Nokia's Present & Future

Discussion in 'Mobile Industry' started by Arun, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. Arun

    Arun Unknown.
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    This is a good enough subject that it deserved a new thread although it's clearly off to a very bad start. I tried saving some posts from the BCM2727 thread, see below...

    A few facts (afaik) to start the dicussion:
    - Nokia said they sold 260K Symbian smartphone sales daily during the summer. Google claims Android is now sustaining 300K activations/day (phone-only, excluding anything without official apps/market access whereas Apple hit a sustained 270K (peak 300K) back in October. AppleInsider has a nice graph summarising all the data fwiw: http://www.appleinsider.com/article..._300000_android_devices_per_day_for_free.html
    - This makes Nokia the second largest smartphone vendor behind Apple, and Symbian is the third largest smartphone OS. I personally don't expect either facts to change for quite some time. Also worth pointing out this makes BlackBerry the fourth largest OS.
    - Symbian will start using the ST-Ericsson U8500 starting in Q2 2011. This is a huge jump in terms of hardware specs, but it will only be used in the high-end. It has also been hinted that Nokia won't boost Symbian processor specs (much) further - performance beyond this (high!) level will be reserved to MeeGo.
    - MeeGo will use the following hardware platforms in 2011 and 1H12: TI OMAP3630/TI OMAP4430/ST-Ericsson U8500. There is also a very real possibility that they use Intel's Medfield for either phones or tablets, but it certainly won't be one of their primary platforms. I know they are using the ST-Ericsson M5730 slim modem for many of the TI designs.
    - Nokia's mainstream Symbian platform will be based on a 40nm Broadcom integrated baseband (off-chip RF & PMU) - I don't know the overall specs, I suspect it will have decent 3D but only VGA video though. This directly replaces the 45nm ARM11 integrated platform from TI that is used in nearly all of their recent devices (including the N8 with the extra BCM2727).

    The Android numbers are correct (these are only for Google accounts linked to a devices so they exclude all non-Google-approved devices including all tablets) as are the iOS numbers. Symbian is now the third largest smartphone OS - I think that presentation might was probably using 2009 data. But it's not a question of Nokia shrinking as much as Apple and Android becoming much larger, and Nokia is still by far the second largest smartphone vendor and I don't expect that to change for quite some time. I don't think most people realise that and I agree the doom & gloom is unjustified. Once again... not a reason to get so excited people!

    WARNINGS
    Karoshi: Don't add fuel to the fire.
    Ike: The truth is a lot less simple than that and you shouldn't have presented your claim as a fact.
    ToTTenTranz: Stop overreacting and flaming everyone and everything - it's a common misconception that Nokia will abandon Symbian in favour of MeeGo for the entire line-up, and it's pretty clear that's all Ike meant. So stop this crap. I might not have the patience to warn you again so... behave.
     
  2. ToTTenTranz

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    [MODERATOR: Removed trolling]
    1 - 3 Symbian^3 devices were launched in the last quarter (N8, C6-01, C7) and two more are being launched Q1'11 (E7, X7)

    2 - Update for Symbian^3 devices' UI and features (suposedly Symbian^4) has been confirmed for Q1 2011

    3 - Nokia sells 260 000 (two-hundred and sixty thousand) Symbian smartphones worldwide daily. That's more than Android+WP7+iOS combined.

    4 - Meego is for tablets and ultra-high-end "superphones" (4" and up). It will mainly use Intel's Atom architecture. It's a whole different market than C6-01, C7, X7 and it won't be in the market for at least half a year.

    5 - There is no rumor of Nokia ever doing WP7 devices, except the one some pissed off fired-by-nokia blogger just made up.
     
  3. tangey

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    But how many of those 260K are smartphones or even feature phones ? Everyone knows Nokia's ASP has plummeting as they went for the bottom of the market. An OS that is good for low end is not necessarily good for top end, no matter what skin you put over it. Apple, Samsung, RIM and others are the dominant forces they need to be competing with. Interestingly, Samsung dropped Symbian from its high end phones quite a while back in favour of Bada, and now Android.
     
  4. ToTTenTranz

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    [​IMG]
    Smartphones.

    [​IMG]
    Yeah, bottom of the market. Sounds about right.

    Maybe you meant USA? I for one don't give a crap about USA market, it's purely sensationalism-driven.
    There's only been one high-end Symbian phone from them, but that doesn't really matter.
    [MODERATOR: Removed rant against Samsung]
     
  5. Karoshi

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    This did the rounds early december: google activates 300k devices daily. F.ex. (1st google hit for "android 300k daily"):
    http://mashable.com/2010/12/09/android-device-stats-2010/

    So nokia PR bullshit, or that nokia PR stunt triggered the google announcement.
     
  6. ToTTenTranz

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    And how many, from those 300k "activations", are hard resets, hacked rom tryouts, Archos MIDs, tablets (the chinese have been selling android tablets like hotcakes) and even smartbooks?
    Android is not just for smartphones. Symbian is.


    It saddens me a bit that what could be an great discussion about an interesting technology has turned into a Nokia-trolling thread.
     
  7. tangey

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    AFAIR Samsung had the 8510 and 8910, both of them were symbian. Don't know if there were others.

    Regarding America, you seem to be the only one fixated on it, no one else has referenced it. I am neither from, nor in, America.

    Nokia's tech inside their smartphones has consistently been behind for 18-24 months. Their high point was the N95, which was a stormer and a scene changer, 3D GPU, accelerometer, GPS, maps etc etc. And then remarkably, instead of kicking on, their hardware platform got worse, they REMOVED 3D hardware assist when the N95 had shown others that good graphics were the way ahead, they seemed happy with 300/400Mhz processors, and they STUCK with symbian when its been clear for a while now that it is not a good fit when a graphically rich interface is needed.

    Again, I don't know why you think this is Nokia "bashing", they are currently no longer perceived as innovators, but more happy with middle of the road devices, and the fact that they persist with symbian merely re-inforces it. They are on 680Mhz arm 11, when the competition are on 1GHZ Arm A8. If they do upshift their hardware platform (suggestions are that Nokia might go with Omap4 AND Intel on Meego), then perhaps they can get back to the top of the tech pile, which is were they undoubtedly were with the N95.

    BTW, I agree with you regarding Samsung Mobile and customer commitment, (i had a 8510 the day it came out and never had a firmware update) but thats vering this discussion of in yet another tangent.
     
    #7 tangey, Dec 22, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 22, 2010
  8. silent_guy

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    Pot meet kettle?

    The only one bringing up wars, the American press, sensationalism etc. is you... Settle down.
     
  9. ToTTenTranz

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    [MODERATOR: Removed off-topic parts]

    Just look at gizmodo's decision of not reviewing the N8.
    It's the phone with the best photos to date, best video recording to date with unprecedented lossless digital zoom, best multimedia conectivity to date (HDMI display cloning the phone display+ Dolby Digital 7.1), best USB integration to date, free lifetime offline GPS, best out-of-the-box video and audio compatibility to date, etc...
    But gizmodo refuses to consider the N8 a "gadget" because they thought the UI didn't change enough from the previous version. Yeah, all the sudden, the UI defines what's a gadget or not.

    How can someone react to this aberration?

    All true. But if the UI is so damn important, just install SPB Mobile Shell.
     
  10. Exophase

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    Arun, do you have a source for Nokia using ST-Ericsson U8500 in Q2 2010? There's a thread on SA where I'd like to give any indication of a non-Tegra 2 Cortex-A9 mainstream device being available before H2 2011.
     
  11. Arun

    Arun Unknown.
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    It was said by the CEO of ST-Ericsson in one of their quarterly conference calls - I don't remember which one, sorry. He also said that was the ETA for both Symbian and Android. And of course things can get delayed.

    A quick google directed me to a Q2 2010 conference call where Didier Scemana (one of the very few wireless semiconductor analysts worth his salt) asked this question:
    So the original ETA might have been given in that conference call or it might be another. There's no free full transcript but hopefully this is enough ;)
     
  12. Exophase

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    Thanks Arun. ;)
     
  13. codedivine

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    Hi Arun.

    Your data interpretation is not correct. Let me point out the following flaws:

    1. It fails to take into account any growth on the part of Symbian. I would expect that 260k figure to be larger now than in September. Symbian has been growing in sales consistently though not at the pace of Android or iOS. For example, the YoY growth from 3Q09 to 3Q10 for Symbian smartphones was around 45%.

    2. Further, as pointed out the 260k figure was pre-Symbian^3 devices like the N8.

    3. I think the Apple figure is not iPhones but iOS devices and includes iPod touches and iPads.

    In the smartphone market, if Symbian loses leadership in the near term, it will more likely be to Android than Apple. What happens in the longer term is also very hard to predict because Meego is a big unknown at this moment and so are Symbian^3 updates. Meego may be great, maybe too-little-too-late or may become yet-another-platform and nobody really knows so predictions are about as credible as mud.

    If everything fails, I do not think it will be hard for Nokia to adopt Android or WP7 anyway so I think Nokia will be around for a while.

    That information about ST is pretty interesting if correct. I think, if such a handset is released, this will be the first Mali based handset from a major manufactuer?
     
  14. codedivine

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    I must add that the new CEO has given me some hope for Nokia. Recently they have announced some very good changes to the platform strategy : cancelling the "big break" Symbian^4 which looked to be very delayed and switching to rapid iteration with planned updates every few months, focusing on Qt for app development, announcing that they will fully support HTML5 etc. Are they too late with it? I don't know, maybe or maybe not. But Stephen Elop has taken a lot of decisions very quickly and that makes me much more positive about the future of the company.

    Well both Nokia's and Google's announcements can be correct. Nokia made the announcement in September and based it upon Android's sales numbers from previous quarters. Given the massive growth Android has, it is quite possible that the Android number has swelled considerably by December. On the other hand, Symbian's numbers have likely increased from the 260k figure from September also though it is likely a much more modest bump compared to Android.

    In any case, I think it is better for Gartner and IDC estimates for Q4 to come out rather than relying upon numbers from PR campaigns (and even worse, quoting an article from *shudder*, appleinsider).
     
  15. Arun

    Arun Unknown.
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    True, and it's good to point out that Symbian is still growing nicely YoY. I tried to be careful to point out the dates of those data points rather than compare them directly. EDIT: But I see noz I suppose there is a chance that Symbian did outsell either Android or iOS in Q4 so it's wrong to say that Symbian is certainly number three. I would be very surprised if it wasn't sooner rather than later though, and as I said I expect it to stand there quite comfortably for quite some time personally.

    Ohhhh, yes. That is quite a huge difference. Certainly it doesn't matter to developers for example but it's a big factor I completely forgot about and makes it rather unfair on both Symbian and Android.

    I agree, but fwiw I'm not overly optimistic about the N9 personally. OMAP3630 in that timeframe is going to be a sore point even if the rest of the hardware is very solid - their reception would have been very different had they not delayed it to 2011. They need to impress on the software/UI side and be fairly aggressive on price. More importantly we need to see how fast they can release other MeeGo phones with OMAP4/U8500 and maybe Medfield.

    Yes but then what happens to Symbian and MeeGo? I can see them switching to Windows Phone 8 (early 2013) in the high-end if MeeGo completely fails to meet their expectations in 2011/2012. That makes a lot of sense even if I don't think it will happen. I don't see a scenario where they'd go for Android though personally.

    The first Mali400 one certainly. Not sure about Mali200 or even Mali55, they might have sneaked into low-end devices from a major manufacturer or two without me noticing.
     
  16. Karoshi

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    Thanks Arun, I didn't quite notice I was fueling the fire. I enjoy all your posts, your noise denominator is zero. In fact i opened this thread only because it was posted by you. Glad i did.

    I didn't know what period the nokia numbers were from and just wanted to throw that recent android number into the thread derail. Seeing now i was comparing 4-month older data I must say i was unknowingly trolling. I felt dropping a little fact on a side derail was harmless.

    That appleinsider graph is very nice.
    http://photos.appleinsider.com/android.iOS.activations.001.jpg
    Obviously nokia's 3 month average shoud be pivoted on the central point. The can of worms is on the slope of that line :wink:

    Also request the thread be moved to RPSC and the title changed to:
    "Thunderdome: smartphone edition"

    It seems android/iOS/nokia is 2010s amiga/pc/atari never ending topic.
     
  17. codedivine

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    To bring the thread back on topic :)

    I think it will be very interesting to see what chips they use in 2011/12. They will certainly remain a very large player in 2011 irrespective of whether they are number one or not. Nokia entirely missed the 3D boat with their S60 5th edition devices. The current N8/C7/C6-01 etc have decent 3D hardware but relatively slow processors. If they are going to introduce Symbian products based upon U8500, thats quite a large jump for them and that will be a pretty big order for ST as Nokia tends to use the same chipset in all their devices of a particular generation/family.

    I personally believe that Android and iOS will likely overtake Symbian but other OSes have a lot of catching up to do so Symbian will likely remain in top 3.

    However, on the software side of things, Symbian will certainly improve in 2011. Here is what we already know:

    1. Improved web browser and keyboard etc are already announced and updates are expected to come every 3-4 months.

    2. Unlike their clunky past where they didnt give too many upgrades (for example 3rd edition FP1 devices never got upgraded to FP2), they have comitted to keep updating N8/C7 etc much like how the original iPhone kept getting updates.

    3. Nokia have reduced firmware fragmentation in their devices. It used to be the case that E-series devices shipped with completely different firmwares than N-series and different teams developed different firmwares. So bug fixed in one had to be refixed by the other team. Now they nearly have uniform firmware running across all Symbian^3 devices with shared code base. Certainly this will improve their ability to write and deliver software faster than before.

    4. Their Qt SDK is actually pretty nice. I am developing apps based on it myself and Qt 4.7 and Qt Mobility 1.1 are actually very nice APIs. Their earlier Symbian C++ SDK was crap. Qt works very well on the desktops as well as Symbian, Maemo and Meego all three. Recently they have made some very nice announcements, such as a 3rd party push notification API and a Ovi Maps API.

    Taken together, the above announcements do indicate a Nokia that is much more keyed in to the whole smartphone-software thing than what their past indicates. There is a lot of promise. Whether they will be able to deliver on time remains to be seen but is interesting to watch.


    Stuff I would like to see happen:

    1. My prediction is that, on the next-gen devices we might very well see full Flash support (current devices only support Flash lite) and possibly AIR support. Full flash is not supported on ARM11 CPUs so only with the move to Cortex A8/A9 can Flash arrive. Adobe has made noises in the past of bringing Flash to Symbian and likely it will be on Meego as well. And Nokia's new CEO was the former CEO of Macromedia :)

    2. Actively court the big ISVs. There is no Kindle app or Netflix app on Symbian for example. I do not know how aggressive Nokia is in this regard.

    3. Carrier subsidised devices from Nokia in north america :(

    Management of Nokia:

    Note that Nokia changed their CEO and CTO. They are both silicon valley people and with this new top management that is from a much better software background, it is certainly possible to bring the company forward.

    I will say do not count Nokia out entirely. They are behind, and Symbian will likely lose the pole position, but that doesn't mean a profitable and actively progressing Nokia is out of question. There is potential in their software strategy yet.
     
  18. ToTTenTranz

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    Flash Lite was done in Symbian^1 devices through the ARM11, but Symbian^3 devices are processing flash entirely in the BCM2727.
    The press releases only mention Flash Lite 3.1, but I wonder if they could enable full Flash 10.1 content in it, with decent performance.
    For example, I don't see why a 600MHz Cortex A8 could run Flash 10.1 in software mode and a dedicated dual-vector processor + video + image hardware acceleration couldn't do it just as well.
     
  19. Exophase

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    Running flash means executing ActionScript, which is afaik now popularly done with a JIT. It's not very likely that this dual-vector processor would be anywhere as good at running JITed code (much less interpreted code) as a 600MHz Cortex-A8. If it is Nokia should think about porting all their apps to it.

    Even if it were as good at flash apps with heavy scripting, I can't see Adobe wanting to optimize a VM for it. I'm sure there's a reason why Adobe is only targeting Cortex-A8 and better.
     
  20. ToTTenTranz

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    Erm.. Flash 10.1 supports 3D and 2D GPU acceleration, and dedicated H.264 hardware.
    Why wouldn't it be implemented in the BCM2727, which has all that?


    Flash video acceleration has even been supported in netbooks through Broadcom's dedicated Crystal video decoder.
    Why would Nokia's development team neglect those capabilities just because JIT is now more popular?




    Nonetheless, looking at the specs, Flash Lite 4 looks like 90% of what Flash 10.x seems to be.
    I wouldn't be surprised if the new browser for Symbian^3 (promised for January) would come with decent supporting Flash Lite 4.
     
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