Tag Archives: Symbian

Nokia’s Design for the Future: Focus on What Works

There’s been a crazy fog of speculation surrounding my previous employer for the past few years, and I’ll admit I’m guilty of contributing.  Many of Nokia’s moves during that time have been unusual, counterproductive and even downright bewildering… so it’s hard to blame anyone for wondering what the heck platform-torching CEO Stephen Elop has really got in mind.

Nokia has always been a leader in hardware.  That’s not even open to debate.  Their serious failures have been, increasingly of late, in softer areas.  Operating systems.   User experience.  Marketing.  In no time Nokia’s failure to execute on iPhone-driven paradigms caused it to fall from leader to follower to company-with-a-questionable-future.

No need to rehash any more history, though, right?  Let’s talk about the company’s future… and why my pessimism started to evaporate tonight.  Continue reading

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Is S40 Nokia’s Future?

Nokia’s S40 operating system has long been relegated to non-multitasking offerings in its stable of devices.  Simple to implement and use, it’s the ammunition for Nokia’s carpet-bomb-the-developing-world-with-cellphones strategy. Symbian, and then Maemo, and then MeeGo and now Windows Phone 7 have been touted as the operating system(s) for the rich high end (excluding Vertu and some other exceptions).

The thinking seems to have been, “Get low-end Nokia devices into the hands of those who can’t/won’t yet use or afford smartphones, and then migrate them upward when the time is right”.

Great tactic in theory, but it has so far failed to succeed as needed.  For Nokia, anyway.   Continue reading

What is the Future for Forum Nokia Champions?

Like many high-tech companies, Nokia’s success depends not only on its vast assembly of internal talent, but also on the numerous volunteer advocates and ambassadors of its solutions in the wild.  To that end, Nokia formalizes recognition of top volunteers with its Forum Nokia Champion program.  Since 2006, hundreds of hard-working community leaders have been awarded this 1-year designation… which brings with it free devices, training and occasional travel to events.

As I wrote recently, it was under these auspices that along with several others I recently enjoyed sponsored travel to Microsoft’s MIX11 conference.  This came as a virtue of Nokia and Microsoft’s new close partnership around Windows Phone 7.  It’s a given that Microsoft MVPs would be represented at a MIX event, but this was a first for Forum Nokia and travel arrangements were made almost at the last minute.   Continue reading

Meeting up at MIX11

source: blogs.msdn.com

This is going to seem odd coming on the heels of an article covering the 2011 Texas Linux Fest… but bear with me.

When Forum Nokia informed its Champions that we would be granted free access to Microsoft’s 2011 MIX event, I greeted the email with a smile. I understood the motivation: the new partnership between Nokia and Microsoft. But I didn’t know how I would personally fit into the event. Yes, the bulk of my professional experience has been with Microsoft development tools, but more recently I’ve been supporting the open source Maemo and MeeGo communities. Not only that, but there was no way I could come up with the funds for the trip to Las Vegas.   Continue reading

The Public Trial of Eldar Murtazin

Device reviewers are an interesting bunch.  They form a fairly tight-knit community yet individually can be as competitive as any triathlon participant.  The reviewer who gets his or her hands on some heretofore unknown prototype is treated with both admiration and jealousy– and often a rallying defense by the community when one gets busted.

Such has been the case recently now that Nokia has reached its limit of patience with gonzo blogger Eldar Murtazin.  The name should be familiar to most readers but for the sake of others, Eldar is the hard-hitting Russian Mobile-Review editor-in-chief known for a knack of getting access to devices so far in advance of production they sometimes seem like homebuilt projects.  Many maemo.org members have long wondered about this ability, as well as the lack of a strong response from Nokia to previous incidents. Continue reading

The Mobile ARMs Race

This particular article has been fermenting for a while, and it took some stimulating discussion during Akademy 2010 to kick it into publication.

I’ve been curious about where the value-added bits will be for mobile device manufacturers in the near future, especially as smartphone technology is pushed down to a near entry-level. Continue reading

Can Nokia manage a second shot at the US market?

I’m going to interrupt the Cloudy Days for Data series again to muse this time about marketing…

I’ve been very pessimistic on Nokia’s future prospects in the United States but there’s no distinction in that stance; so has just about every other pundit.  It seems like every time Nokia had something novel to offer, whether it be new devices like the promising internet tablets or a potentially hot service like Ovi, the ball wound up fumbled… sometimes by design.

A large part of that design was the stubborn insistance on model numbers over names, despite the allure shown by competing products like the iPhone and Blackberry.  It’s been long known that this sort of branding resonates loudly with US citizens, so when Nokia portfolio manager Ira Frimere declares in a recent Computerworld article:

“I’ve learned it’s not what I like, but what my customer likes,” he said.

…I have to wonder when this epiphany occurred for him.  No offense meant to Mr. Frimere, but I recall numerous conversations in Nokia US offices over this subject and that was the one consistent theme behind them all.  It did not matter what Nokia executives thought; wrapping product branding and marketing strategies around customer needs and wants is paramount.  Marketing 101.

Continue reading