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Friday, June 27, 2008

Symbian does an Android

Nokia recently announced its offer to acquire the shares of Symbian from its partners. Nokia intends to consolidate the various iterations of Symbian, namely S60, UIQ and MOAP, into one single platform under a newly established Symbian Foundation and to open source Symbian in the next 2 years.

This is not too dissimilar to Google's Android initiative which many would view as the reason for Nokia's bold direction. The rise of open source Linux on smartphone devices like Android poses a serious challenge down the road.

As a major shareholder of Symbian, Nokia has all this while been the main purveyor of Symbian OS even though it started out as a partnership with a few other well-known mobile phone manufacturers such as Sony Ericsson and Motorola. Symbian has made little impact in terms of being a smartphone OS brand unlike RIM, Windows Mobile and iPhone which dominate the enterprise space; Symbian is generally treated as a mainstream proprietary OS for low to mid range phones with little to no emphasis on smartphone features. By making this strategic move, Nokia will prevent Symbian from becoming obsolete and evolve into an accessible platform for all mobile device manufacturers to incorporate into their hardware.

Oh, and also Happy 10th Birthday to Symbian.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Firefox Mobile browser Concept UI

The Mozilla Labs team working on the Firefox Mobile browser has released a video introducing an interesting concept UI that uses a desktop type space to create and arrange webpage tabs for a touch interface device.

Firefox Mobile Concept Video

I like how the page view is presented without any UI object clutter like toolbars or scrollbars while viewing the content. This is very important on a small screen devices where every bit of space is precious. The navigation functions like forward and back buttons can be easily called up by moving over to the left edge. The way you can "throw" the page by flicking it to any of the edges of the page to return to the main desktop view is quite clever.

Read more about it here and even download the mock-up to test it out in your desktop browser. Test drive it here in your browser.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Apple announces iPhone 3G

The new iPhone 3G was announced at the WWDC08 with enterprise ready software support, worldwide availability and new hardware features such as 3G and GPS. Unfortunately the front cam with iChat rumour was a fake else this would have been the ultimate smartphone killer.

At US$199 for the 8GB unit and US$299 for the 16GB unit with respective carrier contracts under Apple's exclusive list of mobile carriers, iPhone 3G will be widely available in many countries. Nokia, Samsung, Palm, Motorola and other smartphone makers will be watching this venerable competitor and hopefully consumers will get even better phones down the road.

See the new iPhone 3G.

Watch the new iPhone 3G Ad.