Feeds

Now, Nokia, what about the hardware?

Getting the OS right is only half of the story

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Comment If Symbian is Nokia's "burning platform", has the Finnish phone giant thrown itself into the frying pan to escape the fire?

There's undoubtedly something desperate in the move. Nokia is spending way too much money promoting a platform, Symbian, that is commanding less and less market share. Where once it led, now Nokia has been forced to follow, buying Symbian to bring home to the operating system's developers the commercial need to catch up with first Apple and then Google's Android.

Symbian has a colossal customer base, but, like Windows Mobile, it is a platform that feels like a relic from a previous era. Pace Ovi, the public's interest in downloadable apps hasn't helped Symbian's smartphone aspirations because Nokia's smartphones are just not perceived that as such.

Nokia's smartphones feel like an extension of its older, messaging-centric offerings, not a bright new platform for a bright new category of handset. Nokia began developing smartphones when they were premium products for businesspeople. Now they're increasingly mainstream products for consumers, and the old approach won't work for these new buyers.

In short, it needs a new approach - and a new platform. Nokia could completely re-skin Symbian as an entirely new entity, which might appeal to punters, but probably wouldn't have enthused third-party developers.

It still has MeeGo, but it too feels tarnished by an earnestness entirely unsuitable for a consumer offering.

Apple's not going to license iOS, and HP has already acquired Palm for WebOS. HP's WebOS announcements this week, taking in not only smartphones but tablets and even PCs too, shows just how much it understands that the consumerisation of information technology products requires new platforms.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Tim Cook: The classic iPod HAD to DIE, and this is WHY
Apple, er, couldn’t get the parts for HDD models
Apple spent just ONE DOLLAR beefing up the latest iPad Air 2
New iPads look a lot like the old one. There's a reason for that
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.