updated 12:50 pm EDT, Wed September 9, 2009
Nokia Maemo phones won't carry custom apps
Nokia will mirror Apple's approach to carrier software with all of its Maemo Linux-based smartphones, the company said on Wednesday. Rather than agree to include carrier-specific apps and modify the look of the OS to appease carriers, as it does with most of its Symbian phones, Nokia told Reuters it will insist that devices like the N900 come only with their default apps and interface. The choice is characterized as an attempt to focus on an ideal experience for the user and less an attempt to placate carriers.
"Very clearly Apple, Android... are a whole lot less about providing customization to the operators and a whole lot more about providing a really cool, compelling value proposition to the end-consumer," Nokia research and development VP David Rivas said, holding them up as examples for his company's business model.
The firm has regularly touted openness and independence as values for its phones and has at times shown resistance to allowing too much control over its devices, as it often provides its phones unlocked even in the normally carrier-dependent US market. However, many of Nokia's phones have often been tailored to particular carriers with specialized appearances and apps, such as the 6790 Surge for AT&T.
Some of Apple's success with the iPhone has been directly credited to the company's refusal to alter its OS or app list just to please carriers, as it hands control of music sales, mapping and other features to Apple or to independent app developers instead of letting carriers exclude or downplay competing services. The lone exception is the Japanese release, which by default has a shortcut icon for SoftBank's portal on Yahoo's website.