All About Symbian - Nokia (S60) and Sony Ericsson (UIQ) smartphones unwrapped

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Old 20-01-2008, 03:24 PM
krisse krisse is offline
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"For the majority of the world... the phone is the computer"

BBC News' website carried an interesting opinion piece recently by one Dr Joel Selanikio, who feels "It's time that we recognised that for the majority of the world's population, and for the foreseeable future, the cell phone is the computer." Regular readers of AAS may recall a similar message in our series of articles published last Summer on how the phone could eat the PC.

Read on in the full article.

  #2  
Old 21-01-2008, 05:28 PM
ajck ajck is offline
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Spot on

Totally and completely agree with the article. I've been thinking this for ages, and saying so for some time in various other industry forums. It's to AAS' credit that you publish and actively consider this sort of stuff and not just get all excited over the latest shoot-em-up on your phone.

These so-called $100 (more like $200) laptop initiatives across the developing world are very short sighted and stupid. It's amazing how little foresight people have. They have SOME value, but very little in the grand scheme of things.

I know this is a pro-Nokia site and therefore I could be accused of fanboyism, but even so, Nokia are really leading the charge here I think. TV out being of some significance, but also their handsets that allow multiple accounts or users per handset, for the poorest areas. Motorola and others are doing good work here too with cheap handsets.

I think it is also in the developing world that Google's Android has potentially thrown down the gauntlet to Symbian. They are at similar levels of sophistication in terms of the software they allow, and their architectures. Android is free and open source, Symbian is not. Symbian may, or may not, be a better OS (I believe it is currently not clear cut), but either way evolution of the mobile handset in the developing world (and think how vast that is) will be led by handset software that can be customised and is either free or very cheap. Symbian should consider this very carefully.

One thing the powers that be (i.e. those giving aid to developing countries) need to wake up to is that the future of personal computing, initially in the developing world, does not feature desktop Microsoft Windows in any form, nor even desktop Linux. A sophisticated mobile Linux, or an evolution of some other current smartphone software will undoubtedly be the primary computing interface, as the article suggests.

Alex
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phonething.com

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Old 21-01-2008, 06:31 PM
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[i]"educational software for cell phones" got exactly 9 hits. [\i]

Really? I wonder what pathetic search engine he used?

And apparently there was though of trying 'mobile phones'? Or just 'mLearning'?

:-)

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Old 22-01-2008, 02:24 AM
krisse krisse is offline
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I forgot to link to another article I did which also relates to this topic.

Basically, my opinion is that the only real revolutions come about when a product is so cheap that anyone can buy it and everyone does:

http://allaboutsymbian.com/features/...Smartphone.php


Quote:
The evolution of the mobile handset in the developing world (and think how vast that is) will be led by handset software that can be customised and is either free or very cheap. Symbian should consider this very carefully.
Well, to some extent Symbian have already done very well in this field by making the hardware required for Symbian phones as cheap as possible. They altered their production requirements a couple of years ago so that Symbian phones could be made with fewer chips than rival platforms like Windows Mobile.

If you look at the pure software and ignore all the flashy stuff like cameras, GPS etc, Symbian phones are now extremely cheap.

The Nokia 6120 Classic came out last Summer for a launch price of about $250, less than half the price of the N95. The 6120 is much smaller, much lighter, it runs the same S60 3rd Edition FP1 platform as the N95, and has a processor that runs at the same speed.

The only reason the N95 costs three times the price of the 6120 is the high quality of the extra stuff (5mp camera, GPS, 3D graphics chip). Adding Symbian compatibility doesn't actually cost that much any more, and perhaps one day very soon we'll see Symbian even in the lowest-end models.


Quote:
I know this is a pro-Nokia site and therefore I could be accused of fanboyism, but even so, Nokia are really leading the charge here I think. TV out being of some significance, but also their handsets that allow multiple accounts or users per handset, for the poorest areas. Motorola and others are doing good work here too with cheap handsets.
We're not pro-Nokia, we're pro-Symbian! Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, Samsung and LG all have Symbian models on the market so we support all of them.

But yes, Nokia, Moto and other long-established manufacturers are the ones who are truly bringing the mobile computing revolution to the world by offering cheaper and cheaper handsets. Even a very simple thing like SMS is revolutionary as it allows secure trading of money and loans, and many banks in the developing world now offer accounts that are accessed by SMS.

Despite the hype, Apple and other luxury-only phone manufacturers have very very little direct effect on the technology world, as their products are bought by the richest people on the planet and used largely as toys rather than tools. If Apple wants to be part of the real revolution, they need to bring out dirt cheap phones instead of faffing about with 1000 euro models.
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Old 22-01-2008, 07:17 AM
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If you look harder it is possible to see Nokia playing with Linux too, see the N770, N800, N810 Internet tabliets. It shouldn't be much of a stretch to add SIM to the next version of that.

I've played with Android, the programming API is java only, like iPhone will be. This means it will be simple but not ultimately powerful compared to the open C++ environment on Symbian (which is also backed up by Java J2ME and Python).

The Symbian model of providing an OS that can provide loads of features with good performance on minimal hardware with consequent light battery use (relatively) is still valid. However, hardware is improving, getting less expensive and lighter on power with all the promise of Moore's Law. Soon the bloat of iPhone and Android will be less important.

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Old 22-01-2008, 11:42 AM
AndyM AndyM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
[i]"educational software for cell phones" got exactly 9 hits. [\i]

Really? I wonder what pathetic search engine he used?

And apparently there was though of trying 'mobile phones'? Or just 'mLearning'?

:-)
He used google (it says in the article), but he put quotes round the search terms so he looked for an exact match for the phrase; obviously not a power user! (There are now 15 matches, the extra ones being copies of the BBC article.)
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Old 22-01-2008, 12:18 PM
zippiracer zippiracer is offline
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interesting article i have bookmarked it
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  #8  
Old 22-01-2008, 07:46 PM
ajck ajck is offline
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Krisse,

Quote:
The Nokia 6120 Classic came out last Summer for a launch price of about $250, less than half the price of the N95. The 6120 is much smaller, much lighter, it runs the same S60 3rd Edition FP1 platform as the N95, and has a processor that runs at the same speed.
Sure, and that was great. But for the developing world we need to be seeing Symbian on $30-$40 or less handsets. They may have next to nothing on the hardware specs, and just do voice, sms and not a huge amount more (though GPRS based mobile web would be a very good idea), but price point needs to be the priority above all else. Now, given Android's open source I think it's feasible to see it being run on such cheap hardware (perhaps with modifications). Symbian must be able to compete at this price point if it wants to "conquer the world".

Alex

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Old 23-01-2008, 05:04 PM
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I can't see how the "free software" argument is all that relevant when the Symbian license for the device is something like $5. Saving $5 on the production cost won't bring the cost of a smartphone down by $200. While I don't know much about the software of Android, I'm struggling to see how it's going to be running on hardware that much cheaper than Symbian?

Other downside is that Android is just the OS and you will need extra software to make the phone work, and as such will increase the cost of it.
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