. I have only done this once before.

Re:OOH! OOH! I Know the Answer! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32856332)

What Nokia must do to stay relevant in mobile?

TIME TRAVEL!

WANTED; Somebody to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. P.O. Box [myconfinedspace.com] 322, Oakview, CA 93022. You'll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. Safety not guaranteed. I have only done this once before.

THis is nigger shit.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (1)

cowscows (103644) | about 4 years ago | (#32856552)

I don't know if you've noticed this, but the capabilities of technology tend to filter done the price scale rather quickly. 2010's $500 device is 2012's $100 device is 2014's "get two free when you switch to our network" device. It won't be long before just about every phone for sale is a smart phone.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (3, Insightful)

forkazoo (138186) | about 4 years ago | (#32857040)

I don't know if you've noticed this, but the capabilities of technology tend to filter done the price scale rather quickly. 2010's $500 device is 2012's $100 device is 2014's "get two free when you switch to our network" device. It won't be long before just about every phone for sale is a smart phone.

By one standard, almost every phone sold today already is a smart phone. Somewhere along the line, a funny thing happened, and "Smartphone" got redefined to only refer to the highest end phones available at the moment, with what would have been a smartphone the year before now being called something like a "Featurephone."

There will always be some sort of market for high end $500+ devices, but as you point out, it'll just get harder and harder to justify spending that much on a mobile device when the lesser, cheaper models can do so much.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (2, Interesting)

MightyYar (622222) | about 4 years ago | (#32857156)

For non-smartphones especially around the world, both Apple and Android do not have much of a presence compared to Nokia

The problem is that Apple/Android/Blackberry are cherry picking the most profitable customers. Apple and RIM would be delighted to sell nothing but higher-end phones forever, leaving the low-end, low-margin phones to Nokia and friends.

For companies who target marketshare and the low end like Dell, the last 10 years have been sort of murderous on the stockholders. Nokia's has been awful as well.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (2, Insightful)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 4 years ago | (#32856426)

No, they are a dinosaur on the brink of extinction. They are the buggy whip maker laughing at car sales in 1890. There are already android phones that will be given away at no direct cost with a contract. Their cost will come down, and fill all of those niches where nokia is today.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (3, Interesting)

DrunkenPenguin (553473) | about 4 years ago | (#32856580)

You wrote: "Nokia has a significant market share in mobile world." Yeah, but that's decreasing at an alarming rate! Right now Samsung has passed Nokia, the world's biggest maker of mobile phones, in shipments of low-end handsets to Western Europe in the first quarter. This is very, very alarming news to Nokia supporters. Nokia has been strong in that area, but is losing now basically everywhere.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (1)

Servaas (1050156) | about 4 years ago | (#32856094)

Apparently they were onto a winner by combining a phone and a gaming device. So points for trying.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (1)

SquarePixel (1851068) | about 4 years ago | (#32856288)

And it was actually quite widely used in Scandinavia and probably other parts of Europe. USA has always been the secondary market for Nokia. Also remember that this was in the beginning of 2000, times have changed a lot since then.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (2, Interesting)

Beyond_GoodandEvil (769135) | about 4 years ago | (#32856192)

Funny you mention that b/c my old ngage actually worked w/ the car bluetooth system on my BMW while the newer e61 would never connect. Motor Razr worked just fine, G1, Nexus One also worked just fine. So Nokia needs to do a better job of support bluetooth, and release patches for the bluetooth stack.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (3, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 4 years ago | (#32856118)

One good product in a sea of mediocrity ones does not make a good company. Just look at Sony's product catalog and see what I mean.

Why can't the companies focus on making one or two really GREAT products?

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (4, Insightful)

JesseL (107722) | about 4 years ago | (#32856176)

I guess you missed the first sentence of the article.

Nokia still sells more phones than Samsung, LG, and Research in Motion (RIM) put together, but its inability to produce high-margin, high-end smartphones that can compete head to head with Apple's iPhone and Google Android-based smartphones is causing it major problems.

Companies that want to make money and stay is business tend to have diverse product lines, catering to multiple niches and price points.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32856236)

You mean, like Apple does? Oh wait...

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (4, Interesting)

migla (1099771) | about 4 years ago | (#32856126)

I hope the (soon to become) MeeGo line will be relevant. I want linux on my phone and I mean close to a desktop GNU/Linux distribution, not like Android that might as well have some other kernel for all I care (almost). Android isn't Linux in the overloaded sense we sloppy humans have come use the name.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (4, Funny)

autophile (640621) | about 4 years ago | (#32857024)

I hope the (soon to become) MeeGo line will be relevant.

Readers should not confuse this with, in order of increasing danger, the LG Migo, which "is perfect for your kid's first phone," the Bhutanese Migo, which is "known by the Nepalese and Tibetans as the Yeti, and to the Chinese and Soviets as the Alma," or the Lovecraft Mi-Go, which "are large, pinkish, fungoid, crustacean-like entities the size of a man with a 'convoluted ellipsoid' composed of pyramided, fleshy rings and covered in antennae where a head would normally be."

Favorably? (-1, Troll)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 4 years ago | (#32856170)

In the new world of Mobile Applications the N900 is nothing but a nice browser, while the other platforms do so much more...

Like the summary said, developer interest in the Ovi app store is zilch, and any potential interest will be sucked away by Microsoft desperate to support WIndows Mobile 7.

The only fix for Nokia now is to go Android, then the fact they make nice hardware means something again.

Re:Favorably? (4, Insightful)

mickwd (196449) | about 4 years ago | (#32856224)

That's the equivalent of saying a fully-fledged mobile Linux computer (with a really nice front-end) is nothing but a nice browser, while the other platforms do so much more...

Re:Favorably? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32857096)

That would actually be pretty accurate, because most non-tech people use linux only for web browsing. (or most non developers, who have better things to do than to tinker around with the settings)

Compared to Linux, Windows and Os X are Heaven. You actually get working software for your needs without playing around on the command line for a few hours.
And yes, if you even have to look at the command line to get your software working is too much. Or actually, if you even have to think about settings to get the damn thing working properly.

Re:Favorably? (4, Insightful)

migla (1099771) | about 4 years ago | (#32856284)

I'm not going to argue with you, because you're right.

I'd just like to point out that marketshare isn't awesomeness.

In the marketplace, fartapps and other apps are the thing nowadays, sure, but come on, the N900 is basically a debian computer in your pocket that can also (often) make phonecalls.

Sadly, awesomeness doesn't equal marketshare either, of course.

Re:Favorably? (1, Interesting)

DrunkenPenguin (553473) | about 4 years ago | (#32856428)

You wrote: "The only fix for Nokia now is to go Android, then the fact they make nice hardware means something again.". Nokia has been well known for making good quality phones, but this is not the reality any more. Hasn't been for past 2-3 years. Flagship product N97 had so many flaws you can not even list them here. Do a google search. N900's hardware has been a nightmare! Just browse talk.maemo.org and you will see why if you are not aware already. Nokia phones used to be good quality phones some 2-3 years ago, but unfortunately that doesn't seem to be the case any more.

Re:Favorably? (4, Insightful)

Pax681 (1002592) | about 4 years ago | (#32856752)

You wrote: "The only fix for Nokia now is to go Android, then the fact they make nice hardware means something again.". Nokia has been well known for making good quality phones, but this is not the reality any more. Hasn't been for past 2-3 years. Flagship product N97 had so many flaws you can not even list them here. Do a google search. N900's hardware has been a nightmare! Just browse talk.maemo.org and you will see why if you are not aware already. Nokia phones used to be good quality phones some 2-3 years ago, but unfortunately that doesn't seem to be the case any more.

i have said it before and i'll say it again

the N900 is a sweet smartphone.. i LOVE mine.

Nokia were VERY up front when they released it saying that maemo was "stage 4 of 5" and that it wasn't a phone that was for everyone. it was very much a niche of a niche phone.

the ovi store to be quite frank ISN'T where you get yer apps.. you get them direct to your phone from repositories. these can be accessed simply by adding them to your phone settings

check here for the settings [thenokiablog.com]

also you will find that maemo on the N900 is soon to undergo a change in that it will be going MeeGo - in a sense.

it's still going to have the debian based maemo under the bonnet and then the Meego UI.

Full on MeeGo is Fedora under the bonnet

how many of the people currently slagging off the N900 have actually had hands on experience with it? not too many i would hazard a guess

Re:Favorably? (1, Interesting)

jonbryce (703250) | about 4 years ago | (#32856466)

Microsoft give the impression that they have completely lost the way with Windows Mobile. Windows Mobile 7 has all the disadvantages of the first generation iPhone, without any of the advantages. The 1st generation iPhone was a flop and that wass without a 3rd or 4th generation iPhone competing with it.

Given that existing customers are going to be forced to make a switch whatever happens, I suspect a lot of them with switch to Android, and once they do that, they aren't going to switch back unless they have a very good reason to.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32856172)

They also need AT&T 3G and CDMA variants. It's really hard to convince people in the US to try the N900 when you tell them they have to use T-Mobile (as a company it's probably the best major carrier out there, but their coverage sucks).

It's an awesome device though, and while it's pretty rough around the edges (something that could easily change with more support), I can do things with it that would be difficult on Android phones and impossible on the iPhone.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (4, Insightful)

MrHanky (141717) | about 4 years ago | (#32856182)

The N900 is cool, but something of a niche product, and the only one of its kind. It's not for those of us who would consider Maemo but not the 181 grams. The iPhone seems to have aimed for a sweet spot between pocket friendliness and usability, and Android comes in just about every form factor if you have other priorities. Nokia is in trouble if the N900 is the only competitive smartphone they sell.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 4 years ago | (#32856196)

One only needs to look at price to see why the N900 never caught on. People don't care that its unlocked too much, what they -do- care about is that a price of $650 was something that no one wants to pay for a phone. $100? People would have bought it. $200? People still might have bought it, $650 not subsidized? The average person doesn't want to pay that much for a phone.

When the average person sees that they can get an iPhone for $200, a BlackBerry for $100, an Android device for $100, a palm device for $100, a Windows Mobile device for $50 or the N900 for $650, people aren't going to buy it. People don't care that it is cheaper because you can use cheaper plans than the iPhone allows, they see an outrageous initial price and won't buy it.

In all honesty, the only people who buy their phones unsubsidized are geeks like you and me. The average person will never pay $650 outright for a phone.

Itemization (3, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | about 4 years ago | (#32856242)

When the average person sees that they can get an iPhone for $200, a BlackBerry for $100, an Android device for $100, a palm device for $100, a Windows Mobile device for $50 or the N900 for $650

This is true only because the U.S. cell phone market doesn't itemize the phone subsidy on the monthly bill. T-Mobile is the first U.S. nationwide carrier to introduce SIM-only plans that cost less than plans that include a phone.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (4, Informative)

SquarePixel (1851068) | about 4 years ago | (#32856334)

One only needs to look at price to see why the N900 never caught on. People don't care that its unlocked too much, what they -do- care about is that a price of $650 was something that no one wants to pay for a phone. $100? People would have bought it. $200? People still might have bought it, $650 not subsidized? The average person doesn't want to pay that much for a phone.

That's only because US has got used to telco's cheating that way. Everywhere else in the world a person buys a phone and then gets (a much cheaper) separate contract for it. It was only a few years ago that the operators started offering the US-style subsidized plans, and they always end up costing a lot more.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (2, Interesting)

jonbryce (703250) | about 4 years ago | (#32856432)

In Britain, they used to do it the US way, and still do to an extent, but you can now get much cheaper SIM only plans.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (2, Interesting)

DrunkenPenguin (553473) | about 4 years ago | (#32856202)

N900? What makes N900 hardware so special compared to other smartphones out there? Please, go ahead and enlighten us on this. You also wrote: "As far as I'm concerned the only thing Nokia is missing is a better marketing campaign for their product that compares very favorably with the Apple and Android offerings." Wait a second - compares very favorably? Would you please tell us how. I'm not seeing it. I think N900 is another major flop, but maybe that's only because I happen to live in Finland. Perhaps N900 has been a major success story somewhere else. Please tell me more.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (3, Informative)

migla (1099771) | about 4 years ago | (#32856338)

It's not the hardware, it's the GNU/Linux software. And just because it doesn't succeed doesn't mean it isn't the best available from the perspectives of people who'd like a GNU/Linux computer in their pocket.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (2, Informative)

DrunkenPenguin (553473) | about 4 years ago | (#32856512)

You wrote: "It's not the hardware, it's the GNU/Linux software. And just because it doesn't succeed doesn't mean it isn't the best available from the perspectives of people who'd like a GNU/Linux computer in their pocket.". Do you really believe GNU/Linux software will bring Nokia back to top? I don't think so. I've been using Linux since 1998 and I love Linux, but I can't come up with any more than a handful of Linux applications that I'd actually want to run on my cellphone.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 4 years ago | (#32856768)

Really?
Because I have a droid and have thought of making a debian chroot just to get some linux apps I know and love.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (3, Informative)

dbIII (701233) | about 4 years ago | (#32856948)

When I go to the app manager on my N900 there are hundreds of applications there that I can just download without paying anyone anything. Add more than the nokia repositry and there are thousands more. That is what the Linux software (I doubt if there is much actual gnu stuff) brings to the platform.
Think of just about anything, and there is a free app which is a very small download for that. I don't know if that will sell any more N900 phones but it certainly impresses those that have them.
The multitasking alone leaves the iPhone for dead (ask an iPhone user about alarm apps and how they don't work), as does the ability to switch between virtual screens.
The device itself is an expensive bit of hardware with a lot of memory, high pixel density touchscreen etc, but that sort of environment (Maemo or Meego) has a lot of potential on future devices with lower end specs.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32856722)

You couldn't be more wrong. What makes the N900 so great is the build quality of the hardware. Maemo is crap. It manages to take all the downsides of a GNU/Linux platform and combine them with all the drawbacks of a closed platform. It is less open than Android and has more annoying fanboys than the iPhone. And on top of all that it is slow and buggy, especially the gecko based browser.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32856392)

What makes N900 hardware so special compared to other smartphones out there?

What makes the hardware so special, is that it runs better software. As good as the iPhone looks on paper, it still, after all these years, doesn't even have the capability to run a "hello world" python script.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32856712)

Which, given N900 versus iPhone sales, is important why?

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about 4 years ago | (#32856938)

Why is that more important than a stable, clean web browser or an app distribution system with, well, apps?

It seems like you OSS guys look at hardware and not realize what features are there. You completely miss the forest for the trees.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about 4 years ago | (#32856410)

If you're in Finland I've got a small question.

What's Nokia's presence on their own home turf? What's the excitement like for Android devices or the iPhone in comparison?

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (4, Interesting)

DrunkenPenguin (553473) | about 4 years ago | (#32856474)

Traditionally >90% of the finnish people have been using Nokia phones, but this is changing now very, very rapidly. Nokia is seen as a "lamers choice" in Finland at the moment and the youth + older people are buying Android phones and iPhones more and more every day. Nokia is seen as a loser here in Finland at the moment. Well - let's face it - Nokia is a loser! 70% market value drop in recent 2-3 years - that's just something that's hard to believe, but unfortunately it is true.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (-1, Offtopic)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 4 years ago | (#32856688)

I find it pathetic that you have posted 3+ times about Nokia having "bad hardware" but haven't given a single example.

It has a resistive touchscreen (with a resolution that DESTROYS the iPhone), a very nice camera (2 actually), a physical keyboard, a body that doesn't require a crag-ugly case to prevent it from self-combusting and more than 1 physical button. That's not to mention the software that is almost entirely free, of a high of a quality as most software you find in debian/ubuntu repositories, completely unlocked systems and network access as well as root being as far away as installing 1 application. Oh, did I mention that their application manager (app store if you will) has absolutely NO restrictions on what you can install, modify and remove? You can even download the dev kit for free, compile your own native (or scripted) apps and create a repository for them so that ANYONE can install them.

At this point, it sounds like you are nothing more than an uninformed troll going by the information provided by "hip" highschool students that wouldn't know optical zoom from digital.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (0, Troll)

DrunkenPenguin (553473) | about 4 years ago | (#32856796)

You wrote: "I find it pathetic that you have posted 3+ times about Nokia having "bad hardware" but haven't given a single example. " Well, I find it pathetic that you don't read what I write. I have mentioned N97 and N900 in this thread. Both of these have very crappy hardware. You don't believe me? Please do a search on Google if you don't believe me. I have used both, but please Google around if you don't believe me. I can easily name other models too if this wasn't enough.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (3, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | about 4 years ago | (#32857006)

Go on then - in what way is the hardware crappy? I would be interested to know while my N900 still has a high resale value and can still sell it if it really is crappy. Convince me.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 4 years ago | (#32856808)

N900 resolution is only 840x480 my droid beats that, and iphone4 is 960x360. Again all that I can do on my droid, heck I can have a debian chroot if I want.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (1)

Threni (635302) | about 4 years ago | (#32856902)

Check your maths, mate! 840x480 comfortably beats 960x360, and is a better ratio.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32857004)

Well new to iphone4 was a front facing camera 900 had last year. New to iphone4 and android phones is video out which 900 did last year also. Opengl es support and the graphics processor to run it is a huge bonus over iphone4 and android. Wireless sync 900 had last year. Slide cover for the camera 900 has dont think iphone4 or any android phone has. Then there is the application memory space which destroys both iphone4 and android phones. Standard Linux platform huge bonus. Multi task up to 32 applications at the same time. Native sip support. Customability all droids look the same all iPhones look the same I have only played with 5 n900's and each looked unique.

I don't care that the phone is almost a year old. My wife, daughter, and me all would rather buy the n900 then get any of the available android phones or the iphone4. We all have dumb phones currently because None of us are thrilled about apple products, was disappointed by the blacberrys released over the past year, don't like the win mobile platform, and were waiting for the android platform to mature more.

The merge between memo and moblin was the only reason why we didn't get n900's as I wanted to see how support went after that. Now we are all either getting the n900 successor or the n900 depending on what nokia does with the successor. Even planning on having to get them unsubsidized.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (4, Interesting)

unix1 (1667411) | about 4 years ago | (#32856258)

They just can't get their act straight.

Apple came out with the iPhone and followed down the same path with respect to both customers and developers.

Google introduced Android and their efforts are just as consistent.

Nokia, on the other hand, bought Symbian which at the time was mostly a feature phone OS, introduced Maemo which used GTK, then acquired Trolltech which was Qt, then ported Qt to Maemo and dropped GTK, then started porting Qt to next version of Symbian, then dropped Maemo and started work on Meego. Now, what next? There are too many moving parts, and too much uncertainty, at least as far as "smartphones" are concerned. Are there politics going on inside the company? If so, someone has to take charge and make some tough technical decisions.

I personally like Qt and find it easy to program with and I hope they use that as their tool in their future phones and tablets; but, in general, Nokia needs to find a clear direction and stick to it.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (3, Interesting)

Microlith (54737) | about 4 years ago | (#32856340)

Apple came out with the iPhone and followed down the same path with respect to both customers and developers.

With the caveat of being the only vendor for the platform, which is extremely tightly controlled.

Google introduced Android and their efforts are just as consistent.

Which speaks nothing to the hardware manufacturers, whom are abandoning handsets left and right and leaving it up to the community to forge ahead.

Nokia, on the other hand, bought Symbian which at the time was mostly a feature phone OS

OK

introduced Maemo which used GTK

Maemo was introduced back in 2005. The N900 was its first appearance on anything resembling a phone.

then ported Qt to Maemo and dropped GTK, then started porting Qt to next version of Symbian, then dropped Maemo and started work on Meego.

No. The Qt port to the N900 is an officially supported port present in the base install (as of PR1.2) as a compatibility layer with MeeGo. The base Maemo UI and interfaces are still done with GTK. Maemo is still alive, and will get one more iteration through this sort of "MeeGo-Harmattan" hybrid that will be on Nokia's next handset, with the following devices transitioning to MeeGo fully.

Now, what next?

Qt. If you're an application developer, just think Qt and use the Qt development tools. Cross compilers for multiple architectures and target OSes are all included.

Are there politics going on inside the company? If so, someone has to take charge and make some tough technical decisions.

Undoubtedly, my suspicion is that the N900 was a skunk-works power play to light a fire under everyone else's asses, and I believe MeeGo and the Qt transition is the result.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (5, Interesting)

cduffy (652) | about 4 years ago | (#32856490)

Undoubtedly, my suspicion is that the N900 was a skunk-works power play to light a fire under everyone else's asses, and I believe MeeGo and the Qt transition is the result.

If I recall the story correctly, the precursor to the N900 was very much a skunkworks project, and built at a point when Nokia was contractually prohibited from selling a phone running Linux; the N900 was thus a relatively small step that was easy to take once that contractual prohibition was no longer in place.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (3, Informative)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 4 years ago | (#32856402)

Nokia, on the other hand, bought Symbian which at the time was mostly a feature phone OS

Symbian OS has never been a feature phone OS. It was originally a PDA OS (Under the name Epoc 32), and became a smartphone OS round about 1999 when it was used for the Nokia 9110. None of the phones Nokia has released with SYmbian have been feature phones, they are all smartphones. Nokia's feature phones are Series 30 and Series 40, neither of which are Symbian.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (1)

unix1 (1667411) | about 4 years ago | (#32856666)

Then we have a different understanding of what a "smartphone" means. Pretty much all MOAP phones are feature phones, and if you are going to argue that phones like these [symbian.org] are "smartphones" - i.e. in the same category as iOS and Android phones - then I don't know what to tell you.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 4 years ago | (#32856850)

The Samsung SGH-D730, like every other Series 60 device is a smartphone.
http://www.infosyncworld.com/news/n/5902.html [infosyncworld.com]

iOS and Android don't define what it is to be a smartphone, they came along a long time after the smartphone category was defined. The smartphone category is defined as a phone which is capable of running native 3rd party app downloads.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (1)

unix1 (1667411) | about 4 years ago | (#32857008)

That's a pretty vague definition. Some of the crappiest feature phones allowed you to download 3rd party software using J2ME and BREW. I don't call those things "smartphones" and then turn around and call iPhone by the same label, effectively putting them in the same "smartphone" category. That's just not right.

Besides, the definition of the term was not my point. I was highlighting the differences in categories. And iOS, Android and Maemo are not the same category as most of the phones you are referring to as smartphones.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 4 years ago | (#32857124)

That's a pretty vague definition.

No it's not. Whilst there are lways judgements to be made, the reason you think it's vague is because you haven't understood it fully.

Some of the crappiest feature phones allowed you to download 3rd party software using J2ME and BREW.

That's not NATIVE applications. Native apps means using the same APIs as the built in apps. Those that offer no more than J2ME or BREW are indeed feature phones. But Symbian phones are smartphones. Symbian apps can be programmed in C++ using the same APIs as are used for the built in apps.

Besides, the definition of the term was not my point. I was highlighting the differences in categories. And iOS, Android and Maemo are not the same category as most of the phones you are referring to as smartphones.

Then don't (mis)use the term smartphone to make your point. Perhaps "iPhone like" or "iPhone competitors" would fit your needs better.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (2, Interesting)

forkazoo (138186) | about 4 years ago | (#32857140)

Nokia, on the other hand, bought Symbian which at the time was mostly a feature phone OS, introduced Maemo which used GTK, then acquired Trolltech which was Qt, then ported Qt to Maemo and dropped GTK, then started porting Qt to next version of Symbian, then dropped Maemo and started work on Meego. Now, what next?

You are over thinking it. The issue of GTK vs. Qt on Maemo is just like on Desktop Linux. App developer can use whichever they want, and most users won't be able to tell the difference. It's like on Windows with Win32 API vs. MFC. The users never cared, and Win32 wasn't "dropped" when MS was pushing MFC. If you want, you can write raw Xlib calls for Maemo.

As for dropping Maemo, and working on Meego, the two are so similar that it won't matter to most people. The only significant change is that devs will need to package with .rpm's instead of .deb's. They can continue to use either Qt or GTK, or raw Xlib, or WX or whatever they want for writing apps. Qt is, and continues to be, an API with excellent cross platform support, so you can naturally write an app using Qt and make it work on Windows, OS-X, desktop Linux, Maemo, Meego, Symbian, Android (slightly inconvenient since you would need a small Java loader to execute the native Qt app, but that's not a big deal. The android port is admittedly still very immature.)

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 4 years ago | (#32856260)

They have already abandoned it. Until they stop doing that they cannot compete.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (1)

Microlith (54737) | about 4 years ago | (#32856294)

They have? Really?

I'll buy this FUD when no more patches come out at all. IIRC, there's a 3rd one already in the pipe and fixes for Maemo are still going in.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (2, Insightful)

davros-too (987732) | about 4 years ago | (#32856404)

spot on - I nearly bought an N900. If I had I would be seriously pissed off. Maemo is very rough and when I was considering buying the N900 I assumed Nokia would continue to improve it. Instead Maemo has been abandoned. Is Nokia going to stick with meego? Or will it finally push symbian forward? Who knows...

Vanjoki also addressed recent reports that Nokia would use MeeGo on all future members of the N series. The N8 will be Nokia's only Symbian 3-based smartphone, says Vanjoki. However, a Symbian 4-based N series is a very strong possibility, he says.

Why would anyone buy an N8 - obviously going to be another orphan.

Until Nokia actually chooses between symbian and meego as their smartphone platform, I expect that neither will prosper.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32856286)

The N900 is a non-factor in the smart phone market. It essentially does not exist outside a few geeks who bought one.

Their total sales is in the tens of thousands over the *entire time* it has been out. Apple sold 1.7 million iphone-4's in *days* of its launch.

Nokia is still big, but it's haemorrhaging market share to Apple. They cannot survive that forever.

Perhaps you missed all the recent financial news of Nokia's profit being hurt by market share losses to Apple, and their self-admission that they do not currently have a competitive smartphone.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about 4 years ago | (#32856328)

You ever let a non techno-geek use an N900?

No amount of slick marketing is going to fix that.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (1)

mrmeval (662166) | about 4 years ago | (#32856598)

Nokia has massive infrastructure worldwide. They are one of the few hiring uberLinux geeks just now. If you can do high availability clustering using Linux regardless of distribution you should submit a resume.

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (1)

Pax681 (1002592) | about 4 years ago | (#32856664)

... the N900?

As far as I'm concerned the only thing Nokia is missing is a better marketing campaign for their product that compares very favorably with the Apple and Android offerings.

here here sir!

Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (2, Interesting)

munky99999 (781012) | about 4 years ago | (#32856860)

My n900 is badass but ya they never advertised it. If it wasnt for slashdot i most likely never had heard of it. The one thing that bothers me. Nokia doesnt seem to be apart of the community at all. They seem to have released the n900 and said go wild, while walking away. They also seem to be walking away from maemo, leaving n900 in the dust.

idea: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32856068)

I wish somebody would manufacture a cell phone/dildo. So I could anal-masturbate with it.

Probably the best thing they could do is license.. (0, Flamebait)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about 4 years ago | (#32856106)

Probably the best thing they could do is license iOS from Apple. What are the other options? Put out the same exact Android phone that everybody else is?

If they paid Apple enough money it could happen.

Re:Probably the best thing they could do is licens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32856136)

You Sir are BATSHIT INSANE.

Re:Probably the best thing they could do is licens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32856166)

Unless Apple changes, that will never happen. Apple's business is about the experience of using Apple products. They keep control of the hardware as well as the OS to provide the correct experience.

Re:Probably the best thing they could do is licens (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32856184)

Why bother? iOS is still a DOS task-switcher, nothing remotely close to OS X, and way behind the opposition. Plus Apple have stolen massive amounts on IP from Nokia. Expect a huge payout for Nokia and ongoing license fees per Apple unit sold, once they lawyers have made their fortune first.

Re:Probably the best thing they could do is licens (0, Troll)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about 4 years ago | (#32856352)

It may be behind the opposition in theory, and perhaps on paper as well. However nobody ever stood in line all day for any phone but an iPhone.

Re:Probably the best thing they could do is licens (1)

MrHanky (141717) | about 4 years ago | (#32856714)

So? People stood in even longer lines for The Phantom Menace. Standing in lines is a display of brand loyalty, nothing more.

Re:Probably the best thing they could do is licens (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 4 years ago | (#32856838)

Bullshit, people stood in lines for incredibles too and EVO 4Gs too.

Re:Probably the best thing they could do is licens (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | about 4 years ago | (#32856274)

Probably the best thing they could do is license iOS from Apple. What are the other options? Put out the same exact Android phone that everybody else is?

If they paid Apple enough money it could happen.

Yeah, and after that maybe Apple will license OS X to Dell and HP for use on their desktop computers.

For me .. (3, Interesting)

Elgonn (921934) | about 4 years ago | (#32856108)

For me all they have to do to stay relevant is release an up to date E90 running Maemo/MeeGo. Apparently that physical phone layout isn't going to ever come back.

Licensing? (1)

Ossifer (703813) | about 4 years ago | (#32856116)

Maybe they can license good signal strength to Apple? I still keep an old Nokia "dumbphone" around just in case I have a low signal need...

Release to Carriers (3, Informative)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 4 years ago | (#32856146)

I've heard that Nokia is big in Europe, but at least here in the USA its hard to get a Symbian phone or any Nokia phone save for dumb-phones. What Nokia really needs to do is create a really high-end phone, make it be multi-carrier and release it for all carriers subsidized in the US. Phones like the N900 are nice, but since you can't get them subsidized, it really harms adoption rates. In the US people expect their cell phones to appear to only cost nothing to $50 for a dumb-phone and $100-200 for a smartphone. Paying $650 for a phone is something that few people will do, if it was $200 subsidized, people would pick it up because at the time, the N900 was a really nice phone, but no one wants to pay $650 for it.

Nokia needs to get their act together by flooding the market with their phones. Heck, even abandon Symbian for a while and create Android phones, really, despite how much Nokia seems to love Symbian, it kinda fails when compared to Android, iOS and even WebOS.

Ignorance (1)

fat_mike (71855) | about 4 years ago | (#32856158)

Not everyone wants a smartphone. If I didn't work in the IT field I wouldn't want one. I would like a phone that makes phone calls, takes pictures, supports texting and I don't have to have an "accessory" in order to carry/protect/advertise it.

I went around the office today and if my little marketing research check counts then Nokia is doing just fine.

Just because InfoWorld or Slashdot or ComputerWorld or SmartphonesDaily says something you all need to realize that they're actually talking about a very small segment of the population.

Re:Ignorance (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 years ago | (#32856296)

Not everyone wants a smartphone.

Darn right. A dumbphone plan costs $80 a year from Virgin Mobile USA, and a lot of people don't see the benefit in paying ten times that for a smartphone plan when they can get Internet at home, at work, and at the restaurant.

Re:Ignorance (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 4 years ago | (#32856302)

Yeah the part of the segment that has money, companies strangely seem to try to focus on that market a lo.

release an android phone? (1)

Threni (635302) | about 4 years ago | (#32856160)

I mean, I *could* buy another phone like symbian, windows mobile and then be in the wilderness of a dull grey existence, no eco system, no sense of progress from release to release, with a boring phone that just does boring phone-like things, and which is locked down*.

Or I could get an Android phone.

*Yeah, I understand some of these shitty phones are no longer quite as locked down as the manufacturers scramble to come to terms with the threat posed by Android (and iPhone, while it has the advantage of marketshare over Android, which I figure will be the case for about another year, until the various phones, laptops and tablets released by multiple manufacturers catch up with Apples one effort per year or so), but I don't think they're doing enough.

New OS (0, Troll)

SnarfQuest (469614) | about 4 years ago | (#32856194)

What they need to do is switch to a more relevant OS, like VMS or MP/M, written in a decent high level language, like RPG or watfiv. Only then can they expect to be truly successful.

RPG maker (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 years ago | (#32856312)

written in a decent high level language, like RPG

Is RPG [wikipedia.org] any better than the scripting language in RPG Maker 2 [wikipedia.org] ?

Open phones (3, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | about 4 years ago | (#32856210)

If well is not fully open (the actual cellphone part is somewhat closed source) the N900 could had started a trend of open, very flexible phones, you can even find alternative kernels where you can over/underclock them for special uses. It is still an impressive phone, but is lacking mindshare. It could have got more developers attention, but they didnt put their weight supporting that phone.

Now they are going for Meego, still having closed components, and the question is for how much they will give to it attention or how soon they will forget about that platform too. They should be more open on them, letting developers fully take advantage of that hardware (i.e. there is an Android port for it, but the cellphone part don't work because being one of the closed components), and see how far it could get... if the phone gets wildly popular because its flexibility, maybe they won't sell so much associated services if what most run is not tied with them, but for sure they will sell a lot of hardware.

Re:Open phones (2, Informative)

Microlith (54737) | about 4 years ago | (#32856270)

Now they are going for Meego, still having closed components

The core of MeeGo will be fully functional, with closed platform-specific bits pushed to the fringes. Hardware support is essential, and at this point the necessary bits are available to device owners.

They should be more open on them, letting developers fully take advantage of that hardware

They can't. Bits like the 3D driver are held by a 3rd party that is very much not willing to go open with their sources. Sorta like Nvidia. This is, not coincidentally, why MeeGo's support for Intel graphics drivers is so good.

the cellphone part don't work because being one of the closed components

Within the next few months Ofono will be able to make calls with the N900, without any closed bits.

Re:Open phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32856278)

They have Qt mindshare.

It's already too late for Nokia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32856280)

They won't be able to compete with the large scale manufacturing competition which is just gearing up. The open source model for the handset and OS will allow both to evolve at their own pace driven by a variety of companies. It's a replay of the PC market all over again except this time the OS will be Open Source Android. Once Intel gets the kinks worked out of their Atom based phones those combined with Android are going to make it very difficult for everyone, because the same OEM's and ODM's that build PC's will be building phones on contract for anyone who wants a phone, once they customize the Android interface to their liking they'll be off and running. Some custom chips will remain, but eventually the economies of scale that Intel can bring to bear will be just to much. Companies like Samsung, LG, Sony, who have multiple major revenue streams and a variety of their own innovative technologies to integration will be fine. Nokia's only got hand-sets they not going to die because they are good or bad, they are going to die because they won't be able to maintain the margins necessary for success.

What Nokia Must Do To Stay Relevant In Mobile (0, Flamebait)

sexconker (1179573) | about 4 years ago | (#32856356)

Exactly what they're doing now?
Protip: "Relevant in "mobile"" does not mean "Relevant with a bunch of nerds and iTards".

Ah, Galen Gruman (5, Informative)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 4 years ago | (#32856528)

We had a ill-informed article by Galen Gruman just yesterday. And here's another.

Nokia took too long to realize that Symbian's lack of touch capabilities would hinder its ability to compete in the smartphone market.

Symbian OS has ALWAYS had touch capabilities. It was originally released on a PDA called the Psion Series 5 under the name Epoc 32. That was a device with both a touch screen and a full qwerty keyboard. Touch was absolutely central to it. In all the smartphones Symbian OS has been released for, the OS itself still has touch central to the UI code. In the case of Sony-Ericsson, they released phones that used those touch capabilities. Nokia always chose not to. To release phones without touch screens. It was always Nokia's decision, never anything to do with the OS not being able to do it.

How can you take a tech author seriously when he makes false accusations based on a complete lack of knowledge of the facts?

Re:Ah, Galen Gruman (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32856646)

Advice from this guy is worth his name in Swedish. "Galen" is "crazy" or "mindless" in Swedish.

Anyone that thinks that he knows better than a 100 thousand employee company how to run their business is either a true genius or a total idiot. And how many true geniuses there are in the world? So few that they usually have better things to do than continuously keep making empty noise that pleases their narcissistic personality.

Nokia's cameras (1)

kangsterizer (1698322) | about 4 years ago | (#32856534)

Software and some hardware considerations put on the side (cpu, ram, i suppose), the cameras they have in their phones are really good.
I'd like to find an android phone that can take pictures as good as the N8. Check this one out:
Colors, focus, sharpness are really good.

http://admin.conversations.nokia.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/04062010253.jpg [nokia.com]

why bother? (5, Insightful)

yyxx (1812612) | about 4 years ago | (#32856572)

Nokia makes great hardware, but they obviously have problems putting together a good UI or development platform. They are unlikely to come up with something better than Android, Chrome, or iOS.

So what Nokia should do is ship Android and build whatever software and hardware innovations they want on top of that. I think Nokia Android phones would be spectacular. Symbian^4? Sorry, not interested.

Look, it's simple (1)

RomulusNR (29439) | about 4 years ago | (#32856594)

All they need to do is release a phone with the capabilities of the Moto Droid, and the durability of their own Nokia 3390.

Those things last forever. I know people who still use them despite only being good for phone calls and texts. (gasp, i know, do they cook over open fires too?) Other people would use them too, if they could slice, dice, and run Google Maps.

The last Nokia phone worth a look was the NGage, though mostly just for the look.

Re:Look, it's simple (1)

Microlith (54737) | about 4 years ago | (#32856644)

All they need to do is release a phone with the capabilities of the Moto Droid, and the durability of their own Nokia 3390.

Well they have the capabilities down, but I don't think you'll get that level of durability with the complexity and size a smart phone requires.

management at fault (4, Interesting)

dnaumov (453672) | about 4 years ago | (#32856608)

Disclaimer: I hold Nokia stock

What Nokia needs to do is replace it's top management. Unless some drastical measures are announced within the next 2 weeks (Q2 report coming up), the stockholders are going to be demanding that too (just look at Nokia stock trend over the past 8 years, it's really not particularly pretty). The problem is the arrogance and incompetence of the long-time top company officials like Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo (the CEO). Nokia's current situation is very similar to Ericsson a decade ago. They had a very strong market position, but grew arrogant and slow, while the market churn kept on speeding up.

Re:management at fault (2, Insightful)

dnaumov (453672) | about 4 years ago | (#32856650)

To expand a bit.

Nokia is betting the house on Meego. Big time. By announcing that Symbian will no longer be the OS choice for their top-end smartphones in the future, Nokia has essentially cannibilized the sales of their upcoming flagship - the Nokia N8. The N8 is actually a very decent device and it's going to be competitively priced, but they have not only failed to gain any major mindshare for it so far via very lackluster pre-launch marketing, they have now essentially buried it by announcing that Symbian is now officially a low-to-mid phone system.

What Nokia must do to stay relevant in mobile? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32856658)

Who's Nokia?

I don't care about the OS (1)

reboot246 (623534) | about 4 years ago | (#32856684)

Just give me better battery life. My four year old Nokia that just croaked had great battery life. The Nokia that replaced it (less than a week ago) has horrible battery life. I have to recharge the thing every day!

Both phones are the same basic flip-phone design, not much difference at all. Guess I'll have to keep the charger with me all the time.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>