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Cellphones Operating Systems Software The Almighty Buck

Nokia Paying $10M For Symbian Software Devs 210

colordev writes "Yesterday Nokia and AT&T announced a mobile software coding contest worth $10 million in prize money. The move is intended to help Symbian compete with Android and iOS. The day before this announcement, Sony Ericsson said it would not be making any new Symbian devices and is instead focusing on Android. That left Nokia pretty much alone with Symbian, and now it wants to find new coding 'friends' to keep the platform alive. Natural selection seems to be slowly eroding Symbian's future. Is this contest too late?"
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Nokia Paying $10M For Symbian Software Devs

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  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Friday September 24, 2010 @12:52PM (#33688868) Homepage

    The Grand Prize [] is only $100,000. Most of the "winners" just get some upcoming Nokia device. "Winning" means that the app receives "$1 million" in marketing promotion: "a Nokia press release, premium placement on Ovi Store, placement in Nokia digital and social media efforts, and direct consumer messaging via email and/or SMS." In other words, winning means Nokia spams for your app.

    Nokia takes a 30% cut on sales through their "Ovi Store", so they're promoting themselves.

    Nokia's total outlay on this "contest" is probably under $1 million.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 24, 2010 @12:53PM (#33688876)

    Yes, Symbian "only" has 44% of the worldwide market share of smartphones. []

  • by MrEricSir ( 398214 ) on Friday September 24, 2010 @12:58PM (#33688944) Homepage

    They used to have a lot more. 44% is way, way down from a couple years ago.

  • by Nursie ( 632944 ) on Friday September 24, 2010 @01:14PM (#33689148)

    Yes, yes and yes.

    You've been able to get add-on software for symbian phones since... well I had one in about 2005/6. Now they have the Ovi store. And yes, a lot of Nokia's Symbian phones are very similar to the competition. Not that that's always a good thing.

    Me, I wish they'd drop Symbian in favour of Meego, but it doesn't look like that's happening any time soon. They are adopting Qt for both, which should allow for some portability.

  • by TejWC ( 758299 ) on Friday September 24, 2010 @01:52PM (#33689672)

    1. Ditch the goal of moving Symbian to anything beyond dumb phones with cameras

    Many people outside of US still use it and want some compatibility with their old phones.

    2. Change the name of Meego to ANYTHING ELSE

    MeeGo is just the name of the SDK / developer platform. Most consumers will not see that name when they purchase the phone.

    3. Release Meego completely OSS and don't hamper people wanting to go in and tinker

    You can now [].

    4. Start rolling out both (Official stock) Android and Meego on devices and allow for the devices to switch back and forth between the two

    You can run MeeGo on N900. I think you can install Android on it too. MeeGo is not ready for any other device yet; not because Nokia doesn't want you to port it, simply because MeeGo doesn't have to features yet to handle any other kind of phone. Nokia doesn't think MeeGo is ready for primetime yet so you will not see it on any other phone for some time.

    5. Release a marketing campaign to choose 'the next look of Nokia'

    Wait until Q2 2011. I am not allowed to say anything else.

    6. Analyze which OS is getting better market traction and phase out the loser

    Nokia already said that they are moving to Linux/MeeGo. Qt is the "bridge" to move developers from one to another (just like how Carbon was used to move from MacOS classic to MacOS X). Talking to the people at Nokia, they already consider Symbian to be "legacy" and are already moving to MeeGo.

    7.Profit More!

    I hope Nokia will.

  • by |DeN|niS ( 58325 ) on Friday September 24, 2010 @02:06PM (#33689910)

    Oh you're such a dick. Do you work for engadget? With your skills of linking to a source and misquoting it completely, you should.

    Quote: "51 Category Winner Prizes - Each of the verified Eligible Entrants that published one of the seventeen (17) Apps selected as a First Prize Category Winner will receive a check for $150,000 USD / $156,229 CAD. Each of the verified Eligible Entrants that published one of the seventeen (17) Apps selected as a Second Prize Category Winner will receive a check for $50,000 USD / $52,076 CAD. Each of the verified Eligible Entrants that published one of the seventeen (17) Apps selected as a Third Prize Category Winner will receive a check for $25,000 USD / $26,028 CAD. Total value of Category Winner prizes $3,825,000 USD / $3,983,661 CAD."

    The 100k (times two) comes ON TOP of the 150k.

    But of course when you're not busy being a dick on the internet, you're netting 250k per app writing iOS/Android apps, right, so this is hardly worth your time.

  • by jfanning ( 35979 ) on Friday September 24, 2010 @02:32PM (#33690294) Homepage

    Uh, dropping like a stone?!

    Maybe you should check your facts a bit. []

  • by Urkki ( 668283 ) on Friday September 24, 2010 @02:59PM (#33690640)

    I'll write it in finnish, maybe you'll understand

    Youkkou makken greatikken harrdwwiikken, bukkut youkkour sooffwakkken ikkis krakkap. Frokkom a ukkuseeer poikkoint okkof viiikkew, Sykkimbian is okkkkay, but dekkevelokkkpers hakketen it. Ikkit is a hekkel to wrikkete for. Mokkove to Akkandroid alreakkidy

    FYI: Future of Symbian is Qt. After that, developer mostly doesn't even need to care what the platform is, especially if only targetting touch phones. It's not hell, it's heaven, already now. What I mean is, today you can download and install the Nokia Qt SDK, take an existing Qt application, compile and test it first in the Simulator (phone form factor selectable from menu), then (Windows only for Symbian, I think) hook up your two year old 5800XM to your PC with USB, install Qt packages from Windows Programs menu shortcuts, and compile and deploy the app to run on your phone. It'll stay installed too, so you can easily demo your creation to others even after unhooking the USB.

    It's almost like Android already!

    Warning: the SDK can be considered "beta quality" still in my experience, at least as far as installation is concerned, so it might, but also it might not "just work". If stupid installation problem crap puts you off, perhaps wait for next release of the SDK...

    Of course having Qt doesn't do anything about the Ovi store, but perhaps the new CEO can do the necessary yelling, kicking and whipping to get the stupidities fixed.

  • by |DeN|niS ( 58325 ) on Friday September 24, 2010 @04:15PM (#33691464)

    The US basically does not have SIM-only contracts. To sell phones you need to do so through an operator. Operators insist of things like disabling frequencies of competing carriers, disabling tethering, installing crapware ("Verizon navigator" anyone), etc. Nokia always stayed away from this, and this has been fine as the US market has always been a bit backwards anyway. However, it has become a whole different market in the last few years, and worth getting into, as shown by this AT&T deal. We'll have to see what kind of device(s) with what kind of features come out. Incidentally, doesn't the iPhone exclusivity run out H1 2011 ?

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.