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In the Face of Android, Why Should Nokia Stick With MeeGo?

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the worse-name-than-gimp dept.

Cellphones 336

GMGruman writes "In September, Symbian 3 was Nokia's latest great hope for becoming relevant in the modern smartphone market. Now comes word that the Symbian Foundation is shutting down, ending the Symbian 3 and Symbian 4 efforts. Nokia is now banking on MeeGo, a collaboration with Intel whose release date — and fit to smartphones — is highly uncertain. InfoWorld's Ted Samson thinks that it's time for Nokia to swallow its pride and stop pretending it will ship MeeGo in time to matter, and instead consider adopting Android — or even Windows Phone 7, which after all might finally support copy and paste by the time Nokia decides to hitch its mobile wagon to a new horse."

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336 comments

maybe (5, Insightful)

dropadrop (1057046) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002466)

I would imagine Nokia feels ditching their own OS would just make them hardware manufacturers, not so different from a large portion of their competition. Add to this that in a certain sense Google has probably partially made Android to ensure that no one manufacturer has a dominating position in the mobile market, and Nokia will suffer from that (Google can ensure products follow standards better when there are a lot of small players vs. one big one).

And Symbian Foundation is not Symbian. (5, Insightful)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002602)

Seems the news is just that the Foundation might not continue operating in its current legal framework (which depended on few other entities apart from Nokia, and now that they are gone...). But that doesn't lead to S^3 effort ending, as TFS claims (S^4 apparently is, somewhat - only in the sense that, instead of one big future release, its features will be pushed gradually to existing devices; a change for the better IMHO)

Symbian isn't going anywhere - it has greater share of sales than the next two players combined; when taking number 2 player out of the equation, greater share than all what's rest combined. Might very well be the first smartphone platform to break the barrier of 100 million devices shipped annually, this year.

All this ignoring the modus operandi of Nokia. Is S40 dead? (checking...) No, it's the most widespread mobile phone platform in the world. Heck, even S30 sells quite a few units. Symbian will be around for a long time, just in price segments where S40 was for large part of the last decade.

Those segments aren't going away. If anything, the market seems to be getting more diverse than the simplistic "everybody will want either 'true' (for the current definition of 'true') smartphone or something ultra low cost" - but it's probably hard for pundits in few atypical (but highly visible) markets to notice some crucial segments; most of those people have smartphones...

Smartphones which still sit at around 20% of total shipments. Have been sitting close to that for a few years. People are generally happy with slick UI, touch screen, good web browsing (heck, Chinese makers are starting to integrate even full Opera Mobile), few widgets - "smartphone" doesn't need to enter the equation, as fabulously popular "feature phone" touchscreen mobiles from Samsung and LG have shown recently (those phones from Samsung are why they might be level in marketshare with Nokia by the end of the year, not smartphones)

As for Android...heck, who knows. Though probably "MeeGo-fied/Qt-fied", to share at least their custom apps with Symbian, to have the same widget engine available (the W3C one, iirc). But they are profitable, in Q3 their revenue has risen, at #1 marketshare it doesn't make sense to willingly get relegated to the status of PC makers (vs. MS/provider of OS). Why Samsung pushes also bada OS (indeed almost a direct continuation of their wildly successful TouchWiz handsets). BTW, funny how MediaTek was apparently almost blocked for some time from participating in Android, by Qualcomm; funny times ahead, now that MT releases their solution for Android soon.

Re:And Symbian Foundation is not Symbian. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34002850)

Alternative interpretation of these announced changes is that Nokia is gradually closing down its Symbian product line and soon Nokia's only own smartphone OS would be MeeGo. Regarding that "one constantly evolving" Symbian platform: Yes, Symbian could be still be around and evolving, just like the Windows XP is constantly evolving with its (security) updates. Yes, outside the US Symbian is still, by far, the most popular mobile OS. But strategically Nokia focuses on gaining more success on US smartphone markets. It is doubtful if even that "constantly evolved" Symbian is enough for winning a significant market share. So, maybe the strategy is now to consider Symbian strategically dead [colordev.com] (like XP) and see if MeeGo can do better."

Re:And Symbian Foundation is not Symbian. (5, Insightful)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002956)

Symbian isn't going anywhere - it has greater share of sales than the next two players combined; when taking number 2 player out of the equation, greater share than all what's rest combined. Might very well be the first smartphone platform to break the barrier of 100 million devices shipped annually, this year.

The thing about Symbian is it really doesn't seem to be going anywhere; in the other sense. The other smartphone OSs; Android and iOS, and even Maemo/Meego, are designed to establish platforms. New Symbian versions consistently fail to run software from old versions. Symbian phones always seem very locked in; for example it used to be difficult to just connect the phone and directly access the whole of it's file system (at best you got a few specific directories). I think that's improved now, but similar stories apply all around. etc.

What this means is, that the number of symbian devices is irrelevant. Even if Gartner's numbers [arstechnica.com] are a bit exaggerated, it's clear most of those devices are not selling software; are not being used as smart phones and just don't count. Your addressable market for smart phone applications (the main meaningful thing about a "smart phone") is not the number of phones, but the number of phones that are actually being used in a smart way. This determines the amount that other people are investing in the platform and so it's long term future value.

Nokia could fix this by making sure that it delivered software updates for it's old phones and ensuring backwards application compatibility. This would mean that it would only support one software version over all it's phones and would mean that Symbian apps would become much more valuable. I'd assume, though, that there's something in Symbian or in the way Nokia uses symbian. which makes this impractical.

Re:maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34002648)

Plus they'd have to write off all the money the've spent on branding, e.g. the avertising jingle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocsOIYYedV8 [youtube.com]

I think they're onto a winner, and that's not just because I've been replaced by fungio from yuggoth. Okay, maybe it is just that.

Re:maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34002774)

going android or windows means being google or microsofts bitch. You become an irrelevant box shifter. Meego is just linux . It gives them control and opens the phone market .

Re:maybe (5, Insightful)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002906)

I think it's more than that. For example, Nokia is Europe based; it has a strong respect for the privacy of it's customers through not gathering data which doesn't really fit directly into Google's way of doing things. Note; I'm not saying that Google lacks respect, just that they do it from a completely different base. They assume they own your data and then voluntarily give you back most of your privacy (compare with e.g. Facebook which just doesn't bother to give you back your privacy.. "Deal with it Bitch"). Nokia has to start from a base of asking for permission to data which they assume you own. I think that in a Google led environment would strongly disadvantage Nokia compared to other companies which would be happy to gather all their customers data and/or hand it over to Google. Adroid was never designed to work for Nokia and there are probably plenty of other things like that which just won't be a good fit.

Also, if you think that Google is a big target for Java patent attacks that's nothing to Nokia. Nokia almost certainly already has agreements in place that it would be breaking by delivering a java execution environment which isn't compliant to Oracle's spec etc. etc.

Nokia could go with Android, but only if Google agreed to give them a serious level of long term influence over the platform. That's not something I guess Google would do and it's probably not something Google should do.

Nokia needs to do something it hasn't had the guts for for years; commit to Meego; promise that Meego will be available for at least seven years, no matter what market success it has for the first couple of years; limit Symbian to the low end; be clear about where it's going; have a vision of a bigger market and see that it's mobile expertise will only be relevant if it can apply them to devices which have the same level of flexibility as a general computer. Commit to delivering low cost Meego devices soon. Make sure that Meego will be available on all pre-existing N700/N800/N900 devices so that there is a guaranteed base market from the very beginning. Even better; if possible provide a Meego upgrade for N97 and above devices. Build up a developer "eco-system" and make sure that you look after it. This will mean that people will be able to believe in the future of Meego.

Re:maybe (4, Informative)

digitalchinky (650880) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002996)

You don't quite know the reality of privacy, Nokia, and asking. These days they don't ask. They make it compulsory. While they may not openly use the data they collect in ways that are immediately obvious, they absolutely do collect data that most would consider even more private than the stuff they hand over to google.

One Word (okay technically two) "MyNokia" - on Symbian and Maemo handsets the OS forces you to send a text message back to Nokia the first time you turn it on - the payload - IMEI and a bunch of other handset specific information. The Maemo community reacted quite badly to this - The response from Nokia was to suck it up because everyone loves to sell their soul in return for daily text spam.

Android already runs on the N900, a few rough edges, but it's almost good enough to use as a replacement OS.

MeeGo - everyone forgets about Maemo - it exists right now, it is good. MeeGo is an arse about face rewrite to fit somewhere between Android and iOS. Obviously Nokia was a little bit smug and now has to play catchup for a few years. It's not like the writing wasn't on the wall though.

Re:maybe (4, Interesting)

RichiH (749257) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002978)

> Google can ensure products follow standards better

Pray tell me: Whose standards will those products follow once there is only one mobile OS that matters?

Why not (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34002488)

Maybe they don't like Android.
That's why, in the face of Windows dominating the desktop, I installed Linux.

It's possible for people to dislike software.

I like Yellow (2, Insightful)

bananaendian (928499) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002814)

I'm writing this on my MacBook Pro, my other work machines are Windows PC's. I administer a UNIX server at the laboratory. I do most of my work on LabView and AutoCAD. I edit my photos with Photoshop and I drive my Ford to the local supermarket at the mall and buy the biggest brand cereal. And in the evening I sooth myself with a bottle of JD.

I use stuff so I can be productive and happy. I dislike smug people who announce their dislike of stuff so they can feel superior to me. They're not. They are just voicing their own failure at being happy.

Oh, and TFA: Nokia should stick with Meeguu - its the only chance they have in the face of technically superior handsets from HTC and superior user experience/cool-factor from Apple. Otherwise they're just a redundant manufacturer of slightly better quality handsets that cost more and don't look cool. A virtual death sentence in the mobile market. As for /. ... nobody gives a thing what you think - the mobile market is even more brainless-consumer oriented then Apple's if you know what I mean.

Re:I like Yellow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34002982)

Ignorance is bliss. Life is tragic for the more intelligent.

I think Nokia understand phones by now (5, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002494)

... and also it is not costing them very much to develop the MeeGo environment.
If they take up MS Windows Phone 7 that will be putting a vast amount of undeserved trust in what is really a competitor and hoping they will not get hurt. With respect to Ted Samson I think he is either not being serious and expecting to generate a spirited argument or he knows far less about what he is writing about than the youngest commenter here.

Why would anyone want Nokia to do something awful? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34002550)

Android is all cool and stuff, it's also FLOSS and great, and whatever.

However, it has its shortcomings which make it less than a desirable phone operating system for me. First of all, MeeGo, Maemo and their cousins allow me to run any vanilla GNU/Linux GUI applications. They are most often inconvenient to use on a phone, but they are sometimes better than what's available on the platform. On Android I'm limited to apps written for Android. Thanks but no thanks.

Also, programming for Android? You need Java or another language that compiles for JVM. Want to program in Python? Good luck. You can't, and you'll never can, because Jython isn't portable to Android. Want to program Ruby? Haha. With non-Android distros I can write an app, run it on my desktop without any additional software installed, and then copy it to the phone as is. And it will run.

Re:Why would anyone want Nokia to do something awf (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34002582)

I wouldn't run Ruby programs on my phone anyways. I mean, talk about resource hogs...do you have some kind of magic super phone with an i7 chip?

Re:Why would anyone want Nokia to do something awf (3, Informative)

XDirtypunkX (1290358) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002620)

You might want to look into the NDK on Android. It's perfectly possible to port a runtime written in C/C++ to Android and then use that to run your python code.

yeah, right... (4, Interesting)

Kludge (13653) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002846)

Porting a python run time would be a pain in the butt. And even if it worked what libraries would it have?

I wrote a python script on my laptop that grabs some data off the network and displays it in a GTK window for the user. I then copied that program to my N900 and it just worked. Try that on your Droid.

Re:Why would anyone want Nokia to do something awf (4, Informative)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002708)

I can get a bash shell on my nexus one, and from there its possible to install a full standard gnu userland. The only difference with meego is that the standard userland is already there, but nothing stopping you from installing what you need on android.

That said, why would you want to install ruby on a phone? I grudgingly have ruby installed on my relatively highend laptop, and it's an absolute pig, i would hate to have something so inefficient on a far less powerful device with a smaller battery.

Re:Why would anyone want Nokia to do something awf (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34002918)

I can get a DOsH Prompt on my phone ... every-time it runs out of credit ...

All your opinions here amount to less than a Camels fart, the Market will decide, and they don't read, this.

never say never (2, Interesting)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | more than 3 years ago | (#34003040)

Android is all cool and stuff, it's also FLOSS and great, and whatever.

However, it has its shortcomings which make it less than a desirable phone operating system for me. First of all, MeeGo, Maemo and their cousins allow me to run any vanilla GNU/Linux GUI applications. They are most often inconvenient to use on a phone, but they are sometimes better than what's available on the platform. On Android I'm limited to apps written for Android. Thanks but no thanks.

Also, programming for Android? You need Java or another language that compiles for JVM.

Just a small (but very important) correction It's not the JVM, but the Dalvik VM. Bytecode is different, architecture is different, and Dalvik by design will not run J2ME things that can run on a JVM.

Want to program in Python? Good luck. You can't, and you'll never can, because Jython isn't portable to Android.

Considering that Google App's engine primary language (for a while) was Python, I doubt that Python (or a subset of it) will never be supported on Android. To run Python on a VM, you. do. not. necessarily. need. Jython. You simply need (a yet to be developed) Jython-like equivalent for the Dalvik.

Obviously you would not get all the amenities you'll have on Python (.ie. ability to call C libraries.), but then again, you do not get all the Java amenities on Dalvik anyways. Now, the status quo is all the result of strategic considerations.

Google App engine supports Python and Ruby (and even Scala IIRC) because the web development bestiary is that much diverse. It caters to the widest possible set of development shops, a good strategic move.

Dalvik on the other hand started (and has remained so) with support to a subset of Java. Why? Because it caters to the masses of J2ME developers already in existence; another strategic move, and a better response to iPhone's reliance on Objective-C.

The Oracle-Google legal wrangling might actually give Google a reason to start supporting a different programming model should it comes to that. Given its historical support for Python, it could come to that as it is not infeasible (given Google's engineering resources), nor foreign (given its history with Python.)

There is nothing technical that prevents a subset of Python from ever running on Dalvik, ergo my objection to your position, which I quote - "You can't, and you'll never can, because Jython isn't portable to Android"

Want to program Ruby? Haha. With non-Android distros I can write an app, run it on my desktop without any additional software installed, and then copy it to the phone as is. And it will run.

Again, nothing prevents this from occurring. More power to you if you can write Ruby apps on non-Android distros, but you seem to be missing the point about the nature of Android and the mobile development marketplace. It locks on a Java variant because it is strategically sound to lock and focus on the masses of J2ME developers (not on virtually non-existing mobile python/ruby masses.)

More importantly And there is nothing on Dalvik that prevents it from EVER and FOREVER running something else should market forces end up driving that need.

Re:I think Nokia understand phones by now (1)

martyw (1911748) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002556)

Oh, really? They are making so many mistakes of late, for example in their lastest smartphone the N8 they omitted the "AppStore" - the OviStore from being included in the phone by default. What a move! I mean somebody in Cupertino must have had a long laugh and then a very good sleep knowing how badly managed their competitor's platform is.

Re:I think Nokia understand phones by now (-1, Troll)

neuroinf (584577) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002572)

New ceo is from Microsoft. When I heard that, I sold my shares. No future. I bought an iPhone: brilliant engineering, highly intuitive. Nokias phones are ugly and hard to use. They have no future.

Re:I think Nokia understand phones by now (5, Funny)

phishtahko (1308293) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002702)

I bought an iPhone: brilliant engineering, highly intuitive.

You mean like brilliantly putting the antenna on the outside of the phone so you could intuitively kill your signal by touching the phone?

Also rans (1)

freeshoes (826204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002502)

Going with android immediately gives them relevance, and a great os. This is crunch time for them, if they make the wrong decision they will become also-rans against ios and android,

Re:Also rans (0)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002666)

They could also do what Google did and create their own Linux based operating system and maintaining compatibility in applications. Far more sensible than to get squeezed out in the Apple, M$ and Android battle. The catch with Android the battle of cost versus performance will be pretty fierce between manufacturers, as there is no real identity difference to ramp up margins with B$ advertising (the same for M$ offerings just that the prices are already loaded plus manufacturers lose control) as for Apple.

The next big push will be interconnectivity smart phone connects to the smart book connects to the smart TV and Nokia is a limited electronics manufacturer and lacks the ability to produce a complete package deal.

Re:Also rans (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002696)

They could also do what Google did and create their own Linux based operating system and maintaining compatibility in applications

That's what MeeGo is. Unlike Android, it uses a fairly standard stack (e.g. includes X11), so porting apps from the desktop is trivial - recompile, tweak the UI a bit for the small screen, ship.

Re:Also rans (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34002796)

Tweak the UI a bit?
Understatement of the thread.

Re:Also rans (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002894)

Depends on the target device. Current Maemo / MeeGo devices ship with a screen that does 800x480. It's 225dpi, so you do need to make some things bigger, but most apps that worked on smallish-screened desktops or laptops will be more or less usable on something like the N900. To make it really usable, you need some tweaking, but not a huge amount. If you want to scale it down to a smaller phone, then you probably need to completely redo the UI.

Re:Also rans (5, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002884)

Eh?

The N900 does actually connect to the tv. Sure, with wires, but still. It also connects just fine to Mac, Windows and Linux machines I have, allowing them all net access and/or file transfer. It also picks up DLNA servers in the house and can use them as media sources.

Nokia do a lot of things right. They've lost direction a bit over the last few years and the number of models they have now is just ridiculous, but if someone tightens the reigns and sorts out the business side, they've proven time and again how capable they are of producing solid, working devices with great user experience.

About bloody time! (1)

Toy G (533867) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002506)

Ouch. I didn't think Nokia would ever muster the balls to kill off Symbian (which was clearly the only logical move after the iPhone ate its lunch, even more so after Android started making inroads). I guess the majority of those 1800 redundancies will be Symbian geeks, to be replaced by Linux ninjas working on MeeGo (here's hope).

It's a shame it took so long for them to understand. They should have ditched Symbian right after the N97 disaster, pushing hard on shipping great Maemo products. Instead, Maemo was the unloved stepchild and was basically ditched for Moblin, losing another year of development... They are at least two years behind Android and need to catch up fast, to have a chance to stay relevant in the next decade. That MeeGo phone has to come out in Q12011 and blow Android out of the waters. Anything less than that, and they're toast.

Reality check people (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002526)

The still sell more phones worldwide than Apple or anybody else and are not going to fold if they take a few more months to ship than expected.

Re:Reality check people (3, Insightful)

Toy G (533867) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002562)

yeah but their margins are thin and getting thinner by the day. They currently rely on third-world consumers not being able to afford Android or Apple phones, but cheap 'droids are less than a year away...

Re:Reality check people (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34002682)

Not cheap 'droids that can survive in those environments. And define cheap? Remember, US smartphones are heavily subsidized by carriers, which doesn't happen nearly ever in third-world markets.

The battery life isn't 1/100th of what it needs to be (power outlets can be a week apart...Androids spend more time plugged in charging then not, which makes it hard to even call them "wireless devices").

The devices aren't anywhere near rugged enough. Sand, water, being thrown into rucksacks.

Android devices require support. Most of these people don't have computers...how do you patch an Android w/o a PC? Phones in these markets are bought on the street, they have to work with basically zero support from anyone, ever.

It'll be a long, long time before something like a real smartphone will be suitable for such environments. A long, LONG time.

Re:Reality check people (1)

pieterh (196118) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002878)

Well, cheap is $25-$50 for the hardware + whatever the software costs. For Android, that is essentially zero and this makes Shanzai + Android the cheapest possible platform for Africa.

Battery life: most is taken up by fancy screens, wifi, 3G, GPS. Kill all that for a low-cost phone, stick a solar panel on the back, and the battery will last 2-3 days of real use. Furthermore, it's not a week between power outlets, they're everywhere, they just cost money to use.

Rugged? Hardly the point. When you earn a dollar a day, you take _really_ good care of stuff costing $24-$50. I've bought 3rd hand phones in West Africa that still worked.

Patching Android? Are you trolling? I'm on my 3rd Android phone and have never had to 'patch' a phone. WTF are you talking about?

Bascailly, the parent is right: Nokia is about 12-18 months from losing its low end markets to a tidal wave of cheap Android slabbies from China. I'm predicting they will be bought by some random Chinese firm just for the brand, like Commodore, in three years, max.

Re:Reality check people (1)

phishtahko (1308293) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002608)

The won't fold, but they're getting left behind. I love my slow, crash-prone N97 but if they don't have something speedy with a meego paint job by Q3 next year I'm going to have to seriously reconsider not jumping ship to HTC.

Re:About bloody time! (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002736)

Ouch. I didn't think Nokia would ever muster the balls to kill off Symbian (which was clearly the only logical move after the iPhone ate its lunch, even more so after Android started making inroads).

What? Symbian has a beautifully designed kernel, with power management at every level of the stack, able to run isolated personalities so that it can run the hard-realtime stuff for controlling the radio on the same CPU as the apps. It has a microkernel design with support for capabilities (for running semi-trusted code), and concurrency at every layer from the nanokernel up so it will scale happily on the next generation of phones with multiple cores.

Linux, in contrast, is a pig on mobile devices. Power management is accomplished by hacks on top of hacks. Hard realtime is a joke. It's there purely for buzzword compliance.

Unfortunately, the userland stuff for Symbian is a pain. It used to use a version of C++ for userspace development that exposed some of the very low-level memory management stuff. This was important for phones with no MMU, but is a waste of time now. It's not required (in fact, you can just use Qt), but a lot of people tend to judge Symbian by either that or by the crappy UIs that a lot of manufacturers (including Nokia) have built on top of it in the past.

Re:About bloody time! (1)

RichiH (749257) | more than 3 years ago | (#34003008)

The irony is that with Qt, the userland started to look good for Symbian.

Though the _real_ problem is the fragmentation. And I am not talking Steve Jobs make-believe fragmentation. When I still used to follow Nokia & the Ovi blogs closely, they would announce Application X which is available for Symbian 5 devices, second release, fourth generation, with touchscreen and the optional chicken attachment. The E75 still does not have free navigation even though it supports Ovi Maps in its newest iteration. Etc, etc.

Long story short? My E75 (which can do email, web, you name it) has a broken SIM card and is used as my alarm. The HTC Desire is used more than my laptop for pretty much everything. And I am hoping to migrate to Meego in the long run as more open is better. Always.

PS: I know that Meego needed to move fast (har har), but going with RPM over DEB was a dire mistake.

Re:About bloody time! (1)

myzz (690332) | more than 3 years ago | (#34003020)

If the kernel is so good, couldn't they write some linux-like syscall compatibility layer on top of it or emulate linux in libc?

Why ditch it? (5, Insightful)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002508)

Making themselves yet another Android vendor would give little reason for people to prefer their phones over somebody else's.

Also I find Nokia's approach interesting. Their distribution is a very standard looking one, and porting applications to it is extremely trivial. Anything that compiles on ARM will run outright, and only needs fixes to the UI. Lots of command line tools can be used without changes.

Re:Why ditch it? (1, Insightful)

jklovanc (1603149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002700)

Making themselves yet another Android vendor would give little reason for people to prefer their phones over somebody else's.

Different is not necessarily better. As a consumer I can buy a Droid phone and in the future buy another driod phone from another compatible manufacturer and still use the same apps. If I buy a Nokia, I am stuck buying Nokias if I want to use the same app.
There is also the catch 22 of any new OS; Few apps are written because the install base in not high enough, Install base is low because there are few apps. iOS avoided that issue because they were the first on the block and every developer wanted to get on their band waggon. Android avoided that issue because there are enough people that are dissatisfied with Apple's closed system that an open system has a place. It sounds like MeeGoo will be just another closed system like iOS; one manufacturer, one app store, my way or the highway. MeeGoo will be behind iOS and Android forever causing every app publisher to make the decision whether or not to support a third OS. The answer to that question for many developers is no.

Also I find Nokia's approach interesting. Their distribution is a very standard looking one, and porting applications to it is extremely trivial. Anything that compiles on ARM will run outright, and only needs fixes to the UI. Lots of command line tools can be used without changes.

My first question is; how many people will be running command line tools on their phone?
Second the code must run on an ARM so must be written for an ARM. Can I easily port my Android or iOS app to MeeGoo? I doubt that very much. Which means that I need to write apps for a third OS. Not a good decision if i can cover 95% of the current market buy supporting iOS and Android.

Re:Why ditch it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34002866)

My first question is; how many people will be running command line tools on their phone?

People who know how to write a script. I don't program for a living and I doubt anyone else would want to use what I write. I don't care if my phone is the only one in the world they run on. If I can get a linux distro on a phone that I can run any apps compiled for arm and use scripts started from a menu to do it, I'm happy.

Captcha: amateurs (how did they know?)

Re:Why ditch it? (1)

justleavealonemmmkay (1207142) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002762)

Making themselves yet another Android vendor would give little reason for people to prefer their phones over somebody else's

I was (no longer since the crappy N97) a great Nokia fanboi. They simply make the best hardware, and have kept understanding that a smartphone should be a phone with PDA functions and not the other way around. The OS has nothing to to with it; its only advantage at one time was that is was the only game in town, especially at a time where the competition was windows mobile, which is a badly hacked version of a PDA OS that was not very good to begin with. Not so anymore with IOS and Android But as a would be programmer and generally as a geek, I simply hate Symbian. I would certainly buy a Nokia Android. Or the best of both world; it should not be tremendously hard to make the Dalvik VM run on Symbian.

Re:Why ditch it? (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002810)

What Symbian? What I have is a N900, there's no trace of Symbian in it as far as I can tell. What runs on the N900 is a very standard looking Debian based distribution.

Re:Why ditch it? (1)

xnpu (963139) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002974)

ARM = Maemo/N900.
Meego is being developed on Intel nightmare chips. The ARM port of MeeGo is not supported.

Lots of reasons (5, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002510)

The first that comes to mind is how Android is all about tossing aside everything that is open source as we know it and reinventing the wheel. The catch is that the wheel has not necessarily been improved, and now it's all under the control of Google, who does development behind closed doors and only allows hardware vendors to participate in the process. The rest of the world gets Android code when Google feels like releasing it.

The open source world has TONS of excellent APIs, no sense in not using them. Makes development a lot easier when you don't have to worry about each subsystem yourself. And hey, if your hardware vendor isn't run by bean-counting, control freak assholes, you can participate too.

But the main reason Nokia won't go Android is because that makes them dependent on Google, which even Android vendors like Motorola cite as a risk. Google wants to ride other vendors to get their services out there and make money, and that's a realm Nokia wants for themselves.

Following along with this, I'm amused that people put WP7 in league with Android or MeeGo. It's more like an iOS 2.0 you can license, and well you only need to read my post history as of late to know my opinion on hyper-restrictive OSes like iOS and WP7.

Re:Lots of reasons (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34002670)

It seems that even hardware vendors don't have much influence on Google for Android development. Most of them don't get the build before the rest of the world does. So it means that if you're not HTC or one of the close partner, you'll always be lagging. And even the close ones have little input into the development process.

Nokia does not want the phone market to become like the PC market, where you have one Microsoft and lots of OEMS.

Meego is an Open Source project done right, with open development, re-use of existing components, etc. We should support it fully.

I expect that in some time, other major OEMs will join too and not just in the mobile phone vertical, but in other verticals too (like Bosch in the in-car vertical).

Re:Lots of reasons (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34002842)

Car vertical seems to be happening already - GENIVI chose Meego; when looking only at car manufacturers among its members [genivi.org], you have there already BMW, GM, Peugeot Citroen, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Renault Nissan Samsung, Tata; not bad at all.

Re:Lots of reasons (1)

perbu (624267) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002794)

The rest of the world gets Android code when Google feels like releasing it.

The open source world has TONS of excellent APIs, no sense in not using them.

What sort of APIs are your talking about? Much of what existed pre Android was software built primarily for desktop use, disregarding things like battery and memory usage and implementing a feature set far greater then what is needed on a phone - like the X window system. Nokia tried porting a true GNU system to a phone with Maemo, but it looks like it wasn't much of a success.

Re:Lots of reasons (1)

RichiH (749257) | more than 3 years ago | (#34003022)

()()
('')
(__)

My bunny is clearly superior to yours. Also, it acts as a Kirby if need be.

Re:Lots of reasons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34003030)

To all the 11 year olds who downloaded $2000 of 'apps' in their first billing cycle.

Apple has an app storefront, Google has, and Nokia would like one too to get 'locked in' customers.
MS also has designs, and so do the card merchants (Visa+Mastercard). Oh and blooberry - me too, and HTC has designs...

In the soap powder or cola wars, economics 101 tells us there will be only 2 winners, and one is already Apple who will be very hard to knock off their perch.

Users don't care where they get it, but sure as daylight the 'vendor' wants to lock hardware so it can cream off a 20% plus of everything portal fee.

Google's SKYPE attraction on mobiles is unbeatable, and the rest of World (ROW) and low income China, India and Asia - that is HUGE pull power, and MS can't beat or compete with Android in raw numbers - and maybe power efficiency = battery life.

Its a safe bet Nokia is doomed, unless Google does something vile and stupid, like disallow money transactions bypassing its roadblocks - unless MS decides to buy them out because MS is no longer agile enough to keep up with monthly hardware releases.

Nokia isn't exploiting the right opportunities. =\ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34002518)

If Nokia was smart, they would see the opportunity in developing MeeGo for what it excels at. Which in my opinion, is a netbook OS. They have plenty of opportunity there, with a netbooks low price and burgeoning popularity in US, European, and Asian markets they could very easily start building a new empire. Emerging consumer nations such as China and India will be having more and more people buying their first time computer and this could be a great foot in the door for building interoperability with future phone products. I also think Android is a great platform and Nokia should drop Symbian like the steaming pile of junk that it is. No one is, or will, be developing for it. They go in too late and now it is just dead in the water. Too bad Nokia, hope you've learned the lesson of tech, early adopters are the ones who survive.

Re:Nokia isn't exploiting the right opportunities. (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002732)

Nokia were the early adopters, symbian predates android and ios by several years. The problem is they let it stagnate and get overtaken.

java. (5, Insightful)

Lalo Martins (2050) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002524)

Can't tell you why Nokia thinks MeeGo makes business sense. Or Intel. I can tell you why I'll buy it if/when it comes out (and my current phone is an N900): because it's not Java. I can write stuff in Python (comes pre-installed), I can run stuff not specifically written for the platform (emacs, kobodeluxe), I don't have to put up with anything I don't want to. That, for me, is a sell.

Re:java. (4, Funny)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002548)

Well, that should certainly win Nokia several million customers right there!

Re:java. (5, Insightful)

Lalo Martins (2050) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002596)

Maybe not. But perhaps it could win them several thousand developers. And then the apps would win millions of customers.

Or maybe I'm a dreamer...

Re:java. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34002570)

My thoughts exactly. I truly hope there's room for one open mobile operating system on the market. The situation would be:

iOS: closed
Android: semi open, you are free to develop applications for it in the extend that the java sandbox allows.
MeeGo: Open source *nix goodness.

Re:java. (4, Insightful)

martyw (1911748) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002722)

Exactly, MeeGo allows you to code in Python/C/C++/Fortran and even Java/Mono/C# whatever - the GNU GCC is there, standard open source project and libraries all working, just ask any developer, they are loving it. So from the dev's POV it is heaven. Now the marketing, branding and UI of the MeeGo platform -- that is completely other matter..

Why? (4, Insightful)

DMiax (915735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002536)

In my case because there is a market for people that don't want to develop for a dumbed down linux and want a real development environment.

Also of note the fact that they recently increased the planned releases for Symbian^3 (four phones now on WP) that Symbian^2 phones keep being released in the Japanese market and Symbian^1 is alone probably domnant in the smartphone market overall.

If they could finally get a Symbian SDK working on linux I would jump on it immediately. Linux needs terribly high specs, Symbian is impressive in this sense and I could easily keep two/three test phones for hobby development.

But I digress: if the choice is a linux distro and Android I will buy the linux distro, so I can install every possible package I already have on my desktop/laptop.

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002624)

But I digress: if the choice is a linux distro and Android I will buy the linux distro, so I can install every possible package I already have on my desktop/laptop.

This is such a huge advantage, but the market of people who want it is so tiny no company will ever chase them.

Re:Why? (1)

RichiH (749257) | more than 3 years ago | (#34003032)

In that case, it's a good thing that BMW and Audi are already using Meego for their under development car computers.

High-end cars is a market worth chasing.

Re:Why? (2, Interesting)

niftydude (1745144) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002646)

But I digress: if the choice is a linux distro and Android I will buy the linux distro, so I can install every possible package I already have on my desktop/laptop.

I completely agree with this. Also - I am hanging out for the ability to do x11 forwarding with ssh. ssh -Y -C will be THE killer app for me. I would have bought a n900 long before now just for this if the handset didn't happen to be such a large and ugly brick.

Re:Why? (1)

SpzToid (869795) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002654)

Huh? When did you try to run a Symbian SDK on Linux last? I am running QT Creator 1.3.83 on a 3 year old, 300 euro Compaq Presario C700 w/ 2Gb RAM, using 32bit Ubuntu 10.10; and it runs great.

-> If they could finally get a Symbian SDK working on linux I would jump on it immediately.

Well now is your chance. Here's some more information for you:
http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2010/09/nokias-cross-platform-development-strategy-evolves-with-qt-47.ars [arstechnica.com]

Re:Why? (1)

DMiax (915735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002688)

From that article:

Availability
The Qt 4.7 SDK—which includes the toolkit, a build environment, and the Qt Creator development environment—is available today for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. Mobile flavors of the Qt 4.7 toolkit have also been released, but the mobile SDK isn't available quite yet. It's a bit confusing, due to Nokia's slightly eccentric branding. The mobile SDK, which is called the Nokia Qt SDK, is not the same thing as the Qt SDK.

Re:Why? (1)

DMiax (915735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002712)

Replying to myself to clarify: it is completely possible that there is a full toolchain available with which one can build Symbian applications on linux. There were a few unofficial scripts and they have dished out a "remote compiler" service mainly for this reason.

But there is a huge disconnect where they cannot properly communicate to freelance programmers like me what we have to do to have a supported SDK that will not disappear and be updated for the next Symbian version. I am sure that their commercial partners are well served.

meego is much more interesting (5, Insightful)

hotwax (1109843) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002552)

The Android phones I've seen are pretty much as locked down as the iPhone. Meego is the only phone OS with some potential for new and interesting things. And Nokia were successful in the first place because they dared to try new things.

Re:meego is much more interesting (4, Insightful)

asnelt (1837090) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002734)

You must be trolling. It's not Android that is locked down. It's the phone manufacturers that abuse the openness of Android to lock their phones down. Granted, there are proprietary drivers on every Android phone at the bottom and there are proprietary apps at the top (which can be removed from rooted phones). Moreover, Android itself is developed by Google behind closed doors. But still Android itself is open. That is the reason why forks of Android like the Cyanogen mod can emerge. And this is something that did not even happen with Maemo. On its internet tablets Nokia used mostly FOSS but kept enough closed so that it did not loose control over the platform. For instance 1/3 of the software on the Nokia 770 was actually proprietary. There was even a project called Mamona that tried to replace the closed source components with open source ones and it never reached a stage were it could be called usable. I would say Android has a lot of potential.

Re:meego is much more interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34002822)

You're seeing "locked-down" to mean non-modifiable firmware area. I think OP might've meant how the Android userspace is heavily restrictive, forcing you to root the phone to do anything of significance. While that's not a bad thing, Android could have been built to be more flexible. It's more powerful than iOS is at any rate.

Re:meego is much more interesting (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34002926)

>Android itself is developed by Google behind closed doors. But still Android itself is open. That is the reason why forks of Android like the Cyanogen mod can emerge.

Well, MeeGo goes a step beyond and you can actually contribute code to it, you can see it being developed in open. In the end, It's all relative: iOS is less open than Android and Android is less open than MeeGo.

And btw, you can fork MeeGo whenever you want, that's not the case with Android-when you can do a fork only if Google decides to release the code.

Re:meego is much more interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34002946)

Except that you can, y'know, install any app you want on an Android phone.

Abandoned? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34002566)

They haven't abandoned Symbian. What the hell? Quality of articles is falling...

Handset OS race not over yet... (1)

j_col (1895476) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002574)

...and Android has not won it. There is still iOS, webOS, RIM, BREW, WP7, and probably some others that I can't remember. Why not compete in this fragmented market with MeeGo? Eventually we may settle on a single dominant platform, but I don't think Android will become that platform as it is already fragmented within itself due to OEMs "tweaking" the platform to suit their own product differentiation needs, and Google allowing them to do so. MeeGo, like all of these others, has a fighting chance.

Re:Handset OS race not over yet... (1)

vakuona (788200) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002720)

Android is free to manufacturers. Unless Microsoft has one last surprise under it's sleeve, that $10-20 per phone is going to be significant when (not if) the typical price of a smartphone comes under $100. then it becomes a choice between free and good enough, and expensive and making losses.

Too many cooks spoiling the broth (5, Insightful)

phishtahko (1308293) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002586)

The only thing Nokia needs to ditch is the bureaucracy. It has way too many divisions each wanting to keep features to themselves. They need to combine their E and N series and have a total of no more that 3 smartphones - entry-, mid- and highlevel. They could go up to 6 models if they offer each of the 3 variants with either touch or touch/slide keyboard, but no more than that. They have to many differing visions because of their different devisions. Having one person in charge is essentially the only way to go, since it gets rid of the in-fighting which is currently sinking them. If you want proof, just look to Apple. One gigantic asshole running the show and in 4 years they've turned themselves into the standard the old guard are playing catch-up to.

I recently had to replace my phone... (1)

tuxedobob (582913) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002594)

... and it annoyed me to no end that I couldn't just get something like my old phone, a Nokia 6150. All the phones now either flip or slide, and are chock full of "features" which are really thinly-veiled attempts to get you to cough up more money for a data plan.

I just wanted a regular phone with a 12-key number pad that could send text messages with predictive text input. Nope. Not offered anymore. Hell, I can't even send an email to someone without using a data plan and some email "service". (On the Nokia I could simply set an email address as the recipient of a text message.) And one of the features about it I really liked—the ability to set "profiles", multiple preference sets for ring volume and the like—isn't on the one I have now. But dammit, I can take pictures and... not do a whole lot with them.

And even the 6150 doesn't have something my original cell phone did that I gave up in 2004... I miss Snake. :(

Re:I recently had to replace my phone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34002606)

Sounds like you're describing the Nokia 1200 series. It's a mobile phone. You call people or send SMSs. That's about it.

Re:I recently had to replace my phone... (1)

phishtahko (1308293) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002642)

You don't seem to have looked very hard. The Nokia page on GSM Arena is packed with phones meeting your specifications.

Re:I recently had to replace my phone... (1)

zoney_ie (740061) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002684)

That's not true. Nokia still have a lot of these phones and in candybar form-factor too. Admittedly mostly they aren't offered by ordinary carriers, but I have seen them in real life being offered by Tesco Mobile (if you are in the US, Tesco is a major UK grocery/everything monopoly like Walmart). They cost something like €20 or €30 (that's without signing your life away on network commitments as well!) Mostly the only issue with these (and why people don't go with it) is that it is targeted at the bottom end of the market (even O2 offer sim-only bill contracts of just €15 a month, and you can get very cheap phones with more functionality too - say at €50 price point, so Tesco is for people *really* wanting to spend almost nothing).

Anyway, the Internet is your friend as it is surely trivial to find a "dumb phone" online cheap (Hong Kong is probably a good bet - postage from there is cheap). Here in Ireland, if you manage to buy something less than €23 there is no VAT or import duty. It's probably the same where you are - i.e. buying something really cheap from Asia there are no hidden extras to pay.

----
2010: 11 years after euro introduction slashdot still can't process the euro symbol character entered directly into the submit form. Pathetic.

Re:I recently had to replace my phone... (1)

BorgDrone (64343) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002898)

Nokia, SonyEricsson, LG and Samsung are making boatloads of phones like that.

It had it coming (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002600)

Symbian has had it's time but is too limited for future hard and software.

Android is good because it has a Linux background meaning there is a lot of experience with it yet it's ever more fragmenting.

So I find it entirely logic that the largest phone manufacturer bites the bullet and goes with a much more mainstream fork of Linux.

With the success of ARM-bases processors in mind it might be somewhat dangerous to get too cosy with Intel but hey, they already have experience with the other Linux offshoot Maemo on the excellent ARM powered N900.

Porting existing software to Maemo or Meego is going to be a breeze compared to the many versions of Android.

Anything Windows is for obvious reasons not acceptable, a phone manufacturer like Nokia would have to fall on really hard times before selling out to Microsoft

Because it is real open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34002618)

And some people see real value in open source. It seems many slashdotters (of all the people) don't know the benefits of a completely open system that doesn't rely on a company but a global community that builds on each other's work. No such thing as security through obscurity. Applications and practises from the Unix world can be used, often without any modifications. You can already run a Debian distro concurrently with the current maemo for the N900 (no reboot, a simple chroot is enough) just in case you need apps from the debian repos instead of the offcial and unofficial maemo ones. Some pople just value the freedom to choose over the convience factor. For those there fortunately is maemo/meego.

Sure is some FUD here (1)

ceeam (39911) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002636)

a) Symbian foundation "shutting down"? Well, sure a [citation] would help.

b) Even if so - it was of only so-so use for Nokia. They are basically the only Symbian developer worth anything. FLOSS Foundation spin-off shutting down does not mean that Nokia won't continue it.

As for Symbian itself - it's not that bad. It lacks some polish. Well, seriously lacks, including the infra-structure. But it has some nice feature - like ability to run native code which Android badly misses (some poorly-informed guy should post here about NDK, but it's not it at all). And I, for example, won't ever be programming in Java anymore, thank you. Symbians should just drop the certificate bullshit to get developers interested again.

Bad Journalism (5, Insightful)

valdyn (445073) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002650)

Very badly researched articles and Summary:

Symbian Foundation closing does not imply that Nokia will stop Symbian Development.
Symbian 4 being transformed from an incompatible system into an upgrade path from Symbian 3 does not make it go away except for the name.
And another one:
"Symbian 3 made it onto a couple of phones, but no one really noticed or cared"
The first Symbian 3 device was only just released (N8) and reviewed by the usual websites, and 2 more are announced and prototypes released and shown at the Nokia Fare (C7, E7).

I'm to lazy to actually read the whole articles but there's probably more nonsense.. bad Journalism.

Re:Bad Journalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34002784)

Its not just bad journalism its a FUD campaign from apple and/or google. I think they are scared because n8 is selling rather well.

Re:Bad Journalism (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002900)

Judging by obviously inadequate Windows Phone 7 mentioned in it out of the blue, it's from Microsoft.

Re:Bad Journalism (1)

js3 (319268) | more than 3 years ago | (#34003064)

Why would microsoft suggest they switch to Android? The article is poor and borderline flamebait. It starts with a falsehood, suggests a swtich to android, then throws in a completely irrelevant "copy and paste" windows 7 issue in there. Terrible article.

Symbian is dead? (4, Insightful)

drolli (522659) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002664)

a) News of symbians death are IMHO highly exaggerated. I right now would place a bet that symbian OS will be a significant palyer in the market for the next 5-10 years (maybe more). Why? Go to Indonesia, China, Malaysia, Africa, Russia etc. many people there dont afford iphones, but low-end Nokia devices are pushes out in numbers you cant imagine. And the current mid-class devices (e.g. Nokia e63), which you can already buy there will be the next low-end devices. So - taken into account the fact that Nokia can build successfully push out phones counted in 10s of millions and be profitable on a much smaller margin for revenue, you think they should experiment around?

b) Android: Nokia stayed away from bundling the devices with services from other companies, because then you would invest in developments where somebody else dictates the rules. So should Nokia accept to help advertise and develop a platform, which makes them googles slaves? As a happy Nokia customer i say: No.

c) customer base: If it want something for playing i'll buy and additional android device,iphone,psp or wii. If i want a workhorse, i'll buy the next Nokia phone - if possible a symbian one. I have all the software i need for it, namely dictionaries, pim tools, mail client, podcast downloader, internet radio, youtube client, skype, messaging clients, google maps (and nokia maps), office documents editors. Moreover it runs java programs. This is my definition of "what do i primarily need?". I wont sacrifice running this stably for an unknown gain in other things.

So to say it shortly - the customers interested in having a cool looking web-surfing device Nokia already are lost for Nokia. Their potential customer base are people who want a cheap phone or something which "just works", with a little hooks as possible. For that they should take their time and keep the keys in they own hands.

Re:Symbian is dead? (1)

t2t10 (1909766) | more than 3 years ago | (#34003062)

As a long-time (ex-)Symbian user, I have to say: it just doesn't cut it anymore. Too many things on Symbian just don't work right: OTA syncing, web browsing, Ovi, pen input, even locking the phone. Now that Android also has tethering, there is no reason to stay with Symbian.

Please no android, give me business features .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34002754)

Please no android, give me business features .. like an complete and open calendar API as android is completely lacking. Together with the possibility to sync with Caldav. (although you should be able to build it yourself when the calendar api is free.

It gives then an edge (2, Insightful)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002756)

Real Linux, copyleft license, BSD-style licenses. Not been associated with Google can be a good thing too.
Unix is free, open and a offers a powerful community.
Google only offers open layers down to a 'base' that maybe hardware or software.

TFA is FUD, Symbian not dead. (4, Insightful)

ThoughtMonster (1602047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002780)

Seriously, any posting on Nokia/Symbian/MeeGo will have the inevidable person calling Nokia to adopt Android but this one gets the cake, claiming that "Symbian's dead, and MeeGo won't cure ailing Nokia". Nokia's recent press release (Engadet coverage [engadget.com]) claims the exact opposite, e.g. that Symbian and MeeGo are gaining unified development environments via Qt and Symbian is now a consolidated effort, unifying the seperate Symbian ^x releases into a constantly evolving release model (which means that older phone models will get constant feature improvements instead of just bug fixes). Nokia had a good Q3 and last I checked, they still held the majority of the mobile phone market. Talk about missing the point.

Why are we giving these people creedence again? Oh yeah, he writes for InfoWorld, that must mean he's on to something.

Re:TFA is FUD, Symbian not dead. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34002872)

Where I come from a company is considered "relevant" if they have the biggest freaking market share (bigger than the combined share of the next 3 largest companies).

Symbian is not being scrapped. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34002782)

Nokia is not closing down Symbian, it looks like it might close down the Symbian Foundation (http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/news/item/12215_Nokia_accelerates_Qt_focus_con.php)

The new CEO, mr Elop, has stated that Qt will be the main API for both Symbian and MeeGo, and that the two different Qt-based UI's for Symbian and MeeGo are either scrapped (Orbit on Symbian) or deprecated (DirectUI on MeeGo). Also, evolution of Symbian will proceed more smoothly so the numbering system (^3, ^4) is dropped.

Finally, it looks like people can upgrade their devices to later versions of the OS.

In a couple of weeks is the Symbian Smartphone Show or whatever it is called now (http://www.see2010.org/).

Product Differentiation, anyone? (1)

tsj5j (1159013) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002818)

I thought the answer was blatantly obvious: product differentiation. Nokia and their high costs in both location and labour will never be able to compete at a cost-level with companies like HTC who can push out android phones faster and cheaper than European companies. If they lose their only differentiating factor (software), they're reduced to little more than a hardware-assembling company.

Come on Nokia (1)

JamesP (688957) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002840)

I really want to know who messed this up...

They have an alternative to Symbian, it's called Maemo
Someone came up with this MeeGo thing, which is great, but it shouldn't be against Maemo

They have a cell phone with Maemo, the N900

The should begin getting Maemo to run on other platforms (maybe even the X8 one) and instantly fire anyone who starts whining about it

From Maemo to DeadGo (1)

xnpu (963139) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002868)

Maemo was great. I loved Maemo. Debian based, about to get the love of Nokia's QT team, etc. It had a lot going for it. Just that Nokia should have slapped a capacitive touchscreen on the N900 and whip up a decent Twitter client.

Meego will be a disaster, for the simple reason that Intel is involved. Instead of betting on the QT team that Nokia acquired, which knows it's stuff, they're betting on a company which have never ever come up with a piece of good software. Nokia's management of the last 1--2 years is really brain-dead IMHO.

Swapped my N900 for Nexus One. Smooth phone, but boy do I miss the N900's Skype and integration. Nothing beats a video call with grandma on the other side of the globe over 3G!

The troubles of big corporate. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34002902)

Nokia suffers, no more no less, the same trouble of a big Corporate grown up too fast in a country where that business model was previously, simply enough, not present.

What comes out is an organization model that, put in a linear way, does not understand the world around its core business. Think of M$.

There are certainly clever individual minds in the business and clever ideas that changed the world, but that creativity must be so stifled by corporate shit to be unable to come to the surface anymore.

Insisting with such an old style monolith like Symbian; delaying touch screens up to almost stubbornly negating their existence; letting camera and video functions and technology lag behind of the concurrence: it came to a point that both hardware and software on Nokia phones now lag behind every other big on the market, from Apple to Samsung, to Google and so on. There is enough to wonder how does Nokia still survive.

Nokia survives through all the customers around the world, also in less developed not-western countries, who simply need one thing: make phone calls and now and then sending an SMS.

But Nokia ought to be warned, or maybe has already miraculously realized it: that won't last for long. Even POTS operator at one time had to accept they had to differentiate on the Net as platform, that their beloved phone line could not sustain them forever.

Will the new chief go along and get through those troubles? It depends how bureaucratized the thing has become.

Certainly going to this MeeGo, if confirmed, that would mean: jumping off the market completely, leaving Symbian at once, letting bleeding edge Android on a side and thus giving huge advantage to Apple: it looks at first sight as a not-very-clever way to start. Some would call it visionary,instead. Will Nokia recover or bust? We'll see over a few years.

MeeGo choice (1)

kathycat (1927762) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002980)

If you think Nokia's position, choosing Android or WP7 will lead Nokia to be only hardware manufacturer where price is main competitive issue. That will lead price erosion, dropping profits per device, Exactly opposite than Apple's case. That would mean that Nokia will give up ever make good profits or compete with Apple any more. I am about sure that making standard WP7 or Android, profit per device won't be even 1/10 that Apple gets. That means that even selling 10 times more devices than Apple, Nokia would not make same amount of money and it is difficult sell 10 times more when there is dozens of competitors with similar devices with similar price in market. Based on Gartner Windows Mobile has lost 1Q09 10.2% to 1Q10 6.8% compared Symbian 48.8% to 44.3% . Most stupid choice would be switching loosing standard platform where you are just HW manufacturer of losing platform. Thing that Nokia needs is platform that is clearly best on market and that MeeGo clearly is and it needs platform where Nokia can differentiate from competitors, not be just HW manufacturers. Why I think that MeeGo is best ? It is based on standard Linux environment, not just dalvik and Java top of Linux kernel. For application development Qt and Qt Quick ( Qml and Qml components ) has lot of great innovations and Qt has already large OSS community and a lot of commercial users. Is user view, if you go and look MeeGo UI demo videos, it is one that can compete against Android and iOS.

risky (1)

t2t10 (1909766) | more than 3 years ago | (#34002988)

Financially, I think it's obvious that the best strategy for Nokia would be to ship Android and go to town developing Nokia-specific add-ons for Android. A good Android implementation plus Nokia software would instantly give them back the smartphone market.

For the market as a whole, I'm glad they are taking the risk with MeeGo. I would like to see a native Linux smartphone platform: it's easier to port software to, and Nokia may have enough clout to make it stick. In some sense, MeeGo is much closer to iOS than Android: like iOS, MeeGo uses older programming technologies based on native code.

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