Posted tagged ‘Vodafone’

Nokia Moves Closer to an Open Source Platform

December 3, 2008

Nokia has taken a critical step toward creating an open-source wireless environment, terming the closing of its deal to Symbian a “fundamental step” in creating the Symbian Foundation. The Symbian Foundation is a cross-industry collaboration that will use Symbian’s open software to rival Google’s Android and the LiMo Foundation’s own Linux operating systems.

From InformationWeek:

At Nokia World on Tuesday, the cell phone manufacturer announced upgrades to its maps and messaging services. Nokia Maps, the company’s mobile mapping and navigation service, has been integrated more with the online Ovi service. It now enables users to preplan trips on a desktop computer and synchronize with their cell phones.

Nokia is adding high-resolution aerial images, 3-D landmarks, and instant access to some traffic information and event guides. Pedestrian navigation also has been improved. The company said the higher map quality is because of its $8.1 billion acquisition of Navteq. “Nokia has clearly increased the usability of Maps, and now with the integration of Ovi services, the functionality of this service can also be seen,” said Michael Halbherr, VP of Nokia’s location-based experiences, in a statement. “Enabling Nokia Maps the ability to synchronize my favorite places between my mobile and PC becomes the main reason for anyone to switch from other personal navigation devices to Nokia Maps.”

With the launch of Nokia Messaging, the company is beefing up the messaging capabilities of its most popular handsets. The service will push e-mail from Web-based providers, like Gmail, Yahoo Mail, AOL Mail, and Windows Live Hotmail, and ISP-based accounts to the majority of Nokia devices. Once the application is installed, the company said, setting up accounts will only require users to enter their e-mail addresses and passwords.

From Beta News:

In announcing today that it’s closed a deal to buy Symbian Ltd, mobile phone maker Nokia called the completion of the acquisition a “fundamental step” in creating the Symbian Foundation, a multi-vendor group that will bolster the Symbian OS to take on Android and the LiMo Foundation’s emerging OS as a mobile open source environment.

Beyond Nokia, the foundation has members that include wireless carriers AT&T, Vodafone, and Japanese-based NTT DoCoMo, in addition to phone and chip makers such as Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, and Texas Instruments.

The group plans to fuse together the three disparate user interface layers of the Symbian OS — UIQ, NTT DoCoMo’s MOAP, and Nokia’s own S60 — into a common framework.

“The platform will offer the means to build a complete mobile device while providing the tools to differentiate devices through tailoring of the user experience, applications and services. This will enable device manufacturers to create unique devices, based on a consistent and common platform, providing fuel and scale for the innovation of others,” according to a Foundation white paper.

The new framework — coupled with the underlying, upgraded Symbian OS — will then be licensed to the open source community under the Eclipse Public License (EPL).

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Storm Brewing for the iPhone?

October 8, 2008

Research in Motion’s BlackBerry Storm smartphone will be hitting the market in the U.S. and Europe next month with exclusive rights belonging to Verizon Wireless and Vodafone. The Storm features a 3.25-inch screen, which is slightly smaller than the iPhone’s; the BlackBerry’s first touch-screen interface; and 3G network support. But, on the negative side, the BlackBerry Storm lacks Wi-Fi access and weighs approximately 16 percent more than the iPhone.

Research in Motion

Credit: Research in Motion

From the Wall Street Journal:

Research in Motion Ltd. is rolling out its first real answer to Apple Inc.’s iPhone, the touch-screen BlackBerry Storm, which will work on broadband networks on both sides of the Atlantic and be exclusive to Verizon Wireless in the U.S. and to Vodafone Group PLC throughout Europe.

BlackBerry will have to distinguish itself amid the wave of other sleek do-everything smart phones coming to market, like Google Inc.’s G1, made by HTC Corp.. The Storm, BlackBerry’s first touch-screen device, aims to make it harder to inadvertently select items while moving images across the screen.

The success of Apple’s iPhone has spawned a series of touch-screen smart-phones from manufacturers around the world over the past year. Consumers will have a multitude of options this holiday season — among them, Samsung Electronics Co.’s Instinct, LG Electronics’ Dare, and the soon-to-be-launched G1 from T-Mobile USA Inc., a unit of Deutsche Telekom AG, and Google.

From InformationWeek:

The much-awaited smartphone sports many of the features of Apple’s handsets, and even outshines it in certain categories. The touch-screen smartphone may give Verizon Wireless a legitimate rival to the iPhone 3G, and it may help stem the loss of subscribers to AT&T. The Storm has 3.25-inch touch screen that has a 360 by 480 resolution. Like the iPhone, the Storm has support for multi-touch interface, but RIM’s device will have haptic feedback for its virtual keyboard, and it will be capable of cut and paste. The keyboard will have RIM’s SureType layout in portrait mode, and it will be a full QWERTY layout in landscape orientation.

From CNET:

Tech journalists and gadget lovers across the globe are rejoicing over the announcement of the BlackBerry Storm, RIM’s first touchscreen cell phone to compete with the iPhone.

Those who can’t wait to get their hands on BlackBerry’s latest call it a marvel and its keyboard functionality, which makes you press down on the screen to register a “touch”, is something worth drooling over.

OK, I guess I can concede that the Storm is really neat and the touchscreen idea is fantastic. But I still don’t see how the BlackBerry Storm will be able to compete on any level with the iPhone 3G.

It’s not that I have a problem with RIM–I think the BlackBerry Curve is a fantastic device–or that I’m not impressed by the Storm. I just don’t see how BlackBerry’s first touchscreen device can compete against the iPhone if the vast majority of “mainstream” users simply don’t know anything about it.

Go ahead and ask the person next to you at the office about the BlackBerry Storm. Chances are, if they aren’t in to technology like you and I, they wouldn’t have the slightest clue about it even though it’s making headlines all over the tech world today.

Then ask those people what they knew about the iPhone the day after it was announced. I’ll bet you’ll find that they knew much more about the iPhone than the BlackBerry Storm.

Do you see what I’m getting at here? No matter how important a new device in the cell phone business may be to the growth of the industry, it will never be able to outshine the iPhone.

From ZDNet:

I just got done reading Matthew Miller’s preview of the BlackBerry Storm, RIM’s first BlackBerry that’s replaced the keyboard with a touchscreen system — one that you must physically depress with your finger to manipulate (resulting in a “satisfying click,” as many reviewers have reported).

My question is simple: is this truly an advancement?

It occurs to me that, while RIM’s responsive touchscreen technology, called ClickThrough, allows it to differentiate itself from the iPhone, it’s not a great advancement in the long run. Well-built as any BlackBerry is, I feel that the screen would eventually give out over frequent, Crackberry-level usage. And when the screen doesn’t press anymore (or worse, when it presses too far), then what?

It strikes me that such physical use of the device is actually backtracking a bit, technologically. Perhaps advancement, to me at least, is removing a “touch” altogether.

RIM’s “push-screen,” as I think it should properly be called, seems to bridge the gap between a true keyboard and a true touchscreen. Which is good for RIM’s keyboard-happy users, but by no means some groundbreaking new technology.

Plus, it also occurs to me that this technology would actually slow down the speedier users among us, because you actually have to take the time to depress the screen when tapping a message out.

But we’ll see when Matt gets his hands on one in a month or so.

Palm Releases its Treo Pro

August 21, 2008

In an effort to compete with Research In Motion, Nokia, and Apple, Palm has unveiled its new, touch-screen smartphone which includes many unique features for the avid mobile professional.

Engadget

Credit: Engadget

From Reuters:

The new Treo Pro will be sold by Vodafone Group Plc and 02 in Europe in September, and by Telstra in Australia, Palm said.

In the United States, Palm does not have an agreement with a carrier to sell the phone, but it said enterprise demand is growing for unlocked phones that can work on any network.

From Network World:

The Palm Treo Pro incorporates a battery of features designed to appeal to IT managers who are opting for Windows Mobile as their mobile platform and who want more control over corporate hand-helds. But the sleek design, bezel-less high-resolution display, and “shortcuts” to streamline the user interface, are all intended to appeal to end users.

The phone faces an uphill battle, competing with the wildly popular Apple 3G iPhone and the BlackBerry Bold.

From the San Jose Mercury News:

Palm had a hit last year with its $100 Centro, aimed at consumers buying their first smart phones. But that low-cost model had lower profit margins. Now, on the heels of competing Blackberry and iPhone products introduced in recent months, Palm is aiming the new high-end Treo at business users.

The new model has a flush screen, full keyboard and features like WiFi and GPS, which the company hopes will appeal to users, said Palm product line manager Parag Gupta. He said the Windows operating system should appeal to corporate buyers and IT managers who will find it compatible with their other computer systems.

Palm’s latest phone differs from the Centro by targeting the enterprise. The Treo Pro will be available in the United States this fall through the Palm online store and select retailers at a suggested retail of $549.