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The Next Movement: Nokia S60

January 11, 2009

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


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.

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