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Nokia Abruptly Closes Application Store In China For N9

timothy posted about a year ago | from the none-for-you dept.

China 66

jppiiroinen writes "It seems that Nokia is slowly killing existing applications for their Linux based N9 mobile phone which are available through their store. As a developer who has published paid (and free) apps, it appears after their final blow of killing the support for paid applications in China, where the main revenue came from, there is not any means to make money, and no reason to maintain apps anymore. What this means also for the end-users: no premium apps, like Angry Birds. There was no heads-up or anything, just a single email without any means to make a complaint. Nokia, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish." Also being discussed at Maemo.org.

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66 comments

That email is suspect (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42272821)

It's poor english, and the posts on Maemo are event worse. I'd actually think this was a scam unless someone can post a link to a real news source.

Re:That email is suspect (1)

Dupple (1016592) | about a year ago | (#42272977)

The only link I could find (3.00 pm UK) was back to this on /. There is no mention of it on Nokias web site or any press releases

http://press.nokia.com/category/press-release/?tpage=100 [nokia.com]

Re:That email is suspect (1)

davester666 (731373) | about a year ago | (#42277939)

Well, I'm sure Nokia isn't pleased with reports from analysts saying how Symbian-based phones are still doing better than Microsoft Windows Phone 7/8-based phones...

Re:That email is suspect (1)

KiloByte (825081) | about a year ago | (#42273091)

It's poor english, and the posts on Maemo are event worse.

You mean, all posts from random developers from China are reviewed by someone with a stellar knowledge of English before going live?

It's not something from an official channel, but language alone is not enough to dismiss this. And it's not in Nokia's PR interest to announce things like this prominently. Don't expect any press releases or such.

Good grief... (1, Troll)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#42274423)

You mean, all posts from random developers from China are reviewed by someone with a stellar knowledge of English before going live?

No, I don't think that's what he meant at all. Why so quick to jump to the conclusion of racism?

It's pretty clear that he's suggesting that there is something lost in the translation because the source is not a native English speaker.

More and more people today are so willing to just jump right on the "offended:" train, and spout indignation. This is the same sort of nonsense that has led to the world being a general Nanny State, after all God forbid (can I say "God"?) that someone might get their feelings hurt. Sad times when the average thickness of people's skin is at an all-time low.

Re:Good grief... (1)

KiloByte (825081) | about a year ago | (#42274787)

No, I don't think that's what he meant at all. Why so quick to jump to the conclusion of racism?

??? Sorry but I fail to see any references to racism either in GP or my post. Or is my knowledge of English that bad? (A dirty Polack here.) The only party I'm offended by is Nokia, may Elop get eaten alive by dire tardigrades.

Re:That email is suspect (1)

thoughtlover (83833) | about a year ago | (#42283241)

but language alone is not enough to dismiss this.

Indeed. If it is real, and I don't know if the N9 was jailbroken, but closing the only way for people to legitimately purchase software will only result in more piracy. That will bring on more malware and all the headaches many sides suffer from infected hardware.

Re:That email is suspect (2)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#42284791)

Indeed. If it is real, and I don't know if the N9 was jailbroken

The entire point of things like the N900 and presumably the N9 is that you don't have to jailbreak it, it's yours to even boot off a minisd card into a completely different OS if you want to.

Re:That email is suspect (2)

firex726 (1188453) | about a year ago | (#42273167)

Yea, I can't see that getting through the Corp Filters/Marketing for a company like Nokia, unless it's a Google translate.

Re:That email is suspect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42274433)

"It's poor english, and the posts on Maemo are event worse"?

Can you define this phrase, or was it pulled verbatim from the "poor english" of the email?

Re:That email is suspect (1)

CreamyG31337 (1084693) | about a year ago | (#42275845)

A "Scam"? Seriously? People with 600+ posts on forums don't post lies for fun, and the 2nd guy replying stating that he got the same email pretty much proves he's not the one getting the email.

Re:That email is suspect (1)

Nicros (531081) | about a year ago | (#42277145)

I think it's a hoax as well. Imagine you live in China, and somehow got the emails of a bunch of developers. You don't have much money maybe and you just LOVE the N9! Might you not send such an email to try to fool the devs into providing their apps for free? Just saying.

Re:That email is suspect (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42281723)

If you look at the name, it's obvious the poster is Finnish, and as Finnish people aren't native English speakers and don't generally use pronouns well, the grammar isn't all that surprising.

lol freetard (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42272841)

The N9 sucks. Linux sucks. Nokia sucks. Nothing of value is lost. Nokia always made junky phones and it eventually caught up with them. Apple is the new standard bearer for high quality phones. Samscum and the rest of the Android phone makers should be thrown on the garbage heap, too. Quality over quantity bitches!

FR0$T P&$$! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42272851)

Now seriously, what the fuck is Nokia thinking? Developers, Developers, Developers... Don't piss them off. That's OS design 101.

Yeah... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42272871)

Now what did we learn? Ohyeah, don't buy closed/DRM'd shit.

Re:Yeah... (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about a year ago | (#42283437)

As opposed to....? Remember, the n9 and its predecessors are probably the most open smartphones phones in history. The only alternative is to buy a phone and install something like mer on it, but the list of supported phones is quite limited.

Jolla mobile? (5, Insightful)

staltz (2782655) | about a year ago | (#42272931)

Is this somehow related to Jolla Mobile's strategy to launch Sailfish (MeeGo improved since N9's Harmattan MeeGo) mainly in the chinese market? Don't know, just speculation.

I own an N9 and am absolutely convinced it had the opportunity of being the best smartphone ever. On the other hand, I am getting more convinced that Stephen Elop is the world's most idiot CEO for "selling" Nokia almost completely to Microsoft, his ex-employer.

Re:Jolla mobile? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42273113)

You can blame him but a non-fin doesn't just walk into the top job without someone having control of the board of directors first. Its the men behind the men bind the thrown that control this.

Polak jokes (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#42273191)

I am getting more convinced that Stephen Elop is the world's most idiot CEO

What do you get when you spell Elop backward [wikipedia.org]?

I know the answer! (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#42275129)

What do you get when you spell Elop backward?

Racism!

Re:I know the answer! (1)

thoughtlover (83833) | about a year ago | (#42283055)

Seriously? Isn't that called 'nationalism' ? Are all people living in Poland their own genetic race, too? And no replies about inbreeding because we all know that causes both mental and physical maladies (and would be offensive to all the truly stunning women that are all over Poland these day).

Re:I know the answer! (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#42283991)

Are all people living in Poland their own genetic race, too?

You know who thought so? Nazis. That's right Nazi, I've got my eye on you.

Freaking Nazis.

Re:Jolla mobile? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42273241)

To be fair it's the other way around, Elop was hired just after the all-to-Microsoft decision was taken, most probably to make sure that it's enforced and maybe to make the contact with Microsoft easier. The fact that he was already in the place when it was publicly announced does not mean he took these stupid decisions which were taken months before.

Re:Jolla mobile? (2)

Eirenarch (1099517) | about a year ago | (#42273569)

Of course. The board surely knew what they hired Elop for. Its not like you hire someone to run a company and not even ask him what direction he is going to take.

Re:Jolla mobile? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42274393)

which is most likely ?

a) nokia's board:"let's look for a new CEO. Let's ask Elop", Elop:"all microsoft windows phone guys, drop the rest", board:"fine for us, you're hired, do that"

b) nokia and microsoft's boards contact each other (who started it I don't care): "so, we're both screwed, maybe we should associate ? yeah good idea". "ok, now who's the guy who's going to enforce this ?" "Elop, you're in for that ?", Elop:"yep"

c) ?

I don't know, both seem equally probable to me ...

Re:Jolla mobile? (2)

KiloByte (825081) | about a year ago | (#42274669)

I own an N9 and am absolutely convinced it had the opportunity of being the best smartphone ever.

You mispelled "N900". N9 has no keyboard.

Wrong Way (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#42275171)

You mispelled "N900". N9 has no keyboard.

An included keyboard is automatic disqualification for best smartphone, since it ads bulk and/or reduces screen size.

You can always add a keyboard to any smartphone for the times when you need one. You can't remove an integrated one when you don't.

Re:Wrong Way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42276249)

I guess it depends on your market. N900 was always considered to be a hacker's phone. N9 should have been too, but I feels like they were also trying to move away from that. I used to own an N900, and currently own an N9, and I seriously miss my keyboard. There are Bluetooth keyboards that you can hack on, but they don't fit together nicely. And since the market share is so small, no on has incentive to make/sell one.

Re:Wrong Way (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42277367)

Hand in your geek card NOW!

A keyboard is *the* most essential feature *ever*. No respectable geek (or any human with a working brain for that matter) would prefer a shitty touch screen over a real keyboard because of such a ridiculous reason as “it ads [sic] bulk". And nothing takes more screen space away than a fucking *touchscreen* "keyboard".
Ever tried using PuTTY like that? Or a CLI shell? Or to chat over IRC or XMPP?
Seriously: FUCK TOUCHSCREEN "KEYBOARDS"!

And: How the hell do you "add a keyboard" in a way that you can just take it out of your pocket on the go, and input stuff right away??
Hint: YOU DON'T. Your "add a keyboard" statement is a completely invalid non-argument that makes no sense in practical daily life!

And what do you mean "for the times when you need one"? When do you *not* need one?
Again, so you seem to live in a complete fantasy world, or you are the worst iTard I've ever seen. What is your idea of an ideal interface? A touchscreen version of one of those toys for small children that has many buttons and dials and things to touch and play with?

Really, people like you are the problem in today's word.

Re:Wrong Way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42281941)

Seriously, using Swype is better than using the N900s keyboard.

I've got three N900s and all three of the bloody things no longer have a working modem, so they are useless as a phone. I've no intention of buying a fourth, so I gave in and got an android phone.

The thing is I barely miss the keyboard at all, I admit the keyboard is miles better for command line work, but that isn't something I or 99.99% of people actually need from a phone.

Touchscreen keyboards are really quite good these days, as a geek you really should keep up with the latest technology, get an android phone with a decent sized screen and see which of the multitude of soft keyboards suits you best. Sure if you need to do a lot of CLI work a real keyboard is still a must, but most people don't.

Re:Wrong Way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42282469)

You're going to need a decent sized screen with that big stupid floppy software keyboard covering half of it

Re:Wrong Way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42312301)

True, but the decent sized screen is useful even when I'm not typing.

Re:Wrong Way (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about a year ago | (#42284303)

I'm curious what "modern technology" we've missed in software keyboards. Aside from "vibrate a little when you touch something" and "swipe" (which is *useless* for command line), I haven't seen an improvement in the technology of software keyboards in years. And no, different layouts don't count.

Re:Wrong Way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42312161)

I conceded that Swype was useless for the command line, but really how many people need to use that on a phone? It is the predictive technology that lets you type as quickly as you can with the sort of keyboard you can fit on a phone, and it often corrects my spelling mistakes without any effort from me, which a hardware keyboard can't do. Swype isn't for everyone, but Swiftkey apparently has really good prediction that works for most people if you don't like it, and there are other more esoteric keyboards as well. With the size of phone screens increasing you can have a similar area of screen visible with an on screen keyboard as you could have without one a few years ago. I admit with a 3.5" I would probably take a hardware keyboard over a software one, but if the choice is a bigger phone without a keyboard or a smaller one with, then I'd go for the bigger one.

In summary I'd say it was improved prediction plus bigger screens to use them on - which makes them more usable.

Misleading title (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42273015)

According to the email it is only for paid content, so the N9 application store isn't closing, billing support is.
The email even specifically says to resubmit applications as free, if the developers wants their apps to stay on the store.

What happens when there's no billing support (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#42273473)

the N9 application store isn't closing, billing support is.

Which isn't entirely unlike how the expected price for an Android application came to be free. Manufacturers and carriers launched Android phones in multiple countries faster than Google could get billing support for Android Market in place in those countries. So developers of applications for Android decided to make their applications advertisement-supported in order to reach users in those markets.

A Good Teaching Point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42273067)

This is a good teaching point on why vendor specific app stores, including Apple's, are not good for the consumers of these over priced services. The Google system isn't perfect either, but the ability to install apps from other stores or other third party locations makes it a much better option. The fact that you could get viruses or access porn is a risk/benefit that you have to consider. But, it seems well worth it in my mind.

Re:A Good Teaching Point (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about a year ago | (#42284315)

I have an n900 (very similar software-wize to the n9) and you can add what-ever repositories you want to the phone (even intranet ones). It is only the BILLING system that is disappearing. If they ever threatened to remove the free repositories, they'd be mirrored within the day.

'Thru' isn't a word (1)

Dixie_Flatline (5077) | about a year ago | (#42273221)

In general, I'd like to make a 'complain' about this submission's diction and spelling.

Re:'Thru' isn't a word (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42273593)

Actually, almost all (perhaps actually all--I only have access to about a dozen which all agree) dictionaries define "thru" as an informal American variant of through, thus it is, in fact, a word.

Re:'Thru' isn't a word (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42274217)

Why complain about "thru"? It's entirely unambiguous and has been in fairly wide American language usage for about 60 years, probably longer than you've been alive.

Grow up.

Fuck Nokia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42273443)

The promised to support the N9 until 2015.

Other Nokia Linux Phones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42273535)

Does this have any impact for N700, N800, N810, and N900 users? You know, the ones running Linux with APT support?

Just 2 weeks ago, I used the .deb repo from Nokia to reload a device with a few new Geocaching apps.

Do I need to build my own N[789].. repository and mirror everything. Heck, my N800 is still used daily over brand new Android devices that are just a little off still.

Whether this turns out to be true or not (2)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about a year ago | (#42274237)

Whether or not this is a legit story, if you've got an N9, you might want to get MeeCatalog just in case as a hedge against Nokia's eventual demise, Store and all. At least you'll have some community support.

iOS, Windows Phone, and Android users beware. (3, Informative)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#42274993)

This is why I make sure my devices allow 3rd party application stores. I won't buy any hardware or software that overtly allows the sellers to force obsolescence by pulling the plug on the market to make you to buy the new shiny. I learned my lesson with always-connected-to-internet DRM in games. I don't care if it's an iOS, FPS, or MMORPG. If it doesn't support private servers, I will not buy it.

See also: Closed source OSs ending support for updates, and hardware manufacturers not re-compiling drivers for a new OS (should be open sourced, we buy hardware not drivers), or even UEFI secure boot coded to only work on select OSs by name string... I think it's horrible that software creators are adopting the common engineering practice of purposefully shortening life span of the products.

Re:iOS, Windows Phone, and Android users beware. (1)

someones (2687911) | about a year ago | (#42275479)

its the people, that demand as little priceas as possible.

if you get a TV for 300€, cou cant expect it to live loger than a TV with the same feature set that costs 1000€.
But buying 300€ products and crying when the lower quality components die is somehow ... funny

Re:iOS, Windows Phone, and Android users beware. (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#42292647)

if you get a TV for 300, cou cant expect it to live loger than a TV with the same feature set that costs 1000.

Assuming there's any difference between the cheaper and more expensive TV.

If that notional TV was a Sony, you might pay 3x the price for something which isn't better.

Cost doesn't always equate to quality nowadays. Just what people are willing to pay -- like Monster Cables.

Slow news day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42275737)

Trollish post by some Finnish guy (jppiiroinen) who "missed" the "burning platform" memo from Elop.

Love QT (3, Interesting)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about a year ago | (#42276533)

First I love QT, Second I hate QT. If I am developing a desktop application tomorrow for anything I am using QT, full stop. The QT people seem to fully understand 50% of my C++ needs. But they fully ignore the other 50%. There are huge massive holes in QT for developers that if filled would have developers flooding to use QT. Two simple ones that would probably take a week to solve is that when I used eclipse on a mac QT was a huge pain to integrate and by huge I mean nearly impossible in that even if I got it working with all the debugging and whatnot functioning there was a risk that when I upgraded eclipse that poof it would all break. The same story for XCode. QT on xcode could be set up but to get full functionality was a pain and the same upgrade risk was omnipresent. You might argue that if developing a desktop application I should be using windows but my personal route is to go with Mac and then port to windows.

The next hole was this whole maemo crap. The only way I was developing for some oddball Nokia thing was as an afterthought to the bigger platforms. So here you have QTs strength that I can develop for the big 3 desktops which is a huge benefit for Linux in that people can develop for Windows and then Linux gets the easy port so why not keep that train of thought going and say we should make QT for iOS and android and get people doing easy porting to Nokia. But no I see more and more maemo and this stupid QML thing and a custom IDE just for QT which must have all been a massive effort for a zillion programmers which could have been, instead, spent porting QT to iOS and android.

So now we have maemo basically dead, I have put QT into my own personal terminal ward, and even Nokia is now in the ditch bleeding out. None of this need have happened.

If I had to guess they made QML because it made for awesome presentations for MBA types. But these same MBA types rejected making it easier to make iPhone apps as a business model. Then the MBA types had no idea the massive effort being wasted on an IDE and didn't understand what the hell QT really was.

I will give one other example of how QT didn't seem to get how off base they were. There are two things I read in QT related question forums over and over. One is "Is there a iOS QT Port?" and the other was "How do I use QT for the command line only?" Creeping in was "Can I use QT for android via the NDK?" I never once read "Wow the QT IDE is the best!" and I basically never saw questions about Maemo. I am not saying they don't exist but that out side of the work-a-day questions about programming details that was the trend. I'll even say that the QT creator wasn't too bad; but it just wasn't the effort that I think they should have prioritized.

Lastly there are other attempts at ports and some claims that QT might support iOS and android in the future. Very cool if they do. But in the context of the original posting of Maemo and generally the Nokia linux effort being a dud the above promises are probably too late. But if QT does pull an iOS and Android support out of their ear I will be first in line to try them out and bye bye Objective-C.

Re:Love QT (1)

Alex Belits (437) | about a year ago | (#42277453)

The only good IDEs in the world are vi and emacs with GNU make. Qt works great with them. The rest are mostly useful as crutches for people who can't document their interfaces, but can tolerate working in one editor window, surrounded by thousand little barnacle-windows with useless lists and references.

Re:Love QT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42284053)

The reason no one uses QT is cost. If you want your app written in QT, you need to get someone who knows their stuff. You might have to give them a salary, you might have to give them benefits. You might have to worry about keeping them employed there because their experience could be used at other companies and they may leave.

If you use Adobe Air or Html5 or whatever, you can simply hire a college student and pay them very little as a consultant. Hell, you can probably convince them to just intern at your company as resume filler while they write your entire app.

Re:Love QT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42284071)

They probably didn't try because seriously have you seen worse modern llanguage then ObjectiveC? It doesn't even have operators for basic classes like e.g. strings... Why is that relevant? Well if you think about what Apple is doing, you'll notice they try hard to keep being as closed as is... impossible really. I think they just try to keep competiton away. And if I would be making a decission wheather to make Qt for iOS then Iwould say TO HELL WITH THEM. Let them play in their own ball park. Every programming language, every platform is getting better and iOS/xCode/ObjC seem to be stack.

Re:Love QT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42285811)

There is a port of Qt for iOS and Android on the way, probably will be stable next year. Also - Qt Creator IS an AWESOME IDE. I got no idea why would you want to use something as bloated as Eclipse for Qt.

I can agree to that Qt Quick is not really needed, but I don't care about it that much as long as I got the C++ part working good.

Re:Love QT (1)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about a year ago | (#42302839)

I dumped Eclipse for Sublime Text 2 and XCode. I wouldn't call Sublime an IDE nor a text editor but damn it makes me happy just using it. XCode just grew on me while using it for Apps but I would dump it in a second for Sublime if there was a realistic way to make and debug an app in Sublime.

I don't like QT Creator for two reasons; one is that it is pretty desperate for you to do things the QT way and the other is that it is really only useful for programming QT. I used to love Eclipse and love Sublime because you can program anything in it; C++, PHP, Python, SQL, HTML, anything. I long ago dumped the whole visual studio thing because Microsoft was pushing more and more to do things their way. I will give XCode kudos for leaving me along as to what and how I want to approach a project. They have this whole new storyboard thing that they are no doubt excited about but they let you do things your way regardless.

My experience with QT is that I will use it for a project that lasts through at least one good version of QT. Then for the next project I will start with the new version and have a huge battle to get QT entirely working with the IDE I am using. Often my battle results in a clunky set of hacks to get the intellisense and debuging working along with dealing with .pro files and whatnot. This is just stupid. I should be able to go into any of the popular IDEs click on New Project and select QT and be off and running. How much work would it have been for the QT people to make this for all the major IDEs? The only thing that really impressed me with QT Creator was that QT worked really well with it. But a simple template or plug in for the other IDEs would accomplish as much. Personally I think they built it primarily to get people using QT Quick and the whole QML crap so that they would then be trapped. They seemed to forget that the trap would result in it being more of a wall and keeping people out just as much as it kept people in.

Re:Love QT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42312429)

Actually the people doing Qt Creator, were the same people who did the Visual Studio, XCode and Eclipse integration before.

This work was literally hell and Nokia had two choices:

(a) Double the salaries of these guys and let them continue doing integrations.

(b) Keep the current salaries but let them do something which is "fun": their own IDE - Qt Creator

Actually from a pure business perspective (a) I am pretty sure would have been the better choice,
but Nokia had an extremely weak management and the developers basically forced (b).

About QML: I think in the touch and embedded space this is great technology. For one main reason: It is open source and therefore it can be adapted for any platform (Linux without X11, QNX, Windows CE, VX Works...)

Angry Birds made me rooting my phone (1)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about a year ago | (#42278355)

Read their Privacy Policy http://www.rovio.com/Privacy [rovio.com] and know that you agree to all
third parties, like Flurry.com (Google analytics), as well as your data being sent out of county.
Astro file manager read the same way,

I had to root for a HOSTS file and firewall.

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