All About Symbian - Nokia (S60) and Sony Ericsson (UIQ) smartphones unwrapped

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Old 16-10-2008, 08:14 AM
slitchfield slitchfield is offline
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A critical glance over at Android and the G1

I have to confess a liking for the Boy Genius Report - all very American, but they don't pull their punches. In this case going over the first Google Android device, T-Mobile's G1, with a very Steve-like critical eye and pointing out a number of serious 'version 1' flaws and summarising the challenge facing Android. It's not Symbian, but many see Android as a serious competitor to Symbian in the future, so this is worth a read.

Read on in the full article.

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Old 16-10-2008, 11:50 AM
ajck ajck is offline
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I had to do a professional study of Android and iPhone SDKs recently. I like Android and think it has much potential - the internal architecture is lovely in many respects, and the openness so much better than Apple's fascism with the iPhone. That said, it's what's in people's hands that counts, and Symbian must be heading for 250 million sales now (226 million at end of June), and Symbian has lots of experience embedded in a solid product.

Android has much potential, but we'd do very well to separate views of Android handsets from the Android OS. The G1 looks like a clunky pile of rubbish, which is what you'd expect from HTC and it's Windows Mobile background. It is a pity Google did not choose to partner with someone better for their launch handset. Motorola have allocated 350 engineers to making Android handsets, but clearly not in time for this first Android launch.

I suspect one of Android's strongest areas might be in the very low end. The developing world particularly is in need of vastly more capable handsets, at very low prices. Contrary to popular belief, and official statements, there is some strongish evidence that Android runs very well on very low end chipsets such as ARM7 (despite the limitations of that chip in comparison to later ARMs) and I think there is much potential, with careful UI design, to offer real power to those people who have put up with very low end capabilities for a long time. Particularly when you think that much of the developing world will never have laptops or other PCs, and have already been using mobiles as their "personal computers" for some time now.

Alex
phonething.com
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Old 17-10-2008, 12:11 AM
Tzer2 Tzer2 is offline
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I think a potential problem is the way everyone has concentrated on the OS, which just isn't a big selling point for the mainstream user.

How many people actually go into a phone shop and say "Show me something that runs Symbian/Windows Mobile/OS X etc"?

Phones are sold to the vast majority of consumers based on the brand of the device, not the OS running on it. People buy Nokias, Samsungs etc.

It's only really PDA users and tech enthusiasts who worry about their phone's OS, but they're a tiny fraction of the phone world as a whole. Android needs to be in handsets that are desirable for other reasons.



Quote:
The developing world particularly is in need of vastly more capable handsets, at very low prices
Actually Symbian could do very well in that market, for example the 5500 Sport (which runs S60 3rd Edition) is currently on sale SIM-free at about 120 euros plus taxes, and I suspect we'll be seeing S60 devices under the 100 euro barrier next year.


Quote:
Particularly when you think that much of the developing world will never have laptops or other PCs, and have already been using mobiles as their "personal computers" for some time now.
Yes, this is a very important point which seems to be lost on rich world journalists. A smartphone with TV Out is becoming an increasingly plausible replacement for a PC, and possibly the only computing option for most of the world's population.

Televisions are far more ubiquitous than monitors, and phones are far more ubiquitous than computers: if a TV and phone can act as a computer, most people will just use that combination because most people simply don't have access to a dedicated PC.

USB host mode may be another important development in making smartphones cheap alternatives to PCs, because USB accessories such as keyboards are incredibly cheap and well within the budgets of virtually anyone who can afford a basic mobile phone.

If a smartphone could output to any SCART set at, say, VGA resolution and use a mouse and keyboard, that is going to be just about good enough for the majority of computing tasks that most people would want to carry out.
 

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