Monday, June 20, 2011

N9 is officially announced!

Finnish cellphone maker Nokia unveiled its N9 smartphone in Singapore on Tuesday, its only bet on the MeeGo platform.

The commercial launch will be later this year, CEO Stephen Elop said. Nokia dumped plans to use MeeGo in its future smartphones when in February it picked Microsoft's Windows Phone as its future software choice, but it decided to unveil one of the models it was working on before closing the business line. The N9 model, Nokia's first and last to use MeeGo, comes with a large touch screen and is available in black, cyan and magenta. The MeeGo platform -- a newcomer in the market dominated by Google and Apple -- was born in February 2010 when Nokia and Intel unveiled a merger of Nokia's Linux Maemo software platform with Intel's Moblin, which is also based on Linux open-source software. After Nokia pulled back from the project four months ago other vendors have become more interested in the technology as Nokia's dominant role in the project had held back others from adopting it.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Analysts on Nokia-Microsoft Strategy

Background: Nokia Industry Analyst Relations met with 150+ industry analysts at Mobile World Congress (Barcelona) and Nokia Strategy and Financial briefing (London).
Here is a summary of analysts’ first feedback on the new Nokia strategy and recommendations to Nokia:
Move to Windows Phone bold and necessary move – and analysts overwhelmingly agree that it was the best option available

‘Nokia had to do something – it was going backwards in relation to the rest of the market and needed to make some tough decisions.’
‘Symbian couldn't possibly be successful, and MeeGo was taking far, far too long to bring to market’.
‘Without such a radical but decisive change in direction Nokia would have died a slow and painful death over the next 5 years.’
Most analysts think that Microsoft is the bigger winner
‘Huge win for Microsoft. WP had a slow start with none of the vendors giving it priority. So from Microsoft's perspective this is fantastic.’
‘It seems lopsided in Microsoft’s favor. The challenge will be to gain some balance’.
although there are also opposite views
‘Perhaps more strategically vital to Nokia than to Microsoft’.
Success or failure depends on how two different corporate cultures are able to work together
‘You made the leap, but that just buys you a few seconds. Now you have to decide what happens when you hit the water.’
‘Partnerships like this usually fail to accomplish anything. This one, however, has much better than usual odds because both companies desperately need this to work.’
Execution on a licensed model is key
‘What exactly is going to be different this time and why should we believe that you can execute this time around as you haven’t been able to do it in years?’
And now it’s critical to get a ‘WOW’ WP device out as fast as possible.
‘The very first phone is critical. A great WP device would build confidence both externally and internally.’
‘It must be dazzling, a clearly competitive experience to iPhone and Galaxy (best of Android), and preferably with some unique LBS features.’
‘A beautiful flagship smartphone in the US during Q4 2011 will put Nokia right back in the game. But a dud design for the very first model will heap huge pressure on Nokia.’
In Mobile Phones you must maintain leadership in emerging markets against Chinese challengers, preferably through services - so that customers can be migrated to smartphones as incomes rise and prices fall.
‘Also, for emerging markets it is important to explain how the new strategy will positively impact their countries.’
Future Disruption perceived to be the weakest pillar of the strategy.
‘It was not well articulated, and relegating MeeGo to this category makes it seem even less "mission critical". It feels like it got thrown in so that you could point to a forward looking strategy while trying to right the ship.’
Differentiation from other Windows Phone manufacturers
Analysts eager to hear how Nokia plans to differentiate.
Developer alienation
Nokia risks alienating application developers who had been working on Symbian and MeeGo
‘Developers view themselves as ‘outlaws’ and Microsoft is the ultimate establishment. You are at great risk of losing a significant part of your FN developer base. The natural tendency will be to move to Apple and Android rather than shift to Silverlight.’
For existing Symbian developers, you have to urgently communicate that Symbian and Qt are not dead!’
‘You also risk alienating the application developers who had been working on apps for Symbian. You have to convince all those developers to stay put and it may not work.’
‘Developers have already stopped working w/ Symbian.’
Transition period related challenges
Challenges with retention of current consumer base
‘Hundreds of millions of Symbian users feel left alone and will look elsewhere when looking for replacement.’
‘If Nokia cannot introduce a range of nice Symbian products by 2011 end to compete with iPhone and Android, you risk losing these customers. This is the second attack to the Symbian user base, after the first wave of high-end users defaulted to iPhone.’
Symbian will be increasingly hard to sell to operators.
‘You will see a lot of bargaining. Symbian likely to be positioned as talk & text devices w/o data plan, and no impact on ARPU. Therefore you will be penalized on price.’
Employee buy-in will be crucial
‘This will be a significant emotional journey to all your troops’.
‘ If senior management is committed and the employees are not, then there is greater risk of failure. It is crucial to get the whole company onboard ASAP.’

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

N8 - best Camera Phone in the market

The Nokia N8 is the best Nokia has to offer. A few years back thousands of people would take this to mean the best on the market. Things are not that simple today and Nokia has been learning it the hard way. But the company has been learning.

It’s been a long losing streak for Nokia in the game of touch phones. You can’t expect it to suddenly turn the game around and start beating the snot out of the competition. It makes much more sense to try and be better one step at a time. The best camera in business is one such step.

We’ve given up looking for the ultimate smartphone, haven’t we? The Nokia N8 most certainly isn’t in contention there. And Symbian ^3 is not the best touchscreen experience you can get – although what’s fair is fair – it’s an improvement over S60 5th. And the Ovi store isn’t the best app market, but the guys behind it try really hard.

Symbian sucks on touchscreen – yeah, but there are some nice multimedia features. The web browser is not that good – yeah, but you get USB-on-the-go. There are better screens out there – but no better cameras. Not necessarily in this order.

The Nokia N8 seems capable of sustaining balance. In one particular area, it’s the unquestioned winner. Elsewhere, it’s just fair – there are ups and downs all along its spec sheet. As always, it boils down to picking your priorities.

Now let’s take a look at the competition to put things in perspective.

The Samsung S8500 Wave wins a few points against the N8 on pricing and comes with a much better (though slightly smaller) display. The Bada OS offers better touch experience than Symbian^3. Again, it’s the camera that helps the N8 strike back and this time it even has the apps count in its favor. Not to mention that unlike Samsung’s Bada phone, the Symbian smartphone has a very decent and free SatNav solution in the face of Nokia maps.

Samsung S8500 Wave
Samsung S8500 Wave

The Motorola MILESTONE XT720 is the best full-touch cameraphone that the American company has to offer and the N8 won’t avoid comparisons to that one either. The Milestone matches the HDMI capabilities of the Nokia and offers a superior screen (though no AMOLED). Unfortunately, the MILESTONE XT720 is not as impressive as the N8 in terms of image and mostly video quality. Not to mention the rather limited system storage for installing third-party apps. This is a really serious drawback for any Android smartphone that doesn’t use the latest Android OS ver 2.2.

Motorola MILESTONE XT720
Motorola MILESTONE XT720

You might also want to consider the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 as a potential alternative to the Nokia N8. With a larger and higher res-screen it also packs a very decent camera (though no HD video, at least for now) so it’s a viable option if you’re shopping for a smart cameraphone. It’s still Android 1.6 though and the XPERIA X10 is more expensive and there’s no HDMI or DivX/Xvid support on that one either.

Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10
Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10

So with free lifetime navigation, some great multimedia features, impressive build quality and little (but important) perks like USB-on-the-go and HDMI, the Nokia N8 can stand its ground against the competition. It’s also only just about starting and Nokia has a reputation for delivering major software updates to its smartphones on a regular basis.

The combination of all the things above is a unique selling point on its own, but it’s the camera that puts the Nokia N8 in a class of its own and changes the nature of the competition altogether. The ultimate cameraphone will always be compared to the best in business.

The N8 puts the Nseries back to the top where it belongs. Nokia can be proud but they must know it’s just the beginning. Right now they have a winning cameraphone set in pole position. It will be a while before they have one phone to rule them all, if ever.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Nokia Developer Days - Hands on workshop with N8


Nokia's N8 has hit the street. Nokia Developer Days is going on tour with the first Symbian^3 device. Here is the line up of cities.
For a face to face consultation with a UX specialist who can give you concrete tips on how to improve the design of your app, email your request Ravi Belwal.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Nokia makes world’s biggest cinema screen [video]

Last week, the Nokia N8 broke a world record for the world’s smallest stop motion animation, named Dot. Then on Saturday, the folks at Nokia Sweden decided to go the other way, erecting what must count as one of the world’s biggest cinema screens. Residents of the city district of RosengĂ„rd were treated to a movie night they will never forget, powered by a Nokia N8 through it’s HDMI port in stunning high-definition.

Creating the world’s biggest cinema screen is no easy task, as it takes a lot of planning, teams of people and specialised equipment to make sure it all comes together. The 1,428 square metre (that’s 51 metres x 28 metres) cinema screen is so large that it had to be assembled, and watched, outside. The screen was hoisted up in front of a tower block, and held in place by two giant cranes while four XLM HD30 projectors, each weighing 140 kilos, projected the Prince of Persia movie onto it. Onlookers were amazed and delighted to witness this world record happening in their own district.



About 1,500 people turned up to see this massive movie and it’s estimated that another 1,000 local people simply watched it from their apartments or balconies. The previous world record was held by Pinewood Studios in Middlesex, Great Britain, with a cinema screen measuring 73.1 metres wide and 18.3 metres high and with a total area of 1,338 square metres.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Nokia introduces a powerful family of Symbian smartphones

Today the Symbian^3 family of devices is growing with the announcement of three new products across Cseries and Eseries. Joining the Symbian^3 based Nokia N8 are the all new touchscreen and QWERTY business device, the Nokia E7, a compact touchscreen C6 and the sleek touchscreen Nokia C7.

Billed as the ultimate business smartphone, the Nokia E7 boasts Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync support alongside a luscious 4-inch touchscreen display, which uses Nokia’s ClearBlack technology for improved outdoor visibility. The Nokia E7 also comes with a slide out four-row QWERTY keyboard making it the ideal mobile business device. Despite the addition of a full keyboard, the E7 is only a smidge deeper than the Nokia N8 at 13.6mm thin. The device also boasts an 8-megapixel snapper and comes complete with 16GB of on-board storage.

As a business device, the Nokia E7 comes sporting a raft of security features including business grade device lock and wipe functionality, secure intranet access and remote device management. These come alongside its connectivity and productivity prowess, with support for Mail for Exchange, Microsoft Communicator Mobile and Microsoft Share Point Server. Business folk on the move will also benefit from free walk and drive navigation thanks to Ovi Maps including premium guides from the likes of Lonely Planet and Via Michelin.

Like the Nokia N8, the Nokia E7 also boasts an HDMI connection and Dolby Digital Plus Surround Sound. With the 8-megapixel camera, users will be able to shoot and edit HD quality images (including 720p video) and sound. As a Symbian^3 device, users can customise up to three homescreens and get live updates from the likes of Facebook and Twitter live on their homescreens.

Those on the move will welcome the Nokia E7′s travel-friendly 18 days of standby time and up to 9 hours of talktime. The device, which will be available in dark grey, silver white, green, blue and orange will be available in the last quarter of 2010 and is expected to retail for €495 before taxes and subsidies.

Joining the Nokia E7 and Nokia N8 as part of the Symbian^3 family are the all-new Nokia C6 and Nokia C7. Both of these devices raise the bar for design and social networking amongst their already good-looking Cseries brethren. Homescreen access to the latest updates from your favourite social networks are offered on tap for both devices.

First in the new Cseries lineup is the sleek C7 which boasts a 3.5-inch AMOLED display and is a hand-friendly 10.5mm thin. Like the E7 this device also sports an 8-megapixel camera with 8GB of onboard storage (expandable to 40GB with microSD).

The Nokia C7 will also shoot HD video in 720p and comes with free global walk and drive navigation and a digital compass. City users will welcome the active noise cancellation for clearer voice calls whilst the battery will keep calls going for up to 9.5 hours (in GSM mode) and stay on standby for an astounding 27 days (3G mode). The Nokia C7 is expected to go on sale before the end of 2010 and will be available in black, metal or brown for an estimated retail price of €335 before taxes and subsidies.

Like its big Cseries brother, the latest Nokia C6 (C6-01) is a compact little number that will also sport an 8-megapixel camera though with a more pocket-friendly 3.2-inch AMOLED capacitive touchscreen. The latter sporting the same Nokia ClearBlack technology as the E7, offering much improved outdoor visibility. Like the C7, this new device will also be a social networker’s dream with live feeds from your favorite social networks available on your home screen. The C6-01 will support microSD up to 32GB and capture HD video in 720p. Users can expect to see up to 17 days standby time and up to 11.5 hours talktime from the C7 battery.

Expected to be shipping before the end of 2010, the Nokia C6-01 will be available in silver or black and is estimated to retail at €260 before taxes and subsidies.

Today sees the Symbian^3 family of products grow to four, all to be available before the end 2010. This latest version of Symbian is packing 250 new features and improvements whilst remaining familiar to the millions of existing Symbian users worldwide. With multiple homescreen support, multitasking and gesture-based interactions, this latest version of Symbian^3 is a big leap forward.

We’re excited to see the Symbian^3 family of devices come to life and we can’t wait to get our hands on them after the keynotes have finished. Stay tuned for more later, meanwhile let us know what you think in the comments below.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Nokia as world's most sustainable technology company for second year in a row

Nokia is the world's most sustainable technology company according to prestigious Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes Review 2010. Nokia was chosen as "Technology Supersector Leader" making it number one across the entire global technology sector for the second time in row.

More information on Nokia's sustainable practices can be found at and
Dow Jones Indexes press release: