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Nokia Spinning Featurephones as Smartphones 210

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the the-thin-line dept.
zacharye writes with an excerpt from BGR: "One reason for Nokia's surprisingly strong share price rebound over the past two weeks is the success of its new Asha feature phones in Asia. According to our sources in Delhi, the Asha 305 sold out in several stores soon after its debut even before the marketing campaign kicked in. Is it a coincidence that major Asian newspapers like The Philippine Star and Singapore's The Sun Daily describe Nokia's new Asha models as 'smartphones'? No. Nokia has done its very best to dress up its cheap new feature phones as something far more aspirational — to the extent that devices like Asha 305 are now widely depicted as smartphones across Asia and Africa. This is a critically important maneuver.." Of course, maybe they are smartphones; the Asha appears to be speced better than the HTC Dream (1Ghz processor, albeit with only 128M of RAM), and they've added a lot of new features to Series40. But then it's still Series40 with JavaME.
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Nokia Spinning Featurephones as Smartphones

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  • by siddesu (698447) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @03:11AM (#40981723)
    As long as the features the phones provide to the users are comparable, who cares what virtual machine runs the software?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by JMonty42 (1961510)

      I would say the defining feature of a smartphone would be the ability to install apps to expand its capabilities.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @03:22AM (#40981765)

        I would say the defining feature of a smartphone would be the ability to install apps to expand its capabilities.

        You can do that on Series 40, installing Java ME apps has been possible for a long time now.

        • My previous phone was Symbian. There's a world of difference between what Nokia were selling as an app platform with Qt/S60 native applications and Java ME.

        • installing Java ME apps has been possible for a long time now

          But can the apps do anything? I've read about Nokia phones on U.S. carriers that won't let unsigned Java ME apps connect to the Internet.

          • by Luckyo (1726890)

            Asha will not be sold in US beyond random imports. Too good of a phone for its price, and has dual sim models on top of it.

      • by starworks5 (139327) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @03:25AM (#40981787) Homepage

        With that logic, you couldn't have any strongly secured android or IOS phones! Smart phones are about having multiple uses, as opposed to several features, or just being able to make a phonecall.

        Here is an excerpt from nokia in the TFA

        James from Nokia here. One thing this piece overlooks is the web-browsing tech that comes as standard on our Asha models, including the Asha 305 mentioned here. Every time you access FB or Twitter or whatever else, the webpages are rendered in the cloud to keep data traffic very small and browsing fast. This of course does wonders for your phone bill (the Nokia Browser uses up to 85% less data than a competitor’s phone) and tells a little bit more about our strategy with Asha: making the Internet more accessible for people.

        I would consider this as being smart, especially given the region and infrastructure available there.

        • by Clarious (1177725) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @03:42AM (#40981871)

          Opera mini does the same, that is why it is so lightweight and can render (albeit sometimes incorrectly) fairly complex webpages on very weak phones, it even re-encode images to webp format to reduce file size. Amazon Silk also does that too, so it is nothing new.
          Back to the topic, for the same price for a Asha 303, you could get something like a Samsung Galaxy Pocket, which has GPS and double amount of RAM. In my country (Vietnam, a 3rd world one) Android is gaining market, even at the lower end segment while Nokia is losing out rapidly. I was surprised that if someone I know has proper web-browsing capability now, then it is most likely to be an Android phone or, sigh, iPhone.

          • The thing with the Asha range (at least most of them) is the ease of use - typing a lot on a small touchscreen can be a pain to some people. I had a Wildfire S and I absolutely hated it for texting and emailing, and the Galaxy Pocket seems to be even smaller.

            Also, Symbian 60 felt comparatively faster on a similar hardware to Android 2.3 (Nokia E5 vs HTC Wildfire S, both 600MHz ARMv11: http://www.gsmarena.com/compare.php3?idPhone1=3777&idPhone2=3198 [gsmarena.com]).

            YMMV.

            • by Clarious (1177725) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @04:22AM (#40982019)

              Us Asian all have small finger, that helps a bit with the typing, and there are some Android phones with qwerty keyboard too.
              Regarding to speed, I agree that Symbian feels much faster, still I hate how they only includea minimal amount of RAM in their phone, my last phone (a Nokia 5230 with 128 Mb RAM, before I dropped it to death) could only open ~3 tabs with Opera Mobile before running out of memory. Nevertheless it was a good phone. But now Nokia has declared Symbian to be a burning ship, I see no reason to use it anymore. That, and with my personal hatred to Nokia for killing off Meego/Meltemi/Qt and then siding with Microsoft make that 5230 the last Nokia phone I buy.

            • by Luckyo (1726890)

              Not "felt" but "is". Remember, symbian is an OS that runs native applications and is designed for mobile use from ground up. Android and iOS, no matter how you dress them, are still desktop OSs that got jury-rigged to work on resource-starved systems. Android even runs all its installed applications in a virtual machine to add insult to the injury.

              It's pretty obvious that symbian will run better on weak systems. It's designed to, and it's probably one of the reasons it also won't scale well to a fast one.

              • by jandrese (485)
                What? What Desktop OSes were Android and iOS derived from? MacOS has been slowly converging on iOS for years now and Google had no previous OS before Android. It is fair to say that Symbian was designed for weaker phones, but that's largely a matter of what design compromises it made like having a crappy web browser that falls over when you try to visit half of the websites out there.
        • by jandrese (485)
          There is another bandwidth saving feature on that phone, phone browsers that take that approach are almost always terribly crappy and people stop using them as much as possible, saving on their monthly bill.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @03:35AM (#40981841)

        This is one of those reasons why I'm always annoyed by the generally American idea that "smartphone" == iPhone and later devices. Nokia has essentially been producing "smartphones" for ages before the iPhone; installilng third-party applications onto phones has been possible since, what, the year 2000?

        The only thing the iPhone brought into the picture was the touchscreen and the centralized application store.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          > The only thing the iPhone brought into the picture

          Another major factor is that Apple is an American company. Compare with Samsung, Nokia, Sony-Ericsson.

          Yes, I know about Motorola. So does Lara Croft.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Lots of phone makers were making phones that had Java apps on them before the iPhone. Most of those apps were garbage, though, and seemed mainly designed to provide the carrier with more cash.

          So when it comes to smartphones - maybe "smart" refers not to the phone, but to the phone's owner. As in, they were smart enough not to buy a phone filled with those crappy Java apps.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @04:34AM (#40982065)

            Lots of phone makers were making phones that had Java apps on them before the iPhone. Most of those apps were garbage, though, and seemed mainly designed to provide the carrier with more cash.

            And I suppose every single app in Apple's app store is a shining jewel of quality and innovation?

          • There were quite a few useful J2ME apps, actually. Google had a GMail app for a while that was very handy (and old packages can still be found if you look around, and they still work). Bombus for GTalk and XMPP in general. Games like Angband.

            The biggest problem there by far was no ability to run apps in background. And I don't even mean early iOS-style restrictions when app suspends while in background, but rather quite literally - you could run one app that was in the foreground, and you could only switch

            • by arose (644256)
              My current "featurephone" happily runs J2ME apps in the background, the switching is a touch clunky, but it works ok for switching between Google Maps (really well done app BTW), Opera Mini and the phone itself. Dunno how recent of a thing that is though.
          • by CptPicard (680154)

            I'm not talking about J2ME but native applications. I'm not completely sure how S40 is regards to this, but seems like the first S60 phone hit the US market in 2002.

        • by mirix (1649853)

          Well, at least traditionally, Nokia had two OSes. S40 was the lightweight one that only did java apps, for dumbphones (which is what the phones from the TFA happen to run). S60 was the hotrod with native apps and so on, multitasking, etc. The 'smartphone'... Perhaps the quintessential smartphone until iphone and android rolled around.

          That's the angle they're working on, at least - that S40 isn't smart, because it wasn't smart. But 1GHz sounds pretty smart to me... just why the fuck not run S60 or maemo, th

        • by biodata (1981610)
          AFAIR these were the first smart phones http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokia_8110 [wikipedia.org]
          • by jandrese (485)
            I think the problem is that Blackberry and Apple redefined what it means to be a "smartphone". Back in the day if you could run some sort of hobbled web browser and maybe some highly constrained apps you were a smartphone, but then phones with full browsers appeared that didn't have tons of arbitrary limits on their applications and finally had enough power to do interesting things. When you look back at the old days of app development, everybody talked endlessly about how hard it was to cram what they wa
        • by jbolden (176878)

          The American idea is very simply.

          There used to be dumb phones which made calls and did SMS; feature phones which had other cool stuff like camera apps, appointment books, music... and phones on 2G data plans like Blackberry, which was often called "Blackberry data". Any phone that also used Blackberry data was a smart phone.

        • by CAIMLAS (41445)

          I don't know about that American idea. I don't personally consider the iPhone to be a smartphone unless it's been rooted.

          A smartphone is one which provides capabilities for general computing, if needbe. That means apps and a way to install them, and "full control" (or close enough to it to get things done) of the device. File management/browsing, editing various files, and so on. Printing is highly advantageous. Email and web access does not cut it.

      • by cbhacking (979169)

        Generally, I agree with you ("smartphone" for me means a programmable mobile phone) but these days, almost any device has some programmable ability (as the summary points out, these phones can run Java ME code).

        A more modern definition of "smartphone" might include things like a sensor suite (camera isn't enough anymore, a GPS at least is expected), a powerful processor (which it has, at least powerful enough to easily qualify), a touchscreen, and some kind of "app store" even if it's almost nothing compare

        • by Compaqt (1758360)

          >A more modern definition of "smartphone" might include things like a sensor suite (camera isn't enough anymore, a GPS at least is expected), a powerful processor (which it has, at least powerful enough to easily qualify), a touchscreen, and some kind of "app store" even if it's almost nothing compared to what Apple and Google offer.

          Would three out of four do it for you?
          Sensor suite: Well it doesn't have GPS, but it does have an accelerometer. (Side note: Can an accelerometer make do as a poor mans' GPS

          • Can an accelerometer make do as a poor mans' GPS by keeping track of all movements from the factory?

            Even assuming that somehow the phone never lost power, accelerometers are nowhere near as precise as to keep a decent position over more than a few meters.

            • by Compaqt (1758360)

              Probably so. Still, it seemed like a neat geeky idea.

              If somebody hacks it together, it'll be standard "Geek does X" Slashdot material.

              • by Luckyo (1726890)

                Not really. Inertial guidance is what military used to use before GPS. It sucks HARD even with extremely accurate military grade accelerometers.

          • by jandrese (485)
            You can use accelerometers as a form of dead reckoning, but the problem is that errors are compounded over time, and depending on the quality of the sensor those error bars become ridiculously large in fairly short order. After a day or two it wouldn't even be able to tell you if you were still somewhere on the Earth.

            Extremely expensive and temperamental laser gyroscopes can maintain reasonable accuracy for about 30 minutes on a moving vehicle. The $0.05 accelerometer in your phone would be in bad sha
      • by gl4ss (559668)

        ...and on s40 you can extend more it's capabilities arguably than with windows phone 7.

        so what's the beef?

      • by Isaac-1 (233099)

        I doubt that most smart phone users even know there is an OS under their applications, to them any phone with a fairly robust feature set, good web browser and downloadable applications (from angry birds to bar code scanners) is a smart phone. There are probably a few other assumptions like a touchscreen interface and a highly customizable experience.

      • by Compaqt (1758360)

        OK, and who says S40 Java-based phones cannot install apps?

        http://www.getjar.com/ [getjar.com]

        Install all the J2ME apps you want.

        If you want to install the apps from your phone, just go to m.getjar.com.

        Or any one of a number of other places. Or Nokia's own appstore.

        Any other so-called differences between "smart" phones and "feature" phones?

      • by Karlt1 (231423)

        Does that mean every old phone that came out with the ability to run JavaME apps were smartphones?

      • by lindi (634828)

        To me a feature phone runs the phone stack and user applications on the same chip. A smart phone has a separate CPU for running user applications.

    • so you can be locked into a data plan.

  • Serious question not a troll, what is the difference between the 2 definitions? I honestly don't know.

    Is it an API and third party applications for a smart phone versus locked-in phone feature in ROM for a feature phone? Or something else?

    • by siddesu (698447)
      With feature phones, you run end-user apps in a manner that is different from the "system" end-user applications, typically in some sandbox. For smartphones, you are using the same environment for both. This usually implies a different development environment and language.
      • by dgatwood (11270)

        And with feature phones, the apps you can install are typically gated by your carrier, whereas with smartphones, they are not.

        • iPhone: Apps strictly gates by Apple
          javaME: I can install any ME app I can find...

          try again.

        • by gl4ss (559668)

          ios, gated.
          wp7, gated.
          symbian, gated to a limit(signing).

          android and s40, not gated..

      • by Vintermann (400722) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @03:39AM (#40981861) Homepage

        Applications are definitively sandboxed on Android and iOS too. It's probably possible to install non-java ME apps on these phones too, it's just that since the environments aren't standardized, no one bothers.

        The distinction between feature phones and smartphones is largely a product of successful marketing. If Java ME hadn't been such a train wreck, we would just have viewed it as another smartphone platform, along with Android (which would probably have used it instead of Dalvik then), iOS and Blackberry's OS.

        • by siddesu (698447)

          Yes, but both "system" and non-system apps run in the same virtual machine, whereas in a feature phone, the dialer app, the camera app and a couple of pre-selected other apps will be written in the native language for the platform, typically some C, and be totally distinct from the junk you can dump into your java or bree or whatever environment.

          As for JavaME, it allowed some pretty decent apps when enforced across all phone models in a market and provided with a single repository to buy/download apps. One

          • by dwater (72834)

            > Yes, but both "system" and non-system apps run in the same virtual machine

            Not always.

        • by gl4ss (559668)

          it's not possible to install system(native code) apps on s40, so drop the probably.

          j2me and webapps, that's it.

          believe me, if it was possible to deploy c++ apps on s40 there would have been plenty of reason to target it with such apps(deployed in huge, huge numbers).

        • by fa2k (881632)

          Applications are definitively sandboxed on Android[...]

          *including the Google apps*. The majority of the experience is provided by sandboxed apps. On android you can even replace a lot of the basic system functionality.

          The distinction between feature phones and smartphones is largely a product of successful marketing.

          Indeed, there is no need to fixate so much on it, but it's possible to make a distinction based on capabilities.

      • And now say with a straight face that apps on android and iPhone aren't running sandboxed.

      • by fa2k (881632)

        Thank you! Finally a sensible definition.

    • by jbolden (176878)

      The serious answer has to do with price and how they co-market with carrier based plans. There is a natural continuum between dumb phones through feature phones through smart phones that is fuzzy. But for the postpay market there is not a continuum in pricing the phone has to target one market or the other.
         

  • by cupantae (1304123) <maroneill@gmaYEATSil.com minus poet> on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @03:23AM (#40981773)

    What's the difference between a feature phone and smartphone? For someone who uses strong words such as "trick" and "phony" about this, he certainly doesn't make the distinction clear.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      what it used to be? it used to be c/c++ native code programs.

      that's how it was untill windows phone 7 / iphone1(with webapps) anyhow.

      nowadays it's just price. even nokia switches phones between feature and smart devices segments on their earnings reports on whim.

    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      In the beginning, the main difference between a feature phone and smart phone was that one was also a bad PDA.
      Increased screen size, cameras, web browsing, mp3 players, and touch screens came later.

      Nowadays, there's no firm line that separates feature phones and smart phones.
      Generally the difference is price, which reflects on the features.

      I still carry around a feature phone, but the US market has mostly abandoned it.
      Your choices nowadays are almost entirely basic phones or smart phones.

    • by CAIMLAS (41445)

      In an earlier post, I just said this:

      A smartphone is one which provides capabilities for general computing, if needbe. That means apps and a way to install them, and "full control" (or close enough to it to get things done) of the device. The hardware needs to be flexible enough to move data on and off it. File management/browsing, editing various files, and so on. Printing is highly advantageous. Email and web access does not cut it.

      I should note, I don't think many of the phones (including iPhone and Android) from major carriers are smartphones because their data plans are severely crippled, eg. wifi tether or using wifi itself will incur data usage. It all depends on the phone and the carrier. These phones very well might be 'smartphones', I don't know.

  • by RanCossack (1138431) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @03:23AM (#40981777)
    That's too cruel, really.

    (Just reading the headline and wildly assuming is fine, right?)
    • by dbIII (701233) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @03:39AM (#40981863)
      It's not a Windows phone. You can tell because people are buying them.
      At this point Windows phones are doomed no matter how good they are because the phone networks hate Microsoft with a passion. Microsoft now owns Skype which the networks see as robbing them of their birthright. Until that can be dealt with Windows phones will not be bundled with network deals and to this point they do not have enough features for people to want to buy them outright instead of on a plan.
      • Windows phones will not be bundled with network deals and to this point they do not have enough features for people to want to buy them outright instead of on a plan.

        That's only in the US.

        You can get them on a plan here, but nobody does. They don't bring anything to the table except an odd kindergarten-corporate interface, and that's not a good enticement to waste money on.

      • At this point Windows phones are doomed no matter how good they are because the phone networks hate Microsoft with a passion. Microsoft now owns Skype which the networks see as robbing them of their birthright. Until that can be dealt with Windows phones will not be bundled with network deals

        Err, what?
        There are operator-subsidized offers for Lumia phones on both sides of the pond. You don't think Nokia earns only $50 on each Lumia 900 sold by AT&T, do you?
        Operators seem to have no problem offering deals for iPhone and Android phones where Skype is available as an installable application, either.

        and to this point they do not have enough features for people to want to buy them outright instead of on a plan.

        You may need to look out beyond your geeky circle of friends. Maybe you'll see enough to stop making statements about people in general based on your limited experience. I remember people like you sa

      • by jbolden (176878)

        This isTomi Ahonen BS. There is no skype boycott. Verizon is actively looking to get an Windows Phone. Nokia doesn't make a CDMA+LTE phone, which is why Verizon doesn't carry them. There is no boycott.

    • This is a Series 40 phone.

    • I wouldn't say it is too cruel. There are many similarities between my lumia 800 and my old nokia 6600 (the small S40 slider one).

      - I only use any of them to receive calls or sms with a SIM from countries where I used to live;

      - 5MP, average camera

      - dumbed down, but fast, interface

      - some apps (including maps) but more expensive and less flexible than "smartphone" ones; also a lot less variety than Android or iOS;

      - smaller resolution screens than the medium end smartphones, at their release

      Differences:

  • by l3v1 (787564) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @03:30AM (#40981817)
    "Featurephones as Smartphones"

    I don't get it. It seems these days smarta**es want "smartphone" to mean only something with ios, android, wp, etc. on it. It's not the OS that makes a smartphone "smart". Granted, it doesn't have a GPS receiver, but otherwise it's not a bad phone [1] for the price, and I wouldn't blame Nokia for marketing it with the goal of selling it - you know, that's the point.

    [1] http://www.gsmarena.com/nokia_asha_305-review-792.php [gsmarena.com]
  • by twl (5820) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @03:33AM (#40981829) Homepage

    What Nokia are doing is moving the 'smart' into the cloud. Seems smart enough to me. Not everyone wants a $600 phone...

    • What makes the phone itself dumber, actually.

  • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @03:37AM (#40981851) Homepage
    Company uses vague buzzwords to engage in nefarious tactic known as "marketing".
  • Needless to say... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tough Love (215404) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @04:19AM (#40982001)

    Needless to say, these are outselling Lumia/Windows phones by a fat country mile.

    • by 21mhz (443080) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @07:07AM (#40982589) Journal

      Needless to say, these are outselling Lumia/Windows phones by a fat country mile.

      Similarly, dirt-cheap Android phones outsell high-end Android models. Your point being?

      • by Patch86 (1465427)

        1: Android sells on cheap phones.
        2: Android sells on expensive phones.
        3: Android makers profit.

        1: Symbian sells on cheap phones.
        2: Symbian does not sell on expensive phones.
        3: Nokia profits.

        1: iOS does not sell on cheap phones.
        2: iOS sells on expensive phones.
        3: Apple profits.

        1: Windows doesn't sell on cheap phones.
        2: Windows doesn't sell on expensive phones.
        3: Microsoft does not profit.

        2 out of 2 is good. 1 out of 2 is OK. 0 out of 2 is a fail. I think that's the point.

    • by bitt3n (941736)
      "fat-country mile (n): the distance, in certain western democracies, between where you are now and any second point to which someone suggests you might walk."
  • by SpzToid (869795) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @04:22AM (#40982017)

    I am surprised not to have read this is prior comments, but Nokia gives away a (primarily Windows) desktop software environment called Nokia Suite, of which the Asha 305 seems to be a full-featured client device. I mean c'mon, when you can enter contact info into your PC and everything (appointments, etc.) sync with your tiny phone, that's like a smart phone, isn't?

    https://www.nokia.com/ph-en/support/product/305 [nokia.com]
    https://www.nokia.com/global/support/nokia-pc-suite-specifications/?view=detail [nokia.com]

    The latest Nokia Suite beta supports the Linux Nokia N9 too, (known only because I pay attention since I am pleased to own an N9).

  • by Dynamoo (527749) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @04:43AM (#40982089) Homepage
    What's the difference between a smartphone and a feature phone? Today we see feature phone with far more features than old smartphones have, for example: the Nokia Asha 311 has WiFi, 3G, a 1GHz CPU, capacitive touchscreen, media player, radio and Bluetooth. The only thing missing from a typical modern smartphone is GPS.

    The difference is deeper down though, traditionally smartphones can run native applications to extend its capabilities. These applications will typically have full access to the entire device and treat it as a computer. Feature phones are limited to applications running in an environment such as Java, and they can only interact with the virtual machine that the environment presents. So typically feature phone applications are less capable than smartphone ones.. and on top of that Java, is a battery killer. Of course, some smartphones rely a LOT on Java applications too (such as BlackBerry devices) in addition to native applications.

    One thing I can't understand though is why Nokia are even bothering with Series 40 at all when they could simply have used S60 (which is a proper smartphone OS) on these cheaper models. S60 is looking good at the moment.. just at the point it is being discontinued.

    • by ChunderDownunder (709234) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @05:14AM (#40982159)

      One thing I can't understand though is why Nokia are even bothering with Series 40 at all when they could simply have used S60 (which is a proper smartphone OS) on these cheaper models. S60 is looking good at the moment.. just at the point it is being discontinued.

      They're skimping on the RAM (128MB) by running S40. That and the small screen size shared with a hardware keyboard, whereas their S60 machines evolved to a larger touchscreen and slider keyboard.

    • by 21mhz (443080)

      One thing I can't understand though is why Nokia are even bothering with Series 40 at all when they could simply have used S60 (which is a proper smartphone OS) on these cheaper models.

      Because S60 is a barely maintainable mountain of mostly crappy code? S40 is probably much easier to maintain and develop, because it did not have the "opportunity" to accrete frameworks upon frameworks of useless abstractions needed to work around somebody else's bad design.

      • Symbian was designed by several phone manufacturers, there was no 'one-designer'. It's not unmaintainable at all, but it was difficult to write for as developers had to know about things uch as asynchronicity (you'd be surprised by how many can't get this right... every API in Symbian was asynchronous - it saved battery). As for S40, when I left Nokia they were considering a rewrite because expanding the platform became so difficult. What saved it was that it seemed to have a long-term group of developers w
  • Hardly spin (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DarkOx (621550) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @05:43AM (#40982253) Journal

    1Ghz CPU and 128 megs of ram is really quite a bit of computer power, lets get some perspective people. Just a little over a decade ago that would have described the computer in the steel case under your desk!

    These things also support 3rd party apps and browse the web. The line between feature phone and smart phone is pretty blurred here if you ask me. Feature phone used to mean its got a camera, can do MMS, and a calendar app, possibly pac-man or brick out to play with. These are lots more than. I don't think its unfair to market them as smart phones, just not top shelf. Frankly if these are not smart phones Blackberry's aint either. The only way they are not smart phones is you think being a smart phone means running Droid or iOS.

    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      Don't think I've ever seen a desktop computer with 1 GHz CPU and 128 megs of RAM. By the time 1 GHz CPUs came on the scene, most people had probably about 1 GB of RAM, possibly 512 MB. The last computer I had with 128 MB of RAM was a PII-266. Actually it originally had 64 MB of RAM and I upgraded to 256, but that was the last computer I had in that range. 128 MB doesn't get you very far these days. I had a Nokia phone [gsmarena.com] with 128 MB of RAM and it would often crash the browser with out of memory errors if
  • by Compaqt (1758360) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @06:25AM (#40982391) Homepage

    The article has a lot of phrases like:

    " widely depicted as smartphones"
    "Nokia must mask its feature phones as smartphones"
    "far from actually qualifying as smartphones"
    "sheen of smartphoniness"
    "trick the consumers into believing they are using a smartphone"
    "Jurassic-era specs for Western smartphone fans"
    "true smartphones"
    "phony smartphone strategy"

    But nowhere does it actually deign to define a "smartphone"!

    • by 21mhz (443080)

      That's the whole point. You can see it aplenty on Slashdot these days, too: people uncritically swallow bite-sized factoids if these are accompanied with a hearty dose of emotionally charged rhetoric and/or carefully doctored graphs that play to readers' sympathies. It's considered good form to get up and running with an idea suggested in the first half-sentence of the title, forget about the details buried in the summary. Don't worry about the moderators: they don't read it, either.

  • And who gets to define what is and is not a Smart Phone; the consumers that's who, this is just iPhone fanbozi attempt to remain the cool kids on the block by denigration the competition.

    • by na1led (1030470)
      The Wireless Carriers will define what a smart phone is. If your phone has too many features, like "3mp or better camera, gps, etc." they will call it a smart phone, so they can force you into purchasing a data plan. I've seen older touchscreen phones that once came without a data plan, but now they require you to get a data plan. It's just another way to force people into paying for something they don't need. You want a phone with a good camera, or maybe gps, you'll be forced into getting a data plan.
  • It looks like Nokia realized that their purpose is to make and sell phones that people want and can use. Which OS the stupid thing is running doesn't matter. What matters is whether it works or not.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    This might be buried since I am late, but here is a good definition for featurephone versus smartphone: http://laforge.gnumonks.org/papers/gsm_phone-anatomy-latest.pdf [gnumonks.org]

    "A feature phone is a phone that runs the GSM protocol stack (the software implementing the GSM protocol) as well as the user interface and all applications on a single processor."

    "A smartphone is a phone that has a dedicated processor for the GSM protocol stack, and another (potentially multi-core) general purpose processor for the user inter

  • Disclaimer: I'm not a financial analyst, I'm just some dude on Slashdot.

    I remember some years ago when SCO kept getting slapped down in court and people still believed the shares had value. I was absolutely amazed at how long it took for the shares to bottom out. But the stock market is not rational and prices do not always reflect reality. I have read pro and con thoughts on Nokia. The pro people are carrying the day right now. Their argument is that Nokia is pursuing a winning strategy with Micro
  • Try finding a phone with a good camera on it without having to pay a data plan, there is none. They purposely make the basic phones junk, forcing everyone to buy a smart phone so the wireless carriers can make more money.
  • by devent (1627873) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @12:09PM (#40985523) Homepage

    So let me get his straight. Nokia first buys Trolltech for Qt, develops Meego, drops Symbian, drops Meego and Qt, try to sell Windows Phones, and is now rescued by JavaME?

    If I were a shareholder I would be so pissed of right now.

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