Free Maps for everyone
Following their purchase of Navteq for $8.1 billion, the Finnish company have decided to make all the mapping and navigation data in the deal freely available across their mobile phone range. Consumers will have access to turn by turn navigation, traffic data, city guides (provided by Lonely Planet and Michelin). The play is expected to significantly alter the GPS navigation market, and Nokia are expected to make a big play with Location Based Services (such as advertising) during 2010.
Please take our Operating System
As the heavyweights of the mobile industry gather in Barcelona, the Symbian Foundation has completed a one year project to 'clean up' the Symbian OS source code. The resulting code is being placed on a truckload of USB memory sticks, and will be handed to every delegate they can find. They will be free to compile, contribute and use the operating system in whatever way they wish.
Sony Ericsson to switch to standard I/O ports
Defying all their own traditions and politics, handset manufacturer Sony Ericsson has decided to drop the use of their Fastport connector and M2 card slots in all their new phones and switch to the microUSB, microSD and 3.5mm audio standards.
Capacitive is the way forward after all
Following their first public prototype in 2003 with the 7700, and a long line of successful resistive touchscreen devices, Nokia have decided to utilise a capacitive screen on their latest multimedia phone, the X6. Allowing skin contact, rather than a stylus, they believe that S60 5th Edition will still be able to ascertain which pixel you were trying to press with your huge fat index finger. So gloved hands and temperature extremes weren't really the issue then?
Comes With Music
All you can download for a year? Nokia release numerous smartphones with an unlimited license for downloading music - literally everything you want, all for free. And you get to keep it all, forever, even after the initial download year is up. (And, in many markets, the 'year' was extended... and extended....)
The Symbian Flagship gets disowned
Samsung has launched what is by far the most powerful Symbian smartphone in existence (and will remain so for at least a year), the Omnia HD, with huge 3.7" OLED screen, 256MB RAM, HD video recording and more top specs than we can hope to list here. Their plans for the device are to shout about it, market it, develop it, love it and take over the world change the name to make it less memorable, try not to mention it in polite society, try not to sell it in most countries, progressively make its firmware less and less usable, generally disown it and avoid evolving the idea any further.
Mobile Industry pushes for its own internet domain
No matter that web pages are meant to be universal, and that the proposal breaks the web architecture of links, says Tim Berners-Lee, but the mobile industry (including Nokia, Ericsson, Google, Microsoft, Vodafone and others) have decided that what it really needs is a new top level domain, so companies like Rowntree Nestle and Volkswagen can fight over who gets polo.mobi. Everyone else is wondering what's wrong with m.polo.com, which Ralph Lauren rather sensibly uses.
Nokia give smartphones away to all
Realising that not everyone wants to pay £400 for a 2010 touchscreen, GPS-equipped smartphone, Nokia has released the 5230, retailing at under £100, making sure that everyone can afford one. And T-Mobile have entered into the spirit of things by offering free mobile internet for it. Umm.... so it's Christmas already?
Nokia avoid Xenon to annoy Steve
It seems that our own Steve Litchfield did something to Nokia's OPK in a previous life - despite an overwhelming body of evidence pointing to it being a 'really good idea', Nokia has withheld Xenon flash for its phone cameras for the last 3 years "purely to annoy Steve at All About Symbian". Rumours have it though, that the spat has been resolved and that an announcement is due shortly. Let's hope so.
No, really. Err...
-- Ewan and Steve, 1st April 2010.