updated 08:30 am EST, Fri February 18, 2011
Nokia developers get free E7 and WP7 phones
Nokia in a bid to keep developers onboard following the Windows Phone switch has told them they will get two free phones. Those part of the Launchpad program will get a free model of the just-shipping E7 to support the existing Symbian platform. To spur on support for the new platform, however, they will also get a free Windows Phone 7 device "as soon as it becomes available," a message sent to developers read.
The olive branch would similarly include up to 10 free technical support talks with Nokia in the next three months as well as one free, detailed evaluation of an existing app. Business development support should be extended as well, and developers would get a free pass to visit Nokia World.
Supporting the older platform was important with 225 million Symbian smartphone owners already in the field, Nokia said.
A dual giveaway is unprecedented in smartphones as a whole and reflects the determination for Nokia to preserve app support in the wake of its alliance with Microsoft. App support has been vital to mobile platforms and is credited both with the rapid rise of Android and the iPhone as well as the struggles faced by RIM's BlackBerry and HP/Palm's webOS, either of which has had under 20,000 apps even two years later where Apple and Google are roughly at 350,000 and 150,000 respectively. [via Steve Troughton-Smith]