Personal Tech Pipeline | Nokia, Apple On An Open-Source 'Safari'

White Papers

Sponsor Resources

Free Newsletter GlossaryContact UsAbout Us
Players & CamsPhones & PDAsHome & AutoOnline

June 20, 2005

Nokia, Apple On An Open-Source 'Safari'

A new browser, based on two open-source core components in Apple's Safari browser, will appear in future versions of Nokia's Series 60 smartphones.

Courtesy of Linux Pipeline

Nokia says it is developing a new Web browser, using open-source components from Apple's Safari browser, for use in future versions of Nokia's Series 60 smartphones.

Nokia is collaborating with Apple on the project, which uses Safari's open-source WebCore and JavaScriptCore frameworks. Nokia said it will continue to work with Apple on future versions of the browser and said it would also contribute its mobile software development expertise to the open-source community.

The WebCore and JavaScriptCore frameworks are based on the cross-platform KHTML and KJS libraries, both part of the open-source KDE project. Apple optimized both libraries for its OS X operating system and released them under the Free Software Foundation's LGPL open-source license.

Nokia decided to work with Apple and to use open-source components after closely examining its browser options. Developing a new, fully functional browser from scratch would have cost about $100 million, said Franklin Davis, head of business development, Series 60 browsing for Nokia. He said the company also considered licensing a proprietary mobile browser from another vendor, but given Nokia's volumes, the cost would have been prohibitive.

Nokia looked at other, existing open-source browsers, Davis said, including Mozilla, which proved to be too large to run on a smartphone. Safari is smaller and has a cleaner architecture, he added, giving Nokia room to innovate on top of the browser's core components.

Last year, according to a Nokia spokesperson, Nokia made a small financial investment in Minimo, the Mozilla Foundation's effort to develop a mobile browser based on Mozilla code. She couldn't specify why Nokia chose not to use Minimo for its Series 60 smartphones, but she said that size, performance and optimization for the mobile device environment are factors the company has considered. Nokia is still involved with Minimo, but the investment did not represent an endorsement or prioritization of Minimo, she said.

Nokia also supports the Opera browser as a third-party product on the Series 60 platform. In the future, Series 60 devices will come with Nokia's new browser, but Series 60 licensees could also choose to use the Opera browser as an add-on.

The new browser is expected to improve the Web surfing capabilities of mobile phones and will allow them to display any Web pages built using standard HTML, Davis said. Opera's mobile browser also enables full access to HTML pages.

Historically, phone manufacturers have used browsers that require Web site developers to tweak their sites to render properly on mobile handsets. But a few technological changes have converged to enable support for full Web browsing. Many new handsets have larger screens, faster processors, enough memory to hold a complete Web page, and faster data connections, Davis said. The new browser could also benefit end users if it attracts a sizeable base of open-source developers. Currently, Nokia, Siemens, and Sendo all build phones based on the Series 60 platform, creating an attractive environment for developers who want to build products for the biggest possible user base. "The strength of open source is it has a wealth of companies that are investing in products and can add expertise and resources to them," said Geoff Blaber, an analyst with IDC's European mobile devices team.

Nokia wouldn't comment on the possibility of collaborating with Apple beyond the companies' work on the browser, but some analysts say it's a possibility. "Apple hasn't got experience in terms of integration of voice with a device, so that type of partnership would make some sense," said Blaber. Still, he cautioned that it might be a stretch to begin envisioning a device made by Apple and Nokia just because the two have worked together on an open source software project.

Apple and Motorola announced last year that they were working on a phone that supports the iTunes music service. The device was initially expected to ship during the first quarter this year but the companies now aren't saying when it might become available.

Nokia's new browser will become standard software on the Series 60, which is based on the Symbian operating system, during the first half of 2006. Nokia hasn't discussed plans to move away from Symbian on the Series 60 platform.

Nokia's open-source work also includes basing its Nokia 770 Internet tablet, due out in the third quarter, on a Linux operating system. The Nokia 770 also supports the Opera browser.

E-mail This Story
Print This Story
Reprint This Story

<A HREF=";FlightID=48963&amp;AdID=81851&amp;TargetID=347&amp;Segments=118,1411,3108,3448,4763&amp;Targets=347,2625,2878&amp;Values=34,46,51,63,77,85,90,100,140,222,227,288,442,645,646,659,1184,1311,1405,1431,1716,1767,1785,1798,1901,1925,1935,1936,1945,1970,2217,2299,2310,2329,2352,2678,2767,2787,2862,2878,2942,2956,3140,3267,3347,3385&amp;RawValues=&amp;Redirect=" target="_top"><IMG SRC="" WIDTH=125 HEIGHT=125 BORDER=0></A>
Get the latest Personal Tech news, product info, and trends every week.

Related Content

  Right-click and choose Copy to extract RSS Feed URL  Personal Tech Pipeline's Main RSS Feed
  Right-click and choose Copy to extract RSS Feed URL  Personal Tech Pipeline's Blog RSS Feed

Editorial and vendor perspectives

Editor's Picks

Well, Microsoft has "unfolded" its "Origami" ultra-mobile PC platform Thursday. It turned out to be a full-featured PC smaller than a tablet but bigger than a PDA. Are you impressed?
Yes! I want one!
Sort of. We'll see.
No! It's too big for a pocket and too small for real computing. What's the point?

In search of personal tech products? See our new Product Finder, where you'll find personal computing devices, communications solutions, security products, and more.

On the CIO Agenda with IBM
With business growth back on the agenda, the role of the CIO is changing from manager of technology to C-suite collaborator in enabling innovation that matters for the business. Read an executive summary and register to download the full IBM paper.

Symantec Backup Solutions
Desktop to Data Center Protection. Explore the Official Symantec Site.

Block or Secure IM Use
IM threats up 250%. Protect your corporate network. Free Download.

Secure & Easy Console Management with Digi CM
The Digi CM console server provides secure, intelligent & easy access to network devices with a serial console port. With Digi CM, you can securely monitor & control servers, routers, switches & other devices even when your network is down.

Understand the financial impact of open source.
Will open source pay off? Open source is becoming standard within enterprises, often because of cost savings. Find out how much of a financial impact it can have on your organization. Get this methodology and calculator now, compliments of JBoss. Go!

Buy a Link Now

Top ten search terms from the TechWeb TechEncyclopedia
How does your pay rate? Check the InformationWeek Salary Survey
Mobilized Solutions Guide: Find and compare solutions for your business
Top Requested White Paper Categories from TechWeb White paper Library
Top ten search terms from the TechWeb TechEncyclopedia