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  #46  
Old 25-06-2010, 03:59 PM
Biggles Biggles is offline
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I feel let down by Nokia, they said they'd be releasing more N series Symbian devices. And now they're not.

I understand that this isn't the end of Symbian - it'll achieve even higher sales than now as it gets pushed down the market. But it's the end of Symbian as a high-end smartphone OS. That's a pity because it means that the phone geeks like us won't be buying them, it'll just be normobs .

In a year's time when I look to upgrade my handset from my Satio, there's not going to be a Nokia Symbian device that is an upgrade to it (apart from the N8) since they'll all be mid-market devices. So since I'm probably going to want to buy something better than what I have, I'll have to look elsewhere.

So the only hope for high-end Symbian devices from next year will be Sony Ericsson or Samsung, and I don't really hold out much hope for that.

Make no mistake, this is terrible news unless the Symbian Foundation can get another manufacturer to commit to high end phones.
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  #47  
Old 25-06-2010, 05:05 PM
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Rafe Rafe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Why is Qt not present in newer Firmware of Nokia X6/5800/5530/C5 .....
You still have problems rolling out Qt-Apps via Ovi-Store *wtf*
That's what the Nokia Smart Installer is for - it means developers don't have to worry about Qt requirements on phones they are talking about - it will, if necessary, download anything needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggles View Post
I feel let down by Nokia, they said they'd be releasing more N series Symbian devices. And now they're not.

In a year's time when I look to upgrade my handset from my Satio, there's not going to be a Nokia Symbian device that is an upgrade to it (apart from the N8) since they'll all be mid-market devices. So since I'm probably going to want to buy something better than what I have, I'll have to look elsewhere.

So the only hope for high-end Symbian devices from next year will be Sony Ericsson or Samsung, and I don't really hold out much hope for that.
It really depends on how you define high end - is it just the top one or two devices - or is it (as I think with Nokia) broader than that? There'll be more devices like the N8, but they wont have the Nseries branding. All the Eseries devices are Symbian - some of those will be high end. Similarly with Xseries and Cseries. Of course at the same time we'll see further expansion of Symbian at the mid tier and low end.

Ben Smith at TRMP put it nicely:

Quote:
With MeeGo (Maemo’s oddly names successor) they’re loudly trying to differentiate ‘mobile computing’ from ’smartphones’. N-Series has always been the top-end ‘mobile computing’ range (even when Symbian was being used to do the job badly, such as in the N97) so it is entirely logical that it would move to the newer platform which is better suited to the task. The problem is that by allowing this news to drip out slowly Nokia aren’t getting the opportunity to explain that devices as powerful as the N8 will still be made (and will still run Symbian) and will just be moved to more appropriate places in the naming convention.
If we look a few years ahead things might change a bit, but that's very hard to predict. One of the interesting questions is how much of market is there for these devices between smartphones and laptops (of which tablets are also a part... is there going to be a dominant form factor? or several?). And how much will software platforms matters - most of the value will be in the service layer which to a great extent will be shared across Nokia platforms...

Moreover as I try to explain in the article Nokia is really trying to cut own new ground with the MeeGo devices. Yes they are, in one sense, all part of the same mobile device continuum, but I think there's a genuine difference between a phone that converges in hardware and a mobile computing centric approach (that is also a phone).
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  #48  
Old 25-06-2010, 06:19 PM
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Great article Rafe and pretty much as I suspected although there were a lot of denials when it slipped out last Autumn.

Obviously this is not in the least a disaster for Nokia but because of their delays and seeming lack of coherent direction (that has been made clear to a wider audience anyway) it is turning into a bit of a disaster. What could have been a positive news story and a "step forwards" has been allowed to become another club to hit them with. A lot of this has to do I feel with the very bitter experience of 2008/2009 in many peoples experience and frankly not many are now willing to give Nokia a break nor do they feel it can be trusted to develop quality technology. And it's really coming back to haunt them now, they can't buy themselves a break and every news cycle is another excuse or reason to pound their shares.

You may feel that the financial markets don't understand Nokia and you're probably right but they do sense the lack of direction and ultimately lack of profits or real growth compared to others in the sector., I know Ewan felt that E800mn in their last results was good but they were trading at a p/e of just shy of 30! Again today (and every day this week just about) the shares have made fresh lows and I wasn't joking about this seriously affecting their business plans and ability to finance (something to be avoided at all costs in this v credit rating sensitive point in the business cycle) additionally I believe that sub 6 Euros a share the current senior management will have to be sacrificed and we are already seeing the effects of the political manoeuvring internally in that knowledge. The shares closed at 6.71 today a close not seen since sometime in 1998 (I can't be a**ed to work out when) and pretty much on the low for the week. It can't carry on.

It turns out the N97 was a symptom of a much greater malaise. Lack of urgency or awareness of what is happening in the rest of the market being the biggest impression.

  #49  
Old 25-06-2010, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svdwal View Post
Symbian^3 will behave differently in respect to older versions, a single tap will now be used to select an entry, instead of highlighting it. This also means that code has to be adepted.
Yes, it only needs single-tapping in menus, but there is nothing that indicates that it breaks compatibility according to my research into the programming guidelines of the Symbian Foundation. Also, that is the whole point by retaining the S60/Avkon libraries in Symbian^3.

Quote:
Originally Posted by svdwal View Post

Note that this is source code compatibility, not binary compatibility. Apps will have to be recompiled, and binaries for one platform will not work on another one.

Also note that Symbian C++ engines and code that uses Symbian API's cannot be used on MeeGo without porting them to Standard C++ and Linux.
I know that compatibility between Symbian^3 and Meego/Maemo is at compile time, but that's hardly of any consequence, since it takes about 10 minutes for a developer to re-compile his/hers Qt app for the other platform.

And yes, of course, if you use specific Symbian C++ functions, you will need to redo the equivalent Meego specific stuff, but you stick to pure Qt functions you're safe, and most stuff can be done through the Qt, Qt mobile APIs and OpenGL ES, so I don't really see any problem.

/Henrik...

  #50  
Old 25-06-2010, 07:12 PM
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Relax

Relax :-)
Sure you can deploy Qt apps through the Ovi Store, it's right there in Nokia's recent press release regarding the release of Qt SDK v1.0, and regarding missing libs for the older devices - Smart Installer does that for you, so not to worry.

Regarding the need for different binaries - of course it has to be! Qt is a native enviroment, would you rather prefer a Java-style environment like Android or J2ME? No, of course not.

This is NO different than handling the differences and/or capabilities between the iPhone 3G vs. 3GS vs. iPad vs. iPhone 4.

This is a universal law of all native programming for any developer on any platform!

/Henrik...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
@Henrik
>Here is little FAQ for people who are concerned about software support for the N8
>and Symbian^3:

............................

Why is Qt not present in newer Firmware of Nokia X6/5800/5530/C5 .....
You still have problems rolling out Qt-Apps via Ovi-Store *wtf*

This is really bad execution - they want to appeal Developers but they are doing the opposite of generating a great, not segmented platform.

And now this Meego-Thing it sucks.
Is there a guarantee that Meego for Nokia will only run on x86-Hardware or are they doing a segmentation?
Meego on x86 and Meego on ARM.....

So you have to deliver a Symbian-Qt-ARM-executable, a Meego-Qt-x86-executable and a Meego-Qt-ARM-executable....that sucks.

  #51  
Old 25-06-2010, 07:19 PM
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Ahh an insulting response to a perfectly polite post. I'm sure that goes a long way to validated your point of view.

For the record, I work in mobile and have done for the last 4 years. My first mobile phone was a Nokia 7110, my second was a SE T610, my third a Nokia N70, my fourth a Nokia N95. Since then it's been iPhone all the way. (I also got a N770 for giggles). I've been part of J2ME projects, Symbian native projects, BREW, Objective C and recently Android's wacky development path. I am NOT a Nokia or Symbian hater. I AM a realist, and someone who manages budgets and sets strategy for app development at a large company.

For us, developing Symbian native apps is not cost effective. The fragmentation, the lack of a viable delivery platform, and the real data about how people use symbian devices make it clear that it is not a platform worth developing for. MeeGo might end up being different if they can get it on enough phones, tablets, etc., avoid the fragmentation Symbian has suffered from for the last decade, and somehow compete against Android and ChromeOS. Nokia know this. They're slow, not stupid.

Nokia's biggest hope, emerging markets like India and Indonesia, will move to Android in a big way over the next 18 months.

You can cite all the clever microkernel crap you like, but the end result for users and developers is a platform that keeps shifting, and has a terrible user experience. Again, i LOVED my 7110 and my N70. But I also loved my Commodore Amiga and Sinclair Spectrum. The world has moved on and the sooner you accept that, the better for your pension plan and bank balance.

On the constructive side? Nokia need to do the following:

• consolidate OS' and hardware capabilities (ever clicked the device list drop-down in their support site?)
• provide a uniform app store experience across all devices, free from compatibility issues
• create confidence in their roadmap
• accept that 'better' specs don't equal a better user experience
• stop being so damn pigheaded

Symbian can be a useful OS for their dumb-phones for a couple more years, but that's about it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by clonmult View Post
Thats quite an apt guest name, you definitely need one ....

MeeGo is definitely more advanced than iOS and Android. Even the old N770 running the various HE versions of Maemo was more advanced. I doubt we'll see Nokia supporting MeeGo in quite the same ludicrously hacker friendly manner that they did Maemo though (although that was originally a skunkworks project).

In what way are Symbian and MeeGo years behind iOS or Android? Sure, you can mention the UI on S60/5th being relatively archaic, but the way people talk its as if its actually difficult to use. If you can't understand the overall operation of a 5800 or N97, then you quite possibly have "breath" tattooed on your eyelids as a reminder.

  #52  
Old 25-06-2010, 09:43 PM
Antoine of MMM Antoine of MMM is offline
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There were a few ways in which I wanted to respond to this, but I'll take the role best suiting my context in mobile: "preach it Rafe!"

So much of the crud that's talked aloud about can be mitigated with less speed and simple research. Thanks for bringing the right context to this discussion. Unfortunately, this will make any Nokia leak (such as today's) met with all kinds of speculation, since many commenters/readers aren't willing to remember or fact check themselves.

Thanks for modeling solid journalism, not just a hand at the keys.

  #53  
Old 25-06-2010, 09:51 PM
Antoine of MMM Antoine of MMM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafe View Post
If we look a few years ahead things might change a bit, but that's very hard to predict. One of the interesting questions is how much of market is there for these devices between smartphones and laptops (of which tablets are also a part... is there going to be a dominant form factor? or several?). And how much will software platforms matters - most of the value will be in the service layer which to a great extent will be shared across Nokia platforms...

Moreover as I try to explain in the article Nokia is really trying to cut own new ground with the MeeGo devices. Yes they are, in one sense, all part of the same mobile device continuum, but I think there's a genuine difference between a phone that converges in hardware and a mobile computing centric approach (that is also a phone).
It's not that hard to predict, the only real question is how fast will Nokia move. In terms of hardware, mobiles are to move next into the wearable form factors that leverage the cloud/network-services to enhance data and how we interact with it. This much is seen in the direction of what's published from Nokia's Reasearch Center, the betas from their Labs, and the various pieces of language they have used in marketing and media.

This would be the line that's in the middle. If you will, something that is more like the Morph Concept, where its not just computer, but computing is an accessory. In this manner, the differentiation towards hardware is important, but more important is now users define the experience of connected and disconnected data. Maemo was well positioned for this, and MeeGo was not too far behind it. Symbian can't, and probably shouldn't do this as easily right now. It might by S^4, but by then the OS is an enablement layer, and the runtime (qt, web browser frameworks, etc.) are e places where interaction happens. Even if the networks aren't ready, that middle ground can present the push needed to make mobile computing a different animal than simple smartphones.

  #54  
Old 25-06-2010, 10:38 PM
bigbrovar
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Blow to Symbian

Whichever way u try to spin this. You cant argue with the fact that this latest development from Nokia is a huge blow and an indictment on their believe in symbian. downgrading it from **flagship** status and pushing it to the mid range says alot about how nokia sees symbian going forward. so what if Nseries devices account for just 12% of nokia shipments of symbian phones? well guess what dump Nokia dumb phones are shipped and sold much more than their smartphones (symbian phones) so really its not saying much. It may not be the end of symbian as a mobile OS. It sures diminishes its relevance as Megoo becomes the new kid on the block and the new favorite OS to present Nokia in their battle for the High-end line. symbian on the other hand is the new series 40. This is the end of symbian as we know it.

  #55  
Old 25-06-2010, 10:47 PM
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Rafe Rafe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snoFlake View Post
Great article Rafe and pretty much as I suspected although there were a lot of denials when it slipped out last Autumn.

Obviously this is not in the least a disaster for Nokia but because of their delays and seeming lack of coherent direction (that has been made clear to a wider audience anyway) it is turning into a bit of a disaster. What could have been a positive news story and a "step forwards" has been allowed to become another club to hit them with. A lot of this has to do I feel with the very bitter experience of 2008/2009 in many peoples experience and frankly not many are now willing to give Nokia a break nor do they feel it can be trusted to develop quality technology. And it's really coming back to haunt them now, they can't buy themselves a break and every news cycle is another excuse or reason to pound their shares.

You may feel that the financial markets don't understand Nokia and you're probably right but they do sense the lack of direction and ultimately lack of profits or real growth compared to others in the sector., I know Ewan felt that E800mn in their last results was good but they were trading at a p/e of just shy of 30! Again today (and every day this week just about) the shares have made fresh lows and I wasn't joking about this seriously affecting their business plans and ability to finance (something to be avoided at all costs in this v credit rating sensitive point in the business cycle) additionally I believe that sub 6 Euros a share the current senior management will have to be sacrificed and we are already seeing the effects of the political manoeuvring internally in that knowledge. The shares closed at 6.71 today a close not seen since sometime in 1998 (I can't be a**ed to work out when) and pretty much on the low for the week. It can't carry on.

It turns out the N97 was a symptom of a much greater malaise. Lack of urgency or awareness of what is happening in the rest of the market being the biggest impression.
Thanks for compliment - appreciated.

I think you're right that it could have been better handled, but there's a limit to this too. They have outlined this multiple times for anyone that listens. As you say part of this could also people's willingness to give them a break, but there's also a media role in this. It seems to be that the some in the media do not want to listen. As we know it's much easy to write a negative story about Nokia. Yes Nokia could communicate better, but I think the media (of whatever kind) has a certain responsibility to look up the basics). Perhaps there's balance in between?

While I do feel the financial markets do not understand Nokia I absolutely agree with you that it have real business impact - I wouldn't be surprised to see the rating changes of bonds, credit, debt etc. How big of an impact this has given Nokia's cash reserves (and the fact they are still in profit by some way) is open to debate. I'm not a share market expert, but clearly there will need to be improvement. That should start coming in a few months - but is that soon enough - interesting conversation right there.

From talking to various people at Nokia I don't think its lack or awareness of urgency, rather it just takes time to do things. This can be seen as just a management problem, but I think this under estimates other factors inertia effect (made worse by Nokia's wide market stance) and the fact that big companies take while to move.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Reality Check View Post
Ahh an insulting response to a perfectly polite post. I'm sure that goes a long way to validated your point of view.

For us, developing Symbian native apps is not cost effective. The fragmentation, the lack of a viable delivery platform, and the real data about how people use symbian devices make it clear that it is not a platform worth developing for. MeeGo might end up being different if they can get it on enough phones, tablets, etc., avoid the fragmentation Symbian has suffered from for the last decade, and somehow compete against Android and ChromeOS. Nokia know this. They're slow, not stupid.
I'm not sure I entirely agree that the Symbian experience you describe is universal, but leaving that aside the questions is whether Qt will change things as far as developing for Symbain go. It gives an abstracted, modern language, it avoids fragmentation etc etc... and its going to work on everything from S60 3.1 upwards. Do you think this will make a difference - will developers be willing to try?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reality Check View Post
Nokia's biggest hope, emerging markets like India and Indonesia, will move to Android in a big way over the next 18 months.
I think you're right about Android being the biggest competitive threat, but I don't see why the merging markets will decisively move to Android (some movement sure). At this end of the market the logistics and distribution channels / chains are more important than the characteristics of the devices (never mind the platform). That's why Nokia has been so successful in these markets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reality Check View Post
On the constructive side? Nokia need to do the following:

• consolidate OS' and hardware capabilities (ever clicked the device list drop-down in their support site?)
• provide a uniform app store experience across all devices, free from compatibility issues
• create confidence in their roadmap
• accept that 'better' specs don't equal a better user experience
• stop being so damn pigheaded

Symbian can be a useful OS for their dumb-phones for a couple more years, but that's about it.
Consolidation of OS is really what's happening isn't it? Or at least that's the aim, especially considering the Qt side of things. I see Nokia criticised for being multi-platform, but I'm not sure this is entirely fair given its size / market scope. I do think multiple Symbian version has been an issue, but looking at S60 3.2 and S60 5.0 that has largely been rectified.

Agree on app store - they are getting their slowly with Ovi Store.

Same on roadmap - and I think they deserve credit for having an open roadmap for their software platforms - far more than most.

Better specs can be applied to any manufacturer - look at Motorola's plan for 2GHz processors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Antoine of MMM View Post
There were a few ways in which I wanted to respond to this, but I'll take the role best suiting my context in mobile: "preach it Rafe!"
Thanks!
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  #56  
Old 25-06-2010, 10:51 PM
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Hi Reality Check.

I am also part of a developer team who do things for J2ME, iPhone, Symbian and Android.

All the things you're saying about Symbian USED to be true, but it isn't anymore. Qt is the new API for both Symbian AND Maemo/Meego. The Qt SDK and IDE is really nice and easy to work with and supports all things you want from a modern development enviroment, including OpenGL ES 2.0.

Also, it is definitely NOT true, that there aren't any means of distributing Symbian apps. There is the Ovi Store which works just fine (and it just got a major update, that improves the discovery considerably) and we for one can see that the sales are doing quite well! Also, you have SonyEricsson's PlayNow Arena, which is also a means to distribute.

As far as Qt goes it is no more fragmented (if any) than iPhone.

/Henrik...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reality Check View Post
Ahh an insulting response to a perfectly polite post. I'm sure that goes a long way to validated your point of view.

For the record, I work in mobile and have done for the last 4 years. My first mobile phone was a Nokia 7110, my second was a SE T610, my third a Nokia N70, my fourth a Nokia N95. Since then it's been iPhone all the way. (I also got a N770 for giggles). I've been part of J2ME projects, Symbian native projects, BREW, Objective C and recently Android's wacky development path. I am NOT a Nokia or Symbian hater. I AM a realist, and someone who manages budgets and sets strategy for app development at a large company.

For us, developing Symbian native apps is not cost effective. The fragmentation, the lack of a viable delivery platform, and the real data about how people use symbian devices make it clear that it is not a platform worth developing for. MeeGo might end up being different if they can get it on enough phones, tablets, etc., avoid the fragmentation Symbian has suffered from for the last decade, and somehow compete against Android and ChromeOS. Nokia know this. They're slow, not stupid.

Nokia's biggest hope, emerging markets like India and Indonesia, will move to Android in a big way over the next 18 months.

You can cite all the clever microkernel crap you like, but the end result for users and developers is a platform that keeps shifting, and has a terrible user experience. Again, i LOVED my 7110 and my N70. But I also loved my Commodore Amiga and Sinclair Spectrum. The world has moved on and the sooner you accept that, the better for your pension plan and bank balance.

On the constructive side? Nokia need to do the following:

• consolidate OS' and hardware capabilities (ever clicked the device list drop-down in their support site?)
• provide a uniform app store experience across all devices, free from compatibility issues
• create confidence in their roadmap
• accept that 'better' specs don't equal a better user experience
• stop being so damn pigheaded

Symbian can be a useful OS for their dumb-phones for a couple more years, but that's about it.

  #57  
Old 25-06-2010, 11:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafe View Post
I think you're right about Android being the biggest competitive threat, but I don't see why the merging markets will decisively move to Android (some movement sure). At this end of the market the logistics and distribution channels / chains are more important than the characteristics of the devices (never mind the platform). That's why Nokia has been so successful in these markets.

!
The T-Mobile Pulse is an example of how Android can be used in the price competitive phone sector. By using a dated version (1.6) and skinning it, there is now and Android phone that is only 50% more expensive than an equivalent Nokia Symbian one.

  #58  
Old 26-06-2010, 01:30 AM
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Wow, I can't believe that you guys are talking around and around an entire issue, about high end devices, the middle and the low end, without hitting on why Nokia has been having 'issues': there is no more middle.

There's the high end: iPhone, Android, Blackberries (and presumably Meego and Windows Phone 7); and then, there's the low end.

This is why Nokia shares have been in a funk. For the last few years, they made money hand over fist in the middle tier of the market, but it's quickly going away. The markets have been way ahead of you guys by about six months.

There's a future for the N and maybe the E series, and a high success rate for the C series. There's NO room for the X. None. Again, the middle is GONE.

  #59  
Old 26-06-2010, 02:24 AM
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Also wanted to add:

Nokia needs to get its communications department (and management) sorted, because this news is likely confusing the hell of not only developers, but future customers as well.

Seriously, just pick one OS and stick with it. What's with all the herky, jerky left/right turns every other year?

First it's Symbian that Nokia pays Billions for, then Maemo, but oh, it's really not, it's a 'test device', but STILL Symbian....until it isn't, our choice is Meego now, except wait, the low end and some nebulous shrinking middle, that'll still be Symbian.....oh, and Qt....

I mean, what a mess.

And what happens in a year and a half when Meego doesn't catch on? How do we know that the OS won't also be the victim of another change after OPK is likely booted?

  #60  
Old 26-06-2010, 06:14 AM
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I'm reading this thread and can't help but laugh. Laugh loud! The only site on the planet that tries to put a positive spin on this mess.

Allow me to refresh your memories: a few months ago when rumors were flying high that Nokia was about to ditch Symbian from its' high end portfolio this site's collective blood pressure rose to imaginable proportions and they did all it could to discredit the gossip. Although to be fair to AAS some people at Nokia also tried very hard to kill the pesky rumor that just wouldn’t go away. Guess what folks? Didn't work. Try as you may the Nseries team at Nokia is still saying “see you later” to Symbian.

Now let me remind you at this point that Nseries is Nokia’s premier range of devices. Despite of what Rafe is spinning here the premier range is not X nor C series. It’s the Nseries that is king at Nokia. In case some of you are still doubtful please take a moment to look at this picture and let me know if you still think C series is high end: http://cellphones.techfresh.net/wp-c...handset_01.jpg

Not quite high end, is it folks? More like Series 40 ain't it? So Rafe... please spare us.

The folks in Finland in charge of this company are not stupid. The Nseries product family
represents the best that the company has to offer and quite clearly Symbian was seen as an obstacle to achieving success. Hence the delegation to the low end of the market.

So my dear Symbian apologists, welcome to 2010 and say hello to your Series 40, err…. I mean Symbian phones

Thank you.
 

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