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Nokia Reasserts Control Over Symbian OS 135

jfruhlinger writes "Nokia is asserting its control over the Symbian OS that runs many of its smartphones, taking the tasks of developing the operating system away from the independent Symbian Foundation, which will now focus on licensing and intellectual property issues. Of course, this also illustrates Symbian's importance to Nokia's smartphone plans, even though the company is also developing phones that run the Linux-based Meego OS."
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Nokia Reasserts Control Over Symbian OS

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  • by RobXiii ( 685386 ) on Monday November 08, 2010 @03:38PM (#34164734)
    After reading a different mobile phone thread on Slashdot, someone mentioned how much they loved their Nokia N900. I picked one up after that, and I absolutely love it. I even managed to put NES/SNES/Genesis/C-64 emulators on it, and paired a PS3 controller to it, good times. It supports skype / google video calls, and uses wifi. It's the most modern phone I've used, so I don't have anything to compare it to, but I enjoy it :P
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 08, 2010 @03:39PM (#34164754)

    I have a n900 for personal use and an iphone for work.

    The n900 is a decent phone but is starting to fall behind. The open source of it is nice, but doesn't make up for the flaws.

  • by icebike ( 68054 ) on Monday November 08, 2010 @03:40PM (#34164768)

    Little out of touch (see what I did there?) are you?

    Maybe you should visit their website some day?

    They are still the 800 pound gorilla in the cell industry. Just because you don't see them much in the USA, don't make the mistake of dismissing them.

  • yes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by maestroX ( 1061960 ) on Monday November 08, 2010 @03:42PM (#34164794)
    You mean those stable easy to use no frills just work everywhere days on a battery nokia's?
    Well, unless you're into the Google maps latitude facebook youtube pinging skype goatse there's this thingy with which you can talk to other people without software disruptions or lag. Only 20-30 bucks.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 08, 2010 @03:44PM (#34164822)

    I just can't help myself, but to see Symbian dead in its tracks. In User Interface so far behind, that no matter of add-on modules can save it from obscurity.

  • by NetCow ( 117556 ) on Monday November 08, 2010 @03:46PM (#34164850)
    Market share is an iffy thing - it's here one day, gone the next. Unfortunately the Symbian adoption is not only slowing, it's negative (I say unfortunately because you can pry my beloved E72 out of my clammy, dead fingers.) Hopefully Nokia will be able to turn it around.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 08, 2010 @03:51PM (#34164908)

    Tell me when you can do multitasking (I currently have 5 web pages, one terminal and mailbox open) and dual/triple boot on your working toy. And BTW, I have done the comparison with a co-worker here - his iphone 4G drops calls like crazy unlike my 'falling behind' and 'flawed' n900.

    Stop pretending you have a N900 - stick to your beloved toy and leave the minority of us alone. Just go away.

  • by M8e ( 1008767 ) on Monday November 08, 2010 @03:59PM (#34165014)

    I buy them because they "just work", can be abused(Taking a few baths, going from +20c to -25c and back hundreds of times and being dropped repeatedly) and when it's finaly dies you can just use a spare/old one or buy a new one for 50$.

    Another good thing is that their chargers have used the same connector and voltage for something like 15 years. Everyone have a nokia charger.

  • by Eponymous Coward ( 6097 ) on Monday November 08, 2010 @04:13PM (#34165236)

    They will only be a problem for Apple if they start to siphon significant developers away from Apple, Android, and Blackberry. They might be a problem for Windows Phone 7 though. That could be a battle.

    They sell more phones than anybody, but not when you look at individual segments. For the smartphone market, they aren't doing very well and I really don't see what they can do to turn that around. Fantastic hardware isn't enough. In fact, I would say fantastic marketing is more important than engineering.

  • by Stan Vassilev ( 939229 ) on Monday November 08, 2010 @04:25PM (#34165512)

    Of course, this also illustrates Symbian's importance to Nokia's smartphone plans, even though the company is also developing phones that run the Linux-based Meego OS.

    To me this illustrates that Nokia is not aware of the 80/20 rule and has no focused coherent strategy for their OS platform.

    At the same time as Nokia's competitors are hard at work proving the world needs only one smartphone platform, and it's their one platform, Nokia is one company making two platforms...

  • by dara ( 119068 ) on Monday November 08, 2010 @04:34PM (#34165642)

    I've been following the Meego 1.1 release news (I enjoyed http://www.visionmobile.com/blog/2010/11/the-meego-progress-report-a-or-d/ [visionmobile.com]), and have read up on a few other Nokia stories (N8 reviews, rumored N9 devices, etc.) and I don't quite understand what their long run goals with Symbian are. I mostly read bad opinions of it, e.g. Engadget (http://www.engadget.com/2010/10/14/nokia-n8-review/) loved certain aspects of the N8's hardware but didn't like the software. Symbian is probably the main thing keeping me from getting an N8 (that and the screen is disappointing). Nokia has announced there will be no more high end phones (higher than the N8) that will run Symbian, they will all run Meego. Phones are always getting more capable and I imagine the Meego stack will be optimized going forward, so how many interesting phones going forward are even going to run Symbian?

    Given that Meego isn’t ready, I could be a lot more interested in Symbian if Nokia released hardware that they promise will support Meego when 1.2 is released, but for now runs Symbian. I was hoping that would be the case with the N8 since I really like the camera on that phone, and it literally seems to have no competition right now, but I can find nothing online speculating that Meego will ever work on an N8. Going with a transition strategy would let them release more phones even though Meego isn’t really ready (I hope it is ready in Q1, but maybe it won’t be working all that well into Q4 or later.

    One more gripe for Nokia - I sure hope they aren’t considering releasing an N9 with a camera that doesn’t match or supersede the N8. The leaks (which could be totally bogus) implied the camera was not as capable (smaller sensor size, no Zeiss, less pixels). What the hell. I’m not going to feel great about spending money on a Meego phone when older Symbian phones can outperform it in ANY area (GPS, call quality, speed, picture/video quality, you name it).

    One big plug for Nokia - good job making offline map viewing a key part of Ovi Maps. One of the things I hate about my iPhone (and Android phones I’ve tried) is that getting Google to cache maps seems like a super pain - I don’t want to install third party programs just to be able to use this fancy piece of electronics with huge memory, nice display and a GPS as a stand-alone GPS. It is the main thing that got me to investigate Nokia as an option to move to from iPhone instead of Android. But I’m not really sure I can wait long enough for Meego and Symbian isn’t inspiring enough.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 08, 2010 @04:52PM (#34165922)

    Hmm... please update your facts. Have a look at how many platforms e.g. Samsung has. Or LG. Or HTC. Or Nokia, actually too (if "two" platforms wasn't a typo...).

  • Re:Good (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sznupi ( 719324 ) on Monday November 08, 2010 @05:55PM (#34166874) Homepage

    Well, Japanese seem to also think it's a reasonable choice (though their flavor is not part of S60 lineage of course)

    And a few dozens of millions of phones are already there - Qt SDK supports Symbian versions which are hitting 4 years now.

  • by Ecuador ( 740021 ) on Monday November 08, 2010 @06:18PM (#34167154) Homepage

    I have an iPhone supplied by my company and it stays tethered to my dev box as a debugger. I never once had the urge to carry it around with me as I was happy with a plain dumb phone and an older (but much more capable than an iPhone PDA - the X51v with full VGA, 624MHz etc) for when I wanted to watch movies (without having to recompress them) while traveling. And sometimes I would have to do a little work while on the road, so a full keyboard, ssh etc were required.
    That was until a year ago, when I switched to a N900. It can do everything my phone, my pda and my netbook can do (with varying degrees of success) and more!
    - As a phone: I still say basic phones are better than any smartphone (and especially touch-screen ones) for the actual making of calls where large screens are simply a disadvantage and small sizes, physical keys etc make a better experience. Moreover, I suspect the "flaws" you refer to are in the phone part of the N900, since it is rather obvious that the developers had geeks in mind, so it still feels like a phone app running on a computer and not a phone that has more capabilities. But there really is nothing particularly annoying and the audio quality and reception are very good. Plus there are some nice advantages. For example when making a call you can go through your voice network or through skype - this is rather seamless from a UI perspective. Then, you have "conversations" which is like a multi-IM client, but SMSs are also treated the same way, showing discussion threads with your contacts.
    -As a PDA: See below. It can do much more than any PDA has ever been able to do.
    -As a Netbook replacement: I can't really launch my IDE, but I have ssh/svn and vi to do my emergency code edits and have my projects rebuilt on my servers etc. That is what I personally needed the Netbook for, but apart from that it is a full linux machine, even has a full (flash etc) browser and I can open and switch from/to many apps/windows without feeling I am on a limited device. Plus I don't need an extra 3G usb dongle to have broadband everywhere, or an extra bluetooth gps to find my way!
    Anyway, let us say this is the ultimate geek device that can also act as a phone and it would be great if they can give us a worthy successor and also work on polishing Maemo/MeeGo for non-geek users so that everyone can enjoy the best (says I) mobile platform.

  • by drolli ( 522659 ) on Monday November 08, 2010 @07:56PM (#34168200) Journal

    > But if you're going to write code in Qt, why not just target Meego instead?

    Because of 100s of Millions of Symbian phones with potential customers?

  • Re:Unavoidable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hitmark ( 640295 ) on Monday November 08, 2010 @11:26PM (#34169700) Journal

    Perhaps on feature phones. But their smartphone range is a no show in areas where carriers love to "neuter" features (to get people to use one of their "services" instead), because said features is a major part of nokia marketing.

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