Bad news for iphone - Nokia unites SE/Moto and buys out Symbian

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
http://www.nokia.com/A4136001?newsid=1230416



Mobile leaders to unify the Symbian software platform and set the future of mobile free

June 24, 2008





Foundation to be established to provide royalty-free open platform and accelerate innovation



London, UK - Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Motorola and NTT DOCOMO announced today their intent to unite Symbian OS(TM), S60, UIQ and MOAP(S) to create one open mobile software platform. Together with AT&T, LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments and Vodafone they plan to establish the Symbian Foundation to extend the appeal of this unified software platform. Membership of this non-profit Foundation will be open to all organizations. This initiative is supported by current shareholders and management of Symbian Limited, who have been actively involved in its development. Plans for the Foundation have already received wide support from other industry leaders.



To enable the Foundation, Nokia today announced plans to acquire the remaining shares of Symbian Limited that Nokia does not already own and then contribute the Symbian and S60 software to the Foundation. Sony Ericsson and Motorola today announced their intention to contribute technology from UIQ and DOCOMO has also indicated its willingness to contribute its MOAP(S) assets. From these contributions, the Foundation will provide a unified platform with common UI framework. A full platform will be available for all Foundation members under a royalty-free license, from the Foundation's first day of operations.



Contributions from Foundation members through open collaboration will be integrated to further enhance the platform. The Foundation will make selected components available as open source at launch. It will then work to establish the most complete mobile software offering available in open source. This will be made available over the next two years and is intended to be released under Eclipse Public License (EPL) 1.0.



The Foundation's platform will build on the leading open mobile software platform, with more than 200 million phones, across 235 models, already shipped by multiple vendors and tens of thousands of third-party applications already available for Symbian OS-based devices.



"Ten years ago, Symbian was established by far sighted players to offer an advanced open operating system and software skills to the whole mobile industry", said Nigel Clifford, CEO of Symbian. "Our vision is to become the most widely used software platform on the planet and indeed today Symbian OS leads its market by any measure. Today's announcement is a bold new step to achieve that vision by embracing a complete and proven platform, offered in an open way, designed to stimulate innovation which is at the heart of everything we do."



"Establishing the Foundation is one of the biggest contributions to an open community ever made," said Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, CEO of Nokia. "Nokia is a strong supporter of open platforms and technologies as they give the freedom to build, maintain and evolve applications and services across device segments and offer by far the largest ecosystem, enabling rapid innovation. Today's announcement is a major milestone in our devices software strategy."



"The complete, consistent platform that the Foundation plans to provide will allow manufacturers to focus on their unique differentiation at a device level" said Dick Komiyama, President of Sony Ericsson. "Sony Ericsson believes that the unified Symbian Foundation platform will greatly simplify the world for handset manufacturers, operators and developers, enabling greater innovation in services and applications to the benefit of consumers everywhere."



"Motorola has long been a leader and advocate of open software for mobile platforms. We're excited to be joining Nokia, Sony Ericsson, NTT DOCOMO and others in leading this open source effort to form the new Symbian Foundation and unite the Symbian ecosystem," said Alain Mutricy, Senior Vice President, Platforms & Technology Office, Motorola Mobile Devices. "Also, Motorola, together with Sony Ericsson, will be contributing UIQ technology to the Foundation and will work with UIQ as they are refocusing as an important supplier in the new Symbian ecosystem. This will be a great addition, as the Foundation will be able to leverage UIQ's unique experience, which includes expertise in touch technology."



"DOCOMO welcomes this development and we look forward to moving our Symbian based devices and service onto the Foundation platform. We are also willing to contribute our MOAP(S) assets to the Foundation. This is a very positive step in further increasing the adoption of the Symbian software and creating an even more open, consistent and complete platform. The Foundation software will enable us to enjoy the benefits of a global platform in bringing new, leading-edge services to the Japanese market. It will increase efficiency and help us provide our wide customer base with the most advanced mobile experiences." said Toshio Miki, Associate Senior Vice President, Managing Director of Communication Device Development Department of NTT DOCOMO.



"Mobile phones have turned into sophisticated multimedia computers and smart phones continue to grow in popularity," said Kris Rinne, Senior Vice President of Architecture and Planning at AT&T. "The Symbian Foundation will reduce fragmentation in the industry and holds the promise of incorporating leading technology and the most mature software into a unified platform for the entire industry. This will create an environment that will encourage and enable developers to build compelling applications that will positively affect our customers' lives and support AT&T in offering its differentiated services to consumers."



"Joining the Symbian Foundation is an ideal opportunity for LG to broaden our commitment to providing our customers with the best possible mobile experience" said Dr. Skott Ahn, President and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. "We believe that open mobile platforms will contribute to advance the mobile industry. At LG we will play a leading role in creating a better mobile environment, working with the Symbian Foundation to provide our customers with smart new features based on this open platform."



"Samsung Electronics is committed to Symbian as one of the future platforms for our mobile devices and believes that establishing the Foundation is a visionary move in positioning the platform as a proven open platform for future development. We are delighted to be playing a significant role in that future by joining the Foundation board. We have already used Symbian and S60 software successfully to deliver appealing devices and see these steps making the platform even more attractive for bringing the latest technologies and services to the market" said Dr. Do Hun Kwon, VP & Managing Director, Samsung Electronics Research Institute.



"ST sees strong consumer demand, across all segments, for a richer multimedia experience," said Monica de Virgiliis, General Manager of the Wireless Multimedia Division, STMicroelectronics. "This new foundation synchronizes and harmonizes the mainstream software approach to address this need and makes the software widely available. We anticipate this will fuel the growth of multimedia-capable devices and we are excited about being able to leverage our long-standing leadership in consumer digital multimedia to satisfy more and more consumers."



"TI has long supported open platforms, and we are excited about the formation of the Symbian Foundation. We believe the new structure will remove barriers to innovation in the mobile industry by providing a common platform on which exciting next-generation applications and services can be built," said Greg Delagi, senior vice president of TI's Wireless Business Unit. "Manufacturers can get a head-start on development with TI's proven OMAP-based Symbian S60 software development platform. Combined with the Foundation's open collaboration model, this will allow more developers to harness the performance and multimedia capabilities of the OMAP family to accelerate improvements in the mobile user experience."



"Vodafone believes this is a significant step in driving mobile innovation for the Internet as well as creating a richer mobile experience for our customers" said Jens Schulte-Bockum, Vodafone's Global Director of Terminals. "We have been challenging the industry to reduce complexity and focus on fewer operating systems. This step will help to drive even faster innovation, as well as enable operators to accelerate time-to-market for compelling and varied new services."



Foundation members share the vision that the Foundation will unify the software platform, supercharge innovation and accelerate the availability of new services and compelling experiences for consumers and business users around the world. The combined platform is already one of the most advanced and widely used mobile platforms, making it highly attractive for all ecosystem partners, including developers, mobile operators, content and service providers and device manufacturers.



The Foundation is expected to start operating during the first half of 2009, subject to the closing of the acquisition of Symbian Ltd by Nokia.



Note to Editors:



A press conference will be webcast live from London today at 11:00 UK time and will be available for replay later. Please visit www.symbianfoundation.org to see the webcast.



Further information about Symbian Foundation is available at www.symbianfoundation.org.

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This is absolutley huge!
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    It's less bad news for the iPhone as much as bad news for Android. The iPhone kills symbian in terms of ease of development, lack of legacy cruft and ease of use.



    Sony, Nokia and Motorolla could have built an iPhone years ago but haven't managed to build a phone interface that isn't dog slow or just poorly made. It doesn't seem likely that they're going to do any better today.
  • Reply 2 of 22
    bavlondon2bavlondon2 Posts: 694member
    Your forgetting that Symbian have majority of the market share. Where as Apple have just 1 device.
  • Reply 3 of 22
    ipeonipeon Posts: 1,122member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bavlondon2 View Post


    This is absolutley huge!



    Huge in what terms? A lot of work with nothing ever getting accomplished?



    You know what happens when you get a bunch of companies working on the same project where the cumulative group is the decision maker? Chaos. Nothing worthwhile ever comes out of it.



    By the way, this is the downfall of open source. You have a bunch of individuals working as a group with no leadership. Chaos. Sure, they might accomplish something some day... but it takes much, much, much longer and it will never be standard. It's simple mathematics.



    For anything to work right and fast you need a good leader overseeing the project. If you look around you will see that all great accomplishments were created by an individual or from the leadership of one individual. When a group starts overseeing it it goes to hell.



    Name one group, deciding as a group, that did anything worthwhile? A group is only as good as it's leader.
  • Reply 4 of 22
    bavlondon2bavlondon2 Posts: 694member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iPeon View Post


    Huge in what terms? A lot of work with nothing ever getting accomplished?



    You know what happens when you get a bunch of companies working on the same project where the cumulative group is the decision maker? Chaos. Nothing worthwhile ever comes out of it.



    By the way, this is the downfall of open source. You have a bunch of individuals working as a group with no leadership. Chaos. Sure, they might accomplish something some day... but it takes much, much, much longer and it will never be standard. It's simple mathematics.



    For anything to work right and fast you need a good leader overseeing the project. If you look around you will see that all great accomplishments were created by an individual or from the leadership of one individual. When a group starts overseeing it it goes to hell.



    Name one group, deciding as a group, that did anything worthwhile? A group is only as good as it's leader.



    What are you smoking lad?



    And as for a leader what better than Nokia who own Symbian. They are after all leaders in terms of market share of the smartphone market. If you read the whitepaper you will see that work will have already commenced thanks to using the same TI 2420 CPU used on the N95 ect...



    You speak as if they are starting from scratch when in reality they are just updating Symbian S60 which is already a massive seller.
  • Reply 5 of 22
    aegisdesignaegisdesign Posts: 2,914member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bavlondon2 View Post


    And as for a leader what better than Nokia who own Symbian.



    Well, it's now a better situation in that Nokia owns it and it's one company instead of the multiple companies that owned Symbian before BUT if you want a better leader then I'd pick UIQ.



    IMHO it's Nokia's S60 interface that's really screwed Symbian. If they'd not split Symbian's UI into three (or is it four) competing interfaces then they'd probably have a much more coherent answer to the iPhone's interface.



    No wonder Sony are now off to Windows for their Xperia X1 smartphone if Nokia is now in charge.
  • Reply 6 of 22
    bavlondon2bavlondon2 Posts: 694member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post


    Well, it's now a better situation in that Nokia owns it and it's one company instead of the multiple companies that owned Symbian before BUT if you want a better leader then I'd pick UIQ.



    IMHO it's Nokia's S60 interface that's really screwed Symbian. If they'd not split Symbian's UI into three (or is it four) competing interfaces then they'd probably have a much more coherent answer to the iPhone's interface.



    No wonder Sony are now off to Windows for their Xperia X1 smartphone if Nokia is now in charge.



    s60 is the leader in the smartphone market. UIQ is ok but it has been used with shit hardware so it never reached it potential. Its appealing becasue its mainly used on touch screen phones but with the sacking the other day of 200 odd UIQ employees in Sweden doyou really think they would have been able to flip the situation around? I dont think so. Not when Nokia sell as many phones worldwide as they do.



    This is more a response to Anroid and WM if anything. WM7 should be using OpenGL in its OS so we will see how it compares with iphone then.



    As for SE what a mess they have been in. The most hyped phone of the year gets scrapped oweing to using rahashed hardware from the P1. And even BeiBei gets scrapped. They are lucky Nokia have bailed them out. At least now they dont have to worry about the software they just need to make sure they implement decent hardware.
  • Reply 7 of 22
    nofeernofeer Posts: 2,422member
    os by committee.....gee no single vision, no hardware integration, no single voice. i think the thoughts about android is right on, but this is a survival technique because they know that integration and developers/ software will define this platform. apple is years and vision ahead. MS and rim look out
  • Reply 8 of 22
    bavlondon2bavlondon2 Posts: 694member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NOFEER View Post


    os by committee.....gee no single vision, no hardware integration, no single voice. i think the thoughts about android is right on, but this is a survival technique because they know that integration and developers/ software will define this platform. apple is years and vision ahead. MS and rim look out



    Your right about RIM but WM will be using OpenGL in their OS for WM7 so you will see all the same snazzy interface and similar gestures. Nokia given their position will surley do the same. Its only a matter of time before they are all a level playing field.



    Once we get to that position the deciding matter will be purley on specs alone. And if Apple continue to keep playing the silly game (crippled bluetooth, no video capture ectt) then they may find themselves in a bit of a tricky situation. Just a guess anyway.
  • Reply 9 of 22
    davegeedavegee Posts: 2,765member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bavlondon2 View Post


    Your forgetting that Symbian have majority of the market share. Where as Apple have just 1 device.



    Umm lets see where else could this have been stated in the not too distant past... Oh yeah, "Your forgetting that the current mp3 manufactures have the *vast majority* of market share while Apple only has the 1 iPod"



    Dave
  • Reply 10 of 22
    aegisdesignaegisdesign Posts: 2,914member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bavlondon2 View Post


    s60 is the leader in the smartphone market. UIQ is ok but it has been used with shit hardware so it never reached it potential. Its appealing becasue its mainly used on touch screen phones but with the sacking the other day of 200 odd UIQ employees in Sweden doyou really think they would have been able to flip the situation around? I dont think so. Not when Nokia sell as many phones worldwide as they do.



    UIQ's downfall is because of Symbian, not their shit hardware. UIQ 3.0 was a great step forward over 2.x but it was hampered by the move to Symbian OS 9.0 and it's terrible memory management. And who is to blame for that - Nokia. Nokia pushed Symbian downmarket into feature phones, dropping XIP and the more expensive ram needed. 9.0 was late and consumed too much RAM so SE's P990 hardware which was long finished and waiting on 9.0 was underspec when it shipped. The P1i fixed that by adding more RAM and some improvements in Symbian's memory management but the damage was done.



    UIQ shed staff because Nokia now has full control and either Nokia are going to foist their shitty two button an a joystick interface on to UIQ or perhaps they've finally seen the light and realised that UIQ and the original Psion interface team were right and the future is a touch interface.



    UIQ was the true smartphone interface for Symbian or possibly the very closely related S80 interface on the old Communicators. Just look at the uproar when Nokia started using S60 on it's Communicators!



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bavlondon2 View Post


    This is more a response to Anroid and WM if anything. WM7 should be using OpenGL in its OS so we will see how it compares with iphone then.



    It probably is but whatever it is, someone's stuck a stick in the phone OS market and given it a well deserved stir.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bavlondon2 View Post


    As for SE what a mess they have been in. The most hyped phone of the year gets scrapped oweing to using rahashed hardware from the P1. And even BeiBei gets scrapped. They are lucky Nokia have bailed them out. At least now they dont have to worry about the software they just need to make sure they implement decent hardware.



    It was probably good they scrapped the P5 and the BeiBei was just awful. But what are they going to do next? I don't think Nokia have 'bailed them out'. I suspect it's more a case of them being on a skeleton staff until whatever happens with Symbian coalesces into some useful form but they're already using Windows for their smartphones and moving their java stuff further upfield into the walkman and cybershot phones like the stupendous 8.1mp C905.
  • Reply 11 of 22
    aegisdesignaegisdesign Posts: 2,914member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bavlondon2 View Post


    And if Apple continue to keep playing the silly game (crippled bluetooth, no video capture ectt) then they may find themselves in a bit of a tricky situation. Just a guess anyway.



    To nick someone's catchphrase...



    "Developers, Developers, Developers..."



    Apple knows how to attract developers, unlike MS, Symbian, RIM, Palm... It'll be that I reckon that makes the difference. The quality of the development tools and environment are key.
  • Reply 12 of 22
    hfuhfu Posts: 55member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post


    To nick someone's catchphrase...

    "Developers, Developers, Developers..."

    Apple knows how to attract developers, unlike MS, Symbian, RIM, Palm... It'll be that I reckon that makes the difference. The quality of the development tools and environment are key.



    This is exactly what iPhone will stand out among competitions.
  • Reply 13 of 22
    bavlondon2bavlondon2 Posts: 694member
    Good article on the situation.



    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/06...symbian_nokia/



    The main thing here for everyone to digest is that UIQ is as good as dead. We may see a few devices with UIQ from Moto next year but then thats it. What now for SE? Most of their money is in the mid range devices anyway so they should just concentrate on that and perhaps bring out a few more WM based phones.



    Nokia meanwhile should announce Tube soon but apparantly thats not the S60 touch flagship. Should be an interesting 18 months ahead whatever happens.
  • Reply 14 of 22
    bavlondon2bavlondon2 Posts: 694member
    Just also heard from someone that SEMC have decided to jump directly to a new UI (essentially S60) on a new h/w platform. However we wont see it until this time next year. Ah well a good start at least.
  • Reply 15 of 22
    aegisdesignaegisdesign Posts: 2,914member
    Then SE are screwed. Nokia's fuck awful S60 interface has won. UIQ RIP
  • Reply 16 of 22
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bavlondon2 View Post


    Your right about RIM but WM will be using OpenGL in their OS for WM7 so you will see all the same snazzy interface and similar gestures. Nokia given their position will surley do the same. Its only a matter of time before they are all a level playing field.



    no, they'll be on a level playing field for technology but not user interface. you seem to believe it's all about the technology and resources. it's not. with apple it's all about an uncompromising vision and the willingness to wait until that vision is realized. winmo, symbian, etc all suffer from a number of problems, the last of which is the os technology. you simply cannot make an os that is supposed to work equally well on qwerty phones, numberpad phones and touch phones excellent on any of the particular platforms. they all have completely different issues and interface inputs. this is the same problem android will have. the iphone ui is based on multitouch and that is consistent throughout all of the applications on it. if some apps were written for a touch phone and some were written for a keyboard phone and some for a d-pad phone then how can it be great for any of them. i'm not worried about any of these OSes until they can show us an interface that is as consistent and intuitive as the iphone's.
  • Reply 17 of 22
    ipeonipeon Posts: 1,122member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bavlondon2 View Post


    What are you smoking lad?



    And as for a leader what better than Nokia who own Symbian. They are after all leaders in terms of market share of the smartphone market. If you read the whitepaper you will see that work will have already commenced thanks to using the same TI 2420 CPU used on the N95 ect...



    You speak as if they are starting from scratch when in reality they are just updating Symbian S60 which is already a massive seller.



    I'm smoking the good stuff. How about you?



    Bla, bla, bla... The point is that no one in the industry has the know how to create a product that is as intuitive to use as Apple's. For as long as Nokia has been around you would expect them to have come up with something like the iPhone by now. So now they decide to "improve" their UI? Wonderful. Now they have something to copy from.
  • Reply 18 of 22
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    I agree, this coalition is a protectionist measure against the coming onslaught of Apple developers and Android's rise. They are re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
  • Reply 19 of 22
    aegisdesignaegisdesign Posts: 2,914member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by admactanium View Post


    winmo, symbian, etc all suffer from a number of problems, the last of which is the os technology. you simply cannot make an os that is supposed to work equally well on qwerty phones, numberpad phones and touch phones excellent on any of the particular platforms. they all have completely different issues and interface inputs. this is the same problem android will have. the iphone ui is based on multitouch and that is consistent throughout all of the applications on it. if some apps were written for a touch phone and some were written for a keyboard phone and some for a d-pad phone then how can it be great for any of them. i'm not worried about any of these OSes until they can show us an interface that is as consistent and intuitive as the iphone's.



    Symbian has no user interface at all. Symbian is just the core OS. In OSX terms it's Darwin. The issue you mention doesn't apply to Symbian at all.



    On top of Symbian there are various user interfaces - S60 is Nokia's two button and joystick interface, UIQ is Sony Ericsson's touch interface, S80 is Nokia's touchscreen interface used on the older communicators and MOAP is used on some of the Asian phones. Despite that there's 1000s of applications for each of the UIs that sit on top of Symbian.



    With UIQ's cuts, Nokia dropping S80 and buying up QT, I'd guess there's a new interface due from the new combined Symbian/Nokia S60 team. I'd guess UIQ know that already.
  • Reply 20 of 22
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bavlondon2 View Post


    Your forgetting that Symbian have majority of the market share. Where as Apple have just 1 device.



    Nope, not forgetting. The point is that the iPhone IS a single product (line). OSX is designed for it and vice versa.



    Whereas Symbian is a multi-vendor horse designed by committee that has to serve from the lowest common denominator on up. Nokia is a market leader but S60 sucks ass and Nokia is stretching the concept of the "smart phone" downwards and not upwards. Symbian and S60 design seems to reflect that. Open Sourcing it doesn't really help it take markets it suffers in or shore up its weaknesses...namely that S60 sucks ass.



    Apple is doing the opposite...scaling the smart phone upwards. While Nokia will on paper "dominate" the smart phone market, it'll be like Windows dominating the PC market. Only with RIM rather than Nokia having the enterprise share.



    Apple will be quite happy with it's healthy % of the top end of the smartphone market, very high ASPs and margins.
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