Tag Archives: MeeGo

More trouble for Nokia as Symbian Foundation chief quits

20 Oct

First it was Nokia’s CEO Olli, Pekka Kallasvuo, then its veteran and head of smartphone unit, Anssi Vanjoki, to be closely followed by the chief of its upcoming MeeGo operating system Ari Jaaksi. In the latest change of guards, Symbian Foundation’s executive director, Lee Williams, has left the foundation. Like Jaaksi, Williams too cites personal reasons for his decision. The former was snapped up by rival HP to work on webOS. Williams has been replaced by Tim Holbrow, who till now was the Symbian Foundation’s CFO.

 

Nokia had bought Symbian and floated the Symbian Foundation hoping to create a formidable rival to iOS and Android. It wanted the Foundation to be independent of Nokia with the aim of attracting other handset vendors, who would also contribute to developing Symbian. However, Symbian Foundation has so far been unsuccessful as both Samsung and Sony Ericsson made it clear a few months ago that they won’t be launching any Symbian smartphones. Samsung launched its own operating system, Bada, while Sony Ericsson embraced Android. Nokia is the only major handset vendor to still use Symbian, which is now proving to be at least a couple of years behind Android and iOS.

 

Symbian has failed to evolve and even Nokia started looking at MeeGo as the platform for future high-end smartphones. However, the first new devices running MeeGo are expected only next year, which means that Nokia would miss out on the crucial Christmas shopping season. initially, MeeGo smartphones were expected to be launched before the end of 2010. At best, Nokia would now be able to port it to its N900 Internet Tablet, which we think is an outdated piece of hardware and has not been a runaway hit.

 

Considering the current scenario, in all probability Nokia will fail to catch up with Android and iOS even through 2011. Unless Nokia has a hidden operating system up its sleeve or migrates to Android, there seems very little hope for the company to survive in the high-end, high-margin smartphone space. If Android is not an option, Nokia’s only resort could be to manufacture multimedia phones and mid-end business phones in its E-series range. If you ask about MeeGo, we think it would take at least a year to mature but by then both iOS and Android would be out of Nokia’s reach.

Ex-MeeGo boss joins Palm's webOS effort

16 Oct

Barely a week after Nokia announced the departure of Ari Jaaksi, the head of its MeeGo smartphone division, HP has announced his appointment as the senior vice president of Palm’s webOS operating system. HP had acquired Palm earlier this year and is expected to announce new smartphones and Internet Tablets running on webOS early next year. This would be a big blow for Nokia, which expects MeeGo to run on a gamut of gadgets including smartphones and Internet Tablets, among others.



MeeGo was announced earlier this year at MWC and was formed by combining Nokia’s Maemo and Intel’s Moblin operating systems. The first devices running MeeGo are expected to be available next year, while Nokia is expected to port it to its N900 Internet Tablet, which runs Maemo, later this year.



It is unlikely for webOS to dominate the smartphone space where iOS and Android are the buzz words. Apple already is at least a year ahead of its competition while Android has the clout of numerous smartphones from a variety of manufacturers at all price segments. However, webOS and Windows Phone 7 together could potentially challenge Nokia’s devices running on Symbian and eventually MeeGo platforms. Currently, Nokia is banking on its superior hardware quality (the N8 being a prime example) even as it struggles to get a grip on the operating system and user interface fronts.



With Jaaksi joining a rival camp, things can only get difficult for the world’s largest handset vendor.



SOURCE: Reuters

Nokia's MeeGo boss calls it quits fuelling rumors about Android becoming Nokia's OS of choice

6 Oct

Even as Nokia’s distribution channel races against time to ensure N8 units are available on shelves across the world, Nokia suffered yet another major loss as its vice president of MeeGo devices, Ari Jaaksi has called it quits citing personal reasons. Nokia announced MeeGo earlier this year at MWC with Intel, hoping it would help it regain some lost ground even as Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android operating systems for smartphones fill the void left by Nokia’s Symbian and Microsoft’s Windows Mobile.



Jaaksi is the latest in the exodus of high profile executives to leave Nokia after its CEO, Olli Pekka Kalasvou was replaced by Stephen Elop and Anssi Vanjoki resigned after being passed for the top job. Even Nokia’s former CEO and current chairman, Jorma Ollila, is expected to step down in 2012.



While Nokia maintains that it will launch a smartphone running on the MeeGo platform in 2010, various news reports quote Intel execs as saying that the first devices will be launched only in 2011.



Time is running out for Nokia to come out with high-end smartphones that can take on iPhone and Android smartphones, and every passing day will make it even tougher for the world’s largest cellphone vendor. Microsoft it expected to launch its first smartphones running Windows Phone 7 next week, on October 11.



Ironically, today is also the day when I got hold of the Nokia N8, which is expected to be launched in India next week. While Symbian is no where close to compete with the two dominating smartphone operating system, I found it to be an excellent device for multimedia users who care more about their music and pictures than Internet browsing on the cellphone. Nokia’s Ovi Music Store offers N8 users unlimited song downloads from its repository of over a million songs.



Symbian might still have enough stamina in it to help Nokia be present in the mid-end multimedia segment but it will need much more to compete with some of the best smartphones available from Nokia’s rivals. If MeeGo is taking longer than expected, Nokia might have to look at other alternatives as a stop-gap arrangement.



While I do not think Nokia would look at employing Android or licensing Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 OS (Nokia and Microsoft had tied up for some services earlier this year but OS licensing was not a part of the deal or at least that was not announced), many are speculating that it might just happen. TechCrunch is reporting that Nokia’s new CEO, Elop might be talking to his counterpart at Google, Eric Schmidt, about an arrangement where Android might power some of Nokia’s top-of-the-line smartphones while its engineers keep working on MeeGo.



To be honest, that would possibly be Nokia’s last option, just like Finn boys pissing in their pants to keep themselves warm while they search for an alternative source of heat.

Intel, Nokia create joint lab to bring Star Wars' 3D hologram tech to MeeGo devices

24 Aug

If Intel and Nokia have their way, your MeeGo smartphone would very soon be able to project a 3D hologram of the person you are talking to! Sounds inspired by Star Wars but that’s exactly what the researchers at Finland’s University of Oulu will attempt to do, in collaboration with Intel and Nokia. Apart from bringing their favourite science fiction tech to reality, they would also focus on 3-D user interfaces and experiences on MeeGo devices.



Image Courtesy: Daily Mail

Nokia, your time starts now!

3 Jul

It is probably for the first time, ever, that Nokia has agreed it is the underdog in the smartphone space and it comes from none other than Anssi Vanjoki, who now heads the Finnish handset giant’s ‘Mobile Solutions’ business that is essentially tasked with bringing hi-end smartphones (and probably Internet tablets).



I am committed, perhaps even obsessed, with getting Nokia back to being number one in high-end devices. Achieving this will require performance and efforts over and above the norm,” he wrote in a blog post.



Vanjoki also clarified that Nokia would bank upon Symbian and MeeGo for its smartphone portfolio. However, the upcoming N8 will be Nokia’s last smartphone running on Symbian^3 OS but he added that there is a “very strong possibility” of seeing a Symbian^4 N-series device. This does not bode well for the N8.



Having said that, it is reassuring to see the biggest player in the business admitting its weakness and promising it will do more to address it. Now all that we ask Vanjoki and Nokia to do is to put these words into action. We certainly won’t mind some competition in the smartphone space, which is currently dominated by Apple and Google.

Nokia previews an early build of MeeGo

1 Jul

Today, the MeeGo team at Nokia has previewed an early developer build of MeeGo. Yes, it is only MeeGo 1.1 developer build and isn’t final yet but considering that the first devices running on MeeGo will be available in October, we expect the DNA of the new OS to remain intact as this build. More features and interface elements would be added along the way, for sure. It looks pretty basic to us at the moment and nothing really screams out that might make Apple, Google or even Microsoft nervous for the time being. Here’s a video of MeeGo 1.1 in action. Let us know what you think about it.



Nokia N9 gets handled on video, Nokia set to abandon its weird QWERTY keyboard

29 Jun

Nokia’s next (and probably the last N-series) Symbian smartphone has received a detailed hands-on treatment on camera. Yes, it has a Nokia N97-like slide and tilt display (albeit it seems to be a bit larger), an 8.0 MP camera, an HDMI out, multi-touch and all that you can expect from a high-end smartphone.

However, what really caught our attention was the flat QWERTY keypad with the spacebar key at its proper location rather than tucked away near the right corner that made users hit the ‘m’ key instead. Unfortunately, the N9 (that’s the popular opinion for its name) is still running on Symbian S60 fifth edition, which is something that even Nokia would not be proud about.

On a personal note, I believe that most of Nokia’s recent smartphones (barring the N900) had some of the best hardware that were let down by a buggy operating system and a dated user interface. Hopefully, the N9 will bring some glory to a dying/dead (take your pick) operating system and pave the way for some high-end MeeGo smartphones.

Nokia N9 from Negri Electronics on Vimeo.