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« Q4 Results and other notes from Smartphone Bloodbath - LG, Lenovo, RIM, ZTE, Jolla, Vertu, etc | Main | Quick Update in our 'Guess Windows Phone Q4 2012 Market Share' Twitter-contest »

January 31, 2013




Ok, you won. I was about to write a lot of questions why all the effort for HTML apps if it's so bad as you suggest and a reload deleted my comment. I am on your side now.... LOL. Serious - I still think there are use, space and developers for Firefox OS and HTML apps.

However, back to the actual topic of is article: supposed that it's no system economy rather than an app economy as stated by some before I still think that the system with the best proposal for mobile operaters to monetize the customer relationship will do the race. I think providers want to regain a piece of the value chain. And the system with the best proposal to do so will be promoted. I guess that is something all the mentioned competitors are heavily thinking about. And as far as I know it is an essential part of Jolla's strategy.

I would love to fast forward two years from now to see how they all perform.


Carriers' biggest fear is that they will be relegated to become simple forwarders of IP packets in the future, like ISPs are today. Once all the competition to Android goes out of business, Google's position will have become much stronger, and the carriers will have less say in what happens on their networks.

Five years ago your performance arguments might have been correct. Your integration argument is hardly valid with Android/iOS native applications (most of the code can be reused between the two) and much less so with HTML5 and especially in the light of cross-platform application frameworks.



>> As customer if you not like that (and I don't) not use that (and I don't).

I think that's the crucial bit: Will customers fall for this trap or not?

The people I know are very cost-aware and tend to switch off their phone's connection when they don't need it. They would gladly ignore any device that forces them to be online more than necessary. This scheme works for the affluent Apple crowd but not in the low cost mainstream segment. Those customers tend to use cheaper data plans that do not have unlimited volume. If these phones require being online constantly to do any non-basic stuff they might tank completely if the customers notice that they have to pay more than they want.


The only escape valve is a media player device like the Samsung Galaxy Player, iPod Touch, or Phillips has something similar. Then you don't need the carriers, but it isn't a phone (excepting skype, GoogleTalk, etc.).

Meego was Maemo on the n770, n800, then n810 (still a great device!).

I have a dumbphone (brew) with a mifi hotspot.

newbie reader

// This year will be even more about Android.
// And I'm sick of it

I agree here :)

But nevertheless, I would buy only Android next year.

The phones, capable of running more than one OS, that's what I think of.

E.g. Tizen/Jolla/Ubuntu/RIM phone, that also has alternative Android firmware from vendor.

That kind of thing, I will buy eagerly!

And for me, this would be a killer differentiating thing, a deal-making feature.

There are many similar Android offers, but alternativeOS capable would surely be my choice.

Otherwise, I'm very glad to see new faces, alternative OSes, let you guys go buy'em and fund'em! :) But good old Droid is my only choice. Let other rookies try new stuff.

newbie reader

// If the OS of a smartphone doesn't matter
// to the consumer, then anything can happen.

Many ppl are asking my advise which phone to buy. And I never allow my attitude to interfere their choice and only provide them with information.

And the first thing I always tell them, that they have to choose OS first.

I always say, don't get Nokia, it is Windows, and it is shucks... ok, not mature enough.

So, first they have to choose Android or iOS, then only vendor.

And that is advise that any honest techie would give.

So, people would get educated sooner or later.


@will: Serious - I still think there are use, space and developers for Firefox OS and HTML apps.

HTML apps - yes (to some degree), Firefox OS - no. Any platform which does not support good old C/C++ is non-starter. Microsoft found out it the hard way with WP7.

P.S. And, surprise, surprise, ChromeOS *does* have support for C/C++-based development.

dies felices

I am hoping that hardware virtualisation will be utilised to run multiple OSes but I won't hold my breath. I think it have a stronger showing on Tablets which I think any new OS will need to offer as well. My thoughts are that the smart phone will become the new feature phone and the tablet will take the place of the current smart phone.

The reasons I think this are two fold, one if you look at PC monitors as the platform matured they got larger and larger until they reached their maximum practical size and two you can will use a tablet to do a lot of the (intelligent/complex) things you currently use a smart phone for. Plus you'll be able to do more and better in the future. Let's not forget we're already seeing devices in the form factor of Phablets.

As an N9 owner, I am hoping Sailfish does well.


@ Spawn
I am a big fan of QT and can't wait till the iOs and Android targets are available this summer..... But that only helps the QT developers, native Andriod devs will not move. This makes Elops crime of killing the migration strategy even more painful since QT "could" have been the top dog framework for mobile.

For all the +/- of HTML5 the reality is that we will need a transition period. Now the companies that created the "cult of the ecosystem" are about to get co-opted.... last weekend I downloaded WindowsAndroid by SocketEq a chinese startup it runs Android as an app under windows - NO NOT ANDROID APPS UNDER WINDOWS, THE WHOLE ANDROID OS AS A WINDOWS APP. So I can run full android on my Samsung windows 8 tablet (Again proving that no one wants a Windows Tablet) and have a better UX experince the Windows 8.

So we are seeing Apps replace the ecosystem and even OS components...why do mobile OS's have calenders and calculators,etc...because they evloved from PDA's. Why as a mobile OS maker do I have to make these anymore? They should just be apps. Jolla is doing something right focus on the Navigation and Use of the UX/OS as a shell for apps. Of all the screen shots of Tizen seen so far we have Android UX with N9 task switcher screen.

Sammy is number one, they will not put all the muscle behind Tizen as not to get afoul of Google and the Open Handset Alliance, just dip a toe in to see how it goes. Lenovo,ZTE... would put all the muscle behind the project.

All in all interesting times.


(sorry, I can't post??)


I can't post???
maybe i hit certain word that considered as spam or red flag??


@Tomi: yesterday I attended a 'meetup' related to smartphones. The speaker opened the event with a picture of a CEO of once a glorious company who let Android fly with leaking one single memo. He also mentioned the two famous effects... :-)

Interestingly he did not see any room for a new OS but the dominating Android and (maybe) iOS, but declining.

On the other hand he had no clue what Asha Touch is, so... :-)

He was not so much interested in 'smartphone like feature phones' either - I think it is quite ignorant...

There was an investment capital representative there, too. Surprisingly he was quite ignorant for China, India, Brasil and Mexico - but English speaking markets only...



Of course performance is still a hot topic with HTML5. Yes, performance is good enough for run-of-the-mill website-ish applications, like Google Docs or Office365 or a sprite-based Civilization. These are high-latency, low-performance applications.

But I wish you the best creating an high-performant application in HTML5, including a full-blown rendering engine, collision and input detection be it a game or an augmented reality application - delivering 60+ frames per seconds.

There is a reason we have a Native Client on Chrome.



>> But that only helps the QT developers, native Andriod devs will not move.

I tend to disagree here. A Qt for all platforms will all those developers who would like to be efficient.

In the previous company I worked for they had an iOS team and an Android team, with nearly no information exchange between them. The code produced by one team was so heavily platform dependent that everything had to be done twice. Of course in such an environment a platform independent framework is useless. But also, such an environment only works if you have to deal with only two platforms.

However, with all the new OSs emerging such a strategy won't work. You have to use a more platform independent approach. And I'm quite certain that many developers would love to have a framework that not only lets their apps run on iOS and Android but also on BB10, Tizen and what else might come along.

The only platform left aside will be - small surprise here - Windows Phone, because it doesn't implement such all important stuff like OpenGL and instead goes their own way here. So bad luck, developers, you'll have to do separate coding here. I doubt many will do. They'd rather do BB10 and Tizen ports which would require a lot less work.

If I can reach 2% of the market with far less than half the amount of work to reach 3% it's a no-brainer.

So, the more diversified the OS landscape becomes, the more important it will be to offer development capabilities that allow to implement standards.

And this also means that a HTML5 only OS like Firefox will most likely be DOA, at best it'll be the next generation of feature phones. Don't forget, those are programmable, too, just not as powerful as smartphones.

HTML5 looks to me more like the successor of Java Mobile (J2ME), not like a 'smart' environment.

Tomi T Ahonen


You're not blocked and as far as I know, Typepad doesn't stop you from posting based on a word in the comments - I delete the comments manually that I find offensive of against our rules. And definitely you are not blocked by me, nor censored by me either..

Sometimes Typepad is just weird, they sometimes seem to have a 'length blocker' that works, ie if your comment is too long, Typepad acts like it was accepted, but won't actually accept it. That might be what happened, in that case, please re-post in two or more shorter comments. Try that please. But definitely you aren't blocked by me... Cheers :-)

Tomi Ahonen :-)


Hi Tomi Perhaps we will see webos growing again now that HP has oos'et it
Or opened up the source code!



"Why as a mobile OS maker do I have to make these anymore? They should just be apps."

I am intrigued by the idea of a bare-bones phone platform where one would configure all essential services by downloading applications. It could be ideal in a professional setting (corporate devices tailored for the personnel).

But for the vastly larger consumer market? A deadly avenue.
1) Most people do not like to install system apps, and avoid to do it. A persistent question for the past few years has been "why do Android users use so few apps -- especially compared to iOS users?".
2) One of the major advantages of having standard utilities from one source is that they are integrated (you can use the services of the phone book from the calendar, jump to the maps from the phone book to navigate to the relevant address, launch the browser from a point of interest in the maps, open up the BT transfer from a media gallery, etc). Even if the OS is well-designed to allow such service integration, there is no guarantee at all that applications from a variety of suppliers can work together.
3) Updates of a balkanized set of apps, in particular system standard ones (calendar, e-mail, file transfer, etc), become fraught with problems.
4) Commercially, many apps -- especially those that involve user data and communication, are essential assets in a cloud environment. Do you really think that Google, Apple, Microsoft are going to relinquish the treasure trove of user information and user lock-in represented by their e-mail, messaging, calendar, mapping, etc, services?

There was a time with PC where one had just to do as you suggest: install a word processor, an e-mail client, a browser, a backup utility, a firewall, an antivirus, a CD/DVD player-writer, etc. Nowadays, they all come pre-installed and integrated in Windows. Expect even more pre-defined, standard utilities and apps from Google, Microsoft, Apple and Blackberry in future smartphones, not less.





Thanks for sharing the link on visionmobile



>This may be a stupid question but what's wrong with Android from operator point of view?
>Elop keeps saying operators welcome a third option to Android and iOS but I personally don't
>trust anything he says. I like Google services and I'm not the only one...

This is a hype!! and also a war slap.
* Elop were trying to tell carrier that "HEY, YOU (carrier) would be better if there's an alternative to Android and iOS". The story behind this actually lies on Apple way of conducting business. Apple lock carrier for certain year of subsidising iPhone, if the carrier don't want to do it, then Apple won't support that carrier. Elop hidden message were something like "screw apple, we'll give you better deal".
* And this is really have nothing to do with OS. Because Manufacture (samsung, lg, sony, huawei, zte, htc, nokia) were the company that making the deal with the carrier, not the OS company. Elop here were acting like Microsoft pupet (read: spoke person), he might just got beaten up, and forget which company he's currently at.



>It's Google dominance. If there is one OS used by 90% of devices being sold, carriers don't
>have other options to turn to when Google starts going nasty and blocking carrier services
>replacing them with their own.
>Apple is bad as a medicine as Apple is notorious for dictating terms to operators in a
>"take it or leave it" manner. Third option is needed so those primary two can be kept
>in control.

I'm gonna say that this is a hype/FUD that Elop trying to spread. Any carrier can contact any phone manufacture to create custom made android phone. and Google won't block carrier services. Google also allowed other than google to be set as default search engine on android. Google use the OPEN STANDARD of (mostly) anything from mail to calender to address book. Any company can also create a Web Storage solution (box, skydrive, etc) and don't have to share revenue to Google (unlike apple). Apple is the one that trying to lock the user into iTunes, and elop just generalizing and discrediting Android.

>AT&T used Nokia for that: they could negotiate better deals with Apple and Samsung by
>saying they'll sell Lumia 900's instead if two previous if terms of contract do not match
>AT&T wishes.
>Whether AT&T was really planning to sell those Lumias is irrelevant for the strategy value
>of the capability to say they would.

Exactly...!!! Carrier WANT.... I repeat WANT.... more phone manufacture, NOT more OS.
More OS means higher cost because they need to train their staff to understand the OS problem, and also creating the apps (some carrier have custom apps) for more platform. Elop just trying to fool non-teechie into thinking this.

So, Carrier can say to Samsung & Apple that HTC & Sony & Huawei & ZTE & Lenovo give them better (android) deal....

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