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Cellphones Linux

Nokia Preps Linux OS For Low-End Smartphones 199

Posted by Soulskill
from the eggs-in-different-baskets dept.
itwbennett writes "Nokia is going after the low-end smartphone market with a Linux-based OS code-named 'Meltemi.' The phones are expected to cost under $100 without subsidies. A Nokia spokesman's no-comment comment went like this: 'Of course, we don't comment on future products or technologies. However, I can say that our Mobile Phones team has a number of exciting projects in the works that will help connect the next billion consumers to the Internet.'"
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Nokia Preps Linux OS For Low-End Smartphones

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  • by tech4 (2467692) on Saturday October 01, 2011 @01:52PM (#37578224)
    This means the three friends Linux-Nokia-Microsoft will be in bed together. It's not surprising considering Nokia already developed Qt and they were developing MeeGo which is based on Linux. Their Nokia N9 [nokia.com] phone is quite awesome, actually.

    Now what's great about this is the fact that with Nokia's history they have proven to put out quality hardware. They can also really use this to fight against both iPhone and what's worrisome for some, Android. Android has lots of fragmentation and patent related problems. Just yesterday it was revealed that Microsoft alone gets $400 million a day from Android.
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Saturday October 01, 2011 @02:24PM (#37578446) Journal
    What I don't understand about this plan(assuming it isn't mere rumor) is that the linux-based OS is supposed to be for cheap, low-spec phones that their new MS/Nokia BFF WP7 deal doesn't provide them with an OS suitable for...

    Their MeeGo/QT work, now orphaned, was largely aimed at higher end smartphones, the same ones that are now going to be WP7 devices. None of the linux-with-custom-stuff-on-top phone OSes(MeeGo, Android, WebOS) work particularly well on sub-smartphone hardware. They are powerful, have some nice features, and don't suffer from some of the horrid, idiosyncratic development environments of the old dumbphone and featurephone OSes; but they don't actually scale down very far before you are looking at some seriously dire performance, RAM so limited that multitasking is largely a theoretical benefit, and a screen so lousy that your decent browser is nearly useless for anything that isn't a deeply spartan 'mobile' website that a 1997 WAP phone could have rendered....

    That's what I don't understand: Linux-based systems definitely have their points on more powerful hardware, and Nokia has access to one of their own(in addition to doing an adroid hostile-fork, as Amazon did); but they aren't so hot on weaker hardware(Exercise: grab a copy of the debian m68k port and replicate the features of, say, a Palm III, in 2MB of ROM, 2MB of RAM, and a 16MHz processor....). Nokia also has a number of eccentric and crufty; but eminently suited to very-low-spec phones OSes available. Why would they possibly be spinning Yet Another Linux WIth Something Weird On Top Of It OS?
  • by Flambergius (55153) on Saturday October 01, 2011 @03:22PM (#37578814)

    It's probably more than just a rumour, at least that's the impression I got from the Finnish media, which tends to be fairly well informed. Meaning that the OS exist and there are products planned, but of course no guarantees that a product will ship.

    As to how the Meltemi-stuff make any sense:

    At the level that Nokia makes decisions, the smartphone segment of mobile business isn't about hardware anymore, it's applications and services, or probably more to the point, it's about attracting developers. Nokia ditched their own OSes because they knew that by themselves they could not attract enough developers to build a fourth "ecosystem" (iOS, Android and WP being the there current ones). Nokia said that they chose between Android and WP, and, while we can speculate why they chose WP, one of the stated reasons was the fully-fledged and mature tool-chain that WP has.

    Meltemi itself may be about many things: hedging their bets, getting something out of the Linux experience they have, or maybe they just feel that the segment suits a Linux-based OS. The next generation of sub-$100 phones will be much more powerful then previous ones and it would be misleading to think them as having very low specs, but it will still be a distinct segment, separate from the smartphone segment, especially it will not be driven by third-party applications and services. That means that Nokia can still, by themselves, make a competitive phone to that segemnt without having to build an ecosystem.

    In summary, Nokia ditched Linux (MeeGo) on smartphones because they had to, and they are using Linux (Meltemi) on feature phones because they can.

  • by hankwang (413283) * on Saturday October 01, 2011 @04:01PM (#37579022) Homepage

    Just having top and powertop on my N900 allows me to identify battery-draining apps in minutes, unlike my friend with Android

    The Android Market has a Terminal Emulator app which will give you a command prompt that will let you run (a bare-bones version of) top, which is already part of the Android OS. Or you get PowerTutor from the Market for a more fancy graphical user interface. Or you go to Settings/About Phone/Battery/Battery Use.

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