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Nokia backing out of WebKit support?

updated 04:55 pm EDT, Fri April 11, 2008

Nokia Backing From WebKit

Nokia may be withdrawing its efforts to actively contribute to the WebKit browser engine, according to an exchange on the official developer list. After noticing that the Finnish cellphone producer had been inactive for at least eight months in developing a version of the code for Symbian Series 60 phones, contributor Eric Seidel has been told by Nokia representative Bradley Morrison only that the company is closing off discussions of any outstanding bugs rather than fixing or improving code.

The company representative is not involved in the project and treated the closure of bugs as a "cleanup," according to the note.

Nokia hasn't officially announced any plans to back out of its investment in the normal WebKit for Symbian S60 but said in January that it would acquire Trolltech, which gives it access to a different version of WebKit that it may use to replace the existing version used underneath the company's default web browser for recent smartphones.

The apparent withdrawal from the Symbian project creates a larger division in WebKit, which is considered an open source effort and is shared among other mobile browsers, including Apple's Safari and the web browser for Google's upcoming Android platform.

By Electronista Staff


  1. pairof9s

    Senior User

    Joined: Jan 2008



    Seems Nokia doesn't know how to share its toys!

    But just like Nokia stated about Apple, a computer company, trying to get into the phone business would be difficult, I guess it's finding the reverse is true, too. Forced by Apple in setting the bar much higher, much quicker w/ mobile Safari, Nokia seems to be fumbling about in its attempts to become a competitive software developer.

    It's okay, Nokia. I'm sure by Nokia Tube 2.0, you'll have it all figured out, right?!


  1. ratpH1nk

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2005


    Read the post again....

    The way I took it was that the S60 branch is dead. It looks like they were speculating that WebKitQT is what nokia is going to use for the symbian platform now. They say this is due to the fact that Nokia has purchased Trolltech, maker of QT.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Re: wow

    That's right. A company has decided they don't want to use a technology that Apple is pushing, and so therefore they're dead in the water.

    They could just as easily be going off to use the Gecko engine. Oh, right, it's not the one used by Apple, so its c*** too.

  1. JulesLt

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2005



    Look, anyone except a Mozilla groupie knows Gecko is currently lagging way behind on mobile devices, and it's a two horse race between Opera and WebKit.

    The likely explanation is the one already highlighted - they see their future as being with the Qt branch, and phones based on a Qt platform.

    What I do think is a problem is that they appear to be abandoning their existing WebKit browser users.

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