Archive for April 2010
Nokia has announced the launch of its latest flagship smartphone, the N8 (pictured), which will be the first ever device based on the new Symbian version 3 (S^3) platform. Nokia – the world’s largest handset vendor – announced today that the new device will be available in selected markets in the third quarter of the year, slightly later than planned according to earlier reports. It is priced at EUR370 before applicable taxes or subsidies. Among the highlight features on the N8 is a 12 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, Xenon flash and a large sensor that claims to rival those found in compact digital cameras. It also offers the ability to make and edit HD-quality videos and is compatible with home theatre systems. Web TV services and social networking features are also prominent, including the ability to have live feeds from Facebook and Twitter in a single app directly on the home screen. Nokia’s free turn-by-turn navigation service – Ovi Maps – is also included. Given Nokia’s recent troubles with its smartphone portfolio, the N8 will be carefully watched.
In a separate statement, Symbian described the launch as marking its first major platform release following its transition to a fully open source model in February this year. “S^3 enables an unparalleled set of options for device creators and app developers to extend the usefulness of Symbian products and services,” said Lee Williams, executive director at Symbian. The N8 is Nokia’s first device to be integrated with Qt, a software development environment that aims to make it possible to build applications once and deploy across Symbian and other software platforms. The vendor has made a beta version of the Qt SDK available for developers.
Source: GSMA Daily
Google has performed a u-turn on its strategy to sell its own-brand Android smartphone, the Nexus One. In a statement yesterday, the company announced that Vodafone will from this Friday start selling the device in the UK via its stores, online and over the phone. “Soon after,” Google said, it will be available via SFR in France, as well as via Vodafone’s other subsidiaries in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain. More operator launches look to be on the horizon, as Google noted that Vodafone is the “first European partner to distribute the Nexus One.” The move is a direct contrast to Google’s original retail model for the device; when it launched the high-profile phone in January Google surprised many industry watchers with plans to only sell the product via its own online store. Such a move broke heavily with traditional mobile industry business practices, bypassing the mobile operator retail stores that serve as a key distribution channel for mobile phones. Meanwhile, US operator Verizon Wireless has been dropped as a partner for the device; despite being touted as an initial partner at launch, Google is now advising customers to instead “pre-order the Droid Incredible by HTC, a powerful new Android phone and a cousin of the Nexus One that is similarly feature-packed” and available in stores on 29 April. The Nexus One remains available to T-Mobile USA customers.
Reports have been quick to cite analysts as stating that the actions represent a setback for Google’s plans to carve a role for itself in the mobile business and to redefine industry practices in the process. The move is also likely to fuel speculation that Google has been forced to change its strategy due to less-than-stellar demand for the Nexus One; analysts believe Google sold about 150,000 Nexus One devices in the first quarter. By contrast, Apple sold 1 million iPhones in the first 74 days after releasing the gadget in 2007. However, earlier this month Google’s CFO Patrick Pichette said Nexus One is “a profitable business for us”, whilst Jeff Huber, SVP for enginnering, added that the company is “very happy with the device uptake and the kind of impact that’s had across the industry in terms of raising the bar for what devices can do.” Huber added that Google’s Android system is powering 34 devices and that more than 60,000 Android devices are sold and activated each day. Android also had 38,000 apps in the previous quarter, up 78 percent from the last quarter.
Source: GSMA Daily
Results of poll by China Internet Network Information Center released this week.
Most young Chinese use mobile phones to access the Internet as these are cheaper and easier to obtain than desktop computers, according to a survey by a government-linked body.
About three-quarters of China’s 195 million web users under the age of 25–roughly half of its world-leading online population–surfed the Internet using a mobile in 2009, up from 50% from a year ago, the poll revealed.
The finding marked the first time that mobile phones emerged as the top platform for Web use among China’s youth, according to the poll by the China Internet Network Information Center, which was released Monday.
The poll offers further proof of the importance of the burgeoning mobile Internet market in China, which has the world’s largest number of mobile phone subscribers at more than 765 million, according to government data.
Nearly 70% of young Internet users still use desktops–implying that many Web-savvy youth are using both methods to get online.
The center said more young people in the countryside had opted for mobile Internet than their urban counterparts, as the handheld device “provided youths in areas where computers are hard to get with an alternative.”
Young Chinese primarily use the Internet to listen to music, play games and watch video clips, the center said.
Source: Total Tele
Japan provides some fascinating pointers as to how tech-savvy mobile operators are trying to contend with the growing strategic importance of handset operating systems that lie beyond their control. In Japan, this shift in the balance of power is an entirely new phenomena – Japan’s mobile operators have traditionally controlled handset development, setting out detailed specifications for both software and hardware.
Detailed story is at the below link:
I personally like DoComo’s approach of creating a “global” platform that would make “write once, use everywhere” (symbian, linux, android etc.) a reality for developers.