Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
In response to the article I found on Forbes.com, Nokia Software Problem, let me collect my remarks on the statements in a single post. The list of statements below simply follows the same order as they appeared in the original article.
"Nokia sells close to half of all smart phones worldwide"
Well, around 70% would be more accurate, but then it couldn't have been said that "close to half".
"N95's only edge was in watching video"
Hmm, let me smile at it. I think GPS, 5 megapixel camera, WiFi, etc. also come in handy every now and then. These things were all new in a Nokia device at the time when N95 was introduced and although Nokia might not have been the first in introducing them, the point is that video was not the only thing users could enjoy.
"Symbian is not dead, but it has a limited amount of time to act to capture developer mind share before it is too late,"
I don't know how many times I wrote this on various forums: developing for a Symbian-based device does NOT mean pure Symbian/C++ development. On the contrary, the range of possibilities is much wider: you can program in Flash (Lite), Java (Mobile), Python (for S60/UIQ), (Open) C, Widgets, .NET, NS Basic, etc. My question is not solely addressed to Apple: is there any other manufacturer in the world who can compete with this at this very moment? Is it the not-closed-but-not-too-open-either Apple who although enables Objective-C development, but nothing else? For example, Java, which is not only available on all other platforms, but also the primary language for 3d-party development on Android? Not as if I had heard too many good things on iPhone developer support, but are they really the ones who will save the world?
"Applications written for the iPhone, by contrast, will run on every iPhone."
Ehh, typically naive, beginner approach. I wouldn't write an article if I were such a beginner, though. How many iPhone models can we talk about at the moment? Two. There's a rumour on Apple introducing iPhone Nano still this year and I bet that that device would introduce variation both in hardware (e.g. screen size) and software. And having spent almost a decade with mobile software development, I can tell you that software development becomes exponentially more complex with the introduction of variations. I think we should get back to this question in 1-2 years time-frame and then we'll see how programs written for old models will work on new ones and vice versa.
"Carriers here have been loath to give Nokia much love over the years"
Yeah, this one is a hit on the nail. I find it very interesting how much North-American carriers favour US phone manufacturers (Palm, Microsoft, Apple) and Canadians (RIM). It is one of the root causes (if not THE) why Nokia has failed to successfully enter North-American market.
As to developing software for mobile platforms, it's worth noting that it's becoming more and more popular to rely on a thin client software responsible mainly for the User Interface, while storing data and implementing heavy business logic on a remote server. So often, the thin client is a browser or an application capable of providing "browser-like" behavior. This is something iPhone, the latest Nokia S60 phones, Windows Mobile are (and the newcomer Android will be) good at. And lots of people say that this architecture is the most suitable solution for cross-(mobile)platform software.
In my opinion, it's too early to talk about the dethronement of Nokia by Apple and RIM. Just count the number of phones sold, how many models various manufacturers have on market, how long has a manufacturer been on market, etc. and we'll have just the right amount of information ... to be silent. The author of the article fails to see that global market is not equal to American market, over-emphasizes the importance of Silicon Valley and can't think of the possibility that these platforms, devices, manufacturers can co-exist with one another.
Otherwise the article was good,
Monday, August 11, 2008
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Having followed the news of mobile industry in the past week, I thought it would be worth collecting some articles in a single post to see things from a bird's view, thus having a better overview on what's been going on lately on smartphone market.
RIM has been getting stronger in US market and Palm is unhappy with that. Although Palm's popularity had started to fall even before Apple entered mobile phone market, the new iPhone has just "helped" to boost the process. As to Apple, new countries have confirmed August launch enabling iPhone (3G) to gain bigger popularity and increasing its market share in other countries than US. In addition, the name of iPhone Nano has appeared again whispering words about the introduction of this device still this year. Apple is on its way to become stronger and stronger, but they're still in the "Other" segment of mobile devices according to ABI Research. And if Apple is making tsunami "from the bottom", Nokia is doing the same from the top with their price cut - I wouldn't like to be the stuffing in this sandwich.
It seems that we're living the time of foundations: this time it's LiMo that has picked up 11 new members to become stronger in the fight against Google OHA and Symbian Foundation. With the first LiMo handsets out, I wonder how they can catch up with industry leader Symbian, the also very powerful Windows Mobile and the likes. I did not mention Android deliberately, because to me it still exists only on "paper".
As to the creator of Windows Mobile, it's already well-known that Microsoft's Silverlight will come to S60. What is rumoured now, though, that Zune would also be available on Nokia devices. Zune clearly a competitor to Nokia's Ovi - will M$ and Nokia ever join their forces to fight against their newest pretender? I bet Apple will never open MobileMe to non-Mac device owners.
A new feature has been introduced on Ovi.com, namely file sharing, a fee-based storage option. Files on Ovi is a similar service to MobileMe's iDisk. As to MobileMe, the transition from .Mac to MobileMe was not as smooth as Apple had hoped. As Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, said "It was a mistake to launch MobileMe at the same time as iPhone 3G, iPhone 2.0 software and the App Store". Well, although lots of people already think that Apple can only teach things to other players in mobile arena, I stronly believe that the opposite is also true.
Finally, let me recommend an article that well-deserved the title of post of the week at Carnival of Mobilists. The great post written by Andreas Constantinou from Vision Mobile was definitely a very useful foundation of this article.
Interesting times we're living,