Feeds

Nokia's lost weekend ends with N8?

Profits could crawl back up

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

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.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
EE accused of silencing customer gripes on social media pages
Hello. HELLO. Can EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE HEAR ME?!
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
Broadband slow and expensive? Blame Telstra says CloudFlare
Won't peer, will gouge for Internet transit
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
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.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?