Thanks to a reminder from WebProNews, it's instructive to look again at the smartphone world via StatCounter, a pro service embedded on many web sites which tracks the browser and OS used to access them. And, reflecting the still enormous installed base of Symbian-powered smartphones across the world, Symbian still (for web access, at least) still dominates the world, at 31%. The full graph is below, along with some comments.
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Nokia has put up a super-glossy four minute reminder of its innovations over the last 25 years, from the first mobiles through the advanced audio telephony codecs today - it's a good watch (embedded below) and is a reminder, among other things, of the sheer number of telephony patents stacked up at Nokia HQ (remember that Apple had to pay up earlier this year?).
Smartphone sales statistics are now out for Q3, 2011, thanks to Gartner. Sales of Symbian-powered smartphones in the quarter were down 10 million from last year's total, at just under 20 million, but still notably higher than sales of Apple's high profile iOS devices. Sales of Android-powered devices were the strongest, at just over 60 million in the quarter. Some quotes, comment and a table below.
Figures are now in from IDC for the world phone market in Quarter 3, 2011, showing the market flattening in the USA and Western Europe as saturation sets in. However, the proportion of smartphones in the overall mix continues to rise. Nokia is still king in terms of sheer numbers, selling over a hundred million phones in the quarter, although Samsung is catching up relatively quickly. IDC's stats table is quoted below, though we don't yet have a breakdown of smartphone-only sales.
Tucked away in the press releases from Nokia World was a small note that Nokia would be working with the New York Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTA). Given that the MTA announced this trial without mentioning the hardware partner earlier in the year, it's great to see Nokia has picked up a high visibility hardware trial (at least in business circles) in America.
Nokia has released its Q3 2011 results, reporting an operating loss of -€71 million, with net sales of €8.980 billion (down 13% YoY). Nokia's Devices and Services division's profits were €132 million. Margins in devices and services were 2.4% (down from 11.3 % in Q3 2010 and up from -4.2% in Q2 2011). Total smartphone device sales were 16.8 million, compared with 27.2 million units in Q3 2010 (down 34% YoY) and 16.7 million units in Q2 2011 (up 1%, QoQ). The results were ahead of expectations and suggest the company has started on the road to recovery.
Yes, you can turn stats to prove almost anything and goodness knows we've seen enough of that from the tech media in recent years. So time for a shot across the bows with a look at that favourite stat from the 'superphone' brigade: mobile web browsing, sorted by smartphone platform. It'll be iPhone and Android all the way, right? Wrong. Hopelessly wrong.
As every other news outlet is reporting this morning, we awoke with the announcement that Steve Jobs had passed away after a long battle with cancer. Although not a Symbian story per-se, there's a lot about Jobs which affected the way the industry and even the world of Symbian in recent years. Here are a few short thoughts.
Nokia has completed the 'transaction to outsource its Symbian software development and support activities to Accenture'. The original announcement was made in April and the agreement finalised in June. As a result, approximately 2300 employees of Nokia will transfer to Accenture, 700 less than originally envisioned. Accenture will provide Symbian-based software development and support services to Nokia until at least 2016.
Nokia's manufacturing capability is very distributed and very large - but it all got a bit smaller with today's announcement to close the facility in Romania by the end of 2011 and with the possibilty of future changes of focus in plants in Finland, Hungary and Mexico. In addition, there are closures of Nokia offices in Bonn and Malvern. See below for quotes from the press release.
Nokia has appointed Henry Tirri as Chief Technology Officer, he also becomes an executive vice president and becomes a member of the Nokia leadership team. Since Rich Green stepped down in June Tirri has been acting CTO; previously he was the head of Nokia Research Centre (NRC). Tirri will be based in Sunnyvale (California) and will report directly to CEO Stephen Elop.
Today, at the IAA (a car industry event), Nokia announced Car Mode, an application designed for the in-car use of Nokia smartphones. It offers simplified access to Nokia Drive (voice-guided car navigation with Nokia Maps), music and voice calling functionality. In addition, the application also supports MirrorLink (previously known as Terminal Mode), which allows for a rich connection between phone and car. The application, which has been developed in Qt, will be available for download from the Ovi Store in Q4 for Symbian Belle devices and the Nokia N9. Update: added screenshots of Nokia Car Mode.
Nokia today announced the forthcoming availability, in Q4 2011, of a number of Microsoft-developed business and productivity applications for the Symbian Belle platform. The update will include a number of new applications (OneNote, PowerPoint Broadcaster, Document Connection) and updates to existing applications (Lync 2010 and Exchange Active Sync), which will provide improved integration with Microsoft's business software and service offerings. Read on for more detail.
I was interested to see the starting of the "Near Field Connectivity Blog", under the auspices of Nokia's Developer program, along with some titbits about Nokia's plans for NFC and its devices. Read on for more links and quotes.
A quick heads up to those of you with websites or blogs that use AdMob to target mobile devices - Google will be stopping delivering adverts via AdMob to publishers of mobile websites. It actually makes sense, as AdSense continues to be available for publishers, while AdMob will now be targeted to application developers. It mirrors the move earlier in the year when app developers were told to stop using AdSense and switch to AdMob.