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Cellphones Wireless Networking Linux

Nokia Aborts Meltemi Linux-Based Feature Phone 105

Posted by timothy
from the you're-finnished dept.
judgecorp writes "Nokia has closed down the Meltemi low-end Linux phone which was supposed to replace its System 40 devices. The platform had never been officially announced and now, apparently, will never see the light of day. Feature phones still make up a giant market where Nokia has dominated, but this leaves its upgrade path in question."
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Nokia Aborts Meltemi Linux-Based Feature Phone

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  • Nokia is dead (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Steve Max (1235710) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @01:06PM (#40779349) Journal

    They had the dominant smartphone [wikipedia.org] OS AND the dominant dumbphone OS [wikipedia.org]. They had an experimental high end, Linux-based OS [meego.com] that was almost ready to retake the top spot in mindshare. They had the best development tools [nokia.com], which would allow one to target those 3 OSs simultaneously. And they were developing this new Linux-based dumbphone OS that would be created around those tools.

    Now they have Windows Phone.

  • Re:Nokia is dead (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 26, 2012 @01:19PM (#40779585)

    They had the dominant smartphone [wikipedia.org] OS AND the dominant dumbphone OS [wikipedia.org]. They had an experimental high end, Linux-based OS [meego.com] that was almost ready to retake the top spot in mindshare. They had the best development tools [nokia.com], which would allow one to target those 3 OSs simultaneously. And they were developing this new Linux-based dumbphone OS that would be created around those tools.

    Now they have Windows Phone.

    Really, REALLY, REALLY makes you wonder what kind of deal Microsoft has with Elop personally, doesn't it?

  • Re:Microsoft? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gl4ss (559668) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @01:19PM (#40779605) Homepage Journal

    technically they might have figured out that s40 does everything and anything meltemi was meant to do anyways(the linux was never ever meant to be accessible for users) - and while doing it with less draw on the cpu. afaik meltemi was meant to have web apps or parts of the ui done with html tech but it's been a while since I read the rumours about it, in any case it did sound like it could replace s40 only if fast cpu prices and memory costs dropped in costs a lot( a lot meaning pretty much infinite since a dollar is always a dollar, especially if you're doing a phone for fifty bucks).

    it's also possible that the driving force behind meltemi just left for jolla too, rumours about meltemi surfaced about when meego dev was getting scaled down.

    either way it always sounded to my ear like they were replicating the fuckup that was motorolas linux based razrs (some of the later featurephone razrs ran linux, which as well wasn't meant to be accessible to the user, it was just meant to make developing the thing faster and cheaper since they could use just general linux coders readily available at any university: SURPRISE IT NEVER FUCKING WORKS OUT THAT WAY).

    as to lightweight wp? well, I expect wp7.5/7.8 phones to drop to around hundred bucks in a year(brand new, off the shelf). that's where they've been now selling their cheapest s60 offerings for a while and wp has to replace that, at least in their roadmaps if they don't have anything for that segment they're idiots(the guys left might be, margins aren't too great on those phones but it's still business). nokia already made some wp models with only 256mb of memory(which is huuuge when compared what s40 and symbian usually run on). this might be an added factor to why meltemi didn't seem that interesting to pursue. as to why someone would buy a wp7.8 phone in a year when there's going to be wp8 phones available the: because it's going to be just a hundred bucks and not 400 and as far as phoning and quick web browsing of news sites go they'll function identically.

  • Goodbye Nokia. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by digitalchinky (650880) <dtchky@gmail.com> on Thursday July 26, 2012 @01:20PM (#40779611)

    The N95 and N900 seemed to be about the last innovative pieces of hardware to come out of Nokia. I'm not too sure about the E series but it was also popular here in Asia until a year ago. The writing was already (perhaps dry and peeling) on the wall from the release of the N900, lots of devs jumping ship and writing about why on maemo.org.

    Bye Nokia, I hope you claw your way back, I used to like you.

  • Re:Nokia is dead (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kenja (541830) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @01:21PM (#40779649)
    No... I would have assumed that Microsoft was full of bull droppings and showed them the door.
  • Re:Nokia is dead (Score:4, Insightful)

    by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @01:44PM (#40780221)

    I'm starting to really think that Elop is prepping Nokia to become a fully-owned subsidiary of MS. I can't see any other reason for the smorgasboard of decisions whose only possible outcome are a dead Nokia.

    I mean, really - what has Nokia done since Elop took over that did anything but generate facepalms, groans and a rapidly diminishing market share? Anything? I'm not normally prone to conspiracy theories, but this is either the world's most incompetent CEO (harsh, considering how high Carly set the bar for that...), or there's something nefarious at work.

  • Re:Nokia is dead (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kjella (173770) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @02:38PM (#40781253) Homepage

    They had an experimental high end, Linux-based OS that was almost ready to retake the top spot in mindshare.

    Just like YotLD is next year, right? Here's a sobering quote:

    On Jan. 3, Chief Development Officer Kai Oistämö walked over to his boss's tiny cubicle to share his concerns about the MeeGo software that was supposed to be Nokia's answer to Apple and Android. The pair decided to quietly interview two dozen influential employees about MeeGo, from executives to rank-and-file engineers.

    Before the first interview, Elop drew out what he knew about the plans for MeeGo on a whiteboard, with a different color marker for the products being developed, their target date for introduction, and the current levels of bugs in each product. Soon the whiteboard was filled with color, and the news was not good: At its current pace, Nokia was on track to introduce only three MeeGo-driven models before 2014 - far too slow to keep the company in the game. Elop tried to call Oistämö, but his phone battery was dead. "He must have been trying an Android phone that day," says Elop. When they finally spoke late on Jan. 4, "It was truly an oh-s--t moment - and really, really painful to realize where we were," says Oistämö. Months later, Oistämö still struggles to hold back tears. "MeeGo had been the collective hope of the company," he says, "and we'd come to the conclusion that the emperor had no clothes. It's not a nice thing."

    Nokia bought Trolltech and QT in January 2008 and that's all they had to show after three years - they had one helluva piece of technology but wasted it and never managed to make a decent platform. The reality is that the N9 - even with Nokia still fully behind it - was a lightweight that wouldn't touch iOS or Android market share and they had no heavy punches to follow up the stop-gap either. They just couldn't let go of Symbian to develop Meego to the platform it needed to be.

  • Apple has 3 phones (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 26, 2012 @02:57PM (#40781615)

    iPhone 3gs
    iPhone 4
    iPhone 4s

    How many smart phone models do you think you need? More is not merrier. More is more R&D, QA, marketing... Which is more costs. Less margin, lower efficiency.

    Jolla have a Meego/Mer phone on the way in the meantime... We'll see if a 50 person team can do what a 130,000 person organisation can't.

  • Re:Microsoft? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PurpleAlien (797797) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @03:06PM (#40781747) Homepage
    The whole idea within Nokia was to move all their phones (low end to high end) to one platform: Linux + Qt. It did not make sense economically to keep supporting several platforms internally with different GUI tool kits, etc.
  • Re:Nokia is dead (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 26, 2012 @04:35PM (#40783301)

    Except in 2011, even after Elop killed all non-microsoft OSes, they were still able to deliver two MeeGo based phones - N9 and N950. Anybody really believes Nokia couldn't produce more than one device over the next three years, and if so it would be because of MeeGo?

    As you see, the given reasons actually don't make any sense and rather raise more questions about what kind of idiots are running the show.

  • Re:Nokia is dead (Score:5, Insightful)

    by steelfood (895457) on Thursday July 26, 2012 @05:10PM (#40783719)

    Source [businessweek.com] for your quote.

    They had 3 MeeGo phones on the roadmap by 2014, with one already one the way. This was written in June 2011, referring to events that transpired Jan 2011. Between Jan 2011 and 2014, I'll be willing to bet that Apple won't have released more than 3 models of phones (including the 4S, which was more of a dot refresh rather than a completely new model).

    It sounds like they had trouble with the iPhone's one-generation-one-phone strategy. They were too stuck in their old ways of releasing several different models of high-end, mid-range, and low-end "smartphones" to capture the entire market. What they probably should've done was offered one high-end, one mid-range, and one low-end phone. That's 3 phones. And they could've rolled it out slowly, so that the high-end came first, the mid-range one generation later, and the low-end replacing all the existing Symbian phones out there after one more refresh.

    Instead, they squandered all of the in-house talent they spent years acquiring and developing. They wrote off all of their recent major business acquistions. They went from an industry leader and standards setter to the lackey of the biggest back-stabbing software company there ever was. And the worst part is, they did so knowingly and intentionally, because they felt they couldn't compete with Apple and Google.

    Well, duh they couldn't compete with Apple and Google, and quite frankly, I don't think switching to Microsoft did anything but make them less competitive. They were late to the game two years ago with MeeGo, and all this time spent transitioning made them even later to the game. I especially like how the article quotes the Art of War at the end, as if that somehow vindicates Elop's actions. I like it because Elop's excuse for turning to Microsoft was that he didn't--couldn't--believe in Nokia's existing software engineering talent in the first place. What a crock of bull.

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