Today Nokia and AT&T announced a mobile software coding contest; with $10M in price money. That may be exactly what is needed for keeping the Symbian in competition with Android. I am certain LOTS of programmers are following this historic battle of the mobile platforms. Sony Ericsson told yesterday it would not be making any new Symbian devices and instead focusing in Android. That left Nokia pretty much alone with Symbian and now it likes to find new coding ‘friends’ for keeping the platform vital. Until this latest coding contest was announced the natural selection seemed to be eliminating Symbian.
So, Nokia is a 800lb gorilla trying to save Symbian?
Nokia’s brand new CEO, isn’t totally clueless. First day in office and he was already listing the three critical factors being developers, developers and developers. But is there a way for Nokia to persuade herds of mobile app novices like me into investing time for learning Symbian – especially if there is a chance it may be dying. And is there any chance for Nokia to persuade guys like Symbian-Guru into coming back from the Android camp and re-joining the Symbian team? In this techno deathmatch it’s Symbian with just Nokia in one corner facing Android with everyone else. Without some radical steroids, Symbian would not survive. And a powerful steroid is of course buying LOTS of programmers and their software. Without this move this fight wasn’t going to end well for the Symbian, or for Nokia for that matter. Apple had chosen not to fight in this same… dimension.
About the competition …
I think it would be better to determine winners by the number of downloads from Ovi-shop, during any best three month period of a year X. And I believe the price money would attract more programmers if it was divided slightly more evenly for example:
- 500 most popular new apps would receive 10,000EUR each
- 100 most popular new apps would receive 40,000EUR each
- 10 most popular new apps would receive 100,000EUR each
Anyway, I am positively surprised about Nokia corp’s ability to realize they really needed to be showing the money to developers they say to be … loving.