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

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  #1  
Old 09-08-2010, 07:33 AM
slitchfield slitchfield is offline
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Why the Budget Battle of the Smartphones is important

For all the talk of N8's, iPhone 4 and Galaxy S smartphones, there's another much more important battle happening. At the low end of the market, cheap footsoldiers such as the Symbian-powered Nokia 5230 are gearing up for a fight with Android devices like the ZTE Racer. Can Android provide as much of a success as S60 5th Edition in the £100-and-under market? And why could it be regarded as the key battleground for market share? Read on for my thoughts...

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  #2  
Old 09-08-2010, 08:22 AM
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ewan i hear what you're saying and see some merits in it BUT wasn't the rush for numbers without actually monetizing them one of the prime causes of the .com boom / bust cycle?

a blind rush for numbers is meaningless unless they can be monetized and it sure as hell isn't a strategy that will work these days

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Old 09-08-2010, 08:38 AM
brendand brendand is offline
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That's a meaningless comment, because these phones aren't loss leaders being pushed out for the sake of marketshare. The margins may be thin, but they do make money for Nokia. This may not be the case for ZTE and their Android phones - I don't know to be honest.

  #4  
Old 09-08-2010, 09:20 AM
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_fakefur,

Google have acknowledged that Android OS is bringing them in roughly $10 per handset per year. So while it's a free licence in theory to use, they still get income.

Nokia's margins on phnes, especially when they are selling millions of each handset, means they are not selling these at a loss. And while the networks are potentially adding a bit of subsidy, the phones drive up ARPU through data connectivity and software. It frankly is a win all round.

And if one or two big players are left standing from the 12 that started the year n hardware and software,t hat's a lot of $10 to pick up
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  #5  
Old 09-08-2010, 09:42 AM
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By getting low cost handsets out there keeps the Nokia and Symbian name in circulation, gets entry level users who may follow the upgrade path and establishes the platform as a de facto.

Having messed up big with the N97, Nokia are playing a good strategy to bridge the time until they recover the more pemium sector, and catch a new generation of smartphone users that were created by the propagation of the low cost handsets.

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Old 09-08-2010, 09:44 AM
Dazzy Dazzy is offline
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I had a brief chat with Steve about this some months ago on Twitter, and I personally cant see how Android will run on cheap devices fluently if 2.1 struggles on the HTC Hero, and it has specs that are more than comparable to the current Symbian phones. Anything less and it will be unbearable I suspect. If Android 3.0 is as rumoured it wont run on many of the current Android devices either and specs will have to go up and prices too.

A slow phone or computer is the most annoying thing and in the end consumers just get fed up.

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Old 09-08-2010, 11:29 AM
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However, if today's high-end is tomorrow's budget model, I see no reason why Android 2.1 or even 1.6 couldn't thrive in the budget world.

Also, the Betamax/JVC argument doesn't really hold water. The car market seems to be a better analogy for the wireless devices market. Companies like BMW thrive even though they don't compete in the low-end ranges. Even Porsche would still be independent if it didn't try to acquire VW. Apple here is the BMW of the market. Nokia for many years looked like the Toyota of the group (dominant in all sectors), though its stumbles of late make that less apt (though perhaps in light of Toyota's recent issues, maybe it is on point). Google is like the Tata Motors, in that it is the upstart that is making rapid gains.

  #8  
Old 09-08-2010, 11:49 AM
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Reality check:
Android's on between less than 1% - 2% market share, Symbian's on 41%.
Android's now selling 200,000 phones a day, Symbian's selling 300,000. You do the maths.

Also, Android is technically immature, limited in a variety of technical ways, runs on a virtual machine, gets the CPU to do all the work, and NEEDS that high end expensive CPU to give a half decent user experience. Symbian is the most mature and technically sophisticated OS out there and leads the pack by a LONG way in running well on cheap hardware. With the UI improvements of Symbian^3 and beyond i wouldn't rate Android's chances in being a threat to Symbian.

That said it is definitely a good thing for Nokia/Symbian to have some competition at all price points.

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Old 09-08-2010, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KPOM View Post
However, if today's high-end is tomorrow's budget model, I see no reason why Android 2.1 or even 1.6 couldn't thrive in the budget world.

Also, the Betamax/JVC argument doesn't really hold water. The car market seems to be a better analogy for the wireless devices market. Companies like BMW thrive even though they don't compete in the low-end ranges. Even Porsche would still be independent if it didn't try to acquire VW. Apple here is the BMW of the market. Nokia for many years looked like the Toyota of the group (dominant in all sectors), though its stumbles of late make that less apt (though perhaps in light of Toyota's recent issues, maybe it is on point). Google is like the Tata Motors, in that it is the upstart that is making rapid gains.
BMW make the 116i and the mini which are competitive at the low end. They are also in all sectors except supercar, with a massive choice of different products. Unlike Apple who make one product with a choice of colour and storage capacity. If Betamax doesn't hold water, the BMW analogy is a wire shopping basket.

Google is like an independent car designer not manufacturer having produced a chassis and allowing other makers to use it to base their own vehicles on. Tata usually get in their designs from such people.

I don't think there is a business model like Apple in any industry. Certainly there is no industry car maker that concentrates all their efforts on a single product and then sells it mass market so anyone can have one, and then supports the product with after-market services.

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Old 09-08-2010, 12:48 PM
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Also, Android is technically immature, limited in a variety of technical ways, runs on a virtual machine, gets the CPU to do all the work, and NEEDS that high end expensive CPU to give a half decent user experience. Symbian is the most mature and technically sophisticated OS out there and leads the pack by a LONG way in running well on cheap hardware. With the UI improvements of Symbian^3 and beyond i wouldn't rate Android's chances in being a threat to Symbian.

.
It's true but how is Symbian based on 1997 EPOC32 more mature than an OS such as Android based on 1991 linux? As a phone OS I suppose it is more mature.

  #11  
Old 09-08-2010, 01:37 PM
clonmult clonmult is offline
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Quote:
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It's true but how is Symbian based on 1997 EPOC32 more mature than an OS such as Android based on 1991 linux? As a phone OS I suppose it is more mature.
EPOC32/Symbian was designed from the ground up to be a mobile OS.

As good as Android can be, the core OS wasn't originally designed for mobiles. Sure, LinuxUnix based OS's can be tailored to many purposes, but it wasn't truly designed for mobile usage. And also, isn't Android based on a virtual machine?

  #12  
Old 09-08-2010, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Clonmult
e. And also, isn't Android based on a virtual machine?
Yes, Dalvik VM. A bit of an overhead unfortunately.

And more on the car analogies above. Android is not originally Google, it's a buy-in technology, Google bought Android Inc. They are the technology provider not hardware maker though.

  #13  
Old 09-08-2010, 04:08 PM
KPOM
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Reality check:
Android's on between less than 1% - 2% market share, Symbian's on 41%.
Android's now selling 200,000 phones a day, Symbian's selling 300,000. You do the maths.
However, Symbian has been around since the late 1990s. Android has been around since 2008. If we look at the trajectory, Android is in ramp-up mode. Symbian is growing slower than the rest of the smartphone market.

Even if we accept Symbian has a long future as a low- to mid-range OS, the assertion that it somehow helps them at the high-end is a bit dubious. That said, I do agree Symbian will survive in the low- and mid-range segments. Nokia has such huge economies of scale, it's difficult to see HTC or others making significant headway in the next 5 years.

  #14  
Old 09-08-2010, 04:13 PM
KPOM
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BMW make the 116i and the mini which are competitive at the low end. They are also in all sectors except supercar, with a massive choice of different products. Unlike Apple who make one product with a choice of colour and storage capacity. If Betamax doesn't hold water, the BMW analogy is a wire shopping basket.
Two flaws here. First, the 116i and MINI are marketed as premium cars, not econoboxes competing against the likes of the Ford Ka. Second, in the US, which is BMW's biggest market, they do not sell anything with less than a 2.8L engine, apart from the MINI, which is marketed as a niche premium product. Thus, there is no 116i, or even a 320d. BMW and MINI are very much the "Apple" of the US car market.

  #15  
Old 09-08-2010, 04:18 PM
Jimmy1 Jimmy1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dazzy View Post
...and I personally cant see how Android will run on cheap devices fluently if 2.1 struggles on the HTC Hero...
Uh, Moore's Law, anyone? And dropping components prices?

The prior year's Hero, is today's give away feature phone. By the end of this year, the Milestone's/original Droid's hardware will be for all purposes, given away on contract, and that can most definitely run Android smoothly, along with the whole Android app market.

That's why it's important for Nokia to be competitive in the high end again, because today's high end is tomorrow's middle, and the day after's low end. Within two or three years, a dirt poor farmer in Africa or India will be able to afford a basic smart phone with a 1GHz processor. By then, the high end will be featuring multi core smart phones, but they really won't be phones anymore, and they're really not now. They're PDAs and convergence pocket computers.
 

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