Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 5th Oct 2011 20:38 UTC, submitted by lucas_maximus
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless "Sources tell us that Nokia is developing a Linux-based replacement for its S40 phones, called Meltemi. The news was leaked, accurately, by the Wall Street Journal last week. Now we can confirm it. The thinking is that a Linux-based replacement for S40 will allow developers to tap into proven development tools - and Qt. The April memo referred to Meltemi as a platform for 'rich Featurephones' and stated that development will be centered in Ulm, Germany. There's no U-turn, however. Meltemi had been long-been touted as a richer successor to S40. Windows phones will occupy the budget smartphone segment, not Linux."
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Confused.
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 5th Oct 2011 21:14 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

Symbian S40 is a feature phone OS right?

So ... This linux distro will replace it on feature phones.

How does that support the idea that windows phones will be budget smartphones? They don't mean that this same feature phone OS will be for Top level smartphones, do they? Or did someone at some time think this previously unheard of linux distro was for low end feature phones?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Confused.
by No it isnt on Wed 5th Oct 2011 21:48 UTC in reply to "Confused. "
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

It won't be a simple feature phone OS. Lower end than Windows and Meego, sure, but built on Qt and therefore with a proper development environment. It would be silly to avoid taking advantage of it.

I read a Q&A with a Nokia rep today, who claimed that this new thing wouldn't be "reinventing gunpowder" (the Norwegian expression for reinventing the wheel), as the gunpowder in this case isn't Meego, but Qt and Swipe. Quotes (translations from the Norwegian all mine): "Meego is just the platform it [Qt] runs on"

"N9 is first and foremost a Qt product. We'll keep this going forward. So the innovations in the N9 will live on in various ways, in terms of both design and UI."

"As stated previously [re: Meltemi], we don't comment on rumours. What we have said is that Qt will be the framework and the base for app development in our strategy to give the next billion people access to the Internet on mobile devices. Today, applications for Symbian and the N9 are developed in Qt, and by making use of Qt in our future strategy, developers will have a potentially massive base for their applications.

So, rather something like Meego Harmattan without Meego. Stripped-down userspace, all Qt, is my guess (or wishful thinking, more likely). Then again, there will probably be more to it, perhaps less.

Edited 2011-10-05 21:49 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Confused.
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 5th Oct 2011 22:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Confused. "
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Well, I love QT. Its a shame there is zero market for mobile apps using QT in the US/North America market despite that marketing statement.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Confused.
by arsipaani on Thu 6th Oct 2011 05:01 UTC in reply to "Confused. "
arsipaani Member since:
2010-06-13

S40 stands for Series 40, It is not symbian based:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokia_OS

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Confused.
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 6th Oct 2011 14:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Confused. "
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Oh, wasn't aware of that. But, s60 is Symbian, right? You can understand my confusion.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Confused.
by arsipaani on Thu 6th Oct 2011 15:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Confused. "
arsipaani Member since:
2010-06-13

Well, S60 was build top of Symbian (os), there was also UIQ,MOAP,S80 and S90. Nowdays whole system is just called Symbian.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Confused.
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 6th Oct 2011 15:53 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Confused. "
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

So maybe s60 is to symbian as kde is to linux?

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Confused.
by arsipaani on Thu 6th Oct 2011 20:22 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Confused. "
arsipaani Member since:
2010-06-13

Yes, you are correct.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Confused.
by zima on Thu 6th Oct 2011 20:56 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Confused. "
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Maybe slightly broader, more tied to one specific OS - not only DE, but sort of also X.org and/or its toolkit (or maybe Wayland, seeing like it seems to Linux-exclusive, if it had a toolkit)

Series-nomenclature is even older, there's also (still) Series 30 in lowest-end (even ~20€) "dumbphones" (though some of them come with mp3 player now; and some old S30 ones, 3510i for example, had j2me and gprs - but that role quickly went to S40)

Reply Score: 2

Linux on current S40 hardware ?
by Neolander on Wed 5th Oct 2011 21:16 UTC
Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

"And so, the mobile market reached a point where getting a smooth GUI or a day of moderate use out of a cellphone with a full battery was a thing for rich peoples only."

--Tomorrow's tech history books ?

Edited 2011-10-05 21:21 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Linux on current S40 hardware ?
by zima on Wed 5th Oct 2011 21:57 UTC in reply to "Linux on current S40 hardware ?"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Not necessarily. Look at the specs of this recent S40 device http://www.developer.nokia.com/Devices/Device_specifications/C3-01_... - (General) CPU Clock Rate 1.0 GHz, (Memory Functions) RAM Memory 128 MB; slightly pointless. Especially if you look at the very same phone in a "non-shiny" version released a year ago: http://www.developer.nokia.com/Devices/Device_specifications/C3-01/ (CPU Clock Rate 680 MHz, RAM Memory 64 MB)

Specs of the later version are getting near the range of what "streamlined Meego"(?) would probably need to be decently comfortable. Plus, changing them like that doesn't make much sense, maybe it's for training? ;) (switching production and supply lines, generally)

And then, Linux was used for example on some RAZR-era Motorola handsets (very "feature phones"); Linux in itself doesn't seem to be a problem.

Edited 2011-10-05 22:02 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Maybe I'm paranoid then. It just seems to me that every current Linux- or BSD-based mobile OS requires monster hardware to run smoothly and has terrible power consumption, as compared to how the tightly-optimized RTOSes and microkernels-based platforms that are seen on feature phones and older smartphones can perform.

Edited 2011-10-05 22:05 UTC

Reply Score: 1

"Almost N9 UI, almost Meego" maybe?
by zima on Wed 5th Oct 2011 21:33 UTC
zima
Member since:
2005-07-06

Hints about Qt on S40 class (price range) of devices were out there for some time now, in answers to "but what about Qt?" at the time of Nokia WinPhone announcement; also a fairly direct (but still avoiding open admission) talk about Qt on the devices "for the next billion" (the way Nokia seems to describe so called "feature phones") of people who will access the internet, at the time of N9 unveiling. Or Nokia claiming the concepts from N9 UI will live on.

And the Swipe interface seems like one of the nicest UIs out there, if not the nicest; great basics and strong group of core apps available probably being more important to most users than 100k+ of fillers. Nokia ruled in their heyday (the days of S30 and earlier S40) also thanks to the perception of "nice and easy" (that's how people openly justified their overwhelming preference for Nokia vs. all the rest, at my place)

Even present S40 devices seem to be getting a new common hardware platform which, as far as "classic" S40 goes, seems ridiculously overpowered; but it might be just largely an exercise of sorts before the upcoming OS shift, and it looks fine for devices in the class of Samsung Star (until very recently, the "fastest 10 million units sold" for Samsung), Corby or LG Cookie - a class which possibly was, in the last few years, chiefly responsible for touchscreens adoption, worldwide.

Maybe Meltemi will turn out even very "almost Meego" - essentially mostly just renamed for contractual reasons, Nokia officially pushing it into sidelines due to how it was possibly tied to Intel? (and/or their "smartphone Atom" which doesn't seem to be going anywhere). But, in reality, mostly relegating it to mass-market devices ...something I wouldn't mind at all, with their low prices - and likely with enough functionality, there ought to be some overlap in:

Windows phones will occupy the budget smartphone segment, not Linux



Very, very maybe (considering how it went recently with Nokia & plans... NVM trying to guess them)

Edited 2011-10-05 21:35 UTC

Reply Score: 2

qt developers
by fran on Wed 5th Oct 2011 22:47 UTC
fran
Member since:
2010-08-06

Maybe i don't know what i'm talking about but how many QT developers is going to want to develop applications targeted to a budget worldwide featurephone market whom 90% don't even have a credit cards (ok maybe advertising type sponsored apps).

And if they decide to develop it, it probably wont be any big budget project because it wont pay for itself.

Edited 2011-10-05 22:49 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: qt developers
by BrianH on Wed 5th Oct 2011 23:16 UTC in reply to "qt developers"
BrianH Member since:
2005-07-06

On featurephones the apps are developed by the carriers, not by third parties. That's the difference between featurephones and smartphones: No installable apps on featurephones, just built-in stuff.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: qt developers
by kragil on Wed 5th Oct 2011 23:39 UTC in reply to "RE: qt developers"
kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

Well, there is no real definition and real feature phones are probably dead in the long run .. so really cheap phones are also likely to gain the ability to install apps (most of them can now, but mostly just java apps)

In the future the differentians will be more on price.
Theoretically you just need this hardware for a great and smooth smartphone OS:
SOC with 500 Mhz and 128 mb RAM and 1 GB of storage.
Those specs might be way above what S40 has now on average, but 2014 it will be low end.

Not having a VM like Android and Windows Mobile Phone 7.5 Series Phones helps a lot with reducing requirements.
Linux + KMS + Wayland + Qt5 could be fairly lightweight.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: qt developers
by zima on Thu 6th Oct 2011 21:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: qt developers"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

If the UI is "all Qt" it might even be Qt Embedded, even more lightweight.

(and check my other post nearby, linking to some recent S40 handsets which already have comparable - or even sort of better - hardware than what you list)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: qt developers
by Neolander on Thu 6th Oct 2011 05:58 UTC in reply to "RE: qt developers"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

What about Opera Mini and some other user-installable J2ME apps that can be found on the internet ?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: qt developers
by fran on Thu 6th Oct 2011 09:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: qt developers"
fran Member since:
2010-08-06

Yes..you have many Java apps.
i guess ovistore apps will also run.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: qt developers
by zima on Thu 6th Oct 2011 21:15 UTC in reply to "RE: qt developers"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

So how come iPhone was called a smartphone during its first year, but not the phones on Nokia S40 (only the most widespread mobile platform on the planet, has many 3rd party j2me apps and "appstores") or Sony Ericsson A200 platform? (this one even has full multitasking of j2me apps)

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: qt developers
by Neolander on Fri 7th Oct 2011 06:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: qt developers"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Smartphones are a very fuzzy concept. Many people feel like they know what it is, but cannot actually write a proper definition.

Best definition I had seen in the past (which still doesn't match the iPhone 2G) was that third parties could write software in native code, as opposed to device-agnostic J2ME code. Then Android and WP7 came out. So now, I guess it's rather about native APIs. If your main API is not proprietary, then we're not talking about smartphones... Or something like that.

Edited 2011-10-07 07:00 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: qt developers
by zima on Sat 8th Oct 2011 02:51 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: qt developers"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

And then we have (had?) WebOS; its native API apparently could be described as "local webapps" of sorts.
Even "device-agnostic J2ME code" is blurry, especially with A200 (SE has a very nice J2ME implementation, extensions tapping into their platform), also because some of the bundled apps are J2ME apps...

The most widespread "definition" tends to boil down to ~"smartphone is what I* want it to be"
(*too often, it seems, a pundit living in some fairly unusual - but very visible - place and/or self-limited to atypical experiences; often barely aware of, for example, very popular devices in the class of Samsung Star and LG Cookie; or of how many billions mobile subscribers - most of them owning their phones & not on contract - the world has, of the scales involved in mobile phone adoption)

Edited 2011-10-08 02:55 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: qt developers
by kragil on Wed 5th Oct 2011 23:24 UTC in reply to "qt developers"
kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

I hope not many. I want useful FOSS apps. I couldnt care less for all the 100Ks of shitty ad-apps or 0.99 crap-apps.
Id take a great UI (like Swipe) over an overblown app store any day.

Reply Score: 3

Better than nothing but
by Silent_Seer on Thu 6th Oct 2011 12:25 UTC
Silent_Seer
Member since:
2007-04-06

Expect a locked down bootloader, no multitasking of third party apps, no GPU, probably an ARM11 based SoC. In other words nothing much different from current Linux based featurephones (eg LiMo phones, older Motorola EZX platform etc).

On the other hand, the Swipe based UI and ability to run third party Qt apps besides Java are great. Enough for a revolution at low end. Let's see if they dump it at the last moment or something fearing it would 'harm' their WP7 phones. It's nothing new for Nokia, what with the current management in charge.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Better than nothing but
by fran on Thu 6th Oct 2011 14:06 UTC in reply to "Better than nothing but"
fran Member since:
2010-08-06

And if push comes to shove and Nokia's other endeavours fail they can just ramp up the Meltimi UI a bit for the full smart phone experience while maintaining app compatibility.

Reply Score: 5

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Given Nokia's Meego failure, I wouldn't automatically assume that the could create a decent linux smart-phone platform quickly. I'd be surprised if they could get this Linux feature phone platform off the ground.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Better than nothing but
by zima on Thu 6th Oct 2011 21:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Better than nothing but"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Meego / N9 platform & UI / Swipe doesn't really seem like a failure in itself, when it comes to the abilities necessary to create it. Quickly adapting its technologies shouldn't be too hard... maybe.

Reply Score: 4

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Maybe something is being lost in translation, but Meego is a failure. It was to be the top tier smartphone platform from Nokia, but they switched to windows because they couldn't bring enough models to market quickly enough. Elop & co might be lying or something, but if he's correct then Meego was a failure and I don't see any reason why any other attempt at creating a different linux phone platform would end differently.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Better than nothing but
by juzzlin on Fri 7th Oct 2011 18:38 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Better than nothing but"
juzzlin Member since:
2011-05-06

Maybe something is being lost in translation, but Meego is a failure. It was to be the top tier smartphone platform from Nokia, but they switched to windows because they couldn't bring enough models to market quickly enough. Elop & co might be lying or something, but if he's correct then Meego was a failure and I don't see any reason why any other attempt at creating a different linux phone platform would end differently.


Well, at least I don't understand why (technically) they couldn't make multiple MeeGo-models, but can do it with Windows Phone, which is a totally new thing for them.

Reply Score: 1

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Yeah, very little of that makes sense to me. Especially because windows phone 7 has some predefined hardware requirements.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Better than nothing but
by zima on Wed 12th Oct 2011 23:52 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Better than nothing but"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Maybe focusing on different aspects of what makes (or doesn't make) something a failure?

Look at N9, it's (just getting) out there, its Meego works fine, seems to give those who tried it quite positive impressions. It's out there sooner than WinPhone handsets. Heck, they are clearly expanding from the R&D effort on the hardware of N9...
It's apparently quite smooth on non-spectacular hardware, so possibly adapting (in such case, not entirely "other attempt" & "different linux phone platform") its technologies to "lesser" handsets maybe won't create too many obstacles (and you know, the hardware of feature phone models from the same generation often hardly differed)

Meego "internal" state isn't what makes it a failure at this point - more the surrounding / market realities (something which basically makes WinPhone a failure, too, so far - just look at its (non-)adoption)

Yes, a failure at tapping the mind-share of premium "smartphones" ...but this doesn't have to be carried over to the market of inexpensive handsets, which doesn't work the same way; the dynamics in so called "feature phone" class & price range are different.

Edited 2011-10-12 23:55 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Confused
by twitterfire on Thu 6th Oct 2011 20:17 UTC
twitterfire
Member since:
2008-09-11

Aren't they making their minds? Maemo, Meego, Meltemi, Windows? Maybe they will trash this project too in few months and they will announce the use of another Os...

They better hurry because their shares are melting.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Confused
by lucas_maximus on Thu 6th Oct 2011 20:46 UTC in reply to "Confused"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

The strategy is pretty unclear IMO.

I think it is a classic case of stove piping it seems ... each team is doing different stuff compared to what the whole org is doing.

Happens where I work.

Edited 2011-10-06 20:51 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Confused
by fran on Thu 6th Oct 2011 21:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Confused"
fran Member since:
2010-08-06

It's interesting that so many software companies do follow a flat instead of tall organisational structure.
This is the one business where you think there must be pretty tight synergy.

I heard microsoft has a lot of different dept politics. Dont know if it's true though.
Software developers at that level being so scarce might have something to do with the level of creative freedom allowed. To keep them there.

Reply Score: 2