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August 15, 2012

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Alex Kerr

As a developer who wanted to reach literally the most number of phones possible, including those in the developing world, I made a conscious choice to not learn how to develop for iPhone, Android or even Symbian, but instead Java Mobile - the platform abandoned and derided by the rich world developers as unworkable, too difficult and so on.

I made the choice 4 years ago, have continually re-evaluated it in light of Android's growth and other platform growth and popularity changes, and after all that, my choice (for me) has been proven correct.

With Java Mobile I can hit 2 - 3 billion featurephones (or low end smartphones if I am describing them correctly), I can also hit all Symbians (another nearly 300 million), all Blackberries (many more millions) and all Androids (more hundreds of millions). With Java Mobile I am hitting what, 3 - 4 billion phones? The next largest platform hits about one tenth of that!

Java Mobile is not the underpowered, fragmented and hugely difficult platform of yesteryear that is now dying out. On the contrary, it has great tools and SDKs, great APIs that are very full featured, much more stability and much less fragmentation, and great and official user interface and networking libraries with LWUIT (Light Weight User Interface Toolkit).

I recommend it...

Alex Kerr

To add to my post above, Oracle have fully recommitted to the future of Java Mobile, with new APIs and full smartphone level capabilities and APIs.

http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/press/512685

Worth noting...

AlexSander

@Alex Kerr
off-topic, but...
do you have any example to show, just out of curiosity

vladkr

Nortel, Stephen Elop, RIM, stupid CRTC rules and last-century rates... it seems that Canadian telecoms are cursed.

ExNokian

@Mr Eric Wu
I have very openly called Burning Platforms Memo as "communication mistake of the century". On that specific post I simply use publicly available data to show it indeed has done damage, we can measure it and correct scale is 1/7 of what Tomi says. Nothing more.

RyanZA

@Alex Kerr

That oracle link is almost a year old.. Is there any more recent news? It feels like JavaME is just about dead at this point.

Luckily most of the skills for java me translate directly over to Android (you just have to learn the extra android lifecycle stuff, etc). All non-UI/lifecycle/hardware code can be just copied across too..

Sander van der Wal

@Eric Wu

For the N8 theory to work, one has to show that sales for the other Nokia models were increasing with the market, right until the effects of the memo became visible in the channel.

But it does show that Nokia was unable to develop in a timely matter a new device at a time they were under heavy attack, on a platform they have been using for more than 10 years. That fact in itself is comdemning enough.

And the N8 theory does not explain why MeeGo was dumped too.

Regarding WP7 for the North American market, yes, at first sight that might have worked if MeeGo was ready for prime time.

But consider this, if MeeGo was so much better than WP7, Nokia would have been mad to use an inferior OS for a market they wanted to get into very much indeed.

Conclusion: MeeGo was rubbish at the time and not getting good enough in time. It was even worse than WP7. Which was stated in the BusinessWeek article.


Asko

@Sander van der Wal "Conclusion: MeeGo was rubbish at the time and not getting good enough in time. It was even worse than WP7. Which was stated in the BusinessWeek article."

BusinessWeek article was just a cover story to bury MeeGo. Nothing more.

AlexSander

@Asko As owner of N9, I can assure you that, yes, MeeGo was unfinished work when N9 was released. Now with the latest software it is still gettin' into trouble sometimes.
So, yes, it was bad (can't say rubbish, it's too harsh), but it (still) has a potential, the ideas was good.
And it's good to know that Jolla will continue The Journey.

Asko

@AlexSander

I also have N9 and lived through all the public firmware versions for it. Yes, there have been bugs and the 1.0 was not so good in some aspects (Mail for Exchange bugs), I have even list of the bugs I encountered with it, but this isn't different with any complicated products nowadays from vendors, Nokia and others. For example using your criteria I wouldn't consider any version of Microsoft Windows to be finished.

ds

FF os as far as i know is pushed solely by carriers frightened by google and apple power carried by their exclusive ecosystems. Their bet is API commoditization by lowering barrier of entry turning Web devs into smartphone apps creators. Success depends on the quality of the framework and whether it provides a quality improvement over Android.
All carrier driven efforts towards client software and APIs have failed spectacularly internationally. This time they left the design part to Mozilla. They start from emerging economies where big growth peaks are yet to happen and where price is the most important factor seems to be well aligned with that strategy. Also local services support (financial, location, news) is vital and big, western based app ecosystems don't compete there diminishing their advantage. Having local devs easily develop local support apps and submit them to carriers may be a niche opener. In developed economies FF os is no go. But its apis may shape and validate standard that IOS and Android will have to support.
Tommi should have a lot to say about that.

ds

Comparing Meego and WP7 is moot. While WP its basically a feature phone OS sanctifying all advanced features and many phone basics just for first time fluidity impression MeeGo on the other hand is currently the must powerful and extensible smartphone Os on the market. Their target audiences are mutually exclusive, with Meego goals being much closer to symbian .
Trying to valuate them against each other is assuming each customer group has exactly the same needs (that conveniently can be fully modelled by US customers needs). The case of Symbian proves this wrong. WP7 could be perfectly best choice for Usa without invalidating strategy to push other systems elsewhere. Samsung knows this to o well.

ds

After playing with GS3 for a moment I must admit tough times are ahead for Android competitors. It basically smokes all the current competition in most aspects. While the UI is a little bit complex it is more consistent compared to previous versions while delivering more functionality. With Android 4.1 the most garring omissions (and competition attack vector) ; seems to be settled (thought the device itself seems to have enough juice to make it butter on previous version) while high profile IOS app developers are switching to dual platform strategy in spades. The only weak point are tablets but again Nexus 7 value combined with Kindle offer will be hard to beat regardless of the underlying OS. The only people excited about WIN8 seems to be metro enthusiasts (minority) and participants that used to profit from existing Microsoft ecosystems.

Mr Eric Wu

@Sander van der Wal
I can't comment / remember what was happening to the other Symbian phones at the time but the N8 was the first of the Symbian^3 software. Others like the 5500 (I think) where shifting very well and it was rumoured the reason for OPKs exit was because he was shifting them so cheaply (to hold market share). With the market increasing I suspect they were as well but I can't say. I don't think it makes much difference though.

"But consider this, if MeeGo was so much better than WP7, Nokia would have been mad to use an inferior OS for a market they wanted to get into very much indeed.
Conclusion: MeeGo was rubbish at the time and not getting good enough in time. It was even worse than WP7. Which was stated in the BusinessWeek article."

I think this would make sense if the operations of Nokia and Elop made sense. But since they don't, I don't agree. The true answer is sell them all, in all areas (like Samsung does with Android, Bada and WP7). There is no need to partition the market, but I chose the North America split because clearly the Nokia / Microsoft deal did have something. Why was MeeGo killed? Because all Smartphone's were killed. The N9 was only launched in countries that the WP7 software could not work well. The N9 was partitioned away. Symbian was not, but it was clear it was not allowed to continue. Nokia had brought up many of the end-of-life RapuYama chips and I guess they wanted to use them. I believe (but never proved it) that PureView 808 was never expected to be on Symbian. If true the last released Symbian phone would have been the Nokia 701 from August 2011, which must have been near ready to ship (or expected!) early in 2011 - e.g. the time of the deal.

So I think the Microsoft deal said no more Smartphones other than Windows Phone, N9 was allowed (as it was a contractual delivery for Intel) and the remaining Symbian phones that were ready were allowed. The PureView 808 I think was only allowed as WP7 could not support it and the technology was too massive to let die without release. Meltimi I think was heading into the land of mini-smartphone or smartphone-lite and probably killed itself by death-by-innovation.

Another possible reason for the death of everything except WP7 is the risk that the employees reject WP, and continue working on MeeGo or Symbian. On Feb 11th there were stories of people chucking their Nokia phones at the wall in disgust. The message given by Elop is you work on Windows Phone or you go home. Accept it or not, but it is your choice.

Robert

Jobs' vision seemed to be 'One phone to rule them All'. Just wonder if T. Cook will look at Global Market, his pile of $$$, and decide to expand Apple's line to include real keyboards and feature-phones. Have not seen any public validation of this idea, but it would make sense.
Cook could duplicate and build any Chinese factory they are currently using, on the African continent, draw on a huge labor pool, and make mobiles for that market, built in that market. And compete for the 'high end' of the 'low end' market. I think they could make another boatload of $$$ that way.
As much as Steven Jobs may have hated Android, Samsung is their real competitor. And I'll bet Tim Cook knows that.

Omino

Have you noticed this: "It Costs $450 In Marketing To Make Someone Buy a $49 Nokia Lumia" ??? (sources from here: http://mobile.slashdot.org/story/12/07/17/0024240/it-costs-450-in-marketing-to-make-someone-buy-a-49-nokia-lumia) This is more then hopeless and compare this to MeeGo and N9 - what would happen if N9 would have only a half of this support???

Sander van der Wal

@Eric Wu

There is independent evidence for the quality of MeeGo at the time time the decision was made to scrap it: bugs.meego.com. The same database Elop was using.

FormerSymbianJunkie

It does not make sense in arguing about the comparative merits of MeeGo/WP/Symbian. The fact remains that on Feb 11, 2011, support was withdrawn for two of those platforms and as a result, neither are where they could have been. Talented engineers working on both platforms left in spades and the remaining ones were practically working with an arm tied around their back. In the case of MeeGo, it is a miracle that the N9 has received even as much software support as it has.
The simple fact is : none outside Nokia can accurately state how Symbian and MeeGo products would have looked like today had it not been for the burning platforms memo. That will always remain a "what if" and currently there is no value in discussing that.

tired

@sander van der wal
All OS have teething problems. wp incised. In the case of MeeGo, at least the problems can be worked around by the users and devs themselves. For example, a lot of the tweaks and tricks implemented in Pr 1.2 and PR 1.3 were already made available by devs way before the update came out. MeeGo by a wide margin has better usability than wp 7.5. i.e. file transfer, multitasking to name a few. as well as good reviews by most tech blogs.
Comparison is moot point actually. It was the stupidity of elop and Nokia board that destroyed Nokia's market.

Cyan

Apparently, Bada was just killed by Samsung.
Bada was already "integrated" into Tizen 6 monthes ago,
and apparently, Tizen is now being "unfocused" by Samsung,
to the point of emptying their roadmap from any Tizen Phone reference.

KPOM

I think a jury in California might have a different take on the grading for Apple and Samsung. I'd be curious as to Tomi's reaction. Supposedly a Samsung executive has stated that Friday's outcome was the "worst case scenario." While the Galaxy SIII was supposedly designed to work around the patents, my guess is that Apple will seek an injunction against it, as well.

Sure the ruling affects only the US, but it makes a powerful statement. Plus, even the Korean court ruled Samsung copied the "bounce back" feature. Apple is now in a far stronger bargaining position with Samsung and Google.

KPOM

@cyan, Friday's court decision might change those plans about Tizen.

Hotcandy

@Sander van der Wal

symbian sales did increase with symbian3 release, mainly due the n8, they did til february 11th, after that it completely went down.

n8 in launch time sold 4m units alone, thats WAY more windows phone lumia with so many deals with operators, universities, FREE XBOX etc. lumia 900 is being given away for free for new consumers and 50$ existing.

JasonSteve

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coques iphone 4

The iPhone 5 isn't flawless. The hardware is not really the problem, but a lack of OS improvements. The saying used to be Apple knew what we wanted before we did. The current truth is its customers are much more informed in regards to technology and the industry.

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    Tomi Ahonen is a bestselling author whose twelve books on mobile have already been referenced in over 100 books by his peers. Rated the most influential expert in mobile by Forbes in December 2011, Tomi speaks regularly at conferences doing about 20 public speakerships annually. With over 250 public speaking engagements, Tomi been seen by a cumulative audience of over 100,000 people on all six inhabited continents. The former Nokia executive has run a consulting practise on digital convergence, interactive media, engagement marketing, high tech and next generation mobile. Tomi is currently based out of Hong Kong but supports Fortune 500 sized companies across the globe. His reference client list includes Axiata, Bank of America, BBC, BNP Paribas, China Mobile, Emap, Ericsson, Google, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, IBM, Intel, LG, MTS, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Ogilvy, Orange, RIM, Sanomamedia, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Three, Tigo, Vodafone, etc. To see his full bio and his books, visit www.tomiahonen.com Tomi Ahonen lectures at Oxford University's short courses on next generation mobile and digital convergence. Follow him on Twitter as @tomiahonen. Tomi also has a Facebook and Linked In page under his own name. He is available for consulting, speaking engagements and as expert witness, please write to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com

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