back to article Nokia says no plan to switch phones to Linux

Despite reports to the contrary, Nokia is not embracing Linux as a platform for its mobile phones. The Finnish giant insists that comments reported by Reuters and others were quoted out of context and that nothing has changed. Speculation started when comments from Rick Simonson, Nokia's Financial Director, that the mobile …


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  1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    A stick to beat Symbian with

    My understanding is that Nokia isn't happy with the progress that Symbian is making on implementing what it needs for high-end devices so it's using Linux to encourage them get the work done. Buying Trolltech gives them the excellent QTopia stack and would make usable Linux phones a distinct possibility. Wonder if they'll ever think of merging the two?

  2. breakfast

    They could use doing something

    I don't really care about Nokia's choice of OS either way, but I do wish they would stop making their phones so rubbish. Every time I get a new one it takes twice as much work on my part to do the same basic actions and every part of the phone is needlessly complex. I suppose they imagine they are makng great leaps forward in usability or something, but they're not, they're making great leaps forward in stupid.

    </ vaguely off-topic whinge >

  3. Neil Hoskins


    ...that Symbian is not considered any good for an internet tablet, considering that its predecessor, EPOC r5, was considered good enough for the awesome Psion 7. Frankly, I suspect that the shortcoming is with the piss-poor S60 UI, rather than the underlying OS.

  4. Rob


    symbian is my main problem with nokias, i've had a fair few over the years but they don't really seem to have changed as they still run crappy old symbian, fair enough, im sure there have been some changes to it but using my girlfriends N95 or my old N93, seemed to be exactly the same as the nokia 6600 i had years ago! i dont pay or "upgrade" to have a different shaped plastic case and the same stuff underneath,

    got an iphone now which poos in symbians face, you might not agree, pfft [shrugs]

  5. Conrad Longmore

    I'm not an S60 programmer..

    I'm not an S60 programmer.. but I understand that it can be pretty horrible to write code for. Linux is better, at least for people used to coding for Linux. Maemo (on the Internet Tablet range) does pretty well when it comes to software availability, especially when you consider that it's niche device.

    There has to be SOME point to the Trolltech acquisition and Maemo platform.. at the very least, Nokia are probably hedging their bets. It will do them no harm to set up a skunkworks Linux smartphone project, just as some of their past efforts (and failures) have done them no harm even if they didn't go anywhere. Remember Symbian Series 80 and Series 90? They both looked promising, both vanished, but Nokia just moved on.

  6. Darren B

    Don't just blame Symbian

    Nokia not Symbian are responsible for the user experience. It may be difficult to programme for, but the UI is all Nokia, it it has not refreshed since the 6600 then that is hardly Symbian who are to blame. Don't like S60 then try UIQ or head of to Japan for a FOMA phone.

    Yes I am sure there are short comings that Nokia have to deal with on the OS but this is not why there are X number of clicks to get from the home screen to the settings etc.

    Symbian deliberatly keep out of the consumer eye, it is a shame that some Geeks point to the wrong cause for the majority of problems.

    Fine if Apple and Microsoft want to control the whole package UI and OS then let them, Symbian moved away from that model within a few years of starting up and on the whole it has not done them much harm (if 200million plus phones to date is much to go on).

    If Nokia moved to Linux phones expect another variant of S40/60 it will not really be any different to look at and will still be crap to navigate (depending on your opinion), it will just have a different engine under the bonnet.

  7. Dan Silver badge

    @ Conrad Longmore

    Their Mediamaster set-top boxes? Just a guess, don't know for sure.

  8. Neil Hoskins

    What Darren Said.

    Yes, it's surprising how many otherwise-clued people confuse the OS with the UI. This is probably not the time or place for a resume of why S60 is shite but, what the hell, I'm bored.

    - Access point control. People with laptops are used to setting up authorised access points and connecting to them pretty-much automatically. With S60 you have to either set a single access point or set each app to "always ask". Truphone's excellent and tiny VoIP-assist app includes a little 'priority list' of APs, which includes a dotted line above which APs connect automatically and below which they "always ask". Why can't S60 have something similar? Worst case scenario is streaming via RealPlayer, which takes you down through no fewer than SEVEN menu layers every time you realise you're on a different AP from the last time you used it: tools - settings - applications - RealPlayer - streaming - network - default access point.

    - Anyway, why are RealPlayer streams part of Gallery and not in the music folder?

    - PIM apps. Why, years after Psions, when hardware and memory are so much cheaper than they were, are the PIM apps so crap? They haven't significantly changed since the 3650. Try setting "the third Saturday of every month" in the default calendar and you'll see what I mean.

    - No html support in the messaging app.

    etc, etc...

    I have to admit I have no experience of UIQ but if the Z8 had had WiFi I definitely would have given it a try.

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  10. Rob

    fair enough

    Yeah I take your point,, I just assumed that the GUI is part and parcel with s60,, I've only seen it on various nokias, always looking the same, I certainly would have expected nokia to have put a bit more effort into refining it (or preferably a complete overhaul or a few)

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Maybe, just maybe?

    the trick is not in doing what the technology can/should/would do but balancing that with what the paying consumer can/should/would like?

    It is, or at least seems to be, a zen of a different sort?

  12. Neil Hoskins


    Ummm... SonyEricsson smartphones use UIQ on Symbian as opposed to S60 on Symbian.

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  14. Mitch Kent

    Trying to ease the confusion.

    I once used this analogy and it seemed to have worked then to clarify. It's far from perfect, but meh...

    Symbian: Underlying OS, think linux

    S60, UIQ etc: Front End, think gnome, KDE

    If you had to go through 7 menu items to play a game, would you blame the OS or the GUI?

    UIQ was awesome, way ahead of it's time. There was a huge user community years ago for the advanced devices like the (admittedly oversized) Motorola A920, then A925 and A1000, and the P9xx series as mentioned above. We (The Moto crowd) waited and waited for Motorola to bring out a new edition. Foma got a half-hearted upgrade and then Moto had the RAZR - and they forgot that they made any other phones. Was a terrible shame. Through desperation and love of Symbian I bought an S60 phone, as UIQ was going nowhere. It's ok, better than average, but still nothing in comparison.

    I think SE have since tried to revitalise UIQ with a 3rd edition, but the vast majority of the devout have given up now. What once was a thriving user community is now basically static pages.

  15. James

    the only conclusion... Nokia doesn't think Symbian is suitable for internet tablet devices"

    Or, you can conclude that Nokia doesn't think Linux is suitable for mobile phones.

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