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« Analysis of Smartphone Wars and 3 Big News last week or so: Part 1 of 3: Intel + Samung - Nokia = Tizen (not MeeGo) | Main | Don't Call Him One of the Best Innovators of High Tech Industry - thats simply not fair: Steve Jobs Rest In Peace! »

October 06, 2011



The shift to Windows Phone was a desparate decision for what was, at the time, seen as the lesser of two evils in the face of an ongoing collapse of Symbian. Market share was dropping quickly, development was way behind schedule, and it was increasingly becoming obvious that maintaining and upgrading Symbian was a Herculean effort. Qt was similarly behind schedule, and MeeGo was not ready - the UI that you rave about (and which the press judged to be interesting, but nowhere near as magical as you claim) was developed in the 7 months prior to the launch of the N9. In a market moving as quickly as this, an ecosystem full of 6/12/18-month delays is not tenable. They needed to change something major.
The choice was therefore between Android and Windows Phone.
With choosing Windows Phone, it was clear that there was no short- or mid-term migration path for the lower end of feature phones to smartphones. With a choice of Android, Nokia might have been the only company in the mobile space to remain unencumbered by license payments to MSFT & others and actually produce those low-end Android phones for the US & Europe that are now becoming impossible for others.
The migration of all but the lowest-end featurephones is a fact, and Nokia is the brand that is best positioned to be in this game (worldwide reach) and needs to be in there (with its market share in the upper-mid to high-end unlikely to return to anyhting like its former glory in the foreseeable future). They needed a plan here. Qt on S40 seemed to be it for a while, but maybe here too the cruft of old architecture decisions led to bigger problems than orignally anticipated. Developing the underlying parts of an OS from scratch is a bigger effort with each generation, and nobody has done it in a while (iOS = mach kernel, some BSD, Android, webOS = Linux kernel, Windows Phone = CE kernel). So what do you take? Linux. It's something they need to do, now, if they don't want low-cost Android phones to kill them in the emerging markets where the US/European patent wars don't matter one bit.
All these could have/would have/should have musings about the big evil Elop don't mean anything here. Symbian is dead, MeeGo is dead, the N9 will be a sought-after collector's item for open-source and Nokia fans, there will be Nokia Windows Phone devices, and that's the reality Nokia has to base their paths forward on.
Meltemi would have made more sense in the greater context of a Qt ecosystem from the top to the low end. It faces significantly bigger hurdles now. Still, with the next billion phones as targets, and a development environment that is at last shaping up into something competitive, it is the right move for Nokia now.

Sander van der Wal

I wouldn't know about Qt/S40/Meltemi/whatever being a desperation move. When Nokia bought Qt three years ago the idea that Qt would be the API layer for all Nokia OS'es was already floating around. Nokia said as much when they said that using Qt as the company-wide API layer had significant cost benefits for them.

My take on this is different, it has taken Nokia this long to figure out they could not put Qt on top of the S40 OS, so now they are going to use Linux instead.

Not that it is a bad idea to put Qt on top of S40, or whatever OS they are using, quite the contrary. But for developers it is icing on the cake, money is being made by selling apps to people with the disposable income to pay for high-end phones, not the people who can only spare the cash for a cheap phone.


Meltemi isn't desperation move. In fact it looks like current Nokia strategy HAS sense at all. But it definitely is: Worst. Execution. Ever. If you create scale of CEO's you have on one end Steve Jobs and on second Stephen Elop.
Look, at the end of 2010 Nokia has Symbian losing space - but losing it SLOWLY (at least comparing to current rate of attrition) and not so successful partnership with Intel. Nokia needs something to replace Symbian but MeeGo isn't ready and WP7 is handy, it will not be ready on Nokia handsets immediately but Nokia have time, one year of INCRESING sales of Symbian and profit. This is not sustainable path because due to smartphones explosion it is losing marketshare - but 1 year delay isn't problem because Nokia still has this Symbian cushion. At the same time Nokia maintains small old Maemo/MeeGo team to develop its Linux version - Elop mentioned it as "for future disruptions" (there were some mentions about Meltemi really ready for market in 2015). All elements are there and it this context it makes sense (personally still think that all strategy was better but new one isn't total braindead as it looks now).

Plan is ready now for execution. But instead of introducing (even falsely) of [email protected] as only North American venture (and later silently kill Symbian), present Anna or even Belle as 2011-2012 exciting releases close to deliver and Meltemi as highly visible lab product Elop creates Elop Effect...


Where did you hear that Qt runs on S40? This is simply not true. Qt was never able to run on S40, can not run on S40 now and will not run on S40 ever.

And you talk about Meltemi like it is some new thing, that Nokia started working on it just this fall (when WSJ reported about it), that it is some kind of a new, rush job, a desperation move initiated when Elop lost faith in Windows Phone. It is anything but that.

Nokia has been working on Meltemi for months if not years now. Meltemi was first mentioned by Register's Andrew Orlowski as some sort of software project inside Nokia, where Meego staff can transfer to when Meego work is finished.

"There will also be opportunities within the Meltemi organization, for personnel working within the MeeGo teams." As you can see, in April 2011 there already is Meltemi organization inside Nokia, and it has been there for months most likely.

Then, in the leaked "Sea Ray" video in June, Elop again mentions Meltemi, and this time, clearly as a part of their "Next billion" part of the strategy. Which means as a replacement for S40. At about the same time they said that QT will be core of "Next billion strategy too".

The only new thing that WSJ reported is that Meltemi is Linux based. And Register's Orlowski also confirmed that now and added that Qt will run on Meltemi.

There is no confusion here. Meltemi is a next generation replacement for mass market Nokia S40 platform. It was part of Nokia strategy even before Feb. 11th. It was probably the basis of that second pillar of the strategy - "The next billion" from the very begining.

Now we know Meltemi is Linux based, but just because it is LInux, does not meant that it has any relation to Meego. E.g. Motorola Linux based phones (in 2003-2004) weren't even smartphones.

Meltemi will go to low end mass market Nokia phones (former S40), leaving the higher end smartphones for Windows Phone OS. Of course - with Qt support, Meltemi budget phones are very likely to technically become smartphones (just like Samsung's Bada phones are considered to be). But they will most likely occupy below 250EUR price ranges, while WIndows Phone will bet at above that price for years.


Meltemi is clearly (in)direct continuation of Maemo. Maemo releases were usually codenamed after winds (Bora, Chinook, Mistral, even Harmattan) - Meltemi continues this tradition.

It is as if MeeGo never existed either on Intel or Nokia side of things ;)


@Baron95 Good one :) Almost fully agreed

Well, except that - Tomi is dead wrong on S40 capability to run Qt, and that S40 was one separate branch of development.

It wasn't.

Meltemi is S40.generation2 and will replace S40 - so it's only 3 OSes, not 4.

And, IMHO, Elop's view is that Meltemi will also replace Symbian (at low end) by becoming Nokia's own cheap smartphone OS, that does not need thousands of developers to keep up, but gets as smart with help of Qt.

And gettin back to your Tomi's previous post (Tizen/Meego) comments. You might be wrong on IP stuff. Except for Oracle/Java tax - even if then.

Nokia did not have to care about Android IP issues when choosing. Their IP portfolio is too strong for that. And, if Oracle has any mobile ambitions - they might get an exclusive deal for Nokia Android phones too. So I don't think that was ever an issue, at least defensively.

Offensively, getting others to pay Nokia for IP - that is a different thing.


It may be too little, too late. Telephony is fast becoming a common feature of all too many new devices. Technology is racing past this function much as it raced past special purpose devices that report what time it is (watches). You can't have just a phone device anymore - it has to do more.


@Baron95 .. Look at Samsung. Samsung is committed to 4 operating systems.

cheap canada goose

In my mind you are the best*_*


@Meego: too much OS can kill you ;-) and one, as we know, is dead already...


Elop's current offering:

WP7 (Nokia 0%), Windows 8 (Nokia 0%), Symbian (Nokia 0%), Maemo/Harmattan/Meego (Nokia only), Maltemi (Nokia only), HTML5 (Nokia 0%)

Seems to me he agrees with Tomi on the number, only don't want nokia to be in control of anything (perhaps avaiting finalisation of acquisition by ms).



Let me tell you some secrete. Tizen is 99% Limo, and Limo is 99% Samsung Linux Platform (look at who has mostly contributed to Limo for the past years). Please don't try to sound authorative when you have no clue.

As for Bada, you are correct. The core is RTOS but anything above is Samsung's.

Samsung also has what they call inside SHP OS which powers their feature phones.

So these are three already. In addition to that, you should know that Samsung heavily skins android with the TouchWiz stuff. Also porting WinPho7 is not as trivial as you seem to think.

So 5 OS in total.

Tomi suggests using 3 (S40, Meego (with Meego Light) and Symbian) .

So my suggestion is, when you don't have any clue, don't try to sound like you are in the knows. It just makes you look silly.


@Baron95. What makes you think LINUX OS projects at Samsung are playthings? Samsung's strategy is to support all OS's out there, and Samsung means it . For example, next year at MWC you will see new devices based on these playthings.


Baron95 doesn't even understand what a BS he is talking. Baron95 is a pure example of a charlatan (one making usually showy pretenses to knowledge or ability).

jj cale


I Read some of your posts and like mixture which touches nicely the theory of managing technology and business togegher and related books..... Communities are missing from this theory. So are economies and networks.

not seen u actually comment the domination of the communities over brands and companies, and executive boards. Or directly about communities lost or gained with different strategies from different companies. I accept the communities are challenging to get figures on, in-directly you have commented about the "distributors on mobile service"

There are some leaders who understand this new era we are entered and which become behaviour of all in next 15 years, and there are some leaders who do not have concept of it.

This is dilemma in all industries and all business, existing and new.

I am really not able to judge mobile phone market leaders in this aspect in ratio to their success, but I suppose you could. Even for the past ones which u did not write about this topic.. :)


Once A Happy Coder

I hate Elop. He has destroyed my life and dreams. And above all, he's horribly WRONG!!!

Once A Happy Coder


Bada has a bigger market share than Windows Phone has :)


Hey Tomi, you've been talking about no-migration path for Qt devs to WP7. Will this help them?


Swapnil, that is not a "Qt for Windows Phone 7". That's just a script for developers to follow, in order to build "good" apps from the point of view of Microsoft.


@Elpo (maybe you meant Elop) Yes it's not Qt for WP7 but at least Qt devs will not feel stranded when Nokia finally brings WP7 devices.
@Tomi again why are you criticizing Nokia/WP7 and Elop so much? Ok, Elop announced WP7 devices without actual product but ain't you doing same by criticizing them without actually using one. Have you seen how much hype Nokia/WP7 have been generating lately? And if memory serves Elop never said that they won't have their own OS. He said Nokia will disrupt market and he didn't mean it with WP7 as OS. He sent MeeGo to labs and gave devs time (12months), asked them to create a new OS which can disrupt market. That's what I heard I don't have proof right now but everything is going according to plan. They had got Qt running on S40 as web-apps in browser (first gen iOS style) but it was not sufficient. Droids were eating into S40 share too so if they revamp their low end phones with new OS then it shouldn't be called as 'desperate move'
Yes WP7 has less market share but most probably it's also ahead of Android in terms of user satisfaction. May even surpass iOS too. I haven't seen anyone complaining about UI/UX of WP7. Maybe you should try it too.

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