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Should we welcome Blackberry back to S60?

January 20, 2009 1 comment



Should we welcome Blackberry back to S60?




Article from Reuters

RIM (RIM.TO)(RIMM.O) created the market for corporate mobile email and its dominant position has protected it from Nokia’s attempts to crack the market in recent years.

However, “Clearly, things are heading towards the consumer market and that’s where Nokia has its strength,” Tom Furlong, head of Nokia’s messaging services, told Reuters.

RIM has lately focused on developing its consumer offering.

Many of you are aware of Nokia’s decision to drop support for BlackBerry connect on their E-Series devices beginning with the Nokia E71 & E66, and now the E63. This, initially caused ripples in the S60 community, especially those that worked for corporations that allowed for BlackBerry Connect devices to be used on work corporate BES servers/services. This didn’t pose too much of a problem for those who’s corporate email infrastructure used MS Exchange as Nokia did have free software & agreement licence for Mail for Exchange product.

Nokia decided shortly after denouncing internal corporate messaging infrastructure support (Nokia IntelliSync Mobility Suite) and BlackBerry Connect support that they’d be focusing on the lucrative consumer market.

“With the Nokia messaging service, we are going after consumers, we are not going head-to-head with enterprise e-mail. We are trying to put mobile email to the masses, masses of people around the globe,” he said.

“The service is up, people are utilising it, we are getting good traction and good follow up,” Furlong said, adding the company expects to announce its first revenue-sharing agreements with operators for the messaging service within few months.

Since December 2008, Nokia’s focus on the corporate messaging collaboration service has taken great strides that the S60 community is beginning to see the benefits of; especially when it comes down to the bottom dollar in the this age of slumping markets and low finances.

IN TUNE WITH BUSINESS SENTIMENT

Nokia dropped development of its own corporate email product last year, choosing to partner with Microsoft (MSFT.O) and IBM (IBM.N) instead while focusing on developing phones for business users to better challenge RIM.

Nokia says the two deals enable it to mobilise close to 90 percent of corporate emails without any extra investment from corporations.

“I think that probably the dominant theme in 2009 in enterprises is going to be — do we have to be spending that much money on that service,” Furlong said.

I’ve already blogged about IBM Lotus Traveler, and so far a few reports on the web by

The other factor that was key to dropping the Blackberry platform altogether was the availability of a much less expensive alternative that still provides the essential “Blackberryesque” features of push email integration with Lotus Domino. I speak of course of Lotus Traveler, which this week was released along with Notes/Domino 8.5. Version 8.5 of Traveler marks a major milestone in the competitive landscape for push email, as it extends its reach to cover millions of Symbian smartphones (aka Nokia S60 based devices) and will put tremendous pressure on RIM considering Traveler is a free add-on to Domino.

The Blackberry TCO gets even more expensive when you want to hook it up to Domino because of the Blackberry Enterprise Server costs. If you do need to go with Blackberry and want to at least avoid the hassle of setting up and maintaining your BES, you might consider the Shared BES offering from Prominic, the wonderful people who host my Domino servers for mail and apps. Prices are inclusive of licensing and start at $150 for setup + $30/month per device (1-2 devices) and drops to as low as $20/month for 11+ devices. They also offer dedicated BES. About $400 per month, plus $10/month/device.

For me [these costs would top $500 in the first year alone, which in addition to AT&T’s extra charges make the $400 price tag of my unlocked Nokia look pretty reasonable. Of course, you do have to install Traveler somewhere, and it only runs on Windows (Linux Please!). I’ll have to check with the Prominic guys to see if they might offer a “Shared Traveler Server” at some point, since my own hosted servers run on Linux. Right now I’m using a spare machine in my home office to serve as the Traveler server. Any way you slice it the expense compares favorably to the Blackberry/BES solution.



As you can see the costs are getting to be pretty favorable from the corporate perspective, and even more so from an end users perspective considering most corporations allow for OWA (Exchange) or iNotes (Domino Web access) and begin to heavily offload the costs of mobile email & collaboration to their employess [incl device costs, data plan costs – corporate price plans still in place, and device upgrade costs]. When end users consider that the Nokia E71, E66, and E63 allow them to keep their work and personal lives separate yet contained and manageable on 1 single device, and the plethora of applications available to them – true productivity applications then its going to be a better cost to implementation and less cost to support the RIM BlackBerry infrastructure and solution.


Fear not for those of you that just ‘must have BlackBerry Connect’ as a solution to your S60 devices.

When focusing on partnering with Microsoft and IBM for corporate mobile email, Nokia last year dropped support for the Blackberry email service, but Furlong said Nokia users would in future be able to use the service again.

“We are in the interim period of time when we have dropped support ourselves, and Blackberry is readying support for their service on Nokia devices,” he said.



When it’ll be available is unclear at the present time, as we’ll have to wait for an official announcement from RIM to collaborate this news.


Interview comes courtesy of Tarmo Virki, European technology correspondent, Reuters.

Lotus Traveler on E71 insights come courtesy of

Categories: Microsoft

Round table with Nokia Vice-President – Anssi Vanjoki

January 18, 2009 Comments off

Round table with Nokia Vice-President – Anssi Vanjoki

Eldar Murtazin of Mobile-Review.com had an exclusive interview with the Mr. Anssi Vanjoki, Nokia Vice-President. This interview evoked lots of thoughts for all readers while providing great insight.

One particular question that Eldar Murtazin posed to Nokia Vice-President – Anssi Vanjoki was VERY interesting and enlightening.

Speaking of the financial crisis – will it force Nokia to revise some of your plans regarding new products or market strategy?

A.V. Actually the economic downturn means that we have to speed things up, and instead of freezing some of our projects we need to do exactly the opposite. We have to make sure that all these new services and products launch on schedule, so we are focusing on getting everything done rather than postponing some of our solutions. Another thing about economic downturns is that it’s exactly the time when new winners are built and we really want to be among them.

Nokia has not only the expertise, the programmer coder base, but also the finances to deliver low, mid, and top-tier devices and perfect or deliver new services that enable these Web2.0 (Internet & collaboration) devices. Yes Nokia isn’t the largest & most powerful phone manufacturer in the world for no reason. Nokia is about Connecting People.

Over the past few years Nokia have been really pushing some of their new products on the US market. Will we see any changes in your US policy down the line, with the financial crisis raging out there?

A.V. I think that we will just continue with our strategy, although a bit faster than before, now that we have invested into a product development center based in San Diego that makes phones for the US alone (we have just started developing two products for Verizon, and more are to come for AT&T), so we are making great progress there, step-by-step.

This is an amazing BRIGHT star in the North American solar system. This brings great news to the delight of the North American marketplace as well as to S60 Ambassadors based here. With more presence of Nokia products – especially on AT&T and Verizon – it give us the ability to better highlight devices to potential users; especially with a subsidized pricing model that presents more value to end users. E71x just being released by AT&T; roughly 2 months after Rogers Wireless shows their efforts in earnest is working to Symbian & Nokia’s favor. The Nokia 6555 flip is a great low range offering on AT&T as well.

However, why was there no mention of Rogers Wireless in the North American initiative? Why is it only the US market ever concerned or conceived as a potential marketplace? Does Eldar know that Nokia & Rogers have a strong relationship? Previously Nokia 6620 & 6682 being released here 3yrs ago, and recently Nokia N95-4 with 9 months of GREAT sales success and 3 months with Nokia NGage & Nokia Maps being a collaborative effort of features released to end users on Rogers?? Surely this NGage announcement is a milestone enough for Nokia not to forget.

There is one small segment of Eldar’s interview that had me completely in disagreement. It was more of a question that I’m sure needed to be fielded to evoke the correct answer. Today’s internet is NO LONGER about Search! This is so 4 years ago and to think that the worlds largest search engine and service provider’s core business is around this is ludicrous. Here is a few recent events to back up my claim before I post the article question from Eldar. All the following quotes can be found from Google Finance.

Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc May Walk Away From Search Deal-Reuter
Thursday, 30 Oct 2008 10:00pm EDT
Reuters reported that Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc could announce a decision to walk away from their search deal by the middle of next week. The two Internet companies have so far failed to reach an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice on implementing their search advertising partnership. The deal, which allows Google to sell advertising for some of Yahoo’s online advertising space, has drawn fierce criticism from advertisers, who fear higher prices.

Yahoo! Inc. Announces Termination Of Services Agreement By Google Inc.
Wednesday, 5 Nov 2008 10:32am EST
Yahoo! Inc. announced that Google Inc. has terminated the advertising services agreement the companies announced in June. Yahoo! continues to believe in the benefits of the agreement and is disappointed that Google has elected to withdraw from the agreement rather than defend it in court. Google notified Yahoo! of its refusal to move forward with implementation of the agreement following indication from the Department of Justice that it would seek to block it, despite Yahoo!’s proposed revisions to address the DOJ’s concerns.

US Judge Gives Initial OK To Google Inc.-Publishers Pact-DJ
Monday, 17 Nov 2008 09:07pm EST
Dow Jones reported that a federal judge granted preliminary approval to a $125 million settlement between Google Inc. and authors and book publishers in lawsuits over digital copies of copyrighted books on the Internet. In an order U.S. District Judge John E. Sprizzo in Manhattan initially signed off on the settlement, in which individuals and institutions will be able to buy online access to copyrighted, out-of-print books through Google. Free access also will be provided to public and higher education libraries under the settlement. A fairness hearing, in anticipation of final approval of the settlement, is scheduled for June 11, 2008.

Here is Eldars question with Mr. Anssi Vanjoki’s response; which I might ad is so on point for the direction of Nokia services.

Today’s web environment is more about content search rather than anything else. However, Nokia offers only very basic search capabilities on this front, and it’s clear that you will need to step up your efforts here to remain competitive. What are going to do about your search engines?

A.V. While there are some old-time players out there, that have been around for a very long while (like Google), we believe that Nokia isn’t that far behind in this field, it’s just that we had to start from a totally different position. Speaking of the modern search engines, they aren’t complex at all – to put it simply, they are all about indexing the whole world, every web page and resource. But when we get to coordinates and relationships between people, the algorithms required to carry out semantically important, intelligent searches are still not here, and naturally, we are investing significant resources into this field in an effort to make our vision of the future come true, where Nokia will be coordinating the whole world. And it’s obvious there is no way we can achieve that with technologies as primitive as indexing – we need to invent a way to tie up the user’s real life relationships with his virtual life and this problem is of a completely different scale.

You see, the future of the internet is not simply about search else every mobile device now would be entirely focused around that old concept. Sure every device has it but its NOT the “killer app” nor a major focus. Nokia is going better than that. Nokia’s concept of the Web2.0 is for Creation, collaboration, and moving of data. Anything is considered data. Pictures, Videos, A monument, GPS data, eBooks, Music. Now Lets say your on a trip to visit the Taj Mahal. During your trip you take photos & videos and upload them to Ovi & your other community services – Flikr, etc. Although a picture is worth a thousand words, the GPS data embedded compiles those words into a story! Now your blog entry, or memoirs of your trip tell more, along with music tied to the Indian culture, the history of the Taj Mahal – video of the Taj Mahal with pictures tell its elevation, height, and with Notes from the tour guide tells MORE of tis history showing about its creators, reason for being created, place among nearby historical structures, and place in modern day structures of its home city & people. This is creating web2.0, and collaborating amongst users will to browse & experience your content. The goal of web services is to be what Brainiac was to Cryton in the Superman comics. Basic Internet search is what we have with Google’s search site. IF Google has moved into Maps, Google Apps, and now Google Books & Financial data; search will always be there, but its no longer the driving vision of the internet that it once was.

Lastly, I’m ecstatic over their current silence – Nothing I can talk about – regarding Video as a service and offering!

Video uploads to Ovi
Ability to share over a WLAN/HSPA connection (LTE providers awaiting the fruits of such a service). Downloading or renting movie, cartoon, and special broadcast content. HBO is PRIMED for such a business partnership. Video is PERFECT for a rental service – with specific episode, movie and TV show downloads. Not ALL video content users wish to completely own although it would be nice. I’d like to see Disney, HBO, Pixar, CNBC, Reuters, BBCNews, and other content providers around the world – ESPECIALLY in other countries and languages partner with Nokia. Nokia’s video service can be unique because with a partnership with BBCNews – users can contribute to their local content wiht their Nokia S60 N/E-Series phones. Nokia could go further and allow user created content to be uploaded to their service – or even to Youtube and similar services for a sharing fee with a percentage payable to N/E-Series users that create the content to be shared.

The biggest benefit for such a service is if Nokia begins to utilize 3D Video encoding/decoding chips in future products; especially ones that support 4:3 & 16:9 aspect ratio’s with XVGA recording (30fps) and TV Out at such a resolution to a TV or HDTV.

Those are my weekend thoughts. Please feel free to comment on them here.

Categories: Uncategorized

Nokia Concept: Phones without chargers

January 17, 2009 1 comment

Nokia began a big research & campaign on recycling that only recently is showing its fruits. Nokia’s global consumer survey reveals that 44% of old mobile phones are lying in drawers at home and not being recycled. Take a peek at Nokia’s latest survey, shows why only 3% of people recycle their mobile phones globally. Recycling means we don’t need to extract and refine as much material for new products, saving energy, chemicals and waste. If every Nokia user recycled just one unused phone at the end of its life, together we would save nearly 80,000 tonnes of raw materials. Nokia first began with packaging of their phones. (Packaging and user guides can be recycled at your local recycling scheme). Recently, Nokia is considering a new Concept Phones without chargers.

The first is already going to be reality with the N79 Eco, which is available for pre-order through Nokia’s UK online shop and ships without a charger. Customers are expected to retain the charger from their previous Nokia device. The concept is part of a trial to save energy and reduce waste and is part of Nokia’s power of we: strategy. Nokia will, for each N79 Eco sold, donate £4 to the WWF (a global conservation organization). It is likely the phone will be pre-loaded with ‘power of we:’ content – already available to existing users through Download! The Nokia N79 Eco costs the same as the regular N79 in the online shop – £319. This is an EXCELLENT concept and one I believe we’ll see more of. However it’s still only a stop gap solution.

Nokia really needs to consider the real cause for the need of this initiative is their worldwide dominance. Nokia makes several kinds of chargers for each model of their phones that is shipped worldwide. Many of these chargers are bulky – and many users that have used previous Nokia phones have kept their chargers, and batteries that work, hoping to be used in a new model. Unfortunately a major dent into Nokia’s Power of We: strategy is that not ALL these chargers are the same size for the majority of phones they’ve made in the past 2yrs to current date. And of those chargers that ARE the same plug size into the phone, the charge they give is very different. Case in point: My previous Nokia E71 has the same wall charger & plug as my daughters Nokia 6085 (flip), and my wife’s former 5300 Xpress Music ALL have different charges going to the phone and thus is incompatible!!

Nokia needs to STOP making so many varying chargers and charging ratings to the phones. They can still make varying capacities of batteries as the design of the phones will dictate the need for shape, charge capacity, and ultimate design thereof. However, 1 simple charge (be it voltage, mAh, watts) should be, in earnest, considered. Why?? Insane you say?

Consider this. Nokia can begin to design a MicroUSB to standard USB2.0 cable for ALL their future phones. This allows phones to be charged via a simple cable connected to the desktop/laptop PC in markets like UK, USA, and Canada. This allows for costs to drop, efficient computer charging & auto charge shut off can be done on the device. Some may think that it takes away from it being a mobile computer; or does it?! The wall charger with same MicroUSB port CAN be done for ALL models, which reduces costs and waste. Waste is reduced in the future because anyone with a world phone while roaming can purchase a charger without worrying about if the charge not only FITS, but will correctly charge the phone. Make the wall connection port a small unit with a small sliding connection to change its ability to be used universally around the world. MicroUSB cables are cheaper to make, currently available in most European & North American countries where the PS3 Sixaxis controller is sold as it’s the SAME cable. Lastly it’s easier to recycle. This allows for future phones to be sold without chargers for any user will to upgrade, and allows for users of recent Motorola RAZR phones, or RIM phones to switch over and not feel the pain of looking for a charger in emerged markets. Add to this, the ability for accessories not made for a 3.5, or 2.5mm headset jack or wireless nature can interface via the MicroUSB connection. Smart & eco friendly!

Categories: Uncategorized

Nokia E71 Beautiful Connections

January 13, 2009 Comments off
Nokia E71 - Beautiful Connections

Nokia has begun another E71 compaign, “Nokia E71 Beautiful Connections“.

In this new product compaign over at http://www.nokia.co.uk/e71, Nokia aims to highlight 4 artists and their rendition of impressions & experiences over using the Nokia E71 – that they chose to share.

Now because its coming from artists and with such a limited audio and visual timeline to convey to us all – and to future S60 users, its done very artistic and esthetically. Rightfully so as the E71 itself is a work of art.

E71 a communication powerhouse! I myself recall just how powerful it was. It was the primary reason I upgraded from a simple feature phone to this masterpiece. Most smartphones forget to be what is important at its core – being a phone. The E71 traverses this boundary by being an excellent phone, but with the built in Contacts application searching for your saved contacts or dialing phone numbers (including ones with letters in dialing) it allows you the user to do so with simplicity. Email personal email in powerful IMAP push support natively is more than adequate but most of all (with your data plan) is FREE. No costly dedicated data plan like others entrenched in the marketplace hold you to. Should a cheaper data plan be available from your provider – you’re not limited to specific choices due to a proprietary non open handset.

The E71 is a work of art. Everywhere I went it striked up conversations and on lookers asking about where to buy it, what can it do, and surprise at how THIN it is.

For such a successful device, and the power of software to enhance it, its no wonder its Nokia’s best selling qwerty device.

Visit http://www.nokia.co.uk/e71 and take a look at the new E71 campaign and download the videos if you wish.

Categories: Uncategorized

The Next Movement: Nokia S60

January 11, 2009 Comments off

Yes. Its beginning. Many S60 faithful users have seen it, adn only over the past few months (S60 Ambassadors initially) being vocal about it.

Stagnation

Many users of the N95 especially are still grasping on ‘old-faithful’, because from all manufacturers, nothing has been presented with such greatness! The N95 was a bold move a departure from the previous smartphone crowd it offered to be the jack of all trades while being exceptional at so many!

Today the defining moment for smartphones is NOT hardware (HW). Almost every manufacturer has the HW to compete with one another. High megapixel cameras, on screen photo editing, music playback + playslists, mulit-tasking/processors, 30-fps video recording (QVGA/HVGA/VGA), and TV-Out (still considered a luxury) are all apart of the competitions offerings. Many of Nokia’s competitors are just catching up, on par with, or exceed in some way of these functions of hardware.

Hardware will become less & less the defining function of consumer or corporate purchases. Many devices with Windows Mobile have dual-core cpu’s running at 1.3-2.2x the frequency highest used by any S60 device (369Mhz). Roughly 2 HTC devices employ dual-core cpu’s running at 624-824Mhz speeds. Less than 8 years ago desktops where just hitting 1Ghz speeds. However although what choice of hardware will still play a partial, yet small role in our future purchases, the defining moment in smartphones is elsewhere.

Previously, the uptake in smartphones has been about software. Even today, no users (business/consumer) having a choice of their main smartphone will consider a platform without a plethora of software to support it & the users primary uses. All smartphones offer software as part of the core OS to fulfill a users primary uses. Most will come with trial software, or fully activated 3rd party productivity software to enhance a users capabilities. Most of these are stripped and replaced with branded links to a providers own sourced software to keep subsidized costs down. Without a wide range of quality & useful software, a smartphone cannot be considered as such, so what is the NOW?!

Going into 2H 2009 the main focus for selling & purchasing smartphones is Services & embracing the internet or Web2.0. Services will define how or why we purchase our smartphones! A Service is what is offered to the end user daily over of the course of ownership of their device (typically 6mths – 1yr). This includes Help (built in & contextual or online), PIM synchronization (beyond local wired/wireless connection), Music/Video services (subscription/purchase, exploring new talent/artists), Email & IM for Everyone (personal/corporate; from just about any source/industry), and finally Social.

Many within the industry claim to be experts or blog about specific components of services the competition offers. Only 1 has got the idea right from day one. Nokia! Nokia from day one was prepared for this tough economic times by creating smartphones for various target markets worldwide. However Nokia has stepped up their game. Creating Mail for Exchange (MfE) a software to work with the corporate MS Exchange Server service so many people use around the world. Signing a HUGE deal & expanding on it allowing it to be used on ALL of their S60 devices. Lets not forget about the ground breaking IBM Lotus Traveler for those on Domino Server, as well as Nokia Messaging for the rest of us wanting personal email pushed to our mobiles. Nokia didn’t stop there, they created Ovi. Ovi is more than a web portal – its a synchronization service allowing the backup of PIM, Photos (also allowing sharing), and Video all sourced by your PC or from your device. Only 1 competitor offers this and its an afterthought for end users. For computers Apple solved a great problem that should be second nature to users of PC’s for any extended time (avg 5yrs+); backup your data. Today users STILL have issues remembering when to backup their data on their PC’s so how often do manufacturers think they’d do so with their smartphones? Turns out its rarely ever done. Do you see now how Services will define how you purchase your next smartphone?!

The ability to connect & convey the internet revolution/evolution has been king on the S60 for just under a 4 years and failed by many. However this is not the new paradigm that will change how we use our smartphones.

Web2.0. Web2.0 is how we input, move, delete or replace, or interact with our data online. Many of us and increasingly more of us live in the Social world. This will never go away, only change. The social or web2.0 paradigm is at the heart of what makes us human and at the heart of Nokia’s slogan “Connecting People”.


Web2.0 will allow us to communicate, share, create, or move data amongst ourselves & our peers. Either traditionally through a web browser (OSS Webkit) or through a various ingeniously designed widgets. Widgets can powerfully & efficiently convey just the information you need at a quick glance while allowing you to update data or interact within your social group. Nokia has had great experiences with Conversations, Share on Ovi, Nokia Chat, Mobile WebServer, and Sports Tracker/Vine. Simply posting your photo, or updating your status will not be enough for future users of Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and other social online communities. But more and more sharing your data (experiences, poetry, photos/videos, an Email, etc) will more & more be integrated into these social communities (directly: supported by them as a service, or indirectly: supported by your smartphone). As you can see S60 is not a data consumption or data mover device like the iPhone platform waiting to be obsolete. S60 & the upcoming Symbian Foundation is primed for data consumption, sharing, moving & interaction. It always has been and always will be no matter the form of data you use.


Finding your data can be done in an applications such as S60’s Search on all of Nokia’s smarpthones (data is data so local or online is both integrated. Palm claims that mobile is in their DNA, but they’re still playing catchup). Apple just in the last 2 weeks recently announced that their iTunes music service will be available on their iPhones via 3G not just WLAN. Another afterthought! Nokia has & is already offering “Comes with Music” on a range of 3 smartphones in various marketplaces worldwide that is accessible on your PC/Mac (via Internet) or on your smartphone (3G/WLAN) or directly connected to your PC.

Categories: Uncategorized
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