This is huge news. As you may already know Nokia currently holds the controlling interest in Symbian, however not satisfied with that they are going to acquire a full 100%. The net cash outlay from Nokia to purchase the approximately 52% of Symbian Limited shares it does not already own will be approximately EUR 264 million.
But they don’t really want it for themselves but to create an open platform. In this direction, the Symbian Foundation, was announced today by Nokia, along with AT&T, LG Electronics, Motorola, NTT DOCOMO, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments and Vodafone. The foundation will unify Symbian, S60, UIQ and MOAP(S) software to create an open software platform for converged mobile devices, enabling the whole mobile ecosystem to accelerate innovation. This will make the platform code available to all for free, bringing additional innovation to the platform and engaging even a broader community in future developments.
All in all this is wonderful news for all Symbian fans but my guess is that it will have Google worried sick. After all S60 devices have been ruling the market for a long time now and the first Android device is yet to make an appearance. Everyone seemed to believe that the future is in open source, so Android will play a crucial role but with this announcement, Nokia has completely changed the ball game. Nokia press releases here and here.
This one hit me completely out of the blue. Apparently a chap named Jovan has managed to get Android up and running on a Nokia N95. Yes, the same Nokia N95 that runs the S60 operating system. He claims to now have a dual boot between Andriod and S60. He backs up this claim by the video above and another one below, with which he demoes Google Maps and the Dialer. After playing with this setup he says, “My impressions after using it are all positive, its much faster than Symbian, looks better, thought some functions still dont work, and the 3D engine is slow and lags”.
First of all, congratulations on the mod. However I don’t really know how I feel, its great to see so much control in the user’s hands but S60 is an OS that I love and anything that displaces it, well..
The second video after the break.
Continue reading Running Google’s Android On A N95
Well, the much anticipated, much hyped Google phone turned out into a completely new operating system called Android that is supposed to be open and free. Meaning thereby that manufacturers could use it for developing their smartphones without having to pay for or license an OS such as Symbian or WinMo. The idea behind the entire scheme of things is deriving advertising based revenue and thus reducing the cost of the phone. However would this business model really make a difference? Would it actually revolutionarise the way we use phones? Would it be spectacular? The more I think about it, the less convinced I am.
The question on my mind is, how much of an effect will this have on pricing. The absolute maximum amount a manufacturer pays a vendor such as Symbian or Microsoft for their software is not more than 5$-20$ a handset. Now even if Google is not charging this money for the OS, the largest price drop in the cost of a smartphone would be in the same region. Meaning thereby there would not be a substantial price drop.
For a high end smartphone, this is not a difference at all and in my opinion not sufficient for pulling a customer from a company such as Nokia; which is not a part of the Open Handset Alliance. The reliability of a business and the trust a consumer places in a brand would not be overcome so easily. In the high end segment there is enough profit margin, the Nokia N95 on launch was priced somewhere around 900$ now it retails for a mere 600$, all this within 6-7 months of its release. A 300$ dip in profit on each phone and Nokia is still making money on the device. In face of competition the phone could be a little more competitively placed and Nokia and S60 would prove tough to beat.
Continue reading Android – Will It Make An Impact?
The Google Mobile Phone OS ‘Android‘ has just gone official. Android, is named after the start-up company that Google bought in 2004 for its mobile software. Google has also made it clear that it won’t be making or marketing any phones. It is more significant and ambitious than a single phone. In fact, through the joint efforts of the members of the Open Handset Alliance, Google hopes to make Android the foundation for many new phones and create an entirely new mobile experience for users, with new applications and new capabilities. The entire theme for the Platform is ‘Innovation’.
Android will deliver a complete set of software for mobile devices: an operating system, middleware and key mobile applications and because Android will cost nothing, it could undercut rivals who charge handset makers to install their operating systems. It also promises to make smart phones less expensive since manufacturers won’t have to pay for software.
Continue reading Android – What Would Your Phone Do?
Well this has nothing to do with Symbian directly but is far too important to miss. According to a post over at C|Net google is going to announce a new platform, a new mobile operating system that runs on Linux and is called Android! Such an announcement has been expected for long and now we have just one more day to go. On Monday Google is expected to reveal details on the mythical Gphone.
Google is calling the venture an “Open Handset Alliance” and it includes partners like KDDI and NTT DoCoMo and 30 others including Qualcomm, Broadcom, HTC, Intel, Samsung, Motorola, Sprint, and Texas Instruments.. The platform will supposedly be open source falling under the Apache License, Version 2.0. The flavor of Linux that Android will be built on top of looks to be that from Wind River.
Continue reading Google’s Android Coming!