Tag - Symbian Foundation
Nokia said it has finished reposting the Symbian source code online for company-supported and independent developers. Available at Nokia's site, the Symbian source code is back after Nokia took down access in mid-December after closing the Symbian Foundation. During that period, Nokia gave out access to the code only on request.
The Symbian Foundation late on Friday posted a warning that it would shut down its websites and its online distribution of source code on December 17. The move follows Nokia's takeover of development and will see all code and sites packaged on to either a DVD or a USB drive that developers will need to order to keep working on their own projects. Teams have been encouraged to download the code ahead of time, since a packaged kit isn't expected to be ready before January 31 and may have a shipping cost attached.
Nokia today shook up the Symbian Foundation and the platform by revealing it that it would take control of Symbian itself. All development will take place under Nokia's own banner, while the Foundation will now be limited to licensing the Symbian name and other intellectual property tasks. The handover should take place by the end of March next year.
The Symbian operating system for mobile phones will finally become open source and free, following several years as a proprietary platform, according to the Symbian Foundation. Companies and developers can now utilize Symbian for a variety of new devices, even beyond cellphones, as the code can be modified as needed.
Hot on the heels of Sony Ericsson's release of a couple of entry-level handsets at CTIA comes news of the company's Idou smartphone ship dates. A Sony Ericsson rep from Germany was cited as the source of the news, according to Swedish site Mobil, and has the touchscreen handset launching in October with a fallback date planned for sometime in November. Sony Ericsson Sweden would only go on record as saying the Idou will ship sometime in the second half of the year.
Sony Ericsson concluded its week with a warning on Friday that it will likely record a loss of between $461 million and $529 million for its current financial quarter, which ends at the conclusion of the month. The cellphone designer directly blames the shortfall on "weak consumer demand" and in clearing stock for its existing supply and sales chain. It also expects to ship just 14 million phones with a typical asking price of about $163.
The Symbian Foundation late Thursday outlined a release schedule for its core mobile OS that should impact its future. Each version will take just six months between being feature-complete and being "hardened," or brought to a reliable and finished state. Releases will overlap such that a substantially new version of Symbian will always be available in similar intervals for the public.
Nokia in an unusual move today said it will borrow 500 million Euros ($636 million) from the European Investment Bank to improve its smartphone software. The loan will be stretched out over the course of the next five years and is specifically tailored towards research and development projects due between now and 2011 to render Symbian phones "more competitive." Nokia sees the money as mostly intended for its own, internal work but says the research coming out of the loan will also help the Symbian Foundation and non-Nokia Symbian devices as a result.
Continuing its introductions, Sony Ericsson provided an early glance at the Idou, its second-ever full touchscreen phone. The handset will be one of the firm's first to be based on pure Symbian instead of UIQ and will use a custom touch interface with an emphasis on media playback. Appropriately, it will also have a 3.5-inch, 16:9 ratio display and appears to rely solely on the screen for keyboard input. Sony Ericsson can also claim to be the first with a 12-megapixel camera onboard a phone and will give the device both a xenon flash and a retractable lens cover.
Nokia today bolstered the Symbian Foundation with the addition of multiple key new members. HP, MySpace and SanDisk lead the new sign-ons and each have their own different reasons for joining the open-source mobile OS project. HP hopes to improve its support for managing Symbian; MySpace hopes to further refine its MySpace app for the phone throuhg the open code; SanDisk hopes to improve the use of storage for multimedia apps. None of the three has given clues as to how soon products will appear that take advantage of Foundation membership.