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What Nokia Must Do To Stay Relevant In Mobile 289

Posted by Soulskill
from the introducing-the-3d-cloud-social-farm-phone dept.
snydeq writes "Mikael Ricknäs reports how Nokia can turn around its three-year slide in the mobile market — one that has transformed the company's iconic N95 into a distant memory given the pace of innovation at Apple and around Android. Completely underestimating the impact of the iPhone, Nokia took too long to realize that Symbian's lack of touch capabilities would hinder its ability to compete in the smartphone market. Moreover, the company's move to open source the OS has significantly slowed down Symbian's development, according to analysts, leaving Nokia with both a lack of support from other vendors and a platform on which competitors can keep a close eye. Meanwhile, developer interest in Nokia's Ovi app store is nearly nonexistent. 'Nokia's problems are still fixable but the window is closing. I am not optimistic that they will be fixed in 2010 because there isn't much time left; if they aren't fixed in 2011, Nokia will be in big trouble.'"
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What Nokia Must Do To Stay Relevant In Mobile

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  • by JesseL (107722) * on Friday July 09, 2010 @06:26PM (#32856038) Homepage Journal

    ... the N900?

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

    • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Friday July 09, 2010 @06:30PM (#32856072) Journal

      I know what they overlooked...

      N Gage 4.0

      Seriously you guys, it'll work this time.

      • by SquarePixel (1851068) on Friday July 09, 2010 @06:33PM (#32856088)

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

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

        • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Friday July 09, 2010 @06:40PM (#32856134)

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

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

          • What Nokia must do to stay relevant in mobile?

            TIME TRAVEL!

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

          • by cowscows (103644)

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

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

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

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

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by cynyr (703126)
              and my free nokia phone[1] is rather smart already. It has 2g internet access, a music player, a video player, a clock, a stop watch, a note taking app, a calendar, uses uSD cards, has bluetooth 2.X, it's smaller and lighter than a iphone as well. It does pretty much everything i want, except control MPD on my server so i can change the music in the house from it. Would i like a iphone 4, sure something like it anyways, or even it, running andriod. I must admit the iphone 4 looks decent from a hardware pers
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by MightyYar (622222)

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

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

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

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          No, they are a dinosaur on the brink of extinction. They are the buggy whip maker laughing at car sales in 1890. There are already android phones that will be given away at no direct cost with a contract. Their cost will come down, and fill all of those niches where nokia is today.
        • by DrunkenPenguin (553473) on Friday July 09, 2010 @07:30PM (#32856580) Homepage
          You wrote: "Nokia has a significant market share in mobile world." Yeah, but that's decreasing at an alarming rate! Right now Samsung has passed Nokia, the world's biggest maker of mobile phones, in shipments of low-end handsets to Western Europe in the first quarter. This is very, very alarming news to Nokia supporters. Nokia has been strong in that area, but is losing now basically everywhere.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Funny you mention that b/c my old ngage actually worked w/ the car bluetooth system on my BMW while the newer e61 would never connect. Motor Razr worked just fine, G1, Nexus One also worked just fine. So Nokia needs to do a better job of support bluetooth, and release patches for the bluetooth stack.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        I know what they overlooked...

        N Gage 4.0

        I used to have an N Gage model train set. It rocked, with smoke coming out of the engine and working lights and everything.

    • by MrEricSir (398214) on Friday July 09, 2010 @06:38PM (#32856118) Homepage

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

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

      • by JesseL (107722) * on Friday July 09, 2010 @06:43PM (#32856176) Homepage Journal

        I guess you missed the first sentence of the article.

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

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

    • by migla (1099771) on Friday July 09, 2010 @06:39PM (#32856126)

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

      • by autophile (640621) on Friday July 09, 2010 @08:38PM (#32857024)

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

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

      • Maybe look at WebOS too. I know the Palm Pre didn't really take off, ... but the OS is just great; and it really is a linux in all the traditional sense. Grab the SDK, which is just a linux boot image that runs in virtualbox. You'll see what I mean.
    • by MrHanky (141717) on Friday July 09, 2010 @06:44PM (#32856182) Homepage Journal

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

      • by cynyr (703126)
        the ipone 4 is 137 grams, the N900 you claim is 181 grams, thats 44 grams lighter, for referance, thats ~9 nickles. something sure, but my 5310-xpressmusic is 71 grams(66 grams lighter than a Iphone. No I doesn't have "apps", but it plays music and browses the web(well about as much of it as apple does), plays videos, and most importantly makes phone calls. The 5310 does use microSD, has a replaceable battery and a standard USB port and 3.5mm headphone jack.
    • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Friday July 09, 2010 @06:46PM (#32856196)
      One only needs to look at price to see why the N900 never caught on. People don't care that its unlocked too much, what they -do- care about is that a price of $650 was something that no one wants to pay for a phone. $100? People would have bought it. $200? People still might have bought it, $650 not subsidized? The average person doesn't want to pay that much for a phone.

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

      In all honesty, the only people who buy their phones unsubsidized are geeks like you and me. The average person will never pay $650 outright for a phone.
      • Itemization (Score:4, Interesting)

        by tepples (727027) <tepples&gmail,com> on Friday July 09, 2010 @06:52PM (#32856242) Homepage Journal

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

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

      • by SquarePixel (1851068) on Friday July 09, 2010 @07:01PM (#32856334)

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

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

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by jonbryce (703250)

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

      • by kangsterizer (1698322) on Friday July 09, 2010 @09:05PM (#32857182)

        in the rest of the world buying your phone subsidized actually end up costing you slightly more. on the other hand, carrier subscriptions are extremely cheap "phoneless".

        For example I pay 1EUR/month (thats 12EUR/year) for unlimited 3.5G, unlimited calling on the same carrier and land lines (theres a fee to other mobile carriers, and international of course).

        The same one with a 2-300EUR iphone4 cost smth like 30 to 45eur per month during 12 to 24 month which is more expensive, locked during 6month (after 6month u can unlock and you want to change carrier you've to pay the rest of the phone;. slightly more in fact, once again).

        In this case buying unsubsidized is actually better.

      • Check the regular retail prices of those phones. When I went to the mall kiosk to switch my service to T-Mobile, they had the retail prices for Android phones on the tags, and they were around $450. I believe the regular retail price for the iPhone is at least $600. I paid $550 for my N900 on Newegg, and I believe it's down to $500 now. With T-Mobile, service without a subsidized phone is $20/month cheaper, so if I keep my N900 for exactly two years, I'll have effectively paid $70 for it, which is cheaper t
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      N900? What makes N900 hardware so special compared to other smartphones out there? Please, go ahead and enlighten us on this. You also wrote: "As far as I'm concerned the only thing Nokia is missing is a better marketing campaign for their product that compares very favorably with the Apple and Android offerings." Wait a second - compares very favorably? Would you please tell us how. I'm not seeing it. I think N900 is another major flop, but maybe that's only because I happen to live in Finland. Perhaps N
      • by migla (1099771) on Friday July 09, 2010 @07:02PM (#32856338)

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

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          You wrote: "It's not the hardware, it's the GNU/Linux software. And just because it doesn't succeed doesn't mean it isn't the best available from the perspectives of people who'd like a GNU/Linux computer in their pocket.". Do you really believe GNU/Linux software will bring Nokia back to top? I don't think so. I've been using Linux since 1998 and I love Linux, but I can't come up with any more than a handful of Linux applications that I'd actually want to run on my cellphone.
          • by h4rr4r (612664)

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

          • by dbIII (701233) on Friday July 09, 2010 @08:25PM (#32856948)
            When I go to the app manager on my N900 there are hundreds of applications there that I can just download without paying anyone anything. Add more than the nokia repositry and there are thousands more. That is what the Linux software (I doubt if there is much actual gnu stuff) brings to the platform.
            Think of just about anything, and there is a free app which is a very small download for that. I don't know if that will sell any more N900 phones but it certainly impresses those that have them.
            The multitasking alone leaves the iPhone for dead (ask an iPhone user about alarm apps and how they don't work), as does the ability to switch between virtual screens.
            The device itself is an expensive bit of hardware with a lot of memory, high pixel density touchscreen etc, but that sort of environment (Maemo or Meego) has a lot of potential on future devices with lower end specs.
          • by cynyr (703126)
            xterm + ssh + vnc is all i would ever really need on my phone. Let my desktop do all the real computing. ohh crome/FF would be nice to have on the phone as well, maybe opera mini.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

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

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

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

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

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

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

        • by DrunkenPenguin (553473) on Friday July 09, 2010 @07:17PM (#32856474) Homepage
          Traditionally >90% of the finnish people have been using Nokia phones, but this is changing now very, very rapidly. Nokia is seen as a "lamers choice" in Finland at the moment and the youth + older people are buying Android phones and iPhones more and more every day. Nokia is seen as a loser here in Finland at the moment. Well - let's face it - Nokia is a loser! 70% market value drop in recent 2-3 years - that's just something that's hard to believe, but unfortunately it is true.
          • by Luckyo (1726890)

            Holy hyperbole batman. The last piece of news from YLE (state TV and radio) last month was that over 85% of people still use nokias. I somehow find a drop of 5% to be very undramatic.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Well new to iphone4 was a front facing camera 900 had last year. New to iphone4 and android phones is video out which 900 did last year also. Opengl es support and the graphics processor to run it is a huge bonus over iphone4 and android. Wireless sync 900 had last year. Slide cover for the camera 900 has dont think iphone4 or any android phone has. Then there is the application memory space which destroys both iphone4 and android phones. Standard Linux platform huge bonus. Multi task up to 32 applications

    • by unix1 (1667411) on Friday July 09, 2010 @06:53PM (#32856258)

      They just can't get their act straight.

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

      Google introduced Android and their efforts are just as consistent.

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

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

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Microlith (54737)

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

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

        Google introduced Android and their efforts are just as consistent.

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

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

        OK

        int

        • by cduffy (652) <charles+slashdot@dyfis.net> on Friday July 09, 2010 @07:18PM (#32856490)

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

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

          • by cynyr (703126)
            the N700 and N800 and N810? yes there have been 3 or 4 devices before the N900. The fact that the N900 is known is great.
      • by BasilBrush (643681) on Friday July 09, 2010 @07:09PM (#32856402)

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

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

        • by unix1 (1667411)

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

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

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

            • by unix1 (1667411)

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

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

              • That's a pretty vague definition.

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

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

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

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by forkazoo (138186)

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

        You are over thinking it. The issue of GTK vs. Qt on Maemo is just like on Desktop Linux. App developer can use whichever they want, and most users won't be able to tell the difference. It's lik

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

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

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by davros-too (987732)
        spot on - I nearly bought an N900. If I had I would be seriously pissed off. Maemo is very rough and when I was considering buying the N900 I assumed Nokia would continue to improve it. Instead Maemo has been abandoned. Is Nokia going to stick with meego? Or will it finally push symbian forward? Who knows...

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

        • i don't see why updates are so important. iphone1? it doesnt run ios3
          iphone3G? ios4 on it makes you want to kill yourself

          Next Android minimum specs are the nexus 1, likely the last update it will get ofc

          as long as they support the phone 1 or 2 years, it's mostly on par with others. maemo still has updates, and meego runs on the N900, even thus its not official (meego for nokia doesnt exist yet..)

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

      No amount of slick marketing is going to fix that.

    • by mrmeval (662166)

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

    • by Pax681 (1002592)

      ... the N900?

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

      here here sir!

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by munky99999 (781012)
      My n900 is badass but ya they never advertised it. If it wasnt for slashdot i most likely never had heard of it. The one thing that bothers me. Nokia doesnt seem to be apart of the community at all. They seem to have released the n900 and said go wild, while walking away. They also seem to be walking away from maemo, leaving n900 in the dust.
    • by nightfire-unique (253895) on Friday July 09, 2010 @09:09PM (#32857212)

      You took the words out of my mouth.

      If Nokia put together a team of 500 to focus exclusively on Maemo (not this Meego junk they're moving to), they could obsolete all other phone OSes within a year. Frankly, all Maemo needs is a reskin (too dark), better priority and swap management, X enhancements (smoother transitions), a simplified SDK for Windows users, and advertisement. The apps will come, especially since so many are potentially available as a direct port.

      The n900 is the best technology thing I've ever owned... it would be a tragic loss if they abandoned it.

    • Android is not the competition. Nokia could deliver some fantastic Android based handsets. I'm sure Google would cut them in on App Market sales, and ad revenue.
    • The N900 doesn't even try to compete with Apple and Android offerings, it's essentially a desktop computer in a small case. It essentially runs a flavour of Debian. (yes, you do have apt-get on those devices)

      Now the next step would be to encourage more mobile phone vendors to do the same.

  • For me .. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Elgonn (921934) on Friday July 09, 2010 @06:37PM (#32856108)
    For me all they have to do to stay relevant is release an up to date E90 running Maemo/MeeGo. Apparently that physical phone layout isn't going to ever come back.
  • Maybe they can license good signal strength to Apple? I still keep an old Nokia "dumbphone" around just in case I have a low signal need...
  • Release to Carriers (Score:4, Informative)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Friday July 09, 2010 @06:41PM (#32856146)
    I've heard that Nokia is big in Europe, but at least here in the USA its hard to get a Symbian phone or any Nokia phone save for dumb-phones. What Nokia really needs to do is create a really high-end phone, make it be multi-carrier and release it for all carriers subsidized in the US. Phones like the N900 are nice, but since you can't get them subsidized, it really harms adoption rates. In the US people expect their cell phones to appear to only cost nothing to $50 for a dumb-phone and $100-200 for a smartphone. Paying $650 for a phone is something that few people will do, if it was $200 subsidized, people would pick it up because at the time, the N900 was a really nice phone, but no one wants to pay $650 for it.

    Nokia needs to get their act together by flooding the market with their phones. Heck, even abandon Symbian for a while and create Android phones, really, despite how much Nokia seems to love Symbian, it kinda fails when compared to Android, iOS and even WebOS.
    • The problem is the US carriers. Ask for a contract rate including a subsidized phone. Now ask what the rate is if you use your own phone and do not want them to subsidize one. It is the same price.

    • by fermion (181285)
      From my point of view, this is the issue with the cell phone market in general, at least in the US. Years ago I wanted a Nokia Communicator. Couldn't get it. Settled for a Razr. Wasn't happy because it was limited, presumably to carrier pressure.

      Blackberry created a phone for the business user, not the carriers. Apple created a phone for the consumer user, not the carriers. We will see if Android is a phone for the user or for the carrier. What is clear is that Nokia is still producing phones that s

    • by Lije Baley (88936)

      Head over to T-Mobile and check out the Nokia 5230. I'm commenting from one of them right now, and for only $10 US per month unlimited. (no text messages) Oh and only $70 for the phone when I bought it. I love it. It isn't iphone slick, but gets the job done on the net and can run Opera.

  • Open phones (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gmuslera (3436) on Friday July 09, 2010 @06:48PM (#32856210) Homepage Journal
    If well is not fully open (the actual cellphone part is somewhat closed source) the N900 could had started a trend of open, very flexible phones, you can even find alternative kernels where you can over/underclock them for special uses. It is still an impressive phone, but is lacking mindshare. It could have got more developers attention, but they didnt put their weight supporting that phone.

    Now they are going for Meego, still having closed components, and the question is for how much they will give to it attention or how soon they will forget about that platform too. They should be more open on them, letting developers fully take advantage of that hardware (i.e. there is an Android port for it, but the cellphone part don't work because being one of the closed components), and see how far it could get... if the phone gets wildly popular because its flexibility, maybe they won't sell so much associated services if what most run is not tied with them, but for sure they will sell a lot of hardware.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Microlith (54737)

      Now they are going for Meego, still having closed components

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

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

      They can't. Bits like the 3D driver are held by a 3rd party that is very much not willing to go open with their sources. Sorta like Nvidia. This is, not coincide

  • Ah, Galen Gruman (Score:5, Informative)

    by BasilBrush (643681) on Friday July 09, 2010 @07:22PM (#32856528)

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • why bother? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by yyxx (1812612) on Friday July 09, 2010 @07:29PM (#32856572)

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

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

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

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

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

    • by cynyr (703126)
      wow I must hunt down a rabbit with a snare and eat it raw in the street then..... My phone isn't even good for texts(well mor ethat my cell plan isn't but hey).
  • management at fault (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dnaumov (453672) on Friday July 09, 2010 @07:34PM (#32856608)

    Disclaimer: I hold Nokia stock

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

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dnaumov (453672)

      To expand a bit.

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

      • by cynyr (703126)
        how long will it take them to get a meego device out? 2 years after the N8? 1 year? if it's 2 years, who cares.
  • Just give me better battery life. My four year old Nokia that just croaked had great battery life. The Nokia that replaced it (less than a week ago) has horrible battery life. I have to recharge the thing every day!

    Both phones are the same basic flip-phone design, not much difference at all. Guess I'll have to keep the charger with me all the time.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 09, 2010 @10:27PM (#32857532)

    The article mentions lack of developer interest in Nokia's Ovi store, which is failing because there aren't very many users on it. This is because using the Ovi store requires surfing the web, cumbersome authentication, no downloading of free apps without a login, bad search, and other user interface fuckups. It's slow, it's cumbersome, it's confusing and it's not even used by Nokia. Handset integration is nonexistent.

    Until the Ovi store works as simply as the Android store (ie. gets integrated with their handsets), most users won't bother with it.
    And since no users bother with it, no developers will, either.

    There are big bucks to be made elsewhere, and they don't require deep knowledge of Symbian landmines to develop for.

  • by drolli (522659) on Friday July 09, 2010 @11:57PM (#32857842) Journal
    Yes. Nokia has some problem competing with the iphone. Is this bad? maybe. But what Nokia need to focus on is the markets where they are strong and where Apple cant compete. Look at Indonesia, China or other places where you can not sell iphones costing $500-$1000. What Nokia need to do is keep their dominance in these markets stable, and when processing power become cheap enough (you just have to wait) to push a major revision into new models sold in 100s of millions per year, then they can make the change. Anything up to then serve either a very specific market (people who used Nokia for the last 10 Years) or are plainly test devices for Nokia.
  • by J-1000 (869558) on Saturday July 10, 2010 @03:11AM (#32858574)
    No matter what they do, Nokia will not out-iPhone the iPhone. They aren't Apple and they shouldn't try to be. What they are is *European* and they should use that to their advantage. They should become the Swatch of cell phones and start selling phones based on a combination of simplicity, price, and wild looks. Fashion trends change rapidly, and nothing is stopping the large (for a phone) iPhone from being supplanted as a fashion accessory.

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