Tizen Rises from the Ashes of MeeGo; Backed by Intel and Samsung

The smartphone landscape has seen a lot of disruption ever since Apple launched the iPhone in 2007. Most of the existing platforms, like Symbian, Blackberry, Windows Mobile etc., have either been killed or have been rendered useless. Google launched Android and went from a zero market share to being the market leader in a couple of years. Microsoft seems to have adapted well and launched Windows Phone 7, the successor of Windows Mobile.

Nokia’s Maemo and Intel’s Moblin, which were hardly seeing any traction, combined to form MeeGo, backed by both the companies. When Nokia embraced Windows Phone 7 in a bid to revive itself, Intel tried to save MeeGo. However, there wasn’t much it could have done to save it from its eventual fate – being dead-pooled.

Today, Intel has merged MeeGo (which was almost in a zombie state) with LiMo, another dying platform, to form Tizen. LiMo will host the project and Intel will support its development along with Samsung. If you’re wondering what the hell Samsung is doing with Tizen, when it has Bada to look after, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Everyone is wondering the same thing.

Reports indicate that Tizen will be launched in Q1 2012, with some devices by Intel and Samsung hitting the market by Q2 2012. I doubt Tizen will be able to attract any developers at all. Who would want to develop apps for such a whimsical platform that could be merged with some other platform after a few months, or even die?

Here’s the official announcement: Welcome to Tizen!

Today we are happy to welcome you to Tizen, a new open source project that is the home of the Tizen software platform, a mobile and device operating system based on Linux and other popular upstream projects. Tizen will support multiple device categories, such as smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, netbooks, and in-vehicle infotainment devices. The Linux Foundation will host the project, where Tizen development will be completely open and led by a technical steering team composed of Intel and Samsung.

The Tizen application programming interfaces are based on HTML5 and other web standards, and we anticipate that the vast majority of Tizen application development will be based on these emerging standards. These APIs will cover various platform capabilities, such as messaging, multimedia, camera, network, and social media. For those who use native code in their applications, the Tizen SDK will include a native development kit. We will open the entire Tizen software stack, from the core OS up through the core applications and polished user interfaces.

We expect the first release of Tizen and its SDK in the first quarter of 2012.

Nokia N9 Now Available; Prices Starting From EUR 480

The much-hyped and the first and possibly the last MeeGo running handset from Nokia, the N9, is now shipping to retail stores in some regions of the world. It was around a couple of weeks ago, that the Finnish giant started taking pre-orders for the N9.


The N9 sports a 3.9-inch AMOLED display, with FWVGA (480×854) resolution. The handset is powered by a dated 1GHz processor from OMAP, along with a PowerVR SGX530 GPU. There is also 1GB of RAM, along with 16-64GB of on-board memory.

While the hardware of the N9 is nothing to talk about, it’s the OS the phone is running on, which is creating all the hype. Early previews and hands-on of the MeeGo OS suggests that the OS is very polished, and should have arrived much earlier. In fact, many people think that Nokia should not abandon MeeGo for WP7.

Nokia also confirmed in a blog post that they will be supporting N9 via software updates, and apps. The company has setup a dedicated programme so that both, quality and quantity, of apps are available for the N9.

The N9 also comes pre-installed with many popular apps including Angry Birds, Wi-Fi hotspot, and integrated support for all the various IMs and services including GTalk, Skype, Picasa and Flickr.

The estimated retail price for the 16GB model is EUR 480, with the top-end 64GB model costing EUR 560, which is quite steep. Hopefully, the price of the N9 will fall to reasonable levels after a month or so of its launch.

How Nokia Could Save Itself and Dominate the Smartphone Market Again – My Thoughts

Nokia is clearly in a very bad position right now. It has screwed up badly in the last couple of years, and is completely behind the curve. Symbian used to be the leader in smartphones, but now it has just been relegated to the sidelines by Android, iOS and surprisingly, even Windows Phone 7.

If there is any other company which is doing as badly as Nokia, it’s Research in Motion. Even they used to lead the U.S. smartphone market, but now their flagship Blackberry devices have been completely trounced by iOS and Android.

Nokia’s CEO, Stephen Elop, couldn’t have been more right when he said that Nokia was on a burning platform. However, I don’t quite agree with what his proposed solution to the problem was: Windows Phone 7.

Nokia effectively ditched Symbian and officially adopted Windows Phone 7 as its primary OS months ago. It will likely launch a couple of Windows Phone 7 devices before the end of 2011.

Even so, with HTC, Samsung and LG already in the game, I doubt that the Windows Phone 7 deal will save Nokia.

Here’s my take on what Nokia should do to avoid almost certain death.

Launch Devices on Multiple Platforms

As the saying goes, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Especially when it’s Microsoft’s.

Nokia may think that Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 may be the dominant smartphone in the future, but no one knows how it might play out. It could turn out that Android may remain the most popular smartphone platform for a long time.

Instead of trying to predict which platform will be the leading one in the future, Nokia should try to do what it does best – hardware.

Nokia’s expertise lies in building quality, inexpensive smartphones which offer excellent value for money. It has some of the best production facilities and distribution network worldwide.

If I were Nokia, I would continue to build Symbian, as well as MeeGo smartphones (it seems to have received some great reviews). Additionally, I would also ship smartphones powered by both Windows Phone 7 and Android.

That way, Nokia’s future wouldn’t remain tied to any particular platform.

Three Devices Per Platform

Nokia currently has over 20 different smartphones powered by the Symbian OS, and even more feature phones powered by S40. Many of them hardly differ at all. If you want to buy an iPhone, you just go ahead an buy an iPhone.

However, if you want to buy a Nokia device, you just end up getting confused and then buy a phone which you are not sure you really like. Too many choices can really suck.

Nokia should develop smartphones powered by these four platforms – Android, Windows Phone 7, Symbian and MeeGo, but only 2 or 3 devices for each platform.


The budget smartphone should be an inexpensive, budget device priced around $200-$300 without contract. It could have a 3.5 inch capacitive LCD display, a 2.0 MP or 3.2 MP camera and 4 GB of storage. But it should have at least 512 MB RAM and a 1 GHz processor.

Mid Range

The mid-range smartphone should be priced at around $400-$500. It should come with a 4 inch capacitive S-LCD display, a 5 MP camera and 8-16 GB of internal memory. This device should come with a 1.4 GHz single core processor, or a 1 GHz dual core processor, with 1 GB RAM.


This would be the best smartphone on the planet. It should be priced at around $600-$700, and come with a 4.3 inch SuperAMOLED display. It should have an 8.1 MP or 12 MP camera, and be powered by the best hardware available – 1-2 GB of RAM, coupled with a something like the Nvidia Kal-El chip – a quad core processor. This should offer 32 GB or 64 GB of internal storage.

With these three devices on each platform, Nokia should be in a position to dominate the smartphone market.

The Killer Stroke

Nokia should use only the stock version of Android, so that it can push out updates faster than the other manufacturers. It seems that Nokia plans to customize Windows Phone 7; it should scrap those plans.

And finally, here’s the killer stroke:

Nokia should produce only three devices, based on the specifications I outlined above, for all the four platforms.

It should allow users to buy a device, and then allow them to choose whichever OS they want to install on it. All the three devices are powerful enough to run any of the 4 operating systems easily.

This way, anyone looking to buy a smartphone can buy a Nokia device without having to choose between platforms – he can just install whichever OS he wants. Nokia could also provide a dual booting option if it wanted.

This will have another advantage: Nokia will have to produce only three devices. This will alllow it to produce them at a much lower cost, with many components used in all of them. It could potentially be able to price them lower than any of its competitors.

Additionally, Nokia should refresh its new product line only once an year, like Apple. This way, when a consumer buys a Nokia phone, he will be assured that his phone won’t become outdated in a month.

With this product strategy, I believe Nokia could regain the top position in the smartphone market. If anyone would want to buy a phone, he would just have to choose between the Nokia phone, or the iPhone. With 4 OS options on the former, I bet most would choose the Nokia phone.

I haven’t really thought this through, but I think this would be the best strategy for Nokia. What do you think? Comments, please.

Samsung N100, First MeeGo Netbook Launched in India at Rs 12,290

Samsung N100Today, Samsung announced the launch of the first MeeGo netbook in India – the Samsung N100, via a press release.

The Samsung N100’s design is based on the very popular Samsung N150P, a Windows 7 netbook launched last year which sold more than 3 million units.

The Samsung N100 weighs just 1.03 kg, and comes with a 10.1 inch matte LED display with a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels. It is powered by Intel’s MeeGo OS, but also comes with options for free DOS and Windows 7.

It is powered by the Intel Atom N435 processor which is clocked at 1.33 GHz. It comes with 1 GB DDR3 RAM and a 250 GB hard disk. The graphics are handled by the Intel GMA 3150 chipset.

It is priced at Rs 12,290. While I highly doubt the prospects of MeeGo in the Indian market, the N100 offers a solid piece of hardware at a low price. It’s definitely worth considering if you are in the market for a cheap netbook.

Eldar Murtazin Confirms MeeGo Will Be Back in 2012, in a Different Form Though

After the release of Nokia N9, people are extremely apprehensive about the future of MeeGo and especially that of the  Nokia N9 device. Nokia N9 has succeeded in generating quite a buzz but there has been fair criticism about its use of MeeGo, which seems dead on arrival. MeeGo is an open source project and Nokia was in favor of its development for quite some time.

Now that Nokia is talking more about Windows Phone 7, it seems like it is going to drop MeeGo completely. The fact responsible for this perception might have been Nokia’s involvement with the Windows Phone 7 and a recent statement  from Stephen Elop on the future of MeeGo. However, some recent Meego inside news throws more light on this affair.


Meego unterface will be reused in s40 next generation touchscreen devices (mid2012). So, yes we could say that Nokia Meego will be alive :)less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

Now, Eldar Murtazin has confirmed that Nokia is bringing back MeeGo in 2012. From what we have seen of the UI, MeeGo is stunning and is full of potential. It will compete directly with Android (because Apple fanboys are too involved to look elsewhere). If  Eldar is correct this time as well (he usually is), this will be great inspiration for developers working on the MeeGo platform.  However, there have been talks of Nokia loosing MeeGo developers and it is not clear whether there have been changes in that decision. As it seems from Eldar’s tweet, the MeeGo UI will be ported to Symbian S40, and it will live only in this manner. This goes hand in hand with the decision of bringing S40 devices with 1 GHz CPUs and apparently, does not really help MeeGo developers in any way.

How the matter will unfold still remains to be seen.  This long rant is a must read if you are interested to know what went wrong with Stephan Elop, Nokia and this whole MeeGo affair.

Nokia Unveils The MeeGo Powered Nokia N9

Nokia recently announced the much-awaited Nokia N9 smartphone at the Nokia Connection in Singapore. This handset runs on the MeeGo Operating System and it comes with a 3.9 inch curved glass AMOLED display, 8 megapixel auto focus camera with Carl Zeiss optics, NFC, Dolby Digital Plus support and much more.

The Nokia N9 is the world’s first pure touch screen phone without any front-facing buttons at all. The body of the Nokia N9 is made from the best in polycarbonate material engineering today. You will just need to swipe from the edge of the screen to go back home, whenever you are in an application.

nokia n9

Nokia N9 features a 3.9 inch AMOLED display with curved glass, 16M colors, 854 x 480 pixels screen resolution, MeeGo Operating System, WLAN 802.11 a/b/g/n, 8 megapixel auto focus camera with Carl Zeiss optics, dual-LED flash and wide-angle lens, MP3 player, 3.5 mm audio jack, 16 GB/64 GB internal memory, 1 GB RAM, A-GPS, Compass, micro USB, Bluetooth 2.1, NFC (Near Field Communication) and much more.

Nokia N9 allows you to share your photos via MMS, Email, NFC and many online services including Flickr and Facebook. The Nokia N9 will be available in three vibrant colors – Black, Cyan and Magenta. The price and release date of this handset have not been announced yet.

Nokia N9 Leaked Press Shots Emerge

Nokia will launch its 11th Nokia Connection event in Singapore tomorrow. The company is expected to unveil its much-awaited smartphone, the Nokia N9 at the Nokia Connection. The Nokia N9 is the successor of the highly popular Nokia N900 smartphone. This handset runs on the Meego Operating System.

The guys at PocketNow, recently shared a few leaked press shots of the much-awaited Nokia N9 smartphone. Check out the leaked press shots below.

nokia n9 leaked press shots

nokia n9 leaked press shots

The design of the Nokia N9 is slightly thinner as compared to the Nokia N8 and it does not have any physical buttons on the front. This handset is expected to comes with a 4 inch display and a 12 megapixel camera. Nokia N9 will be available in 3 vibrant colors – Pink, Blue and Dark Grey. This handset will be unveiled tomorrow and it will be showcased at the CommunicAsia 2011 and Nokia Connection in Singapore. Stay tuned for more updates.

Asus Unveils The First MeeGo Powered Netbook – X101

Asus has just unveiled a new Eee PC netbook at the Computex the X101. The X101 is the first ever netbook to ship with MeeGo as its default operating system.

The netbook is powered by an Intel Atom N435 processor clocked at 1.33GHz. The X101 is insanely thin at only 17.6mm and weighs only 950g. It will pack a 10.1-inch display with a resolution of 1024×600.


ASUS evolves the Eee PC further with new models that take netbooks to ever-greater heights. The new Eee PC X101 has been designed from the start to be the perfect ultraportable for modern mobile users, with its Intel ® MeeGo operating system incorporating full support for a wide range of social networking services.

The X101 will also pack in 2 USB ports, a microSD card slot, Wi-Fi b/g/n, and Bluetooth. Asus will provide users with an option to replace the traditional hard disk with an SSD. The netbook is powered by a 2600mAh battery.

Asus will ship the X101 netbook in two variants one with Windows 7 as its default one, and the other one with MeeGo OS. The MeeGo model of the X101 is expected to cost around $200 only!

Sadly, Asus did not mention anything about the release date of the X101 netbook.

Intel Launching More than 10 New Tablets at Computex 2011

With the explosion of the many new tablet platforms in the past year, there has been one clear winner – Apple. Even Google is expected to have a winner on its hands with Android 3.0 Honeycomb. RIM and HP are trying to get some piece of the tablet market as well, with the Playbook and webOS tablets.

If there has been a clear loser since the whole tablet revolution, it has been Intel. Well, Microsoft hasn’t done very well either, but with Windows 8, it plans to enter the tablet market in full force. Whether or not it will be too late to the party is something I would like to discuss in another post.

Coming back to Intel, it has been clearly hit hard by the recent smartphone and tablet disruption. Almost all smartphones and tablets use processors designed by ARM. While Intel has a monopoly in the X86 PC processor market, it doesn’t have any significant marketshare in the tablet arena.

With the world shifting to tablets and smartphones, and PC sales declining rapidly, Intel is trying very hard to gain a foothold in the tablet segment. According to a report by WSJ, It will be showcasing more than 10 new tablets at Computex 2011, which starts May 31.

More than 35 of Intel’s chip-based tablet models are on track to be shipped through the year, according to Intel’s general manager for Asia-Pacific, Navin Shenoy. Its new tablets will be powered by the Oak Trail platform which offers better power management, coupled with faster performance. It willl likely launch Android, MeeGo and Windows based tablets.

Nokia N9 Advertisement Leaks!

The folks over at Pocket Now have managed to get their hands on the advertisement of the upcoming MeeGo-powered device from Nokia the N9.

The leaked advertisement managed to provide some information about Nokia’s first MeeGo powered handset. The N9 will sport the same form-factor as the current business communicator from Nokia the E7, a slide-out four-row QWERTY keyboard. Like the N8 and the E7, the N9 will also be made of aluminum.

The video also suggests that the screen size will be around 4-inch, and it’s going to be a CBD (Clear-Black Display).

Below is the leaked advertisement :

The advertisement also shows off a front facing camera, and the back camera with an unknown MP with optics from Carl Zeiss, and dual-LED flash. The video also gives us a sneak-peek into MeeGo’s UI. The icons of the MeeGo UI look similar to the one which will be used in Symbian Anna.

Right now, that’s all the information which I could gather from the leaked advertisement. Hopefully, Nokia will release some more information about the N9 in the coming days.