Research In Motion executivess took the stage during BlackBerry DevCon Europe on Tuesday to clear up a few facts about the company’s success with its BlackBerry App World marketplace. RIM’s new CEO Thorsten Heins said BlackBerry App World is now home to more than 60,000 applications, which is a fraction of what’s available in the Android Market or iTunes App Store, and that BlackBerry devices are among the most popular smartphones purchased in the United Kingdom. RIM’s vice president of developer relations Alec Saunders also said that there are 174 million app downloads per month, or about 6 million applications downloaded per day, The Verge reported. Saunders argued that RIM’s BlackBerry App World has 43% more daily downloads per app than Apple’s own iTunes App Store and he said App World can be more profitable as well — BlackBerry apps supposedly earn about 40% more than their Android counterparts, and 13% of BlackBerry developers have made more than $100,000 from their apps. In addition to the app figures, Saunders and Nokia’s head of Qt announced that RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook OS now supports the Qt developer framework, originally intended for Nokia devices. More →
Android may be an open source operating system, but it’s not as open as other platforms according to a new research report from VisionMobile. The research firm compared Android, Eclipse, Firefox, the Linux kernel, MeeGo, Qt and Symbian and found that, of those open source environments, Android was the least “open.” According to the report’s “open governance index,” which scored each environment on how open it is, Android scored a 23%. It was far below the others; Eclipse scored the best with an 84% open governance index and no other platform scored less than a 58%, ArsTechnica said. Google’s Android compatibility chief Dan Morrill likely swayed the opinion on Android a bit when he said Google was using compatibility “as a club to make [phone maker's] do things we want,” and the report cites that quote specifically. However, VisionMobile also backs up its findings with a statement that can be read in full after the break. More →
In a recent press release, mobile device giant Nokia announced a tentative, signed agreement that will jettison the commercial licensing rights of the Qt development platform to Digia. “Through the proposed acquisition, around 3500 desktop and embedded customer companies from various industries are targeted to be transferred to Digia,” reads the announcement. “The transaction is expected to be closed by the end of March 2011.” Digia notes that Nokia will continue to “invest in the future development of Qt,” which has been under the LGPL license framework since 2009. The deal will hand control of commercial licensing and service operations over to Digia, who will broaden its global reach by opening offices in both the U.S. and Norway. The full release is after the break. More →
According to an email obtained by SlashGear, Nokia will be offering its present developers several freebies to keep the code flowing. In light of the company’s recent decision to move to the Windows Phone platform — and not take its Qt development platform with it — some devs are feeling a little abandoned… and Nokia seems to recognize this. According to the aforementioned communication, the Finnish company will be offering Nokia developers a free E7 handset to help with their current Qt development, a new Windows Phone handset “when available” to aid in future Silverlight development, and free admission to the next Nokia World conference. Will it be enough to move those currently devoted to Qt over to Silverlight? Time will tell. More →
At at joint press conference today, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Nokia CEO Stephen Elop provided specific details about what the newly forged partnership between their two companies will look like. Fans of Nokia hardware and the Windows Phone software can get excited about the prospects of Xbox Live, Office, and enhanced maps (a combination of Ovi Maps and Bing) coming to Nokia WP sets. Fans of Windows Phone in general can get excited about the world’s largest phone manufacturer throwing its weight behind the recently launched mobile OS. But how do Nokia’s developers, the ones who have committed time and resources to Qt, make out in this deal? The future looks bleak.
In a letter to developers, the companies noted that Qt would still be supported for Symbian and MeeGo — Nokia expects to ship 150 million Symbian phones during the transition; there was also mention of the first MeeGo device shipping later this year. The letter was quite clear in saying that Microsoft would “provide tools for application developers,” not Nokia. Translation: No Qt. This transition from Symbian to Windows Phone is going to be an interesting tightrope for Nokia to walk — especially in regards to developers. The aforementioned letter is waiting for you after the break. Have a look and let us know what you think in the comments. More →
According to several reports, AT&T and Nokia will not be joining forces to release the X7 handset in the United States. As you may recall, the X7 — which has been seen sporting an AT&T logo on several occasions — is being billed as a high-end, Qt-enabled, Symbian smartphone, complete with four external speakers, that focuses on mobile gaming. Blogs PocketNow and The Nokia Blog have both weighed in on the matter, with the former stating that AT&T scuttled the handset release while the latter suggesting that Nokia was the one that pulled the plug. At CES, AT&T announced that a Qt-enabled Symbian set was due on its network sometime in Q1 of 2011; for this reason, many industry insiders speculated that handset was the X7. Both report cite persons familiar with the matter, but are, up to this point, speculative. We’ll keep our eye on this one and let you know if anything changes. More →
In a post on his personal blog Wednesday, Nokia employee Watts Martin discounts rumors from earlier this month that Nokia might be considering Windows Phone 7 as a future platform for its smartphones. Rumors that Nokia might be looking at the platform began when former Microsoft executive Stephen Elop was appointed CEO of the company. They came to a head last week, however, when industry insider Eldar Murtazin wrote that the company might build “an entire line of Windows Phone devices that may go under the name Nokia.” Watts Martin, a developer at Nokia, stated that the idea of Nokia considering Windows Phone 7 as a possible platform for its devices is “stark raving loony.” Martin states that while Symbian and MeeGo are both open source, Nokia demands complete control over its operating systems and there would be no way to achieve that using Microsoft’s mobile platform. Martin does not indicate in his blog post that he speaks for Nokia in any official capacity. More →
Nokia is certainly not the first cell phone company that comes to mind when the topic of App Stores is raised. Here in the U.S., it’s probably not even the second, third or fourth company that comes to mind. But as the market for mobile apps continues to explode globally, Nokia is quietly proving it still has plenty of gas left in the tank.
Nokia announced a new milestone for its Ovi Store Thursday morning: 3 million downloads per day. The impressive milestone comes with just 18,000 content titles currently available in the Ovi Store for Nokia’s most popular devices. It also comes just over two months after the 2 million daily download mark was reached. This rapid growth rate is showing no signs of slowing, as interest in Symbian continues to build on both sides of the app equation — users and developers. Nokia needs to appeal to both groups in order to maintain success with the Ovi Store, and so far the company’s efforts are working. In the last year, over 400,000 new developers have joined Nokia’s developer program, and the Finnish company’s Qt development tools have been downloaded more than 1.5 million times.
Nokia is very focused on the success of its developer partners, Michael Bramlage, Director of Media at Nokia, told BGR. Bramlage, whose team is responsible for both the Ovi Store user experience and product management on the developer side, joined Nokia just before the Ovi Store launched. The company’s aim, Bramlage said, is to create a sustainable business for as many developers as possible rather than watch a small number of successful developers rise to the top. More →
This morning, mobile giant Nokia announced earnings results for their Q3 of 2010 to mixed reviews. While the company did beat analysts Q3 estimates — with €529 million in net income and 110.4 million devices sold — the Finnish company did note that it would cut more than 1,800 jobs in an attempt to “streamline operations.” Other notable facts from Nokia’s Q3 sheet: the handset maker sold just 3.2 million devices in North America, the average selling price of all 110.4 million handsets was €65, and 11.6 million devices were sold in Latin America (a 20% increase year-over-year).
In a separate statement, the company also announced that it would no longer “refer to Symbian^3 or Symbian^4,” rather all “future improvements in Symbian will be developed in Qt and will be compatible with the existing Symbian^3 platform release.” The new, ubiquitous Symbian model will focus on Qt as the development framework and include support for HTML5. The company wrote, “The decision to focus on Qt as the sole application development framework will ensure that applications will continue to be compatible with future evolutions of Symbian as well as upcoming MeeGo products.” Hit the jump for links to both press releases. More →
On Wednesday, we told you that Nokia’s head of sales and markets, Niklas Savander, would be hosting a Twitter question and answer session on Thursday afternoon. The event went off as planned, and here is an overview of some of the topics covered and answers given:
- The EVP acknowledged that the long time between product announcements and product releases is “not helping anyone.”
- When asked about the release date of the N8, all that was said was “end of Q3.”
- When asked about MeeGo, he said his company would have, “a major product milestone by the end of the year.”
- When asked about Nokia handsets running Android: “our platform choices (symbian and meego) gives us the best opp to deliver value and of course qt will play key role.”
- When asked about the possibility of partnering with U.S. carrier Sprint to release a handset: “we have no plans at this time.”
- Question: “a fast and reliable OS that I can develop for! Symbian is slow (at the latest after 1y of usage) and developer-hostile!” Answer: “Qt will give you the tools to develop and allow u to address both symbian and meego devices.”
Those were, more or less, the highlights of the chat outlined by Nokia. Hit up the Nokia Conversations blog to read all the tweets and see a video wrap-up of the Q&A session. Thoughts? More →
If there is still doubt in anyone’s mind that Nokia plans to officially unveil its next-generation Maemo 5 handset at the modestly named Nokia World show next week, behold: The first official press render of the N900 has leaked. Call it the Rover, call it the RX-51 or call it whatever else you want — the bottom line is that it represents Nokia’s first step in moving away from an old busted UI and toward a somewhat modern interface. Somewhat. Last week we all enjoyed a ridiculously thorough preview of the N900 and, upon first viewing of the many screenshots included in the post, it’s clear that the Maemo 5 UI is a giant step forward compared to S60. On the other hand however — in terms of looks — it doesn’t appear to be all that different compared to the previous version of Maemo. It’s more flushed out of course, since the N900 packs a lot more out of the box than previous Maemo devices, but we’re not really seeing anything revolutionary here — just evolutionary. Again, we’re talking looks and not function; we still haven’t played with the handset ourselves and we’re not jumping to any conclusions. Getting excited yet, T-Mobile fans? We know we are.
UPDATE: Hit the jump for another shot obtained by the same source.