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

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Old 01-08-2007, 06:38 AM
slitchfield slitchfield is offline
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Sendo and the handset giant - the story behind the Moto Z8

Rafe Blandford exercises his editorial overview privileges and provides the back story and possible future for the Moto Z8, the kick-slide smartphone that he reviewed in detail recently (links below). Did you know that the Z8 was developed in secrecy in Birmingham?

Read on in the full article.

  #2  
Old 01-08-2007, 09:53 AM
satsuma satsuma is offline
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Rafe, thanks for an insightful and interesting analysis.
I am sure Motorola's UIQ team will go on to produce more high tier handsets with advanced features and that can only be good for the industry and consumers.

Looking at your analysis of the Motorola S/W platform and product portfolio, I have produced a diagram of how I think the positioning might pan out and attached it.

I have deliberately excluded P2K as it is not destined for much future development.
However, as you noted the RAZR2 V9 is a P2K handset because it can support 3G and Linux Java cannot. Therefore I would expect to see more P2K handsets released that might/should have been Linux Java on 3G.

Personally I think Motorola missed a trick by not releasing some of the EZX (Linux) handsets in Europe.

The likes of the ROKR E6 and Moto MING have been successful in Asia and there could have sold reasonably well in Europe / North America with little adaptation.
At a time when shareholders/analysts groaned that Motorola had nothing interesting in the shops, just the presence of these devices would have lifted some pressure since they are more multimedia capable than what Motorola has offered in 2006 and early 2007.

There are still no 3G Linux Java handsets announced.
Canary (K1) didn't sing, Sumba (K3) didn't roar and Ascension (Z6) hasn't risen.
Motorola has offered low end features in different wrappings and been found out.

In the mean time, Nokia is hoovering up oodles of revenue selling S60 multimedia handsets in Europe. The N95 sales curve has been Nokia's best S60 performance to date demonstrating that evolved consumers' appetites for a $600 phone are quite voracious. I have seen 14 year olds and 60 year olds cradling N95's. High end is a nice place to be.

Additionally, the launch of the iPhone will act as a catalyst to stir interest in high end phones in North America. Nokia's efforts to get American's interested in multimedia (S60) have faltered but Apple's intervention has renewed interest and this where Motorola can come in.

Motorola has a pretty loyal following in North America and Americans will more likely swallow Symbian with an all-American Motorola coating than a Finnish Nokia one.
Symbian would love to crack the North American market.
Nokia would love Symbian to crack the the North American.
So there's a lot of goodwill, hope and expectation behind the new tranche of UIQ phones that Motorola will introduce over the coming months.

I would like to see Motorola put some heavy investment in their Symbian phones.
If you look at the relatively small budget / resource it took to produce the Z8 and compare it to the massive level of investment poured into Linux Java; it becomes obvious that some redistribution of development budget would allow Motorola to catch some of the halo effect of the N95 / iPhone.
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  #3  
Old 01-08-2007, 10:22 AM
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stuclark stuclark is offline
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Shh...it's a secret...

Oh, they launched the phone already? Oh well, in that case, yes, an excellent article Rafe.

After Sendo's untimely demise a lot of people asked what Moto were going to do with the 200 odd strong development team they picked up - well, here's the answer!

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Old 01-08-2007, 06:28 PM
luarvique luarvique is offline
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Betting 7:3 that Motorola will screw up again.

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Old 01-08-2007, 08:10 PM
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@satsuma

wow - terrific analysis!

Did you get your E90

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Old 01-08-2007, 08:46 PM
krisse krisse is offline
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"If you look at the relatively small budget / resource it took to produce the Z8 and compare it to the massive level of investment poured into Linux Java"

It makes you wonder if that's because Moto was developing their platform on their own, whereas the UIQ3 platform costs are shared with Sony Ericsson?
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Old 01-08-2007, 08:49 PM
luarvique luarvique is offline
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[quote=krisse;330386It makes you wonder if that's because Moto was developing their platform on their own, whereas the UIQ3 platform costs are shared with Sony Ericsson?[/QUOTE]
Well, Motorola has not developed Linux on its own, and I am pretty sure their JVM has also been developed outside. My guess is that they have been developing Linux/Java thing for a while, and for a wide variety of phones, while UIQ has been used for one phone model only so far.

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Old 01-08-2007, 08:50 PM
satsuma satsuma is offline
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Jah, thanks. No my brother is paying thru' his Paypal account and the money doesn't seem to have gone through
I've been waiting a week now and beginning to wish I could cancel.

Luarvique - how do you mean Moto will screw up again. With a specific phone? Their portfolio? Their platforms?

Really Motorola's problems are far from insurmountable.
They've still got a better chance at making money in high tier than SEMC, Samsung and LG.
They've got heritage in mid-tier and certainly know how to push volume there.
And they've certainly got the right combination of silicon suppliers and s/w platforms to succeed in Low Tier.
I think they will get a pasting and show more bad numbers for Q3 2007.
Q4 will see some minor recovery.
They've got it all to play for in 2008.

Krisse - UIQ was bought by SEMC once the Z8 was almost finished. UIQ's level of support for SEMC / Motorola cannot be compared to the support Nokia gets from S60. UIQ as an organisation is much much smaller than S60 / Nokia. Not quite sure if that's point you were making.

Last edited by satsuma; 01-08-2007 at 08:54 PM.

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Old 01-08-2007, 09:19 PM
luarvique luarvique is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by satsuma View Post
Luarvique - how do you mean Moto will screw up again. With a specific phone? Their portfolio? Their platforms?
I specifically mean their rumored attempt to move their phones to UIQ and, more generally, their effort to produce a decent smartphone. Moto's semi-smart phones are in no danger of anything - Moto makes good, albeit dumb, phones.

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Old 01-08-2007, 10:11 PM
krisse krisse is offline
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"Well, Motorola has not developed Linux on its own,"

True, but I was trying to talk about user interface platforms as opposed to the OSes that run underneath them. UIQ and S60 both run Symbian, but they're developed by separate companies.


"UIQ was bought by SEMC once the Z8 was almost finished. UIQ's level of support for SEMC / Motorola cannot be compared to the support Nokia gets from S60. UIQ as an organisation is much much smaller than S60 / Nokia. Not quite sure if that's point you were making."

I wasn't actually talking about Nokia at all, I just meant perhaps it was quicker and easier for Motorola to use their UIQ licence than to continue to develop their own Linux-based platform.
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Old 01-08-2007, 11:03 PM
satsuma satsuma is offline
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Luarvique,
Not quite sure what you mean about moving phones to UIQ ?
Motorola have a UIQ device roadmap and portfolio
There are similar processes underway with other platforms.
Obviously the portfolios get reviewed and re-jigged.
Obviously investment can be diverted from one area to another like any business.

As for LJ (what you mean by semi-smart), it's a sensible idea for the future.
Motorola's problem has been getting an LJ platform and ecosystem in place to support multiple needs and variants on time and devices in the shops.
One of the driving ideas behind the Mobile Linux Foundation was that top layer apps should be able to write to a common API.
This means shorter time to market, less cost, etc when you start trying put a popular application, operator branded service, etc on a mobile device.
This is a good idea.
Nokia is not averse to this kind of idea either.....they are playing with Linux too.

Krisse, I think the Z8 has happened in spite of Motorola senior management not because of it.

There was no diversion of significant LJ development resource to get the Z8 done.
It was a small skunk works project on a limited budget (compared to LJ) which has produced a a very powerful platform capable of producing high tier multimedia devices.

That is why I expressed a hope of significantly increased investment in this part of the business. Because if they can produce a Z8 and a platform on a limited budget compared to LJ; then just imagine what they can do with loads more money

  #12  
Old 02-08-2007, 06:03 AM
luarvique luarvique is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krisse View Post
True, but I was trying to talk about user interface platforms as opposed to the OSes that run underneath them. UIQ and S60 both run Symbian, but they're developed by separate companies.
If I understand correctly, Motorola's Linux/Java platform runs "dumb" rather than "smart" phones and is not open for development. In such a scenario, the user interface becomes an application rather than a framework (as in S60 and UIQ) which other applications can use. Such an application is much easier to develop than a decent framework.[/quote]

Quote:
I wasn't actually talking about Nokia at all, I just meant perhaps it was quicker and easier for Motorola to use their UIQ licence than to continue to develop their own Linux-based platform.
Probably not: they already have done a lot of work on Linux/Java, while it is only their third phone with UIQ, and, judging from the Z8 review, they had to do a lot of customization (as compared to current SE models). On the other hand, UIQ may offer less per-model customization effort than whatever contraption they have composed in Java.
 

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