Nokia to cull Symbian from smartphones?
Could be lining up Linux instead
Nokia smartphones may soon be shipped running the phone giant's Linux-based Maemo operating system instead of Symbian, it has been claimed.
Maemo – also known as the Internet Tablet OS – has been around since 2005 and was originally designed for Nokia’s family of handheld internet gadgets.
Now a report by the Financial Times Deutschland has hinted that Nokia is preparing to drop Symbian from its smartphones, in favour of Maemo. The paper’s source is unclear.
Nokia spent €264m (£228/$367) when it acquired Symbian in 2008, so it’s highly unlikely that the firm will simply drop Symbian from its entire range of handsets.
But Symbian’s global market share has suffered of late, according to figures from market watcher Gartner. For example, the OS’ share dropped from 62.3 per cent during Q4 2007 to 47.1 per cent during Q4 2008, a fall of 15.2 percentage points.
By contrast, Windows Mobile’s share increased by 7.8 percentage points between those two quarters, reaching 12.4 per cent in Q4 2008. RIM's Blackberry OS went from 10.9 per cent to 19.5 per cent, and the iPhone OS from 5.2 per cent to 10.7 per cent.
Pictures of a Maemo-powered Nokia N900 emerged online recently, leading many to speculate that Nokia is on the verge of launching the handset as the first of many Maemo-based smartphones. ®
@moylan - so you moved from a Symbian phone to an iPhone because the camera click annoyed you, but the iPhone also makes a camera-click noise (unless on silent) so I don't understand your logic? I agree though, I hate those silly camera-clicking noises.
I still dont get how you can say that you cant work with the N810 under the hood. Its a Debian, if you want to compare it to Ubuntu fine, its a good comparison as Ubuntu is a Debian also. Underneath, they are almost identical. If your device is crashing, then update to the latest software.
If that doesnt help, then god knows why you havent been onto Nokia's support line about it. There isnt much point in telling the good readers of the Reg about your problems, unless you think Nokia is reasing this. And if a lot of other people have had the same problems, then maybe, just maybe, Nokia would be willing to do something about it?
I initially got my N810 as I was sick of my S60 devices. Over the years they have gone from slick and fast to slow and retarded. Nokia seems to have lost the plot when it comes to hardware on their S60 devices - the N95 is faster than the N96, which was supposed to be its flagship prior to the N97. The hate, as you put it, for S60 probably stems from the fact that Nokia hasnt really done anything with this platform for almost seven years, all they do is react to things like the iPhone. Which, to anyone who has followed Nokia at all during this time seems a little strange, given they already had Series 90 a good few years back (die hard Psion fans will probably show their love for this one). Series 90 was good and its interface lives on, in Hildon.
I dont mind that you dont like the device or its OS. What I mind is someone sounding off about things that they dont seem to have researched so well, or infact, discussed with the manufacturer. What you appear to be complaining about are two different things: Linux and Hildon.
@ Karim Bourouba
I suspect we may be talking past each other, but I also think it's clear we wanted completely different things from our devices.
I wanted a full-fledged (albeit known to be limited and low-powered) pocketable computer that I could use as a reference library (I even installed the hardware hack to use full-sized SD cards), web browser with competent ad-blocking, email terminal on the go, note-taking device, pocket calendar, and hey, linux in addition. Except none of that is worthwhile with what I regard to be the wretched built-in software, most of which is not readily replacable. Also, I do know that Hildon is just the window manager, and I muck around with my own linux box plenty... but I found a much more tangled mess of dodgy wiring under Maemo's hood than on my Ubuntu box's. Not to mention the crash-proneness.
For phone stuff, I have a Nokia N82, which lacks meaningful ad-blocking, a usefully-sized screen, and a QWERTY keyboard, but otherwise, ironically, is far more stable and useful for many of the tasks for which I wanted the N810. There are pieces of readily-available software that, other than ad-blocking, just plain perform the tasks that I desire, and do them without a whole lot of irritating and seemingly random crashes and resets.
So from where I'm sitting, I don't see why there's hate for S60, possibly for the same reasons you don't see why I hate Maemo: S60 appears to perform as expected and required for my purposes, Maemo didn't. I get the impression that for you, and possibly lots of others, the opposite is true. So it goes.
As it happens, yes, i have tried installing Ubuntu on the N810 and I have used Android on the N810. I own an N810, if only for a few months now. Right now, it has Maemo on it and it works just fine for what I want it to do. i dont find Hildon to be a problem, nor do I find any of Nokia's apps to be a problem.
The only problem I have with this is that I dont know what to do with it - it isnt a phone and thats probably what I really wanted more than this. A phone with a big wide screen, that wasnt a Windows Mobile device, that wasnt an iPhone and wasnt a Communicator. Natch, this doesnt exist ATM.
Then we get Symbian - dont confuse this with the OS on Nokia smartphones like you have confused Maemo/Hildon. With current Nokia smartphones the problem isnt Symbian as such, as others have pointed out - its the concept of S60, which is why people went off and came up with UIQ and people are coming up with things like Qt now.
Who knows, according to the Reg now, Nokia isnt going to replace Symbian with Maemo. Maybe they will redefine S60 so that devices can be Linux based etc.
@ Karim Bourouba
Actually, I think the N810's hardware is fantastic, aside from the bizarre and wholly inexplicable decision to use a MiniSD card slot. There are very few pocketable devices with 800-pixel-wide screens in any event, and as far as I can tell, no other devices with the same potential. I just found the potential grossly unrealized.
And I have to ask - have you, or has anyone you know, actually, personally tried installing Ubuntu Mobile on the N810? Because all of the information I could obtain resulted in me concluding that no other distro really worked, in part because of the proprietary drivers, and in part because they came compiled for a slightly different version of the CPU. I did some more searching recently, and I haven't found any obvious sites or forum posts telling me otherwise. Again, I must emphasize that I could well be an idiot, but I haven't found the information telling me precisely how I can do that and have it work any better than Maemo.
Finally, I wouldn't mind Hildon so much if it wasn't so crash-prone. The final straw wasn't so much the UI as the fact that I simply could not rely on the device to be any more stable than my horrible memories of administering Windows ME boxes.
I actually thought that the tablet was a great idea that would have been very useful to me, if the thing had actually worked. And my whole point - which I really did not make well - was that as far as I could see, Symbian basically just works, whereas Maemo basically just doesn't. Obviously, not everyone has the same experience.