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« On Nokia Rumors - Return of Old Nokia Classics, Branding And Potential | Main | Comparing Mobile Subscriber Data Across Different Sources - How accurate is the TomiAhonen Almanac every year? »

February 17, 2017

Comments

Wayne Brady

Gold, veritable gold. Your perspective on what's going on in the world on issues like this is truly helpful. I learn things here that I would never have exposure too - despite reading a lot of tech press daily.

Mind you - I understand why "what the developing world is doing" isn't of greatest concern to the American tech press. We do have credit cards and mobile payments will not be delivered by SMS in America like in Zimbabwe. The press writes what is (or they view to be) relevant to their audience.

Which gives Tomi Ahonen a lane practically all to himself in delivering a global perspective.

Winter

@Wayne Brady
"We do have credit cards and mobile payments will not be delivered by SMS in America like in Zimbabwe. "

I wonder whether the SMS mobile payments in Africa are as expensive and prone to fraud as the US card system? I could hardly believe so.

It is amazing how the US are able, time and again, to build mediocre to bad infrastructure for record expenses.

Be it a mess of mobile standards, a misserable phone market, horribly expensive, sub standard internet, an expensive, totally insecure credit card system, or the most expensive health care system in the world that does not even give coverage.

One cause of these repeated failures would be the inability to learn from mistakes.

As the proverb says: Stupid people learn from their mistakes. Smart people learn from other people's mistakes.

The US does not even learn from its own mistakes.

I'm still using a Nokia Lumia

You can pay for google play and other stores via carrier billing.

Winter

Here is an article about Kenia

Why does Kenya lead the world in mobile money?

A convergence of factors, some of them accidental, explain Kenya's lead
http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2013/05/economist-explains-18

Per "wertigon" Ekström

In my country, some laws were enacted that basicly made SMS payments useless for most purposes.

So yes, SMS is a wonderful way to pay... Just not here. :(

Abdul Muis

http://www.gsma.com/newsroom/press-release/almost-half-mobile-users-still-talking-texting-finds-new-gsma-mobile-engagement-study/
Almost Half of Mobile Users Still Only Talking and Texting, Finds New GSMA Mobile Engagement Study

The GMEI report published today offers a number of insights based on the latest research:

* South Korea, Qatar and the US were the three highest-scoring markets in terms of mobile engagement
* Traditional SMS is still used more frequently than IP messaging in several mature markets, including France and the US
* ‘Millennials’ are not necessarily more engaged mobile users than older generations; in markets such as South Korea, more than a quarter of smartphone users are ‘baby boomers’ (aged 51-69)
* There are some markets, such as Myanmar, where smartphone ownership is relatively high but user engagement is low, due to digital illiteracy and a lack of locally relevant content
* There are several African countries with high mobile user engagement in financial services; for instance, in Kenya and Tanzania, around four in every five adult mobile phone owners use their phones for mobile money services
* More than 70 per cent of smartphone users globally watch free online videos on their phone (e.g. YouTube), and one in two smartphone users watch or replay live TV programmes on their device
* More than 70 per cent of smartphone consumers use their device to research information about products and services, but only one in two use it to order and purchase goods
* There exists a gender gap in mobile internet usage in several markets. In India, for example, female mobile phone owners are 43 per cent less likely to use mobile internet services than males

Full report: https://www.gsmaintelligence.com/research/?file=e4549aeda553ac832ff9126c7d6c0861&download

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Wayne, Winter, I'm, Per & Abdul

Wayne - thanks. Haha yeah I have to do 'sometimes' these articles that don't discuss the handset market share race, eh? Its a huge industry, 1.8 Trillion dollars in value and handsets are only a quarter of it. So yeah. M-Pay now so big, will get its own chapter in the Almanac for 2017. Also good point about talking about what your readers are interested in, yes, domestic US tech is full of various solutions that then don't become global standards but rather become dead-end paths in tech. And that's not unique to the USA, haha, many tech races have that phenomenon (just look at Minitel in France haha). And I never thought of it in that way, that yes, this gives me quite a nice opportunity to talk about the global view with very little actual competition...

Winter - haha good points and I agree. A mobile related comment on how archaic is the US banking system. The US banking system still uses printed paper cheques. So consumers like you and me, would get a 'check book' issued by the bank and you write on the check the amount of money you want to pay, and you send (or give personally, hand to hand) that check to whoever you want to pay - like say the electricity bill for your home. And the banks then process this ridiculous archaic method of payments - with incredible delays and huge costs - as the PAPER is being processed. The check has to be physically written by the consumer, paper and pen, to send the money. The check has to be physically delivered (ie by the Post) which adds two days to the payment delivery. Then someone at the receiving end (low-level accountant) opens the envelope to discover the check, who made the payment, and processes it as money sent in to that company. It is not real money (yet) that same check has to be processed onwards TO THE BANK. So that company (say electricity company) now has to take the physical check and mail it to the bank. In reality today this is all automated and a scan of the check is sent to the bank. But note - the bank has to verify there is money in that account and approve the payment (else the 'check has bounced'). And yet more systems keep track of whose money was deducted from which account, send to what account - and then do this across all the banks, etc... Any one human error along the way - spelled the name incorrectly - will cause delays to the system.

Well, one, gosh. Idiots. Get with the program. We in Finland had abandoned checks in the consumer banking business in the 1970s and went to FAR more efficient electronic banking methods.

But two - the mobile angle. Because checks are still being used, the USA has that peculiar phenomenon where banks 'innovated' with cameraphones - that you can take pictures of checks that have been paid to you - and process the payment by sending in the image of the check, via mobile instead. Faster at that stage (and the bank doesn't need to do the opening of the envelope and scanning of the check). This DOES open up some chance of fraud with forged checks (but that existed before also) but because the money is not credited to your account until it has 'cleared' from the issuing bank and their accounts, this type of scam would typically not run very long if you tried to create fake checks haha. But yeah, using cameraphones for banking to scan checks. Nice. But why are you still using checks in the first place (dumb!).

I'm - yeah, true. In many countries but not all. That is of course mostly WAP Billing (as I discussed in the article). And here's the kicker. So some of the big app revenues reported by Apple and Google in their app stores - were actually processed via WAP Billing ie carrier billing and some of the wallet funds and payments counted in their mobile wallet solutions - actually would be double-counted as the original money was taken in via WAP Billing haha. The non-WAP part of app stores (and to a modest degree also Apple Pay etc) is less than what is the aggregate part. If we wanted to be pedantic, then it would take out a fraction of what was small single-digit number of the total mobile payments slice anyway. But thanks yeah. Carrier billing is used in many but not all countries to allow payments to app stores.

Winter - thanks. Although did you notice, that is quite an old article by the Economist. I do remember that article, very good.

Per - alas yes, some countries have silly laws :-)

Abdul - Thanks for the link! That is once again excellent data from GSMA, they do a lot of it and this is their first-ever global consumer survey. They did 56 countries that cover 70% of the planet's population (all the big countries are there). All 6 inhabited continents. Truly global survey of 56,000 consumers interviewed (one of largest surveys in mobile industry history). And very VERY rich in the findings they discovered. And yes, haha, top-line - even smartphone users still use more SMS than they use apps or mobile web. Even smartphone users yes. Even smartphone users also use more SMS than various OTT Instant Messaging services like Whatsapp. Haha, even smartphone users yes, and we know, half of all mobile phones are still dumbphones - all that can do SMS. I urge all to go download that report (get the 'full' version) its free.

Thanks for the comments, keep them coming

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Abdul Muis

A fans concept of Nokia 3310

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AT97z9r98uI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcuBPNvknyY

Hilkka

More details leak from India: Nokia 3310 will use refreshed version of Symbian.

https://tekniikanmaailma.fi/elektroniikka/villi-huhu-3310-tajunnan-rajayttava-kaunis-kayttaa-symbiania/

Tomi T Ahonen

Thank you Hilkka

Wow, wild rumor yes. I just posted the link - and thanked you - on Twitter

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Ok lets talk Symbian

Thank you Hilkka and wow, what a rumor.

First, to all non-Finns reading this. The magazine Hilkka quotes is 'Tekniikan Maailma' which is the gold standard for technology magazines in Finland. The only Western equivalent in English Language would be 'Consumer Reports' in the USA, as TM does the most trusted and 'scientific' comparisons of all sorts of tech from cars to microwave ovens. It comes out I think once every 2 weeks or so (or used to, back in the day when I still lived in Finland 2 decades ago haha) and this is definitely the 'most trusted' tech source of any Finnish publications.

Secondly its a rumor and troubling to me, when I went to the link TM provided to their 'source' - a news site in India - that had half the story TM mentions ('mindblowingly beautiful design') but does NOT mention Symbian. So the way I read it, the rumor is 'stronger' on the issue that the new 'retro' 3310 would be a strongly revised design - similar to how new Mini car, or new VW Beetle were resembling the basic aspects of their namesakes but in a modern interpretation. This to me makes far more sense than if the 3310 were to be a relaunch of the 20 year old phone haha (physically). And then the oval shape makes sense, Nokia was 'into' elliptical shapes a lot and a 'retro' Nokia design approach would be to depart from any Stephen-Elop Lumia-Windows visual appearance, and thus the old trusted Nokia oval/elliptical shapes makes sense.

If you are on Twitter, I just posted a picture of a screen-shot from me speaking on the Nokia DVD promoting 3G, where there is a concept phone Nokia 3G handset in the background, and its one of those elliptical shapes we saw a lot around year 2001 from Nokia PR. Actual phones didn't turn out quite that 'exotic' in their appearance, they turned out quite 'square' bricks in the end (with a few exceptions).

So the 'mindblowingly beautiful' handset in elliptical design and coming in tons of colors and priced in a 'below US $44 price point' parts of the rumor - those are in the India tech magazine original article too. What TM magazine adds, what is not in the original India article (or may have been in the original, but since perhaps edited out as a mistake....) was the Symbian issue. THAT is interesting.

I'll do that in a separate comment now

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

What would be the prospects for SYMBIAN?

First, for a CHEAP smartphone (especially one not using a touch-screen) Symbian is VERY well suited. IF really all you want is some basic internet access to Facebook, and very modest suite of basic 'smartphone' functionality for the camera, messages, media player, file storage, and the ability to install some very basic apps - yeah. Symbian WOULD work (well). This was the original plan back before Windows. Nokia was headed to a fully touch-screen run smartphone world on the MeeGo OS, but Symbian was to live a long transition-period to bring the lower-cost phones into the fold, and eventually then the lower-end smartphones would be migrated to the 'low end OS' on Linux, as a cousin to MeeGo, which was to be Meltemi. This was the plan BEFORE Elop started. Symbian was already then on its way out, and its primary purpose after year 2010, was to become the low-end mass market basic smartphone OS, while the flagships and then premium phones would get to run on the new powerful MeeGo OS. (And all apps would be sold in the Ovi store, and all Nokia developers could use the Qt developer tools to develop once for all different Nokia OS platforms - as well as for Blackberry, Android etc).

So it may seem ludicrous to think 'Symbian, today'? But its not THAT far out, if the intent is lowest-end cheap smartphones. As you recall, I suggested Nokia should prepare this generation of 3310 buyers for the eventual move, where their NEXT Nokia phone will be a smartphone on Android...

Second, Nokia owns the OS. It has/had the competence to use it. The Symbian OS was DESIGNED and DEVELOPED to be a smartphone OS (with the help of many of the best minds in the world, its roots go back to Ericsson's OS for its smartphones; and Symbian powered the super-'featurephones' of Japan back when only Japan did NFC mobile wallets and had digital assistants like Apple's Siri today). Symbian by year 2010 had all its faults fixed, even eventually its lacking parts in touch-screen operation. But thinks like alarm clocks haha, things like security on the screen, things like display, the clock, things like folders for files, all that kind of stuff - what Apple spent YEARS trying to figure out - Symbian had fully fixed seven years ago - and Windows managed to mess up still in its launches and relaunches in the next years (101 Faults etc).

It is NOT a modern OS. It was NOT designed 'from the ground up' to be a touch-screen OS. But as I suggested, the 3310 should not come with a touch-screen, it should be optimized to run on T9 for all those users who hate touch screens and who love their old Nokia featurephones/dumbphones. BUT it COULD run Symbian, even with a keypad entry (clumsy) way of using the internet and apps.

Now APPS.... Tizen from Samsung is struggling to get any kind of app catalog up and running. Symbian HAS an ancient catalog of apps that mostly have been abandoned - but in some COUNTRIES where the OS was very strong (and often where the language issues also matter - haha like India) there is a modest and still semi-viable app ecosystem. And a bunch of developers who DO have the Symbian skills. And they've found a way to make a little bit of money in that local environment with their own language and perhaps own alphabet and local currency - which often Nokia had also arranged carrier billing to support - its like a 'mini Apple App Store' that still survives in a small corner of say Bengaluru haha. Why kill it? A local accountant uses that whatever-local-accounting app that runs on Symbian on the old Communicator that the boss still uses and the app serves a dozen old Nokia Symbian smartphones for the accountants or whatever.

That ecosystem is not big by any means. But it has tens of thousands of developers with thousands of apps that are still live, that are almost-exclusively only on Symbian. In probably two dozen countries like Indonesia and Ghana and Romania. But THAT means there is a significant splintered market where in a few countries the 3310 - if it ran on Symbian - could become the 'must buy now' phone haha. Especially if it also was dirt-cheap and simple to operate.

BUT MORE LIKELY is that the story was a misunderstanding. That someone talked about S 30 OS and someone else thought that means Symbian (because if I remember correctly, S 40 was categorized at some point as being Symbian? My readers who know this better, please correct me if I'm wrong. Symbian seemed to be S 60 as its primary family in the Nokia OS platform classifications).

And its possible that SOME apps can be installed onto the new 3310 and those apps even could have some commonality with basic Symbian - so it could be that this phone could take some Symbian apps haha. We really have to wait and see.

Now could it be a designed and intended Symbian 'play' and experiment. Gosh yes it could be. Nokia owns the rights to the OS, nobody else wants it, there IS some remnants of an ecosystem left, in those countries where Symbian was the stongest in the end - ie Africa and some poorer countries in Asia. Gosh it WOULD get a ton of attention haha. And then the early sales of a dumbphone/basic-basic-rudimentary-smartphone but capitalizing on the buzz of the 'Return of the 3310' could propel Symbian into a brief return as the 3rd bestselling OS in smartphones in the world. Would not take many million quarterly sales to hit that level today haha. And while Symbian will NEVER become a major platform again globally haha, no chance of that - it COULD help the early buzz around the 'Nokia comeback' story. And be a really poignant reminder of just how totally Elop messed Nokia up with Windows (helping further fuel the damage that Microsoft continues to carry about that failed OS project).

Me? Do I think this part of the rumor will happen. Gosh no. I think its a wild rumor and fantasy - but I'd yes LOVE it to happen and for me to be wrong.

That said, since I first wrote about a possible 3310 return - I really now do hope they do it, the more I thought about it, the more I like it as one piece of HMD's and Nokia Brands (and Foxconn's) strategy to get back into the game. Can you imagine how much it will sting over at Samsung and Lenovo and LG and Sony when they try to get the headlines with their latest smartphones - if the lead story out of MWC Barcelona is.. a Nokia DUMBPHONE returning from the grave, a 20 year old phone haha.

PSPS I used to carry that phone as my second phone (Nokia Communicator as primary phone) and in some of my public presentations, I'd show the two phones at some points, playing with the idea that some carry two phones - and then at some point later in the presentation I would THROW the 3310 at the wall to the side of the stage...

In the best instances that drew a gasp from the audience. I didn't throw MY phone. Nokia had a PR toy, a 'stress ball' in the shape and color of exactly the 3310. So it was a rubber phone. And like a good magician haha, I switched the real phone and replaced it with the rubber phone - and then threw the RUBBER phone of course.. Sometimes it clearly bounced and the audience knew immediately that it was a fake. Sometimes they didn't know and I'd later reveal in the presentation walking up to pick it up, that no, this is a rubber mock-up...

Haha, the 3310. Memories..

Tomi Ahonen :-)

E.Casais

"because if I remember correctly, S 40 was categorized at some point as being Symbian?"

Not by Nokia; only S60 was Symbian.

However, in the late stages of Nokia's demise, when Elop was strangling Symbian and letting S40 wither on the vine after recasting it as Asha, there was growing confusion in the market about what was what. At some point, I even saw the catalogue of an electronics retailer advertising one of the later Nokia feature phone models as running "Symbian S40".

Regarding an even temporary rebirth of Symbian, forget it. In its last iterations, the OS had become very much tied to a specific hardware platform/SoC from Texas Instruments -- which no longer exists. And the OS developers are gone. Porting it to a new phone would require a massive techno-archaeological endeavour.

If the new 3310 is to be a basic phone in the $40 range, then it is a safe bet that it will run S30+.

Tomi T Ahonen

Thank you E

That was the level of tech opinion I was hoping to hear... :-)

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Johnson

Tomi: sorry, repeating myself here, already posted on another one of your blogs. Very interested to read how you see the clear but still early trend around privacy and security in mobile.

Smartphones record pretty much everything imaginable nowadays: location, contacts, messages / communication, sensors, cameras, microphones, fingerprints... treasure trove for anyone interested, just pick your three letter agency for example.

Some conspiracy theorists even say Meego was killed as a treat to this agenda, haha. True or not (probably the latter), all modern OSs are US based and clearly collecting a lot of data and metadata, retained in huge facilities across US. With exponentially growing storage capacity, computational power and artificial intelligence, the are soon very little privacy left.

The rest of the world seems to be looking for alternatives.

In my view, Nokia may have the perfect opportunity to differentiate as a privacy minded player, not least due to its Finnish roots. This could be ramped up relatively fast through cooperation with the security and privacy front runners f-secure and SSH, who also happen to be Finnish. Nokia could build compelling USPs through security services on top.

In addition, with a little coordination and visionary commitment with/from the government and legistlators, Finland is in a position to become the switzerland of world's data. The classic Harvard business cluster potential waiting for someone to connect the dots. Nokia would of course be one of the primary beneficiaries.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Johnson

Hey, I remember the question too. I remember I was at least in the process of answering you, but may have been one of those airport-rush situations that then the comment never got finished..

So yeah. Great points and ideas. First off, data.

Mobile is the Magical Measurement Machine. It is the most complete data collector of human behavior and most of the data a modern phone is capable of collecting today (without the owner ever knowing) under normal behavior, without fancy spyware, is phenomenal. For example in Asia I think it was Bangladesh, could be India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, roughly that area in SEA, one local operator was able to detect with about 95% accuracy who is illiterate (illiteracy still a big problem in that part of the world). Obviously these skew heavily to older women who never got to go to school.

Anyway, without 'spying' on them as in listening to their calls or reading messages or facebook and with no cookies installed etc, just by the TRAFFIC PATTERN of the phone user, they could detect almost perfectly who were illiterate (then were looking for ways with the government to bring educational tools to those parts of the country to help that type of citizens, without embarrassing them on their phones, obviously - hey, we KNOW you can't read!)

I have a ton of the various Magical Measurement Machine stories from measuring trees with cameraphones, to capturing music and turning it into written musical notes - mobile is a Magical Measurement Machine.

Now turn that into spyware. Gosh the ultimate spy device. There are increasingly stories now where partners in couple-situations (marriages, open couples) use some type of spyware on their partners. Etc. And then there is government spyware which goes into a whole other atmosphere. And there is the various 'marketing' oriented spyware, some less abusive than others. What I preach in my workshops is 'Don't Spam, Don't Spy; Ask Permission and Satisfy' - that is long term best sustainable business model for digital and mobile interactivity but it is NOT anywhere near the majority view far less any kind of consensus view of how to proceed with consumer data.

Now on 'privacy vs security' - if you haven't read it you should read Tony Fish's excellent book 'My Digital Footprint'. That is an eye-opener to understand, that privacy is a totally differnt issue to security. There is overlap but you can have one, or the other, or both, or neither. They are not 'opposite sides of the SAME coin'. So I won't go into a lecture on Tony's topic, if you are not familiar with this and if the above was not 'obviously true' to you, then please look into Tony's writing, he has a lot in the public domain, and I urge you to go read his book too. Paperback, won't kill your book-buying budget haha.

That said. What we CONSUMERS hold most dear, is essentially useless data for 'mining' consumer information. So whatever is in the government file about us. Our birth date and place. Our address, our marital status, our educational level, our name. That kind of information is regularly stolen because it can be used to gain access to FINANCIAL data like bank accounts. But as DATA, it is pretty well useless to 'mine'. Useless in a modern context, it WAS useful in the previous century when nothing better was available. So, for example. We may know that I live in X neighborhood in Hong Kong. We may make an 'educated guess' ie ASSUMPTION about the 'affluence' of the person who lives at that address. And it may be correct. So take my name, Tomi Ahonen. Tomi is a boy's name in Finland. But Tomi is a girls' name in Japan. It could be that Tomi Ahonen living in Hong Kong is a man, he could also be a woman. Now, at that address, this 'Tomi Ahonen' COULD be the 'owner' of that address, and 'rich' haha, or it could be the MAID who works there, ALSO at the same address!!! See where address (and name) can immediately bring chaos to a beautifully constructed demographic system of data-mining.

So take me and my gender. My passport says I'm a man. I was born a man. But what if I secretly have a desire to become a woman and I've started to take hormone therapy and am in the process of getting soon a sex-change operation. Again, an extreme example yes, but if you go by DEMOGRAPHIC data, you get this kind of error all the time. The person who technically owns the car, doesn't drive it anymore because he 'lent' it permanently to his girl friend. And his home address - he doesn't live there anymore, he has had a breakdown in his marriage and lives now .. with his girlfriend. Etc.

Now. If we ASK the consumer what he wants or does, we are LIKELY to get far more accurate info than if we try to spy on him/her. BUT again, Mobile is the Magical Measurement Machine - mobile will still get the BEST data, even in flawed situations out of any case of trying to spy on someone. Like say... the unfaithful husband. If we track where is MOBILE is, we will soon find that he no longer sleeps at his home address, he is sleeping at the address of some unmarried woman that apparently goes to the same office every morning in the same car...

So yeah. HUGE opportunities and like with any tech, its both for good and bad. Now I'll post this and continue

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Johnson

So yeah. Thats the world of today. That will change EXPONENTIALLY when we add mobile wallets, our voting behavior, our home keys, our car keys, our public transport pass, and all the consumer loyalty program cards etc, onto the mobile. In the next decade it will be our driver's licence and our passport and the amount of data the mobile will be exposed to - and potentially can collect - is gargantuan.

What to do with that? Well, I think the ship has somewhat sailed on that - in that the key is the OS. That info went to Google. They won the info wars and they are the only brand that gets to about 90% of all human pockets by year 2025. And Nokia's chances to take say 1/3 of that via its own OS strategy from a decade ago - that has been totally squandered and that is gone. Even Apple can't get to the level Android can, but Apple will have at least its own 'rich people' data collecting machine around its particular type of iToys.

Outside of the OS layer, yes, there can be various security systems before it (in the network say) or on top of it (towards apps) and in particular there is likely a bigger opportunity in the enterprise space. There SHOULD be companies exploring all that already haha. As to a tech cluster, gosh, sounds like yeah F-Secure and Nokia and related buddies around like now Comptel etc, that would sound like something worth exploring.

Part of the problem is the 'pain point'. A business/enterprise especially a larger one, can understand the issue of risk, and have various IT systems to manage data breaches and intrusions and pursue safeguards. Consumers are oblivious to most issues until its usually too late. And then its mostly a 'virus' issue. A single virus happens to damage that given IT system and then someone spies on you or there is a ransomware incident or your data is lost and you have to reset your device etc. But consumers as a 'group' aren't really willing to 'bother' about their IT/tech security matters. So commercially it would seem like a pretty hopeless task of trying to sell something 'that is good for you' but one that most consumers then happily ignore.

That kind of thoughts 'immediately' jump into my mind haha...

How are our other readers - plenty who are involved in or near Finnish ICT tech companies. What do you think of Johnson's idea?

Tomi Ahonen :-)

E.Casais

I can envision the following approaches -- with HMD Android devices as the starting point.

1) HMD and partners (F-Secure...) harden Android for security, or more restrictively, for privacy, by adding the necessary layers of security software on top of the OS, and configuring it appropriately.

Difficult to implement.

a) Android is a sprawling system with lots of nooks and crannies;

b) it is being updated frequently, so that keeping it hardened for security in a compatible and up-to-date manner will be a challenge;

c) I suspect that many Android features that go counter to security or privacy cannot be disabled or restrained without violating the licensing terms.

Basically, this means implementing something like the Blackphone. It requires special skills and focus. It will not be cheap.

2) HMD and partners (F-Secure...) provide devices with tools and software for users to configure a better level of security or privacy -- a bit in the way that F-Secure provides a security suite (with firewall, anti-virus, etc) for PC.

Difficult to sell.

a) Most users will not know how to set up those tools -- if they are interested to do it in the first place;

b) the interactions with common cloud services (e.g. Dropbox) may not be intuitive at all;

c) this requires effort from users, but the benefits are intangible.

Basically, it ends up telling users that their Android smartphone is like a Windows PC and requires a similar overhead to keep it safe from the dangers lurking on the Internet. Not a seller.

3) HMD provides a line of basic phones (not even feature phones) without the wealth of storage and communication facilities of a smartphone, without the possibility of apps and downloadable software, with a no-frills OS that has none of the security/privacy concerns of Android.

HMD already does that, so it is covered.

Johnson

Thanks for the thoughts Tomi and E.Casais. Essentially your pessimism dooms us all into a dystopia way beyond what Orwell imagined. :)

Of course the OS war is already "lost". However, given the informed choice, I am sure anyone will pay a small premium for more privacy / security out of the box. I am sure attention to these issues, and hence consumers' knowledge and willingness to invest money and effort, will grow in the coming years. The crux is to make privacy / security effortless for the user and do it believably.

So option 2 (by E.Casais) might be more plausible. But I think the downsides should not be overplayed. Simple things can yield dramatic improvements. An integrated service bundle would really add value. Key here is is the word "integrated", out-of-the box experience. Because, just like pointed out by E.Casais and Tomi, users are lazy and security is hard. Something like Knox by Samsung?

Simple elements to the Nokia security bundle:

- "Always-on" VPN for example, is one service all would benefit from with little performance overhead. (F-secure already has a pretty good track record in this: https://arstechnica.com/security/2017/01/majority-of-android-vpns-cant-be-trusted-to-make-users-more-secure/)

- Virtualisation and stronger app sandboxing might be another way to add security without breaking UX. Just make it easy.

- Security minded choices as preinstalled apps would also yield big results. How about something like Signal (Briar? Ricochet?) as the default messaging / calling / videoconferencing app?

- Leveraging the goodwill of being Finnish. Working with the Finnish government to strengthen data protection regulation etc.

Or maybe I am just naive. :)

Winter

@Johnson
Install and use Tor for browsing. But it is not just the OS. The very concept of mobile phones implies tracking users.

Wayne Brady

@Johnson - buy an iPhone. Apple has done the hard security work. So much of the "locked in walled garden" are really security measures.

For the moment, the only way to make Android secure is to turn off most all of the features/services that make people want a smartphone in the first place. There are firms working on Android security. You mentioned Samsung with Knox. Blackberry is focusing on the security aspect as well. There are smaller companies chasing the same goal. There are some REALLY expensive Android phones that are sold on the basis of their security.

I haven't seen anything from Nokia suggesting they are going after that market.

Still, to be sure, so much of what people love about Android are the very things that make it less secure. Apple working to make it impossible to jail break your phone is about making the iPhone secure. Android allowing rooting and such (not all handsets nor all carriers allow this) is a very insecure practice. Apple having a single source for apps, enforcing cryptographic signing from paid/registered developer accounts is a security measure. Allowing side loading and multiple apps stores is an insecure practice.

Apple encrypts iMessage and FaceTime end to end. Apple has no need to scan your messages in order to sell you advertising. Google will never promote end to end encryption because it's business model requires that it have access to your messages, email etc. in order to effectively target you with advertising.

Android's challenges in security are, of course, market opportunities.

Per "wertigon" Ekström

@Wayne:

It's just too bad that Apple security means we have to trust a company only interested in two things;

1. World breaking profit
2. Locking in their users for even more profit

And yes their customers love it just like MS customers love it. Else why would they keep coming back for more?

Wayne Brady

@Per - you think Google isn't interested in profit? And yes, all tech security has to start with you trusting the company (and likely the government the company must follow).

Still - if mobile security is an important consideration, the iPhone is far and away the choice.

If being able to pick your favorite launcher, and swapping out default services are among your highest priority...pick Android.

Johnson

Wayne: "all tech security has to start with you trusting the company (and likely the government the company must follow)."

Absolutely untrue and very dangerous perpetuation of the sort of BS that kills all efforts to provide options to walled gardens by different businesses.

Privacy is possible and not too difficult, but certainly could be made easier. Open source, anyone?

Winter

@Johnson
"Privacy is possible and not too difficult, but certainly could be made easier."

All the experts disagree with you on this. Privacy is only possible if you leave the civilized world.

There are many security blogs that can inform you in this respect.

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