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Nokia has announced a series of new S40 phones called “Asha” – mass-market devices with smart-phone features: Good-sized touch screens, 1 GHz processors, WiFi connectivity, social networking integration, and more. Prices starting around €60 retail.
In case you don’t know, the S40 series is built on Java ME and has a huge deployed base in many parts of the world where price/performance is critical. Along with the new phones, Nokia is also making available the new Nokia SDK 2.0 for Java (beta), which enables developers to build rich Java applications with multi-touch, sensor support, an improved Maps API, and the Lightweight UI Toolkit (LWUIT) (more API & tools details). Furthermore, there is a host of developer information, the remote device access service, and even a porting guide to help you port your Android app to the new Asha platform.
Last, but not least: More and better options to monetize your applications. Nokia has enabled in-app advertising and in-app purchasing, and improved the way applications can be discovered by customers. Nokia has seen downloads from the Nokia app store rise by 63%, now totaling billions.
From what I’m hearing, the revenue opportunities on S40 for developers are often way better than what is typical for other smart-phone platforms (where competition is huge and consumers are fickle).
Nokia’s Series 40 phones are powered by Java and have a huge installed based around the world. The S40 platform includes cutting-edge technologies and services that enable developers to build rich and engaging applications in Java.
Nokia has always been putting a lot of effort into developer education and support and I’ve been in touch with Nokia lately on a couple of new and upcoming programs and events you should check out:
- Nokia is a Diamond Sponsor at JavaOne India next week. Nokia will be present with a keynote, two talks, and more. Central focus will be on mobility for enterprise apps as well as monetization strategies for application developers.
- Following up on JavaOne India, Nokia and Oracle will be doing a joint JUG event in Bangalore.
- The Nokia Developer Program has several upcoming webinars for Java developers starting May 2nd. Topics covered are “User-Centric Design of Series 40 Applications” and “Introduction to App Development with Nokia Maps for Series 40 phones”.
- Also on the Nokia Developer Program you’ll find a host of other learning resources for Java developers across a wide range of topics.
- Last but not least, the Nokia Developer Program also features a remote device access service which enables developers to test their applications on live devices over the Internet – for free.
Just a quick note: Nokia is currently doing a number of webinars on Series 40 development, including mobile Java and web apps topics. Check out the complete list here.
Lots of news-worthy stuff happening this week. A quick round-up:
- Interview with Thomas Kurian, EVP of Product Development at Oracle (including the Java platform): “For Oracle, Every Revolution is an Evolution”.
- The JRockit JVM license has been updated – JRockit is now free (gratis) for development and internal production use on general purpose computers. See the full text for all details.
- Oracle introduces new Java Specification Requests to evolve Java Community Process (JCP.next JSR 1) towards more transparency and open participation.
- Nokia’s updates to the Qt strategy are causing a lot of confusion among developers.
- An interesting piece on Google’s latest cloud strategy push – just as on of its key cloud services goes down for 48 hours.
- Facebook is committing one PR blunder after another. First, multiple issues with obscure privacy settings, opaque terms-of-use, and questionable services – and now this.
- Finally, if you’re interested in the SmartCard/Java Card space, check out the SIMAGINE awards – a total of of €55000 is up for grabs for the coolest SmardCard applications.
From FT.com: “A memorandum by Nokia’s chief executive has delivered a blunt assessment of the company’s predicament, likening it to that of a man on a “burning platform” torn between being burnt alive and jumping into icy waters.”
You can read the full text of Stephen Elop’s memo at engadget.com.
Interesting times indeed.