Feeds

Nokia's lost weekend ends with N8?

Profits could crawl back up

Security for virtualized datacentres

Nokia can start restoring its diminishing profit margins later this year with the release of the N8, announced today. It's the first Symbian^3 phone, and so the first to be based on new code written since Nokia acquired Symbian and then spun it out to become an anarcho-syndicalist commune in 2008.

Nokia watched its profit margins decline with the barnstorming success of the iPhone and Blackberry into areas where the Finns had spent years investing. The company lost two years, spent in a hiatus, as lawyers and administrators made themselves busy. Thanks to the legacy Symbian code, which last got a major update in 2005, Nokia has been able to maintain a market share lead, but these days Apple and Blackberry now scoop the lion's share of the profits.

Nokia N8

The N8 might signal the start of a comeback when it appears in Q3. At the very least, it will be shiny and new.

The N8 turns out to be a surprisingly low cost phone, priced at €370, which suggests the competition is Samsung, LG and lesser known Android licensees rather than the iPhone. The specifications - HDMI-output for playing 720p movies, a 12MP camera with Xenon flash (sample pics here) and 16GB on board for music and movies - should be competitive. The N8 also scores high marks for design: it looks expensive. Symbian's power management should help, with Nokia claiming five hours of video playback and 3G talk time.

(Apple fancifully claims five hours of 3G talk time for the iPhone; Android's power management sucks in comparison, but Android is still enjoying a honeymoon.)

Nokia has pinched a few ideas from Apple, but perhaps not the one that matters most. The case is carved from aluminium, like most of Apple's laptop range. The battery is non-removal, like the iPhone. And the N8 offers a 'Cover Flow'-like view of your music library, like iTunes and recent iPods. But the UI is stuck on the make-do S60 Fifth Edition, which is not directly-manipulable (but just enough to be annoying). A prototype N8 that fell into the hands of Mobile Review wasn't well received.

Put a good UI on old technology and you'll have happy users. Maybe we'll see that in Symbian^4 phones next year.

Last week Nokia lowered its margin guidance because of slippage to the Symbian roadmap. ®

Bootnote: Detailed specs have appeared at Forum Nokia, here.

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.