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Lightning Notes from Symbian Partner Event 08 - A Roadmap for Mobile Innovation Print E-mail
Written by Glenn Letham   
Friday, 19 December 2008
Symbian Partner Event took place in San Francisco, CA early in December (Dec 4, 2008 to be exact). We heard from and met execs from Symbian, Nokia, Symbian Foundation as well as the Foundation's sponsors and supporters. The following were items of interest that were mentioned at some time during the one day event and got my attention - enjoy these lightning notes from SPE.

And so, the following are lightning notes from SPE regarding Symbian OS, Symbian Foundation, and mobile innovation in the USA heading into 2009:

  • This [America] is now very much THE place to focus on - quite apparent really when you consider that recent industry research findings reveal that Americans now use 2X more txt messaging than Europeans do.
  • Recall Symbian started June 1998, 10 years old, tens of thousands of apps, 200+ devices (100 coming) etc.
  • People [staff of Symbian and Nokia] are moving into positions as the new Nokia owned Symbian and others moving to the Symbian foundation.. next official "Symbian" event will be a Symbian foundation planned event.
  • Mission - to be the most widely used software on the planet
  • A bold move was made in migrating the software to open source. people needed proven software that was free in order to adopt and innovate.
  • Working on the new Symbian partner network with new events (like this one) and there's an entirely new online developer program: papers, interviews, and much info related to the developer.
  • There continues to be further momentum moving forward, new member companies continue to jump on board as the momentum continues to grow - see PR Dec 2, 2008.
  • It was all about the network in the past as people bought plan based on the coverage map. Then it was about the device. now its more so all about the experience
  • conditions in the marketplace are currently right for mobile data to out value the web - a fist!
  • recall the experience was once all about the 3Cs -- Now a 4th C in Context which is easier to deliver to the mobile
  • carrier support is now being extended to the consumer by offering a suite of options for the "full experience": Nokia maps and navigation offered on Nokia devices, AT&T branded navigation app AT&T navigator, also have Mapquest navigator offered - one size fits all! (Source: Roger Smith, AT&T)
  • Increasingly attractive to the mobile developer. Looking at revenue projections [from current research] messaging and txt messaging is THE killer application and there's many opportunities that exist to take advantage of this.

    lightning notes from symbian partner event

  • Subscriber driven revenue streams are potentially plentiful; apps and content, messaging, email, transportation, Marketing and advertising ads ad supp content, search, mobile marketing, Commerce and payments revenues - bank, payments, p2p, B2C B2B - health education, social networking.
  • Mobile software fragmentation is a global problem that we are engaged in and solving. The industry needs to look more at the mob software platform as more than just an OS. The US market is currently dominated by proprietary fragmented unproven o under powered software platforms
  • Understanding the US marketplace - Rapid uptake will be driven by: A huge selection of devices made available to the consumer via simple price plans for all devices. Attractive also to the user because of a large selection of innovative applications (think iTunes market w/ 10,000+ apps already) . The challenge facing the US carrier is that they need to retain control of their customer base.
  • Trends exist in specialty vertical devices (Carriers are not spending much effort on this but its vastly untapped and potentially lucrative). Examples include; Fleet, telematics, telemetry, POS, alarm monitoring, meter reading - According to AT&T, there are currently about 250 specialty devices supported by the network
  • We've already seen that there exists a trend is towards the smartphone - there's significant growth in this market
  • From the device maker's perspective, The web has changed the way we live, explore, and share. Combine the web with mobility - what was once useful but now its essential and constant [almost] connectivity is critical, expected by the consumer, and essential to the user
  • S60 currently = 150+ shipped S60 devices with 100 more currently under development. Moving forward, Symbian OS (ala Symbian Foundation) will commence with S60 5 as the standard and starting point.
  • Users expect to be able to easily get answers to the following kinds of questions via their mobile: where am I going, did I get paid yet, when is my flight.
  • Current research in usage of Smartphone (S60) device uses shows that uses use the browser, use the music player most of all, with 60% of active usage time doing non-voice things.- myself, I would have to say that non-voice usage account for 90-95% of my usage
  • We heard much hype and excitement concerning the Web runtime, and environment to create widgets - an application optimized for your mobile - providing access to content relevant to your mobile user but accessible via one or two clicks. Simply put, its all about reusing standard coding tools, and rolling out mobile apps and widgets in very little time.
  • Setting the bar. Sports Tracker from Nokia Research has been tremendously successful (millions of downloads) It's all about the Internet, sharing content, using location data. It's a service that is only possible via a mobile device and people want it.
  • Interesting the Oren Levine asked us to imagine creating a mobile widget for the event that included a map, schedule, venue information, travel info etc.. via. Sounds like a great idea to me - perhaps to get the full effect Nokia should have done this for the event. WHY NOT? Maybe next time.
  • Interesting to note that the E71 was mentioned (See blog comments) and it has received tremendous success and loads of writing (articles, reviews) and awards in North America. What you may not know (I didn't) is that the E71 can be acquired in north America via online purchase (best buy.com) for just $200 with a contract from T-Mobile. I feel most people have no idea of this and until the device is in stores where people can get there hands wet with it, sales will pale in comparison to what they should for such an impressive device - at $200 this is a no-brainer!

    symbian partner event

  • TREND - expect to see/hear more about SMP with Symbian OS - Symmetric multi-processing. SMP is all about having multiple identical CPUs within the same chip. Each CPU sees the same memory contents and has the same memory capacity. The kernel dynamically assigns tasks to the CPU with a single instance of Symbian OS is running. Driving the update of this technology via the device maker is the provision of more computational performance without battery draw - same power capacity. Simply put, SMP enables more/faster processing. SMP means that dual core 600 MHz handsets will be coming down the road. Loads of content being made available from the web (ala web 3.0) will place heavy demand by the consumer on mobiles for more speed delivered only via SMP

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 20 December 2008 )


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