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September 27, 2010

Nokia News Roundup: New Symbian, New Smartphones, New CEO

by Ernest Doku

Nokia has had more than a few major developments in the last couple of weeks, from new hardware to a shuffle in their management deck, join us as we get up to speed about all things Espoo!

All Change

Images To say that Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo had a tough time of late is an understatement.

The shakiness of Symbian as platform of choice for other manufacturers thanks to a certain green robot, the "tremendous disappointment" that was the N97 in terms of both hardware and software, delays to market of the forthcoming N8...those rumours that the Board wanted him replaced just wouldn't go away.

So it came as little surprise that after thirty years at the Finnish manufacturer, OPK finally stepped down, being relieved of duty from September 21st.

Replaced by former Microsoft Business Division president and Adobe global sales boss Stephen Elop, OPK will still continue as Chairman of Nokia Siemens Networks, but will definitely sleep a lot more soundly from now on...

So where did that leave Nokia's head of smartphone strategy and unofficial second in command, Anssi Vanjoki?

According to the Wall Street Journal, he handed his six months notice as soon as he didn't get the top role. True story.

They quoted him as saying "I didn't become the CEO. It is as simple as that." 

On the topic of Nokia, Vanjoki was once again candid in pointing out their problems when speaking to the WSJ, realising that Symbian needs an overhaul to compete with Apple's iOS and the versatile Android platforms, whilst their lack of a grip on the US market was also an issue.

Considering his very vocal admission of the N97's failure to provide a decent user experience and Nokia's slow reaction to both the touchscreen and Android invasions, it comes as little surprise the Finnish manufacturer looked outside itself to find a new leader. 

UK boss Mark Loughran and chairman Jorma Ollila have also moved on from Nokia, meaning that the top floor clear out might see a new change of tack moving forward.

MeeGo still impresses as a next-generation operating system, and we are yet to see it implemented in a device...watch this space.

New Phones

Nokia World 2010 saw the world's journalists descend on London in order to see the latest offerings from the phone manufacturer, and by sheer volume they weren't disappointed.

The Nokia N8 was rolled out once again, proving itself a capable flagship device with its premium styling, as well as markling the debut of the new Symbian^3 platform.

If you already own a Nokia N8, you can get themes for Nokia N8 at Tehkseven.

The new line up covers all bases as far as pricepoints and demographics are concerned, with handsets dealing with different parts of the smartphone spectrum. 

Screen shot 2010-09-27 at 11.32.36

The Nokia E7 is a current-gen revamp of the executive device, filled to the gills with connectivity options and features, yet slick enough to proudly plonk on a boardroom table.

Another handset running on Symbian^3, the E7 is built from aluminium, with a slide-out 4 row QWERTY keyboard and the necessary suite of smartpthone hook-ups, from 3G and Wi-Fi to Microsoft Exchange support and assisted turn-by-turn GPS.

Surprisingly, the E7 is equally as capable on the entertainment front by boasting a 4-inch AMOLED touchscreen, an 8-megapixel camera and 16GB of internal memory to store tons of music and movies.

A great all-rounder, the E7 looks sheduled for an early 2011 release, according to a pre-order reveal from Expansys.

A keyboard-free alternative to the current C6, the Nokia C6-01 has a 3.2-inch AMOLED display, an attractive stainless steel frame and will also be running on the latest Symbian^3 software.

Nokia C6_6

An 8-megapixel camera with dual LED flash and high definition video capture support is certainly more high-end than we bargained for, whilst Wi-Fi, up to 32GB of memory and Bluetooth 3.0 are just the icing on a shiny metallic cake.

Rounding out the selection is the Nokia C7, a slender full touch phone that slots in just above the C6-01 in the smartphone hierarchy, but offers a little more with a 3.5-inch high resolution display, a choice of customisable home-screen and the all-too necessary social network integration. 

Screen shot 2010-09-27 at 11.57.13

Facebook and Twitter updates are piped directly to the homescreen, whilst the easy addition of upcoming events to your calendar and locational awareness of what friends are up to places this feature firmly in the category of 'useful'. 

Topped with with a smattering of fancy Nokia features including a quality 8-megapixel camera, free GPS with Ovi Maps and access to thousands of applications on the Ovi Store, the C7 comes across as a great handset for those social butterflies that need to be kept in the loop, 24/7.

Whilst Nokia World 2010 certainly whet our appetite for new Symbian devices, stopping short of MeeGo-powered goodness left us impressed but altogether more expectant that the best is yet to come...

With Nokia undergoing some pretty big changes at all levels, let's hope so.

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Comments

Asheley Forrester

The look of E7 is so appealing! I am finding it cool. Would love to buy and use this!

Mobile Technology

Mobile technology is the latest field where more and more companies are finding new ways to provide their customers better services at very reasonable price.

Connection Fly

I can't say I'm surprised Nokia is having difficulty. They have been coasting since the introduction of the first series of phones in the US, which made cellular affordable for the masses. They seem to be suffering the consequences of complacency...

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