Nokia buys Symbian

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
http://uk.reuters.com/article/busine...30144220080624



It seems to have come to pass what many have speculated. Nokia will buy Symbian. It looks like the battle of the OS's has begun. They have a long way to go to come close to Mac OS X (Mobile?), but this should spawn some interesting devices for consumers. I think I will need another piggy-bank.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sapporobaby View Post


    http://uk.reuters.com/article/busine...30144220080624



    It seems to have come to pass what many have speculated. Nokia will buy Symbian. It looks like the battle of the OS's has begun. They have a long way to go to come close to Mac OS X (Mobile?), but this should spawn some interesting devices for consumers. I think I will need another piggy-bank.



    Wow, interesting. From an antitrust point of view, can Nokia then make Symbian very biased to work very well with Nokias, and very sucky in Samsung, Moto and Sony Ericssons?
  • Reply 2 of 10
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sapporobaby View Post


    http://uk.reuters.com/article/busine...30144220080624



    It seems to have come to pass what many have speculated. Nokia will buy Symbian. It looks like the battle of the OS's has begun. They have a long way to go to come close to Mac OS X (Mobile?), but this should spawn some interesting devices for consumers. I think I will need another piggy-bank.



    Why?



    Is Google having *that* much trouble getting Android ready for market?
  • Reply 3 of 10
    bavlondon2bavlondon2 Posts: 694member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


    Wow, interesting. From an antitrust point of view, can Nokia then make Symbian very biased to work very well with Nokias, and very sucky in Samsung, Moto and Sony Ericssons?



    If they are all going to be using a standard OS then why would it differ between phones?



    The only that would differ is the phone specs themselves.
  • Reply 4 of 10
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by backtomac View Post


    Why?



    Is Google having *that* much trouble getting Android ready for market?



    Nokia has a heavy investment in Symbian, now even moreso. Rather than let it die on the vine, they'd rather do what they can to assure that Symbian can compete with iPhone, Android, and LiMo (Linux Mobile), amongst others... going forward. This plan is a self-assurance, to make sure that their prior investments and future building on an existing and mature platform still bears fruit. To this point they've all had their own forks of Symbian with their own variations. The goal now is to make it more of a unified platform to build from that is more robust, feature-rich, and powerful... one that can take advantage of open source investment. For all intents, Symbian is one of the nicer platforms out there. To expect it to die and go away when there's considerable investment is just silly. I wouldn't necessarily expect for the various developers to not look at other alternatives (Motorola already does... using Windows Mobile on some of their offerings; I could see them embracing Android and LiMo as well), maybe even offering some of those other alternatives, but... I still think Symbian has plenty of life left in it.



    As far as the previous anti-trust posting... ummm, you do know that Nokia faces stiffer regulations in their particular part of Europe than we in the states face? Nokia has been playing nicely for quite some time, and it's not just a reluctant "alright... if we have to" approach, they genuinely seem to be a very humanitarian company that lets their products do the talking, vs. hype and hoopla about their achievements and contributions, much less venomous and childish games/attacks against their competition. They openly contribute to many open source projects even having support for some competing standards to that which Symbian has put together. Unlike others, they also don't hype up their investment as they sort of consider it a business as usual approach vs. a marketing spin. To me, that's pretty commendable, you have to respect that.



    Nokia will open source Symbian after the purchase within the next 2 years. They have full support from Sony-Ericsson and Motorola on this which are two of the key players in Symbian use. That isn't to say that Nokia might not build a better mouse trap or add better features to their own Symbian versions on their phones... but once again, the core foundations will be out there and ready, it's still up to the various handset makers to add the elements to make their phone-x more compelling than phone-y. Even Android and LiMo handset makers will face that as well. To some degree, I feel that Sony-Ericsson gives Nokia a run for their money with their handsets. It might be one of the better product lines Sony has in their offing.



    As far as Android delays... I think that is to be partially expected. This is Google's first mobile platform and I applaud them for taking the time to make things right before putting it all out there vs. rushing it out the door half-neutered and under-delivering as some *OTHER* tech companies are prone to do, and play catch-up on a closed-loop platform of proprietary technologies that you have to wait on said company to fix the bugs with and add the necessary features. With this platform being an open source project that Google has no contract licensing or other monetary elements built from, it's paramount that it hits the market full stride rather than requires people to reinvent the wheel in getting it to market. Since the only variants out there are preliminary dev platforms, there should be expectations of changes prior to release.



    If I was a CEO, I wouldn't hinge my companies' next make or break product on 1.0 software until it hit the final release stage. After all, it's not really "complete" until it's available to the public for use, and even there... with it being a GPL and LGPL licensed system, I fully expect the fun to begin the minute Android hits the market. The general rule of thumb in software is that most packages don't really show their full potentials until version 3.0. I wouldn't remotely expect Android out of the box to be perfect on first launch in every way. Being open source, I wouldn't expect it to take that long before it's presence is felt in a big way though.
  • Reply 5 of 10
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bavlondon2 View Post


    If they are all going to be using a standard OS then why would it differ between phones?



    The only that would differ is the phone specs themselves.



    Not entirely true. Symbian = a platform, what you do with that platform is what can make your phone stand out over brand x and brand y. This can be done not only with the applications that run on said platform, which can be completely internally developed... but also by what you do with the GUI to make your version stand out. Even Windows Mobile, more and more, is allowing others to develop their own interface elements to make their phones stand out. Samsung, despite being a huge player in Symbian, has done just that with their own Windows Mobile phones sold stateside.



    Android, as a platform, is built for the same level of brand-centric capabilities. The core foundations are there to do just about anything, but the key to it's success is how company x can make the UI work with their hardware, and also look the part. That could include specific interface themes, requirements of a different UI layout if they're using a touch-screen gesture based UI vs. a regular touch screen or a D-pad based UI. Some of that is built into the core of it already, but some elements will be tweaked by the handset maker to stand out and make their product more appealing. That's not counting the various home-spun software packages that can be built with the SDK's for any platform and ship *exclusively* on <company name here>'s version of <platform name here> on <phone model name/number>.
  • Reply 6 of 10
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by /V\\/V\\4ck3y27 View Post


    Nokia has a heavy investment in Symbian, now even moreso. Rather than let it die on the vine, they'd rather do what they can to assure that Symbian can compete with iPhone, Android, and LiMo (Linux Mobile), amongst others... going forward. This plan is a self-assurance, to make sure that their prior investments and future building on an existing and mature platform still bears fruit. To this point they've all had their own forks of Symbian with their own variations. The goal now is to make it more of a unified platform to build from that is more robust, feature-rich, and powerful... one that can take advantage of open source investment. For all intents, Symbian is one of the nicer platforms out there. To expect it to die and go away when there's considerable investment is just silly. I wouldn't necessarily expect for the various developers to not look at other alternatives (Motorola already does... using Windows Mobile on some of their offerings; I could see them embracing Android and LiMo as well), maybe even offering some of those other alternatives, but... I still think Symbian has plenty of life left in it.



    As far as the previous anti-trust posting... ummm, you do know that Nokia faces stiffer regulations in their particular part of Europe than we in the states face? Nokia has been playing nicely for quite some time, and it's not just a reluctant "alright... if we have to" approach, they genuinely seem to be a very humanitarian company that lets their products do the talking, vs. hype and hoopla about their achievements and contributions, much less venomous and childish games/attacks against their competition. They openly contribute to many open source projects even having support for some competing standards to that which Symbian has put together. Unlike others, they also don't hype up their investment as they sort of consider it a business as usual approach vs. a marketing spin. To me, that's pretty commendable, you have to respect that.



    Nokia will open source Symbian after the purchase within the next 2 years. They have full support from Sony-Ericsson and Motorola on this which are two of the key players in Symbian use. That isn't to say that Nokia might not build a better mouse trap or add better features to their own Symbian versions on their phones... but once again, the core foundations will be out there and ready, it's still up to the various handset makers to add the elements to make their phone-x more compelling than phone-y. Even Android and LiMo handset makers will face that as well. To some degree, I feel that Sony-Ericsson gives Nokia a run for their money with their handsets. It might be one of the better product lines Sony has in their offing.



    As far as Android delays... I think that is to be partially expected. This is Google's first mobile platform and I applaud them for taking the time to make things right before putting it all out there vs. rushing it out the door half-neutered and under-delivering as some *OTHER* tech companies are prone to do, and play catch-up on a closed-loop platform of proprietary technologies that you have to wait on said company to fix the bugs with and add the necessary features. With this platform being an open source project that Google has no contract licensing or other monetary elements built from, it's paramount that it hits the market full stride rather than requires people to reinvent the wheel in getting it to market. Since the only variants out there are preliminary dev platforms, there should be expectations of changes prior to release.



    If I was a CEO, I wouldn't hinge my companies' next make or break product on 1.0 software until it hit the final release stage. After all, it's not really "complete" until it's available to the public for use, and even there... with it being a GPL and LGPL licensed system, I fully expect the fun to begin the minute Android hits the market. The general rule of thumb in software is that most packages don't really show their full potentials until version 3.0. I wouldn't remotely expect Android out of the box to be perfect on first launch in every way. Being open source, I wouldn't expect it to take that long before it's presence is felt in a big way though.



    I'm not a developer so I am not aware of the capabilities of Symbian. That said, what does Symbian offer that Android doesn't or won't? I've a handset with Symbian on it and I'm not impressed.



    While Nokia do have an investment in Symbain and may be trying to protect that, it kinda looks like good money being thrown at bad money, IMO.
  • Reply 7 of 10
    nofeernofeer Posts: 2,422member
    its about the apps man apps.....nokia wants to open up symbian for developers because that's what MS did years ago....the more software the the more people want the hardware, or the hardware can now work better.....nokia better jump on , but in two years it will be tooooooo late, iphone 3, 4 and multiple models will be out mac os will have thousands of developers and people will have substantial investment in both hardware AND software..... nokia is trying what apple has done design the hardware tightly integrated to the software and have others grow it....

    what about RIM, they have software but it's enterprise centric, that's not the growth area

    apple will have a multi prong attack, computers...ipod....iphone...mac osX...iTV all integrated to make your digital lifesyle fluid, effortless, seemless. go apple you'll be using your iphone to view movies and check your home computers. a total system integration

    but then again if nokia didn't do this they'd be lost. the smartphone market may well be rim and apple and a few crumbs for others.
  • Reply 8 of 10
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by backtomac View Post


    I'm not a developer so I am not aware of the capabilities of Symbian. That said, what does Symbian offer that Android doesn't or won't? I've a handset with Symbian on it and I'm not impressed.



    While Nokia do have an investment in Symbain and may be trying to protect that, it kinda looks like good money being thrown at bad money, IMO.



    Symbian, worldwide, is one of the top mobile platforms out there. While iPhone might slowly change that, and who knows... maybe even LiMo and Android as well, there are likely to be many with familiarity in Symbian-based platforms that wish to stick with them. What appeals to one person does *NOT* always appeal to the next. While I love the iPhone and would love to have one... at $199 it's still more than I need. It's not that it's not a deal for what it is though, it's the fact that there's commodity phones that are subsidized by the carriers that are offered for a fraction of that, that serve my purposes. I expect with the advent of Android, that there'll be much more of that to come.



    The other reality is... some of us are using carriers iPhone is not available on. While I'd love to own an iPhone (as noted earlier), my family is all on US Cellular and I share a plan with them. For that, iPhone is not a choice. In as far as Android, I do have to admit that it's an intriguing platform and I do hope some of the US Cellular carriers do support it as I'd gladly drop my Motorola V323i like a rock for a nice Android model (needs a decent camera and ample storage preferably with Micro SD expandability to go along with a robust phone featureset). Not that I dislike the V323i, it isn't a bad hardware platform. It's more the aggravations of how little Motorola does to try to make connectivity with their phones pervasive and seamless. At this stage, I look forward to seeing competition on "data" services cut the costs... either that or I'm gunning for the hopes of a nationwide WiFi service. I'd even be game for jumping from my wired cable internet service for another carrier, whether Clearwire can do the job (and do it more reliably than Comcast in my neck) or... if Verizon were to want to bring FiOS (wired) to my home in Lyons at a competitive pricepoint.



    I still think Symbian is a nice platform. I won't say that at this stage it's a competitor to the iPhone nor even Android (which is still a wait and see on, there's no Android phones available in the wild yet... it does appear to be quite a bit more advanced than Symbian at this stage) but part of the Nokia purchase is designed/poised to make it more competitive. While they could've just scrapped it I'm actually happy they've sought to buy it and open it up and set it free. It might be on a slippery slope today, but with it open... it could rise up and thrive.



    It's very obvious from watching full-on proprietary developers hold things close to their vests... that open source erodes any advantages they might have today over time. From the ashes of Netscape, Mozilla has grown up and thrived in the open source even as it was set on extinction in the closed. Palm, for many years, was a closed source company that never seemed to get it's bearings about it. I'm still not sure they know where they're going or what they're doing. They purchased a Be Inc. that was making slow strides with BeOS built on open source underpinnings near the end, but at a time when Apple was making progress Be was one extra OS too many for the desktop. In the closed, what little gains Be was making have turned to pretty much nothing.



    Symbian... I think has sort of languished. I think the competition it had kept it there as it's not exactly like Microsoft thought outside of the box, so it never really pushed Symbian to do so either. LiMo is slowly gaining traction but it's like anything Linux-related; unless there's a huge program with a ton of funding behind it, it's always babysteps vs. quantum leaps. What Google appears poised to do with Android is another showcase of how a considerable investment in building something on open source underpinnings can bare fruit. Apple, has in large part, done much the same with their harnessing of open source platform technologies, giving back, and continuing the evolution.



    Microsoft, as a whole, is perhaps poised over time to become the best example of having a huge lead but remaining close-source and proprietary is a bad move. The NT kernal is actually a pretty good piece of kit, but it's everything built off of NT at it's core that is the problem. There's too much legacy cruft and not enough intents on 1) refactoring code, 2) deprecating API's and leading their developers to the promised land vs. letting them wallow in obscure legacy API's forever and ever, and 3) leveraging open-source technology that is robust, proven, and mature. As a result, Microsoft feels compelled to reinvent the wheel internally by writing massive amounts of code (i.e. the huge rewrite from 2K to XP that was warranted an internal NT 5.1 to 2k's NT 5 platform #, not to mention the huge rewrite of Vista that actually seems like a downgrade in some ways) and proprietary homespun answers to questions that are already better answered in the wild. That, IMHO, is an absolutely huuuuuuuuge part of the problems that Microsoft is facing on the desktop, a colossal aspect of why the transition to XP to Vista was such a freakin' waste of time and resources (that has many downgrading to XP from Vista). They're not an innovator, and rather than leverage innovative tech and build onto it... they seek rather to reinvent the existing innovations and keep what solid/well done projects close to their vest. I think, long-term... the one way Microsoft will turn their ship around is if they start to spawn more and more of their tech built upon open source technologies as the underpinnings that they extend to their needs. This is essentially what Google and Apple are both doing today. That doesn't prohibit MS from using proprietary API's or developing proprietary solutions built on open source foundations, but it does help MS develop software quicker by relying on mature code vs. spawning huge amounts of immature code with each and every major OS release milestone and spend years chasing their tail to sort it to being halfway stable and secure. The longer MS keeps at this model, the more quickly they will diminish.



    This is why when looking at Symbian today and not seeing much, Nokia's aim to open source more and more of Symbian could very well make it a big time player at the top.
  • Reply 9 of 10
    dfilerdfiler Posts: 3,420member
    Wow... look at the words-per-paragraph on those guys.



    Anyway...

    I sense that Apple has thrown the mobile-phone / handheld-computer market on end. There will be all kinds of mergers, buy-outs, alliances, and other major happenings for the next few years. We've gone from a market for "a phone with a few extras" to "pocket computer that does everything including phone calls". Many companies will need to adjust accordingly.
  • Reply 10 of 10
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dfiler View Post


    Wow... look at the words-per-paragraph on those guys.



    Anyway...

    I sense that Apple has thrown the mobile-phone / handheld-computer market on end. There will be all kinds of mergers, buy-outs, alliances, and other major happenings for the next few years. We've gone from a market for "a phone with a few extras" to "pocket computer that does everything including phone calls". Many companies will need to adjust accordingly.



    I agree... the cell market is becoming a very unique and interesting place. You can tell it by how lost or scrambling some of the carriers and handset makers are. Motorola has on-again/off-again flip-flopped on whether to stay in, leave, or what path to take. Nokia, in a similar way, has thrown their $ and energy into various pools. It's not just Apple though as the FCC bid acquisitions are going to push things. I think long-term the advent of faster Wi-Fi services with more expanded regions will also change quite a bit of it. Irony, I think Nokia's lack of an exclusive contract and their willingness to establish Nokia stores to sell unlocked handhelds makes them a key target towards leveraging Wi-Fi and wireless VOIP in huge ways.



    For me it wouldn't so much be a case of which platform to choose if I was Nokia (i.e. whatever is the best available option at the time, whatever fits the design specs the best)... it'd be more about working closely with Skype or another VOIP telephony provider and pushing for the proposed "Free" Nationwide Wi-Fi. Get both pushed into play, get telephony seamlessly integrated into a Wi-Fi enabled mobile internet platform tablet... they could get people to jump ship on their own regardless of what Apple does. Android or Symbian or LiMo, it doesn't matter as long as the user experience is good and the services are dirt cheap and pervasive.



    After all, cell carriers are no longer just phone providers... with the advent of iPhone and Android, they're now mobile internet providers and media hubs. Sprint/Nextel's investment in Clearwire shows that even they're a bit concerned about the growth and potentials of stuff like Wi-Max into the future. Even the fact Comcast is partnering with Clearwire... they intend on using their services to piggyback competition into areas that they currently don't own infrastructure (even as Wi-Max service could help AT&T and other cable providers impede on Comcast's markets as well, currently AT&T is leveraging dish-based or DSL-based technology to do this; WiMax would be yet another delivery medium to pursue).



    If you're a phone carrier... the last thing you want to see is someone selling a handheld internet tablet/media player built on Android or LiMo with a speaker, microphone, and a copy of Skype Mobile on it. VOIP wireless telephony is the next nail in the coffin for telcos and you can bet that they're doing all they can to limit it's progress until they're ready to compete themselves using the same or similar technology. They don't want to be sitting there as a wireless Vonage drops the next bomb on them like it did in the wired medium, scrambling to catch up (and in fairness... many have there). That is a big part of why Apple's SDK has even gone as far as to say that VOIP apps. are off-limits. Believe me, I was more than a bit disappointed at the inability to get Skype Mobile on an iPod touch.



    I think that's in large part why you see Sprint, just as AT&T gets themselves onto the 3G market in a huge way is now even looking to 4G technology rollouts to compliment their investment/bet on Wi-Max with Clearwire. They want to make sure that regardless of what happens, they still have a knife in the fight. Verizon, buying the biggest chunk of the FCC bid 700 Mhz. spectrum, has enough that regardless I'm sure they can build a competitor... whether 4G or Wi-Max or both. I expect them to come loaded for bear themselves. It's similar to your gasoline companies throwing money hand over fist into simultaneously developing alternative fuels and pushing for delivery systems that continue their dominance. Whether Hydrogen, Biofuels, Ethanol, whatever... they still want to remain in the game. That's what your wireless telcos are doing as well.
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