Tag Archives: Nokia

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 Williams has been replaced by Tim Holbrow, who till now was the Symbian Foundation’s CFO.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 At best, Nokia would now be able to port it to its N900 Internet Tablet, which we think is an outdated piece of hardware and has not been a runaway hit.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 C7 starts shipping

11 Oct

After the Nokia N8, the Finnish vendor has started shipping its second smartphone based on the Symbian^3 platform, the C7, to various countries around the world.



The Nokia C7 features a 3.5-inch AMOLED display and comes with three customisable homescreens. It’s got a couple of pre-installed social networking apps and mail accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo! mail and Windows Live Hotmail.  It houses an 8.0 MP snapper with dual LED flash, 8 GB of onboard storage (expandable up to 32 GB with a microSD card) and will offer a talktime of 9.5 hours on 2G networks and 5 hours on 3G networks. On the connectivity front, the Nokia C7 features Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPRS and EDGE.



The Nokia C7 will hit various countries this quarter and will cost users approximately Rs 20,000 before taxes and subsidies. It would be interesting to see whether users go for the C7 or the N8, which will be launched in India tomorrow for an MRP of Rs 26,295.

Nokia's new CEO, Stephen Elop, to take over Anssi Vanjoki's role

9 Oct

Stephen Elop, Nokia’s newly elected president and CEO, will take over Anssi Vanjoki’s role of the head of Mobile Solutions unit, which churns out smartphones running on Symbian operating system, till a replacement is found. Vanjoki resigned from Nokia when Elop, an outsider, and not him, was offered the CEO’s role. Vanjoki has been with Nokia since 1991 and is believed to have been the one to choose Nokia’s ringtone, which now is the most widely used piece of music. He has also played a key role in creating Nokia as the world’s largest cellphone vendor from scratch. Vanjoki will serve his six months notice period, which ends on May 11, 2011.

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.

Nokia ties up with IGNOU to offer certificate programme in Functional English via Ovi Life Tools

23 Sep

Now doing Certification Programme in Functional English (CFE) from Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) will be possible through Nokia’s Ovi Life Tools service. Since the project is in the first stage, the Finnish vendor and the Indian university are running a pilot project for CFE in districts of Maharashtra for a period of six months. After the completion of the pilot project, IGNOU admission forms will be made available on Ovi Life Tools and enrolled students will receive daily learning content (Study aid and Reinforcer) on Ovi Life Tools, followed by a certificate by IGNOU after the completion of the programme.

Nokia announces 3 new Symbian^3 smartphones – the E7, the C7 and the C6-01

15 Sep

At the Nokia World event today in London, the Finnish vendor announced three new touchscreen smartphones – the Nokia E7, the Nokia C7 and the Nokia C6-01, yet again, based on the Symbian^3 OS. The smartphones will hit the Indian shores in Q4 this year. 



The Nokia E7 has a 4.0 inch AMOLED display with a slider QWERTY keypad, offers Wi-Fi connectivity, GPS, 3.5 mm audio jack and an 8.0 MP camera. It features Nokia’s latest ClearBlack technology for improved outdoor visibility. The device will come pre-installed with a couple of business apps like Salesforce for Symbian, Bloomberg, F-Secure Mobile Security, Microsoft Communicator Mobile and JoikuSpot. The E7 will be available for approximately Rs 29,000.



The Nokia C7 sports a 3.5 inch AMOLED display, an 8.0 MP snapper with dual LED Flash and HD video recording, FM radio, Bluetooth, 3.5 mm audio jack and Wi-Fi support. It has an inbuilt memory of 8 GB which is upgradable up to 32 GB with a microSD card support. The C7 will offer a talktime of 5 hours on 3G networks and will cost somewhere around Rs 19,000.



The Nokia C6-01 is the latest avatar of the Nokia C6. The new smartphone has declined the QWERTY keypad form factor which was there on the original Nokia C6 and is sporting the bar look. The device has a 3.2 inch AMOLED display, an 8.0 MP snapper that supports HD video recording at 720p and a secondary camera for video calling. The list of conncetivity features includes Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, A-GPS and a 3.5 mm audio jack. It will be available at the retail outlets in Q4 this year like the other 2 devices but its pricing remains undisclosed for the moment.