Feeds

Nokia plotting Symbian laptops

MC400* route to keeping up with the Androids

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Nokia has plans to put Symbian onto laptop computers, with the vendor predicting converged devices were likely to appear in as little as five years from now.

CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo confirmed the mobile vendor's plans in an interview with the Finnish National Broadcaster last night.

"We don't have to look even for five years from now to see that what we know as a mobile phone and what we know as a PC are in many ways converging," Kallasvuo told broadcaster YLE when questioned about Nokia's aspirations towards the lap. "We are looking very actively also at this opportunity."

Getting Symbian to run on a laptop shouldn't be particularly challenging, especially if you happen to have €500m to throw at the problem, but why one would want to do such a thing is a more difficult question.

Symbian is hugely optimised for lower power consumption, from the ground up, so that should be reflected in a significantly better battery life. It's also now a genuinely real-time OS, so the main CPU could also run a GSM stack - though it's hard to see how that would be an advantage on the lap where space and price are less of an issue.

Symbian already has a couple of decent, Microsoft-compatible, Office packages - one of which even underlines spelling mistakes in blue (which is what computers are actually for) - but it lacks a GUI suitable for the desktop, as well as drivers for the myriad of hardware users expect to be able to drop into their laptops these days.

A comparable experience can be had using the Redfly, or Palm's ill-fated Folio: connecting a decent screen, keyboard, and mouse to a mobile phone is a strange experience. But the maintenance of state between desktop and mobility is compelling - when the website you were halfway through reading on the tube transfers to your desktop screen, there is a pleasing continuity to the experience.

Nokia certainly has a massive manufacturing capability that would give it economies of scale, and the brand is well known enough to make shoppers look twice. Also, having a Symbian laptop might attract developers who would otherwise take their skills elsewhere.

Which brings us to the real reason Nokia is talking about Symbian on laptops - because Google is, and if Android is going to scale up to the desktop world, then Nokia is damned if it's going to see Symbian left in punters' pockets. ®

*Psion's EPOC-based laptop, whose 75-hour battery life remains unbeaten, though to be fair it couldn't underline spelling mistakes.

Claim up to £100 Cash Back on selected Toshiba laptops

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Nice computers don’t need to go to the toilet, says Barclays
Bad computers might ask if you are Sarah Connor
4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles
Have your say with Ofcom now, before Freeview becomes Feeview
YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS
Old hardware doesn't get any faster with new software
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users
Sinofsky's hybrid strategy looks dafter than ever
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
Cheapest models given new processors, more RAM
VMware builds product executables on 50 Mac Minis
And goes to the Genius Bar for support
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.