Tag Archives: Symbian Foundation

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 Williams has been replaced by Tim Holbrow, who till now was the Symbian Foundation’s CFO.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 At best, Nokia would now be able to port it to its N900 Internet Tablet, which we think is an outdated piece of hardware and has not been a runaway hit.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

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.