Milos Zikic - Personal site, sharing thoughts about startups, products and engineering

Is Nokia smart enough for the SmartPhone Wars

Everybody is buzzing about it. It is among us. The SmartPhone Wars is getting huge day by day and it is not going to stop soon. Today we have iPhoneOS, Android, RIM, Windows Mobile, Bada, Brew, Symbian and MeeGo and probably some that I left out.. Ohh man what a list!

It is great for the end users. They get all new features, a lot of cool and flashy buzzwords and services, a lot information to process and it augments every day. Beside this they get new UX patterns with almost each new smart OS out there so they are never bored. Ok maybe too much to process but this wars bring technology to the people. Smart phones are becoming cheaper by the day.

And one more thing a lot of smart phone producers oriented mobile phones production as a fashion accessory. Thats very neat for producers since they are almost pushing people to buy new phone every season. No one wants to be sooooo yesterday and carry around phone produced 6 months ago!! :)

But what is in there for 3rd party developers: huge amount of SDKs and APIs and then again ability to reuse the same idea on multiple platforms. Kinda hell for development and there is no notice of standardization in near future. So where to look what to do first.

Certainly one good thing is to follow trends. They can say a lot about current state but how to predict a future!? Well thats almost impossible but following blogs and watching out on marketing campaigns can help a lot. At the end some of this smart os platforms will go up. And right now I think that Nokia has that potential.

Yeah they are the biggest company out there and being big makes some stuff going slow. But they are still number one in selling mobile phones. They can soon become a big number one with over 95% sell rate of regular phone (s40 devices). That is good.. keeps money coming in but you can not leave on old glory.

With Smart Phones Nokia is kinda 3 years behind their competition. BUT there are some very smart moves this company is doing at this moment. They have 2 great products on the way:

  • new version of Symbian os with multitouch support (Symbian^3)
  • MeeGo (in partnership with Intel!)
And this 2 platforms are very smart. Symbian is a true embedded OS out there. It is build for devices with limited hardware and it can run on much cheaper hardware then any other smart OS out there while performing the same. Beside this battery life on symbian is much much longer then on full blown linux/unix adopted solutions for mobile platforms.

Symbian is not that advanced and smooth compared to other platforms but with new release it will be. And it will be released in upcoming months. So it is practically here. 

And if you don't like Symbian there is full blown debian packed for mobile devices with a name MeeGo so you can do whatever you want without any limitations (geeky :).

What is great about this platforms? Nothing in specific but development environment is great.

2 years ago Nokia acquired QT framework and packed it up with mobility SDK. It is great C++ multiplatform development environment. You can easily port any application to any platform that you like (Windows, Linux, MacOS, and now Symbian and MeeGo). And as at seamed that they are falling by the day  by the pressure of other companies out there they were cooking some very neat stuff.

QT is great refreshing SDK. Yeath it is C++ but you can call it C++ on steroids. And it is supporting Code once deploy everywhere policy which is here a huge range of devices!
Beside this Nokia released great IDE and a good set of productivity tools like Flowella (prototyping tool). Their Simulator is great. It is super fast and is a true simulator and not a full OS (like Android Simulator which is heavy and slow). It supports all cool events to simulate (as well for simulating some unexpected conditions, eg. battery going off, phone drops etc).

So this cool developer tools can be found at http://qt.nokia.com/products/developer-tools. Feel free to look around and to play with them. And if you like you can play with them while being competitive as well, just join Nokia competition.

And here is some official Nokia video:


And for the end I think that Nokia is on the right path now and poses some great potential. It certainly got my support!

Share this post