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Nokia And Apple Collaborate On Open Source Browser 177

Michael writes "Nokia's ambitious bid to make the mobile phone as important a client device for business and leisure as the notebook PC took another important turn last week with news that it has created a browser in collaboration with Apple, which will be managed under the open source process. This starts to address awkward web browsing, a key weakness of the phone's bid to be the 'new notebook', and it raises interesting questions about how much further Nokia and Apple could go in cooperating on the anti- Microsoft ecosystem, and how far Nokia is committing its future to Linux."
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Nokia And Apple Collaborate On Open Source Browser

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  • How about... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by KC7GR ( 473279 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @03:26PM (#12875085) Homepage Journal
    Just for once, I'd like to see a phone manufacturer make a product that's really good at one thing, and one thing only: Being a PHONE!

    Keep the peace(es).

    • Re:How about... (Score:5, Informative)

      by ShadeEagle ( 153172 ) * <tehshingen @ g m a i l . com> on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @03:28PM (#12875102) Journal
      Problem is, things like "market research" gets in the way of things like that.

      "People" want a phone that checks their e-mail, checks their websites, checks their blood pressure and checks their oil, all at a touch of a button.

      Oh, and full polyphonic and mp3 ringtones.
      • Re:How about... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by ZephyrXero ( 750822 ) <> on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @03:36PM (#12875187) Homepage Journal
        The problem is however that we want such a device that does all these things well, and so far...all these devices that try to do everything just do a mediocre job at most of these tasks. I'd love a PDA/Cell Phone/Ogg & Mp3 player/Game System/camera/etc....but I doubt I'll ever see one that does them all very well on the same machine :/
        • Re:How about... (Score:3, Interesting)

          by dchamp ( 89216 )
          I've been using a Treo 600 for about a month now, I like it a lot. It does a fair job at everything you mention, except the camera on the Treo 600 isn't very good (640x480).

          I had a Handspring Visor & Visorphone, but only used it for a couple months before switching back to my Nokia phone, because it was too big, and the sound quality sucked. I pretty much quit using the Visor all together after that.

          The Treo 600 (or 650) is a pretty good device. When you throw in the huge catalog of PalmOS software it
      • Market research would correctly assess that I would like the possibility of an mp3 ringtone, but they seem to also think that I would A) want to buy the ringtone from them and B) want it to be blasted so heavily distorted from the tiny speaker that although it can be heard in neighboring states, no one can tell what it actually is playing.
        • Amen to that. Anybody know of any phones for T-Mobile / Cingular that you can force your own mp3 ringtones on?
          • Re:How about... (Score:3, Informative)

            by CyberDave ( 79582 )
            My Motorola V400 and V551 (Cingular) support this.

            Using Bluetooth on my V551, I can even upload ringtones and wallpaper directly from Windows XP and Mac OS X, without having to use the USB cable and Motorola Mobile Phone Tools software like I did with my V400. It doesn't get much simpler than that.

            Just be sure to use a low bit rate and mono sound for best results (the speaker isn't exactly hi-fi, so 48 Kbps/mono sound works great without taking up a lot of space for me, leaving more room for more ringtone
          • The Nokia 3300 can use just about any mp3 as a ringtone. My current one is the sound of a telephone ringing.
            Otherwise, the 3300 is pretty nifty, if unusual. It's shaped like the N-Gage, but doesn't require side-talking, and has a servicable calendar and browsing functions. Great for text massaging of all stripes, too.
        • On B) I think they're just going for the largest market. Take a random sample of cars with upgraded sound systems - actually, better, have it weighted towards the demographics of people who are buying phones - and see how many are going for a higher quality setup compared to those making it as loud as possible.
      • Re:How about... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Alef ( 605149 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @03:42PM (#12875254)
        What I would like to have is a modularized system, where the phone/PDA/MP3-player etc is replaced by several independent units that connect using for instance bluetooth.

        It could be, for example, an uplink-unit, screen, earpiece and memory-unit. When the technology used to communicate changes, I'll just replace my uplink-unit and so on.

        But needless to say, this will never happen, since all those gadget manufacturers (Nokia, Apple or whatever) benefit from me having to buy a new phone+screen+camera+memory+earpiece+mp3-decoder every time I like/have to upgrade one of these technologies.

        • Re:How about... (Score:3, Interesting)

          by mrchaotica ( 681592 )
          Ah ha! So I'm not the only one who wants that!

          The way I see it, it should be divided into the following modules: storage (hard drive/flash), tranceiver (cellular/wifi), CPU, input, and display. It could use either a Twiddler and head-mounted display, or a touchscreen slate (like a Star Trek PADD, or unusually large-but-thin PDA) interchangably. It would connect with wires instead of Bluetooth (except for the PADD), though, because everything should use the same battery anyway. It would turn out somethin
          • "backpack" (nylon/cloth).

            You will be needing it to carry your umpteen devices.

            I'll stick with my GX32 that does all that and fits in my palm, thanks.

            • First of all, that phone doesn't even come close to doing what I would want. This device would be designed to completely replace your desktop, pda, and cellphone, and have new unique functions (context awareness, augmented reality, etc.) also. Second, the idea is that you'd have a vest or something designed to hold it, so that it would be comfortable to wear and non-obvious (except, optionally, for the head-mounted display).

              In other words, it wouldn't be like a cellphone or PDA, it would be closer to the
        • by bluGill ( 862 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @05:14PM (#12876065)

          I don't want to carry all that every day. I just want it all with me.

          Sometimes I want to take a picture, but most days I don't, so I never have a camera nearby. It would be nice if my phone had a useful camera. (It doesn't. I'd be happy with a single focus lens like the old 110 I had as a kid, but the resolution is too poor to take useful snapshots)

          I don't want a separate game machine, I just want something I can waste 5 minutes on when I'm unexpectedly told to wait.

          I don't want a separate PDA, I just want something that will remind me of my appointments, and allows me to easily enter more. (My current phone does the former, but not the latter)

          I don't want an ebook, I just want a few (changeable) books around that I can read when I have a few minutes to kill. (see games above)

          I never remember everything, and my pockets don't have room for it all either. Find a convergence that works I'd I'll use it. Sadly the implementation of convergence as it exists today is lacking. However it isn't the fault of convergence, it is the implementers' fault. I wish Apple would get into the cell phone market, and show everyone how to do it.

        • I use a Nokia camera phone as a phone and a bluetooth wireless internet uplink. I use a handheld Sony Vaio u750 as my screen and memory. I have a jabra bluetooth earpiece/microphone that works both with the phone and the handheld. Its all covered, and fits in my pocket.
      • I'm not ashamed, I'm one of those people... It's not my fault that I'm bored and out of the house. Or that I'm lost in a bad neighbourhood and need directions. My phone's internet capability changes those situations dramatically, and so far, every phone I've had is pretty damn good at being a phone.
    • Yeah, multi-gadgets are terrible - they do neither function well. That said, whether a gadget uses Windows (incredibly excessive for a phone) or just firmware (sensible scale), we geeks are always going to try to put Linux on it. Think Linux iPod, Linux Nintendo DS, Linux coffee machines...
    • You seem to be in the minority.

      If they made money selling a phone-only, they would make it.

      Meanwhile, here you go. []

    • Buy a Nokia 3310. It's cheap, you can take and receive calls with it, it has a phone book. And a vibrating alert. Or is there something else that you'd want a phone to do?
      • Agreed, there are simple phones out there if you bother to look.

        Personally I want a phone with a decent mp3 player so I don't have to carry two devices around with me.
    • Fine, go get a Nokia 1100 or similar. I'll stick with my 6670, someone else can go for something in the 9xxx range if that suits them.

      Or didn't you realise Nokia makes more than one type of phone?
    • Just for once, I'd like to see a phone manufacturer make a product that's really good at one thing, and one thing only: Being a PHONE!

      But that would prevent Apple's entry into the cell phone market. Portable music players will only get smaller. This means that they need to find another ubiquitous device into which they can incorporate them.
    • There are plenty of good phones for just talking. And in Europe (and elsewhere outside the US) there are plenty of good networks that let those good phones work. The US telcos are so lazy, so well protected from competition on basic call quality, that they haven't made their networks adequate - instead, they sink money into making bad connections seem cute, like the "Can you hear me now?" campaign.

      None of that has anything to do with smartphones. Smartphone development doesn't interfere with continuing to

    • Yeah! And while your at it, what's up with the television? Either show pictures or play sounds.... Pick on and do it right! Oh, and why does my car come with a stereo for that matter? If I wanted to listen to music I'd sit in my phonograph room and crank my own table like everyone else. Don't get me started on the amount of things your average "computer" can do these days.
    • I have a Nokia 3310 [].

      I've had it for about 5 years. It's basically just a phone. It works great.

    • I don't want your crippled phone. No offense, but I figure you to be an old fogey.

      Most of my friends use their cell phones as much for text as for voice. We're part of that generation of thumb-dominant mobile users. We like being able to getting instant messenger anywhere. We're flocking to plans like sprint's that give unlimited text and web for a flat rate. We want more at our finger tips, not less.

      We'd prefer not to dial information, we'd rather google it. Oh, and we want maps with directions, on the p
    • And while you're at it, just for kicks, put a rotary dial on that thing. Seriously, I'd buy it.
    • we had that thing 10 years ago(a phone that was just a good phone). didn't you? the mobile service has been 'perfect' around here for 10+ years as far as regular phoning goes(enough to replace landlines with a smile).

      you think a mobile phone company would survive by just making a phone that didn't do anything else than be a phone? would _you_ buy a phone that was just a pretty good phone when the competitor would be selling a phone that was equally as good phone AND had feature X for about the same price?(
  • Oh for the love of (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FireballX301 ( 766274 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @03:27PM (#12875093) Journal
    THIS [] should be perfect for mobile web browsing.

    Most definitely works for me, at least.
    • Is Opera open sourced? Is it free? okay then...
      Speaking of which, whatever happened to that 2 million dollar investment Nokia made in Minimo []?
    • I was going to say the same thing. Opera's not OSS, but it's worked hard to become the leader in this market. Is this just a case of NIH syndrome? Apple and Nokia will spend more on developing something on their own.

    • THIS should be perfect for mobile web browsing.

      Well, it's not. Nothing is perfect, you know.

      Nokia has been distributing Opera for a long time in their phones, you bet they know about it, and you bet they have a reasons to do so if they're planning to move away from it. Either they're unhappy about the price, or the quality, or both.

      Besides, competition is ALWAYS good, no matter how good Opera is, it can become better, if it's the only player there is no incentive to do so, but if there's a good alterna
  • by nightcrawler.36 ( 892551 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @03:29PM (#12875105)
    Like it or not, Apple is a stylsitic trend-setter. Nokia has the market share for the affluent techno-yuppies, which is where Apple's been. Sounds like a natural relationship.
  • by brainnolo ( 688900 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @03:29PM (#12875110) Homepage
    Is it the same browser of few days ago or they are starting a brand new one?

    Slashdot. Dupe for Nerds.
  • by sammyo ( 166904 )
    Isn't the real issue the current bloatedness of web pages such as this for example? Most current phones could probably handle an RSS feed pretty well, sans graphics. It just seems silly to try to build a web-phone until bandwidth, latency and window size issues have been resolved.

    An RSS enabled phone would be cool though.

    Actually just a basic phone number sync would be a pleasant surprise.

  • Thought I was "replying" to an article on MS Xbox...

  • by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @03:37PM (#12875203)
    If Apple and Nokia are going to put together something that fills a niche, and does it well/better than anything else out there, why must that be considered part of some "anti-Microsoft ecosystem?" How about it's just "better," and people will use it or not?

    This morning, I found a new, better way to butter my toast. It's so revolutionary that it may be part of the anti-margerine ecosystem.
    • If Apple and Nokia are going to put together something that fills a niche, and does it well/better than anything else out there, why must that be considered part of some "anti-Microsoft ecosystem?" How about it's just "better," and people will use it or not?

      I wish i had mod points cause i'd mod you up. How is OSS anti-microsoft? It's just a different way of building software that microsoft currenly isn't involved much in. Also, how exactly does an OSS browser tie Nokia to Linux?
    • When it came time to upgrade my phone, the Nokia's looked tempting, they just weren't "smart enough." I also wanted a QWERTY keyboard, and none of theirs supporting them seemed to work with iSync. So I have a Treo650... I love the features, but would be happy to migrate to a more phone-oriented phone in two years, and Nokia seems to be getting there.

      Support for Blazer (Palm's Web Browser) is pretty spotty, but I would expect Nokia to do a better job there.
    • This morning, I found a new, better way to butter my toast. It's so revolutionary that it may be part of the anti-margerine ecosystem.

      No, the anti-margarine ecosystem was the dairy council funding research against margarine's supposed health benefits that led to the discovery of trans-fatty acids, which shows that margarine is actually WORSE for you than butter.

      Your toast buttering discovery is actually part of the anti-bagel ecosystem and quite possible the anti-butterknife ecosystem depending on yo

    • When I buy any technology product, the most important question I ask is, "How will my buying this hurt Microsoft?"

      I also wonder how to maximize my buying power in a way so as to hurt Microsoft as much as I possibly can.

  • []

    These are corporations, not blood enemies. Tech holy wars like Apple/MS, Sun/MS and Intel/Apple are so last-century.

  • How committed they are to Linux? They will use Linux if it benefits them. They won't otherwise.

    If they start using OSX instead of Linux, would it really matter? Should users care about what OS they are using?
    • Shouldn't everyone think that way?

      Even a hobbyist developer hacking on the kernel is doing it for a benefit, even if that benefit is just the enjoyment of a good challenge, or for the sense of accomplishment of making something useful.

      A lot of people run servers on linux because it gets the job done, it's free, and they need a server. They're benefitting too.

      If Linux has become the end all to you, then you've turned into a zealot, and as such, your thoughts on Linux or any other operating system are most
    • how committed? they use it on an internet web-pad thing they've announced and that's it publicly for any linux use for nokia.

      on smartphones they seem pretty committed to symbian right now(high stakes in it -- AND THIS COLLABORATION WITH APPLE IS SUPPOSED TO MAKE A NEW BROWSER FOR __SYMBIAN__). they do not use linux practically anywhere publicly so i don't quite get how they would be changing from linux to osx in any way..

      oh well, they got j2me dev tools for linux, too. but zilcho support for osx for any d
  • by smittyoneeach ( 243267 ) * on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @03:46PM (#12875293) Homepage Journal
    TFA Headline:
    Nokia shifting to Linux as it joins with Apple to challenge Windows 2
    I recall 'Doze 3.0, back in the days of the square wheel, and I'm pretty sure that there wasn't much web browsing going on then.
    If MS has tricked Nokia and Apple into somehow competing against Windows 2, I'm calling that the IT Judo Throw of the Year.
  • by Boss, Pointy Haired ( 537010 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @03:48PM (#12875307)
    For a long time, Nokia's slogan to accompany their mobile office features of advanced phones was:

    "Now you can get to work before you get to work."

    Bollocks to that.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Why don't they make something useful for mobile phones like an open source gopher client?
  • by spectrokid ( 660550 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @03:54PM (#12875363) Homepage
    Please make an iPhone, please! I promess I will be a good boy, swear to god! Serious, do you have any idea what a phone would be with an ipod wheel on it? Scrolling through those contacts?
  • by njfuzzy ( 734116 ) <ian&ian-x,com> on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @04:00PM (#12875425) Homepage
    When I saw this horribly outdated dupe article, I knew it had to be from either "Zonk" or "samzenpus". It feels so nice to be right.
  • by rduke15 ( 721841 ) <rduke15@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @04:04PM (#12875465)
    This sounds like very bad news for Opera []. As I understand it, Opera's business was mainly to sell a browser to manufacturers of Internet enabled devices, of which the most important one seems phones, of which the most important manufacturer is probably Nokia.

    Sure, they also sell the browser to regular users (and I have happily paid for it 2 or 3 times), and they also have an advertisement-supported version, but I guess the main revenue was expected to come from companies like Nokia.

    Even though I now mostly use Firefox, I would be very sad if Opera eventually disappeared.
    • Nokia, of course, is an important player in the phone market but Sony Ericsson and Motorolla are catching up on them quickly. I'd advise ignoring any phone with Windows on it. Carriers are all about how they can lock you into THEIR service/platform and that does not make for good synergy with MS.
    • This isn't necessarily bad news for Opera. It might not affect them at all. Remember, Nokia first started supporting Mozilla, then they started working on their own browser, and now they are working on yet another browser. In addition to these, they use browsers from companies like the Japanese giant Access.

      Nokia is just making sure there's lots to choose from.

      However, no one has come close to Opera yet. You can't just throw a bunch of programmers on a project and expect them to catch up with ten years

    • I would have no problem whatsoever if Opera eventually disappeared, but don't worry. Opera has all kinds of things going on. For example, Adobe is using the Opera rendering engine for its HTML preview in GoLive CS2 [] (which means that the WYSIWYG aspect of it really IS WYG). This, and other strategic deals, will help them in the long run.
  • this is a brilliant little phone, although it does have a couple of extra features like a (suprisingly useful and bright) flashlight, it does have a great battery life and good signal and sound quality:,,76207,00.html []
  • It is interesting to me how there are so many Cellular Phone Providers. I mean, what are the real differences in Verizon, Att/Cingular, T-mobile, etc? OKay so Nextel has "push to talk" and Sprint is on CDMA not the GSM network but beyond those technological differences, The others just seem to be different rate plans to me. They even have 80% the same phones.

    So I am glad Nokia and Apple are partnering because to me, there isn't a lot different between Nokia, Ericsson, Sony-Ericsson, Motorola, Sanyo, LG, an
  • by Anonymous Coward
    > Longer term, the browser development shows an increasing tendency for Nokia to include Linux technologies in its thinking...


    > ...the open source version of Safari is part of the KDE user interface environment for Linux, which could conceivably be melded with elements of Series 60 to create a mobilized version.

    Not true, unfortunately.

    Apple took KHTML, and restructured the code into layers, in order to remove the Qt-interface code, and replace it an OS/X Aqua interface layer.

    Nokia then
    • Licensing of QT is not an issue if your company is any good at all. Standard procedure when doing these negotiations is to get a little clause "If you go out of business we get full rights". (Obviously written by a lawyer so it is more complex, but that is the idea)

      QT doesn't even have a per-product shipped clause like most things, so it is less restrictive that most licenses.

      Cost might be an issue, but you need to consider the cost of dealing with the alternatives if you consider it. GTK is free,

  • by tedhiltonhead ( 654502 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @04:25PM (#12875630)
    People in these threads always complain about wanting "just a phone that works, please". I challenge anyone to prove that phones' modern bells and whistles detract in any way from their
    ability to provide phone service.

    Your phone's inclusion of Tetris, a camera, and polyphonic ringtones is NOT a trade-off against reception, battery life, or purchase price. I promise your $30 basic phone would not be any cheaper if it were "just a phone". Your reception and battery life, likewise, would not increase if it were "just a phone".

    In short, if you don't want the features, IGNORE THEM. It's really easy.

    Are you also going to complain about your Ford Escort's included radio?

    There's always the one-button "911 only" phones, which operate without a service plan at all, if you really don't want *any* features. :)
    • Having a backlit color screen absolutely cuts into battery life. Yes, battery technology has evolved to counter this, but newer batteries could power simpler phones for much longer.

      The buttons and menu options for all these features clutter the interface, and make for more scrolling when trying to perform essential functions.

      I personally paid US$150 to get an older model phone (V60i) as opposed to the color-screened cameraphones they were giving away for US$9.99. As a bonus, my phone is slightly smaller a
      • And on a side note cameraphones seem to be much less durable than older phones. Newer phones feel so much lighter and more plasticky than older ones.

        Check out the LG VX7000 []. It has all those whiz-bang features like photos, video, games, mobile web, MP3 ringers, but it definitely has a solid feel to it, and pretty good battery life as well.
    • I'll bite:

      It gets in the way in the same way that feature-bloat makes Word a bad plain-text editor. If you want to type something quickly, you do it in TextEdit/Notepad. If you want to write a fully-illustrated thesis, you use Word/Pages/OpenOffice.

      My phone is painfully slow because they had to add all kinds of whizzy graphic features for tweens. It takes seconds to scroll down through each entry. I had a phone five years ago that was snappy and instantaneous, and it was free (versus the $100 I paid for t
  • "...This starts to address awkward web browsing..."

    I RTFA, and I did not find anything specifically that told me what kind of neato features are going to address web browsing. Apple -- great company, great interfaces. OSS -- great idea, great systems. But what _in real terms_ are they going to do? Make the screen bigger or the text smaller, right?

    Perhaps this whole idea of cramming so much into the phone is off-track. Maybe we should be buying separate "monitors" for all of our personal electronic gear. P
  • by cies ( 318343 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @04:47PM (#12875801)
    Nokia is currently doing 2 WebKit (based on KHTML/KJS by the KDE project) related webbrowsers:

    1) for 770/maemo
    this will be shipped with an opera-browser, but WebKit was ported to GTK+ (the toolkit used by maemo) as part of the feasability study. This port can be found under the name gtk-webkit and is used for the atlantis browser.

    2) for the Series60 (Symbian based)
    For this series Nokia is porting WebKit to the Symbian OS and Symbian toolkit, and will thus create a new browser.

    links: [] [] [] [] [] [],1522,,00.html?orig=/7 70 [] []

    Cies Breijs
  • The biggest problem for light-weight browsers intended for lo-res devices is the many sites that don't comply with standards (need much more complicated rendering engine (XHTML intended to be simply to interpret than HTLML)), require images (esp large colour ones), and worse still flash.

    Now check []
    That's never going to display on one of their phones!
  • by xiaomonkey ( 872442 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2005 @06:04PM (#12876425)
    It seems that both apple [] and nokia [] are strongly in favor of having software patents in the EU. I think one the given reasons for why this is necessary is that without software patents, they'll get eaten alive by open source developers.

    However, neither company seems to have a problem using open source software to futher their business objectives. So, it seems like they're simulanteously using and try to hobble open source so it can't compete with their proprioritary offerings. So wouldn't the best characterization of their behavior be selfish exploitation rather than 'support' of OSS.

    • It's Open. It's available to you.
      If you think you can deliver consumer products at high volume using the techniques that you prefer, go for it.
      Isn't the point of Open Source to have it exploited to further your, or some corporations business interests? Or both even?
      Besides, I don't see many do-it-yourself cell phones on the market.... If not Nokia/Apple then who?

      Sure, it's not a perfect world, but a Nokia/Apple communicator is certainly going to be way more fun, and with more possibilities to build off o
      • If you think you can deliver consumer products at high volume using the techniques that you prefer, go for it.

        What if the techniques I prefer involve using an algorithm or approach that is covered by an overly broad and not exactly innovative patent held by either Nokia/Apple/somebody else?
  • The problem is the shitty ass cell network in the US. Using WAP on my phone is like this:

    Scroll to "News"
    Click "CNN"
    Click "Headlines"
    Click a story I want to read
    Read the first 250 words, click next

    The browser's not so bad, it's the connection speed. You'd think downloading plain text at 19kbps wouldn't be so damn slow.

Loose bits sink chips.