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

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Old 16-06-2010, 08:24 AM
adicken adicken is offline
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Will the N97 mini be upgraded to Symbian 3?

As the title says, do you think Nokia will port the Symbian 3 software to it's flagship device?

Any thoughts?

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Old 16-06-2010, 09:12 AM
Idle Mind Idle Mind is offline
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No chance, dont think it would even be possible as an update as surely the core OS is pretty hard written into the phones ROM?

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Old 16-06-2010, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idle Mind View Post
No chance, dont think it would even be possible as an update as surely the core OS is pretty hard written into the phones ROM?
Of course it is possible. Nokian can port any OS they wish to the device, if the hardware meets the needs for the OS and if they wish to invest the money and resources (time, people).

However, Nokia has never, for as long as they have been making Symbian based devices, made a newer Symbian version available for older devices that were originally introduced with an earlier Symbian version.

So, even if it is technically possible, I wouldn't expect Nokia to do it.

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Old 17-06-2010, 12:59 AM
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hardware specs will not support s3
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Old 17-06-2010, 06:08 PM
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I think the closest we'll ever get is perhaps getting symbian^3 features added to the N97's current OS, like Nokia did with kinetic scrolling and, presumably, the Music Player (?).
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Old 18-06-2010, 06:23 AM
dez_borders dez_borders is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N/A View Post
Of course it is possible. Nokian can port any OS they wish to the device, if the hardware meets the needs for the OS and if they wish to invest the money and resources (time, people).
.
As has already been stated, the S60 OS is held in ROM - Read Only Memory - so you are (mostly) incorrect.
OK, Yes 'anything' is technically possible, but for the N97 to get S3 upgrade would involve Nokia recalling all the handsets and physically unsoldering the ROM chip then replacing it.
Of course this will not happen, and why should Nokia (any mobile manufacturer) even consider such an expensive exercise, even if the hardware may or may not be powerful enough for S3?
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Old 18-06-2010, 11:36 AM
bchliu bchliu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adicken View Post
As the title says, do you think Nokia will port the Symbian 3 software to it's flagship device?

Any thoughts?
Only when the sun rises from the west.. If you wait long enough, it might happen.. right??

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Old 20-06-2010, 08:29 AM
sjdean sjdean is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dez_borders View Post
As has already been stated, the S60 OS is held in ROM - Read Only Memory - so you are (mostly) incorrect.
Does that mean if they found a bug in the S60 OS, then they could never fix it?

I think you are hugely incorrect myself. ROM quite frequently isn't fully ROM, it's just ROM from the user perspective. But devices with firmware held in ROM are still firmware updatable.

From ROM from Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Read_only_memory)

Quote:
more modern types such as EPROM and flash EEPROM can be erased and re-programmed multiple times; they are still described as "read-only memory"(ROM) because the reprogramming process is generally infrequent, comparatively slow, and often does not permit random access writes to individual memory locations.
From the Firmware page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firmware)
Quote:
Simple firmware typically resides in ROM or OTP/PROM, while more complex firmware (often on the border to software) typically employs flash memory to allow for updates, at least in modern devices. Common reasons for updating firmware include fixing bugs or adding features to the device. Doing so usually involves loading a binary image file (provided by the manufacturer) into the device, according to a specific procedure; this is sometimes intended (by the device manufacturer) to be done by the end user.
And of course, take a look at the page on Programmable Read Only Memory http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Program...ad-only_memory

Yes, if Nokia wish, they could write the appropriate drivers for N97 to support Symbian^3 and release it. How many times do we see people hacking the ROM on the N900 and iPhone and dual booting things like the Android OS?

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Old 20-06-2010, 04:43 PM
dez_borders dez_borders is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjdean View Post
Does that mean if they found a bug in the S60 OS, then they could never fix it?

I think you are hugely incorrect myself. ROM quite frequently isn't fully ROM, it's just ROM from the user perspective. But devices with firmware held in ROM are still firmware updatable.

Yes, if Nokia wish, they could write the appropriate drivers for N97 to support Symbian^3 and release it. How many times do we see people hacking the ROM on the N900 and iPhone and dual booting things like the Android OS?
Unfortunatley in the case of S60 Nokia handsets, yes the ROM really is permanently read-only.
Nokia would have to try to add a workaround in the firmware/flash memory if an S60 bug was found - and have done so in the past with previous handsets I believe.

The N900/Maemo and Android handsets run on top of linux OS, therefore only the boot-loader is present on ROM, the rest is flashed, as you say, much more flexible.

You will NEVER see S3 on any current/previous Nokia handset, only on future ones. I am 99.99999999999999999% sure of this.
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Old 20-06-2010, 04:58 PM
sjdean sjdean is offline
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Ok, so, when we upgrade firmware, what exactly are we upgrading?

All the little tweaks, for example, the bit that allowed us to scroll the screen instead of using just the scrollbar, what did that update? The GUI interface sitting on top of S60?
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Old 21-06-2010, 02:56 PM
Biggles Biggles is offline
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Originally Posted by dez_borders View Post
Unfortunatley in the case of S60 Nokia handsets, yes the ROM really is permanently read-only.
Nokia would have to try to add a workaround in the firmware/flash memory if an S60 bug was found - and have done so in the past with previous handsets I believe.
I'm sorry but this just isn't true.

Every firmware update Nokia do is a new ROM image that's flashed to the EEPROM chip. It's considered ROM because it's not something that can easily be changed or altered, nor should it be frequently as EEPROM chips have a limited read/write life.

So Nokia could (hardware allowing) update the N97 to Symbian^3 without recalling it, but they won't.

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Old 21-06-2010, 04:52 PM
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Phones haven't had "real" ROM for many, many, many years.

The phones have flash memory where part of it is allocated as "ROM" (not writable from software running on the phone) and part of it is allocated as writable phone memory.

The whole OS (Symbian/S60) and select application are flashed to to this "ROM" area and is in essence unchangeable except through the firmware updating mechanisms (via a PC or in the newer phones also over-the-air). This is also on Symbian/S60 devices for most parts "visible" as the Z-drive.

Data is written/stored to the flash memory that is marked as writable (the so called "phone memory" or C-drive). The data can be application data or user-installed applications (or applications that the manufacturer has decided to install in phone memory, instead of "ROM").

Data can also be written to a RAM disk (which is a virtual disk generated in volatile memory - data lost when device is powered off), or a memory card, or other internal writable memory (flash or a microdrive, which is rotating magnetic media).

So, the "ROM" in a phone is updateable via a firmware update, and Nokia could create a firmware version with any version of Symbian, if they choose to do so (and the Symbian supports the hardware).

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Old 21-06-2010, 08:22 PM
dez_borders dez_borders is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggles View Post
I'm sorry but this just isn't true.

Every firmware update Nokia do is a new ROM image that's flashed to the EEPROM chip. It's considered ROM because it's not something that can easily be changed or altered, nor should it be frequently as EEPROM chips have a limited read/write life.

So Nokia could (hardware allowing) update the N97 to Symbian^3 without recalling it, but they won't.
Well one of us is obviously mistaken.

In any event Nokia have never ported a new S60 OS onto an existing or older handset model, and I seriously doubt they will do so now.
I would love to see the Symbian ~3 OS on N97/N96 etc, but I won't hold my breath.

I also believe with all the intelligent and ingenious hackers & phone-mod crews around the planet then if the FW contained the OS, someone would have released a hacked/ported S60 OS onto other models in the past. They haven't done this, so I assume its not feasible/possible to do on Symbian phones.
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Old 21-06-2010, 09:47 PM
sjdean sjdean is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dez_borders View Post
Well one of us is obviously mistaken.

In any event Nokia have never ported a new S60 OS onto an existing or older handset model, and I seriously doubt they will do so now.
I would love to see the Symbian ~3 OS on N97/N96 etc, but I won't hold my breath.

I also believe with all the intelligent and ingenious hackers & phone-mod crews around the planet then if the FW contained the OS, someone would have released a hacked/ported S60 OS onto other models in the past. They haven't done this, so I assume its not feasible/possible to do on Symbian phones.
I don't think this is a legitimate argument either, if only because S60 was a fundamentally closed system. To take S60 and put it on other devices would probably be a no go because you would have to not only port the OS to perhaps different CPU architecture, but you're talking about writing custom device drivers for the different hardware in each device.

It is 100% possible to come up with a system to flash the EEPROM, but do you wanna go out and write it?

As one user on the android forums writes,

"The biggest problem would be writing your own drivers for all of the Nokia N97 hardware - CPU, Screen, Sound, Memory access, storage access, input devices (keys, buttons, touch screen), cameras, sound input, etc etc. Nokia aren't going to do this unless they intend to use Android, so it would be up to the public."

That's assuming as well that the RAM and ROM are big enough to cope.

Again, I would ask, if the OS isn't upgradable, then:

a) what are we upgrading when doing a firmware upgrade? what does the firmware contain?
b) are you seriously suggesting that if there was an os bug, nokia would have to recall however many handsets to change the circuit board?
c) the ability to scroll the screen outside of the scrollbars, you think that's just an app sitting on an unupdatable os?

Trust me, Nokia could update this to whatever OS they wanted. The OS is in Firmware. The fact no body else hasn't is because S60 is closed and to write the appropriate drivers would be virtually impossible. Symbian^3 going open source may rectify this.

Last edited by sjdean; 21-06-2010 at 09:52 PM.

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Old 22-06-2010, 06:25 AM
dez_borders dez_borders is offline
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Originally Posted by sjdean View Post
I don't think this is a legitimate argument either, if only because S60 was a fundamentally closed system. To take S60 and put it on other devices would probably be a no go because you would have to not only port the OS to perhaps different CPU architecture, but you're talking about writing custom device drivers for the different hardware in each device.

It is 100% possible to come up with a system to flash the EEPROM, but do you wanna go out and write it?
They seem to manage this (drivers for hardware compatibility, removing functions the hardware cannot cope with, etc.) quite easily on the Android platform - one of my colleagues has 2.1 running on his old unsupported Google handset thanks to a modding forum. Also as for writing a program to flash an EEPROM, nokia has released one called Phoenix, there's also 3rd party apps like JAF. All we need is for someone to supply the (modded) Nokia firmware files, but an N97 S3 mod FW is not likely.

Phone manufacturers exist to sell their product to eager customers who want the latest functionality. It is not in Nokia's best interests to back-port major new functionality in a new OS to a handset like the N97, which is already 1yr old / last year's spec, and has had so much bad press already.

Message for the OP:- Nokia has never back-ported a new OS to an old/existing device in the past and it's unlikely they will do with S3 to N97/N96, regardless of hardware compatability/CPU speed, RAM, drivers, etc. If you want S3 you will have to buy the X8 or other future S3 handsets Nokia choose to release.
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Last edited by dez_borders; 22-06-2010 at 06:28 AM.
 

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