Long before Nokia took up residence at Microsoft and became enamored with Windows Phone, the company had another Mobile OS to care for: Symbian. For awhile, it was the most widely used smartphone OS in the world, and according to a Finnish TV station, being its custodian was no easy task: in 2007 Nokia apparently paid several million euros to keep its encryption key private. MTV News (no, not that MTV) reports that criminals threatened to release the encryption key into the wild, potentially opening the OS to attacks and malware by unsavory programmers.
Naturally, Nokia contacted the police, hoping to catch the crooks when they attempted to collect their ransom in a Tampere parking lot. Sadly, something went wrong: after the criminals collected the untold millions, Police somehow lost track of them. The suspects, their encryption code and Nokia’s bag of money were gone. MTV News and Reuters both indecently verified the blackmail with Finnish police, which is still considered an open case. These days, Symbian is a bit more open source — but remember: once it was a big enough driving force in the mobile market to be held for ransom.
We know that Symbian isn’t dying any time soon, but here in the US of A the little OS that couldn’t quite captivate our picky buyers will soon be mighty hard to find. Speaking with All Things D, Chris Weber, President of Nokia’s US operations, said “When we launch Windows Phones we will essentially be out of the Symbian business, the S40 business, etc.” That means no more full-price or business-focused devices in the US, and no more Symbian love. This is at least in part thanks to the failure of the Astound to find a solid foothold, but Nokia’s upcoming Windows Phone offerings (like the Sea Ray) will at least follow in its footsteps, being sold with proper carrier subsidies and riding the wave of a giant advertising blitz. Will it work? According to Weber, it has to: “The reality is if we are not successful with Windows Phone, it doesn’t matter what we do.”
According to a survey conducted by Millenial Media in collaboration with Digiday and Stifel Nicolaus, there is a significant shift underway away from the iOS platform to Windows Phone 7 as well as the Android Platform. Android will see the most attention from developers with an increase from 23% currently to 29%. In an interesting development Windows Phone 7 will move from a current 6% to 20% of developer share. The most interesting and fan-boy backlash inducing figure is that developers expect to reduce their projects for the iPhone from 31% to a surprising 8%. While these types of surveys should always be taken with a grain of salt, if things play out this way both Microsoft and Google will be able to provide competitive app libraries for the respective platforms.
One of the Symbian^3 devices introduced at Nokia World not long ago, the midrange C6-01 is now shipping around the world in quite literal terms: “the boxes have been filled, the vans loaded and the factory gates opened,” to use Nokia’s verbiage. Interestingly, we left Nokia World with the impression that this was the sleeper of the range — a less-expensive model with a great display and extremely solid (read: metal) construction that should make this a good choice for the Symbian faithful looking for an upgrade option that saves a few dollars (or euros, as the case may be). No word on specific availability by country, but we’d imagine you could start pestering your local retailer right about now.
Nokia today launches the latest C5 device, an inexpensive touchscreen smartphone with a couple of neat features that may well pique your interest if you want a new device that’s simple to use but covers all of the essentials for modern-day phones. What’s new with the C5-03? Find out more and feast your eyes on the pictures after the break.
The device has a 3.2-inch touch display and now features Wi-Fi, for fast internet access without the need or expense of a data plan. It also features a compass and assisted GPS for use with the latest version of the free Ovi Maps hands-free navigation service, now featuring public transport support and location sharing through social networks. Like many recent Nokias, you can put your most important contacts directly onto the homescreen so you can call, message or chat them up in just two taps. The C5 has a 5-megapixel camera with 4X digital zoom, but no flash. Read more
With the N8, Nokia has seemingly thrown all the tech it can think of at the new handset in a bid to rival the likes of Android and the iPhone – a 12MP camera with ‘proper’ Xenon flash, XVID and DIVX support, HD video capture, Dolby Mobile sound and an HDMI-out port are just the tip of the iceberg. Read more
Nokia’s midrange C6 is effectively a budget version of last year’s N97 but still manages to pack in a slide-out Qwerty keyboard, Wi-Fi, HSDPA, a 5Mp camera and A-GPS with turn-by-turn satnav as standard. Being the C6-00, it runs on the Symbian S60 5th Edition, unlike the C6-01 unveiled at Nokiaworld this month, which runs Symbian^3 and won’t hit the shelves before the end of the year.
The C6-00 is a bit of a brick, at 113 x 53 x 17mm and 150g, largely due to the slide-out keyboard. At first glance it looks very similar to the N97, but with a cheaper, more plasticky feel. It doesn’t do that angled screen thing either, as the keyboard merely slides straight out, which isn’t as fancy, but that’s no great loss. More worrying is that the top half of the phone sits a bit high on the bottom half, with the result that it feels a little wobbly when closed.