Nokia today made an announcement that clarifies and simplifies its developer and software platform strategy. Nokia will focus on Qt as the sole application development framework across both MeeGo and Symbian, reinforcing and accelerating Nokia's previous commitment to it. Nokia will also develop its own future UI applications using Qt.
The planned and future development of the higher layers of Symbian OS itself will also rely heavily on Qt; Nokia says this will "allow a continuous improvement of the Symbian experience" and, critically, will be compatible with the existing Symbian^3 platform and devices. This will mean that existing Symbian^3 devices will be included in future updates and will receive many of the user experience and application improvements originally planned for Symbian^4. Going forward, Nokia will simply refer to the platform as 'Symbian', without any version specifics.
Nokia has released their Q3 2010 results, reporting an operating profit of €529 million, with net sales of €10.3 billion. Nokia's device and service division's profits were €807 million, up 3% year on year. Margins in devices and services were 10.5% (down 0.9% YoY and up 0.9% QoQ). The figures beat market expectations. Converged devices sales (smartphones) were significantly up, at 26.5 million, compared with 16.4 million units in Q3 2009 (up 61% YoY) and compared with 24 million units in Q2 2010 (up 10%, QoQ). Worldwide smartphone market share was 38%, down 3% sequentially but up 2% year on year.
The Symbian Foundation has announced that Lee Williams has stepped down, for personal reasons, from his role of Executive Director of the Symbian Foundation. He is to be replaced by Tim Holbrow with immediate effect. Holbrow is a member of the Symbian Leadership Team and was previously responsible for Operations (covering Finance, IT, Infrastructure and property services) at the Foundation.
It used to be that mobile phone networks were scared of being nothing more than pipes for data and calls, so they added extra features to make them portals rather than pipes. But the increasing number of smartphones coming to market mean they now have another approach to ward off this fear – the added value on top of the Operating System to make the network version of a popular handset 'better' than the stock factory model. But in the process, this creates a handset that's not what the end-user expects, creates user interface discrepancies, and frustrates their own customers as to the capabilities of the device they see talked about online, and the one in their hand. Have the networks forgetten how to balance their needs with the needs of the users?
A couple of interesting links of interest in the last 24 hours over on Nokia's official blog. Nokia’s new devices and the environment looks at some facts behind progress at keeping phones and their packaging as 'green' as possible. I guess when you're selling over a million phones a day then you have to really worry about the impact you're having on the planet! Also of interest was this drum-thumping post on entitled Nokia ranks number one as mobile Web platform, referring to new stats from Opera that show that in the top 20 tech-capable countries, in 16 of them a Nokia device was the leading phone used to browse the web. Some quotes below from each.
Symbian have announced the line up of the Application Developer Track at the upcoming Exchange and Exposium in Amsterdam next month. With notable contributions from Nokia and Orange, the event is well on course to its goals of sharing experience and knowledge throughout the community.
As Engadget puts it, "the other shoe just dropped" for anyone hoping that Samsung might yet be planning a Symbian^4 device or two in the future. In an email out to registered developers and on the Samsung Mobile Innovator web site, the company says that it "will discontinue its Symbian support service from December 31st 2010". Sad news from the company that brought us the i8910 HD, among other interesting and powerful designs.
NyTeknik, a weekly Swedish technology newspaper, is reporting that Jan Uddenfeldt, Sony Ericsson's new CTO, said that the company "have no plans for new products with Symbian". While this is not a definitive statement, it would appear to rule out any Symbian^3 handsets from Sony Ericsson and leave longer term plans uncertain. It follows on from the recent news that Samsung also has no current plans for Symbian handsets.
Both Gartner and IDC recently published predictions of where the smartphone world will go over the next four years, in part backing up each others conclusions, but with some divergence. Pulling out the trends and actual figures needed a little more digging, but I've averaged the two sets of predictions and filled in (and interpolated where necessary) to give you a chart that's a lot easier to take in. Are both Gartner and IDC infallible? Certainly not, but the combined chart should give a more balanced prediction than the current fashionable 'Symbian is toast' rhetoric...
Anssi Vanjoki, Executive Vice President in charge of Mobile Solutions (Symbian and MeeGo devices) and a member of the Nokia Group Executive Board, has resigned. He will work out his six month notice period, will continue in his current tasks for the time being and will be attending Nokia World. Coming just days after the appointment of Stephen Elop as the new CEO of Nokia, it seems very likely that Vanjoki was one of the internal candidates passed over for the job, consequently he has decided to move on.
Nokia's Board of Directors has appointed Stephen Elop, currently head of Microsoft's Business division, to replace Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo as CEO of Nokia as of September 21st. As a Canadian, he becomes the first non-Finn to lead the company, reflecting Nokia's increasingly global management and work force. The market is responding positively to the news, with Nokia shares up 5% in early trading.
We’ve been following the Giff Gaff story at All About Symbian with interest since this community supported virtual network launched last year, and they’ve recently announced some price changes suggested and supported by their users. Read on for more information.
In a report from the IFA Consumer Electronics show, Reuters quotes Y H Lee, Samsung Mobile's head of marketing, as saying that the company is concentrating on "Android and Bada for its mobile devices". Samsung see that there is some "specialised demand" for Windows Mobile, but is "not seeing visible demand for Symbian". Reuters further reports that, although the company remains ready to introduce Symbian devices, it currently has has none planned.
If you are interested in speaking at the Symbian Exchange and Exposium (SEE) you’ve got till this Friday to get your submissions in to see2010.org. The organisers are looking for both single presentations and panel discussions, and you’ll need to submit a 300 word pitch through the site.
In All About Symbian Insight 133, we start with news of the Nokia 5250, Nokia's cheapest ever smartphone, following which, Steve shares some more detail from his recent reviews of Let's Golf and Mommax's Mains Battery Charger. Rafe talks about Nokia and Intel's new joint laboratory for 3D mobile user experiences. Finally Ewan gives us his commentary on the the re-branding of Nokia Music to Ovi Music. You can listen to AAS Insight 133 here or, if you wish to subscribe, here's the RSS feed.