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.
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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.
Nokia today announced Symbian Belle, the latest software update for the Symbian^3 platform. In Belle, the focus is on UI improvements, with extensive changes to key elements such as the homescreen, widgets, status bar, dialogs, notifications and menu system. Belle also delivers further application updates (Web), improved NFC functionality and streamlined software updates.
Symbian Belle will be available first on the trio of new Symbian smartphones that Nokia announced today: Nokia 600, 700 and 701. It will also be made available for the Nokia N8, E6, E7, X7, C7 and C6-01 by download via PC and over-the-air. Nokia will announce the timing of the updates for existing devices closer to availability.
Barranger Ridler is a Windows Phone 7 developer, and was recently asked to join Nokia for a "getting to know you" style event called #NokiaUnfenced. His blog on Nokia's approach to WP7 is worth reading, answering some of the questions about what Nokia is doing to get developers on board for the new devices and OS widely assumed to be coming before the end of the year. No hardware news, but his thoughts on the Nokia touchstones (camera, build quality and software stability) are good indicators of what could attract developers to Nokia.
Nokia's Ovi Store has reached the 9 million downloads a day milestone and is continuing to grow. This follows on from June's announcement that Ovi Store was averaging more than 6 million downloads a day and the 7.62 million mark from last month. The 9 million downloads a day rate annualises to 3.29 billion downloads a year (275 million a month). In addition, AAS' own tracking now shows that Ovi Store has now passed the 2 billion cumulative downloads mark.
Gartner has released a summary of its worldwide analysis for the mobile industry for Q2 2011 and it, as expected, shows that the in-demand Android smartphones have leapfrogged Symbian in the rankings. I've quoted the main tables below, but in summary, Symbian OS's marketshare worldwide is now 22%, with 23.8 million smartphones being sold.
Here's another in my series of interviews with some of the top developers and marketeers in the Symbian (and wider mobile) world. In this case, Jake Levant, from Fring, chatting about fring’s creation, its development, the philosophy behind its programming teams – and fring’s future.
Nokia has released its Q2 2011 results, reporting an operating loss of -€487 million, with net sales of €9.275 billion (down 7% YoY). Nokia's Devices and Services division's losses were -€247 million. Margins in devices and services were -4.5% (down 14% YoY and down 14.2% QoQ). However, non-IFRS operating profit was €391 million (down 41% YoY and down 44% QoQ), with Devices and Services non-IFRS profit at €369 million, and margins at 6.7%. Total smartphone device sales were 16.7 million, compared with 24 million units in Q2 2010 (down 34% YoY) and 25.2 million units in Q1 2011 (down 31%, QoQ).
Yesterday Nokia released Qt Quick components 1.0 for Symbian, a UI component (widget) set for Qt Quick application developers and designers. The set provides a ready made set of QML based UI building blocks, that are designed to have the same look and feel as the standard (native) UI. The 40+ components cover the major UI elements including toolbars, buttons, sliders, lists, dialogs and many more.
Synchronica, a UK based company that provides mobile messaging solution, is to acquire Nokia's operator branded messaging business. This business provides a number of American operators with branded email and IM applications and services. In addition, under a professional services contract (outsourcing), Synchronica will take over the development of the related Series 40 client software and the messaging gateway, which is used by both Series 40 and Symbian devices.