Print 17 comment(s) - last by shortylickens.. on Oct 9 at 7:53 AM

Ari Jaaksi  (Source:
VP in charge of Meego devices resigns

One of two things is happening at Nokia right now – the Finnish telecom company is in a serious state of transition, or it has a serious problem with talent retention. Finnish online news site Talous Sanomat is reporting that Ari Jaaksi, the VP in charge of Nokia's Meego Devices, has tendered his resignation.

For those of you keeping count, this is the third high-profile executive to leave the company in less than a month.  In September, Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo was replaced by former Microsoft exec Stephen Elop. Days later, Executive Vice President Anssi Vanjoki, head of Nokia's N-Series, announced he would be leaving the company within the next six months. Vanjoki admitted his departure was inspired by being overlooked for the open CEO position

According to Talous Sanomat, Jaaksi has worked at Nokia since 1998. In 2003, he began working on Nokia's Linux-based Maemo OS, which merged with Intel's Moblin OS last February to become MeeGo. MeeGo will power all of Nokia's forthcoming smartphones, with the exception of N8, which will be the last to run Symbian. Its successor, the N9, has been touted by Nokia as the company's flagship phone, set to take on its iPhone and Android competitors. Engadget pointed out that Mobile-Review's Eldar Murtazin called MeeGo "not so good at the moment," despite the N9 hardware being "near perfect."

"Nokia needs to step up on the MeeGo side. MeeGo has grown up from Maemo and there is much more at stake now," Gartner analyst Carolina Milanes told The Economic Times. "They need someone who understands mobile and PC, who might be closer to Intel and a much better public person."

Jaaksi will be replaced by Alberto Torres, who has been the executive vice president of mobile solutions since last year.

Engadget investigated what the shakeup means for MeeGo's planned Q4 roll-out, which a Nokia spokesperson said would not be affected. Another spokesperson cryptically told Engadget that an "update on MeeGo" will be announced by year's end. 

This comes at a critical time for the mobile company that has been quickly losing market share to its smartphone competitors, and ranked dead last in J.D. Power's customer satisfaction survey.

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too many platforms
By dani31 on 10/5/2010 8:15:14 AM , Rating: 2
Diversity is good for competition, however I feel there are too many platforms today competing for the same markets and same developers, causing any choice to be poor choice from a certain point of view.

- Android
- iOS
- Windows Phone 7
- Bada
- Symbian
- MeeGo

I'm not saying Nokia should be it but some should fall to the laws of natural selection. I'm just sad we still see Symbian around while really good platforms like WebOS are history.

RE: too many platforms
By robinthakur on 10/5/2010 8:30:06 AM , Rating: 4
When it comes to developers, they focus on the following two platforms because they tend to make money on them (primarily iOS as of right now)

- iOS
- Android

In terms of the rest, Symbian is nearing end of life so the rich development history will soon slow to a halt. WP7 is completely untested (signs don't look good though, how many DT proponents will put their money where their mouths are?) and the others are so marginal as to be pointless developing for, for now.
- Windows Phone 7
- Bada
- Symbian
- MeeGo

Completely hear you on WebOS though. If only Palm had licensed other handset manufacturers like HTC to use it then it could be where Android is today! :(

RE: too many platforms
By vol7ron on 10/5/2010 9:37:41 AM , Rating: 2
I think this is touching on an oncoming important factor.

A person buys a phone, spends a decent amount of money on apps, and locks himself into that platform, unless willing to spend another ridiculous amount of money on the same apps for another platform.

I would like to see some transparency in the OSs. While things like email addresses, phone numbers, and select media (mp3s) may be portable with the use of 3rd party hardware, what about those pesky little apps that you may have spent a small fortune on? You're almost locked in from the start.

I, as well, am sorry to see WebOS go. I'm hopeful for Win7, haven't had a chance to play with Droid, and frustrated with iOS.

Nokia really made its mark by introducing the first camera phone series. It may have not been the first, but it put its money in the advertising. I think they need to introduce something new if they want to get back in the "game". My best suggestion would be a low grade pico-projector - something no one else has, which could be useful.

Waiting for the day we can dual boot a phone.

RE: too many platforms
By bug77 on 10/5/2010 9:51:46 AM , Rating: 2
A person buys a phone thinking he bought a computer , spends a decent amount of money on apps, and locks himself into that platform

That's the problem, imho. If you want to use it like a computer, start thinking about it like a computer. If we were to compare the markets, the phone market today is like the computer market before PC. So it will still be a while before things settle down.

RE: too many platforms
By Dark Legion on 10/5/2010 10:21:31 AM , Rating: 2
Waiting for the day we can dual boot a phone.

Actually an N900 can dual boot maemo and android, and apparently a maemo/meego dual boot is in the works.

RE: too many platforms
By CharonPDX on 10/5/2010 3:57:45 PM , Rating: 2
And some enterprising hackers have figured out how to dual boot Android with iOS on the iPhone:

(Only the original iPhone and iPhone 3G can do this, and you're stuck with iPhone OS 3.x for now, but still impressive.)

RE: too many platforms
By Zarsky on 10/5/2010 9:42:13 AM , Rating: 3
Never heard of Qt?

Symbian^3 and Meego both support Qt, so developer can easily write the same application to both platforms without any hassle. That will surely extend Symbian's lifespan. :)

RE: too many platforms
By jvillaro on 10/5/2010 10:54:39 AM , Rating: 2
And Java
And Silverlight for Windows Phone 7 and Symbian...

RE: too many platforms
By shortylickens on 10/9/2010 7:53:44 AM , Rating: 2
Nokia should have jumped on the Android team immediately. And been allowed to do their own tweaks and enhancements. They were too in love with their little Symbian project when it was clearly time to move on with bigger and better things.

Tough position
By MikeMurphy on 10/5/2010 8:16:49 AM , Rating: 2
Meego is great for computer illiterate people because its stupidly easy to use. I think its one of their best assets but would gain broader adoption if it were setup as a website gui a la cloud service.

Nokia, while still a cellular superpower has a bleak future in the smartphone arena. I wonder why they have been sitting on their asses for the past 5 years while Apple, Google and even Microsoft have made great strides forward.

Regardless, I'm sure the upper management at Nokia are awarded large bonuses based on metrics not associated with preparing the company for the next 10 years.

RE: Tough position
By bug77 on 10/5/2010 8:36:35 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder why they have been sitting on their asses for the past 5 years while Apple, Google and even Microsoft have made great strides forward.

They've been selling phones. And high end is never the place where money is.
But then the market changed and now phone makers make money out of content selling too. Nokia didn't see this coming and they have been slow to react.

RE: Tough position
By vol7ron on 10/5/2010 9:42:18 AM , Rating: 2
Plus, with a contract, the "highend" isn't highend anymore.
You can get a smartphone for $99; whereas back in the day, I think it could cost you $4-600 for a blackberry with a contract.

RE: Tough position
By mcnabney on 10/5/2010 9:52:31 AM , Rating: 2
High end is where ALL of the money is. The margins on masic phones and feature phones are rather slim. A brand new smartphone will command a very nice profit margin for the manufacture. The original Droid made Motorola a ton of money and likely saved it from bankruptcy.

Right now a wireless carrier that has you sign a contract is subsidizing the cost to the tune of $300-400. So the device that you paid $200 for is actually costing the carrier $500-600. That is why the disconnect fees for smartphones went up to high.

RE: Tough position
By bug77 on 10/5/2010 10:43:27 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think a carrier is subsidizing anything. Not as long as you pledge to give them $1500 or more over the next two years.

Also you're wrong about where the money is. Margins, yes, but for the real money, you're talking volumes. And like Samsung Galaxy S proves, you can't ship high-end in volumes even if there's demand. High-end is more about research and brand recognition, imho. Of course, I'm not taking Apple into consideration here, their business model is different from anything else.

RE: Tough position
By misuspita on 10/7/2010 3:41:18 AM , Rating: 2
If you're staying with the carrier until the contract end's, then you're right, they don't subsidize anything, the money will be recouped from you. But the do pay in advance to the phone-maker a hefty sum of money, the difference from 5-600$ to the 1-200$ you're paying for it. So they have these terminating fees to prevent loosing money when you want to switch mid-contract.

RE: Tough position
By bernardl on 10/5/2010 8:38:48 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I think that Apple has just been excellent at understanding their strengths.

They have understood that their network of OSX developpers could be leveraged when starting a new platform.

Nokia doesn't have any such network and would therefore not have been able to generate enough attention had they started. Now the business model is clear and I believe that it is not too late to attract developpers if the conditions are interesting for them. I have some ideas but will keep them for myself. :)


Nokia N9
By Trisagion on 10/5/2010 9:01:09 AM , Rating: 2
I for one am eagerly looking forward to the release of the N9. I have been holding off upgrading to a smartphone for a while now, since none of the current range of phones have convinced me to switch. I wouldn't buy an Apple iPhone and having worked on Android as a developer, I don't really want an Android phone either, even though it's a good OS. webOS was great but has now disappeared.

Hopefully with the N9, if Nokia can get the Meego implementation right, it should be exactly what I'm looking for. Nokia has already hired Peter Skillman, the guy behind webOS's interface to fine tune Meego. Hardware specs and build quality from Nokia is anyway almost always top notch.

Here's hoping to a positive announcement at the Meego conference in November.

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