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MediaTek’s ‘smart-feature phone’ effort with likely Nokia tie-up

With the new generation single-chip GSM/GPRS/EDGE-RX SoC products, MT6255 (in mass production: late Q1CY12) and its lower priced cousin MT6250 (in mass production: late Q2CY12), the Taiwanese MediaTek is strengthening its “smart feature phone” effort started in June 2011 with the launch of MediaTek’s MAUI Runtime Environment (MRE). MRE is a new middleware technology designed for mobile developers to deploy services and content for such “smart feature phones”. MRE was also launched with the simultaneous announcement that Yahoo! Messenger, News, Finance, Weather, and Mail will be the first Internet services on MRE.

Phuket MRE Demo V0 9 [MediaTek100 YouTube channel, June 19, 2012]

MT6255 and MT6250 are significantly reducing the number of external components and have a strong service/software portfolio now. The popular Yahoo! services have been complemented by Facebook and Twitter clients, as well as the Opera Mini mobile browser and Gameloft mobile games available with MRE all free. There is also an MRE specific App Store developed by MoMagic (India). Therefore everything is ready for the launch of market leading “smart feature phone” products by MediaTek partners in the coming months.

Update: MT6250 Introduction Clip [mediateklab YouTube channel, Sept 3, 2012]

Update: MediaTek Launches the 2nd Generation ULC Mobile Phone Single Chip [MediaTek press release, Aug 31, 2012]

MediaTek Inc., a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions announced today the debut of its MT6250, an ultra-low-cost (ULC) single chip solution catered for GSM/GPRS/EDGE Rx multimedia-rich mobile phones that targets the USD$40 entry market segment.

The MediaTek MT6250 features a 64Mb pSRAM with an optimized software pack and fancy, friendly user interface that allows handset makers to pack more fun features into phones, while keeping the design sleek and slim. With MRE enabled, the MT6250 delivers smartphone-like experience to feature phones, providing users with access to Internet content and social network services, such as Facebook, Twitter and Yahoo. Together with the embedded rich multimedia application support, the MT6250 is also touch enabled for those who have either a touch screen or candy bar phone.
According to market studies and forecasts by consultation organization, Strategy Analytics, “300 million ultra low cost mobile phones will be sold worldwide in 2013. Over one half of these will be sold in emerging markets and China and India will be primary markets driving that growth.” Although the overall market continues to be dominated by the smartphone segment, there is still a strong demand for entry-level and ultra-low-cost mobile handsets in emerging markets.
“Mobile handset is becoming the center of one’s of mobile life, users desire to access to content services and enjoy more fun such gaming, video and music any time any where via their devices. “said Ching-Jiang Hsieh, President of MediaTek. “MediaTek understands that consumer habits and consumption patterns are changing, thus, we strive to smarten up mobile phones and bring smartphone-like experiences to feature phones users. The MT6250 is not only designed to provide the best mobile internet experience at a very competitive price, but it also brings together rich multimedia features and touch experience.
The MT6250 has entered mass production and is shipping in commercially launched handsets.

Important to note that Nokia is far ahead of MediaTek along this kind of strategy with its S40 legacy which has been developed into the market leading Asha mobile phones for the last year and a half. The latest Asha Touch phones are true smartphone-like offerings and are on the market since the first half of July. The Asha phones are also technologically superior to the MRE platform as they have much better Internet optimization and UX (user experience). Finally the Nokia Store (ex Ovi Store) has been well established on the market for years. There are no less than 410 Nokia developers with apps which have achieved more than 1 million downloads! India Games and Pico Brothers just passed 100 million each!

Also Nokia will remain competitive with MediaTek partner offerings in the future as well since many sources pointed in the recent months to the likelihood that Nokia will use the new MediaTek SoCs (or derivatives of them) in its Asha product line.

Finally, one should mention a China-specific development along this direction. China Mobile with its homegrown TD-SCDMA 3G network is opening a quite lucrative opportunity for these “smart feature phone” / smartphone-like feature phone efforts as well. MediaTek’s most ambitious competitor, Spreadtrum already delivered an extremely low-cost solution for the so-called EDGE/TD-SCDMA market, but with the latest Android platforms. According to Spreadtrum’s CEO many of its device partners are targeting a new price in the range of RMB500 to RMB700 [US$ 79 – US$ 110] and the company expects to ship more than 10 million smartphone chipsets in the third quarter alone and at least 25 million units for the whole year.

As MediaTek will not have a competitive EDGE/TD-SCDMA offering this year the whole non-Android “smart feature phone” effort of MediaTek and partners will be limited in its very device launch period, and even Nokia’s Asha effort will be affected, in China at least.


Core Supporting Information

J.P. Morgan Equity Research on MediaTek Inc. [July 31, 2012]

Finer product approach helps drive down chipset cost:
Management is now expecting a native TD smartphone solution to ship in volume in 1Q13 and native EDGE solution to ship in 2Q13. Previously, Mediatek was using WCDMA parts to address TD/ EDGE market – such a move would  help reduce  die size  and thus  cost structure. This has  probably been made possible thanks to the easing engineer shortage.
EDGE  shortage  &  proliferation  may  open  the  door  for  SPRD:
Management  confirms EDGE  part shortage  – this  may  open the  door for  Spreadtrum  competition.  EDGE/  TD  smartphones come  with  a lower entry barrier than WCDMA due to the lack of global field testing challenge – thus an EDGE proliferation is good for Spreadtrumbut may draw tougher future competition for Mediatek.

See: Lowest H2’12 device cost SoCs from Spreadtrum will redefine the entry level smartphone and feature phone markets [July 26 – Aug 10, 2012]

We revise estimates:
  • Given the rise of smartphone shipment once again, the rise in EDGE portion and EDGE shortage makes us more wary of future pricing competition from Spreadtrum, thus lowering ASP estimate and also expecting slower margin improvement.
  • We are raising feature phone units assumptions in 2013, as there are increasing signs that Mediatek might break into Nokia feature phone (both 2G and TD) by late 2012/ early 2013.

See: Smartphone-like Asha Touch from Nokia: targeting the next billion users with superior UX created for ultra low-cost and full touch S40 devices [July 20 – Aug 13, 2012]

2Q12 earnings call notes
Handset
  • New generation of feature phone 6250 integrates Bluetooth/ FM/ 200 MHz

MT6250
MT6255
Single-Chip GSM/GPRS/EDGE-RX entry-multimedia solution
[MediaTek product page, Aug 11, 2012]
MT6250 is a single-chip GSM/GPRS/EDGE-RX solution that offers highest level of integration with lowest power consumption and best-in-class features. Key features include embedded 64Mb pseudo-SRAM, SAW-less, RTC-less, BT, FM, external dual SPI [Serial Peripheral Interface] serial flash, multimedia support up to 2Mpixel camera, MP4 HVGA video and HVGA display. Integrated RF solution offers exceptional radio performance under stringent ambient conditions. MT6250 platform is pre-integrated with MediaTek’s highly proven, feature-rich SW solution thus considerably reducing the design cycle time and increasing the phone premium for consumers.
Single-Chip GSM/GPRS/EDGE-RX Smart Feature Phone solution
[MediaTek product page, Aug 11, 2012]
MT6255 is a single-chip GSM/GPRS/EDGE-RX solution that offers highest level of integration with lowest power consumption and best-in-class features. Key features include SAW-less, RTC-less, BT, FM, multimedia support up to 5Mpixel camera, MP4 WVGA video and WVGA display. Integrated RF solution offers exceptional radio performance under stringent ambient conditions. MT6255 platform is pre-integrated with MediaTek’s highly proven, feature-rich SW solution thus considerably reducing the design cycle time and increasing the phone premium for consumers.
•  GSM/GPRS/EDGE-RX Class 12, Quad band
•  ARM7-EJ 260MHz
•  Embedded 64Mb pseudo-SRAM
•  Audio: Ogg, FLAC, MP3, AAC, AMR-NarrowBand
•  Tier-1 voice noise reduction and echo cancellation
•  Support up to 262K color HVGA LCM
•  Support up to 2MP camera (YUV)
•  MP4 HVGA@30fps video decode and encode up to MP4 HVGA@15fps.
•  Rich video codec support: H.264, WEBM/VP8, AVI, MJPEG
•  Support dual-standby single talk
•  Integrated RX-SAW, RTC, BT, FM, RF, PMU, USB 2.0 FS
•  Integrated Class-AB audio amplifier (700mW@3.7V)
•  Integrated resistive touch controller
•  Pre-integrated with MediaTek’s highly proven, feature-rich SW platform
•  GSM/GPRS/EDGE-RX Class 12, Quad band
•  ARM926 EJ-S 416MHz
•  Audio: Ogg, FLAC, MP3, AAC, AMR-NarrowBand
•  Tier-1 voice noise reduction and echo cancellation
•  Support up to 262K color WVGA LCM
•  Support up to 3Mp(YUV), 5Mp(JPEG) camera
•  MP4 WVGA@30fps video decode and encode up to MJPEG VGA@15fps.
•  Rich video codec support: H.264, WEBM/MKV/VP8, FLV, AVI, MJPEG
•  Support dual-standby single talk
•  Integrated RX-SAW, RTC, BT, FM, RF, PMU, USB 2.0 HS
•  Integrated Class-AB audio amplifier (700mW@3.7V)
•  Integrated resistive touch controller
•  Support NAND+LPDDR1 MCP
•  Pre-integrated with MediaTek’s highly proven, feature-rich SW platform

Sector Report by Capital Securities Corp., Taiwan [June 25, 2012]

Shipment of MediaTek’s mainstream handset chip (2G/2.5G) arrived at 530mn units in FY11, accounting for ~60-70% of the overall market share
worldwide. Nevertheless, revenue generated by 2G/2.5G handset chip is forecasted to decline by ~15-20% YoY in FY12 on account of weak demand and ASP cut.

image
[MP = Mass Production]

J.P. Morgan Equity Research on MediaTek Inc. [April 29, 2012]

1Q12 earnings call notes
Feature phone
  • End market declining at double digit pace, vs. expectation of down 5% previously.
  • Feature phone pricing down about 25% in last 2 years. This year down probably even more than before.
  • Mediatek is trying to add more value there – with 400MPx, BT integration. MT6255 already in production – and well received.
  • MT6250 (for lower price) will go mass production in late 2Q

MediaTek, Spreadtrum reportedly to land large orders for feature phones [DIGITIMES, July 16, 2012]

Despite a slowdown in demand for feature phones, MediaTek and Spreadtrum Communications are expected to land large-volume solution orders for feature phones from international brands soon, according to industry sources.

MediaTek (联发科的) is expected to receive the speculated feature phone solution orders from Nokia, which has announced plans to slash 10,000 jobs worldwide and other cost-reduction measures, the sources noted.

Meanwhile, Samsung Electronics is expected to source 2.5G/2.75G handset solutions from Spreadtrum, the sourced added.
Spreadtrum is also expected to roll out 4G and quad-core smartphone solutions before year-end 2012, ramping up the company’s total handset solution shipments in the second half of the year, the sources added.

MediaTek lands 2.5G handset solution orders from Nokia, say sources [DIGITIMES, May 21, 2012]

MediaTek reportedly has landed orders for 2.5G handset solutions from Nokia with shipments to begin in the third quarter of 2012, according to industry sources. MediaTek declined to comment.

Given that global demand for 2.5G handset solutions still reaches one billion units a year, there is room for MediaTek to further expand sales in the segment although the company’s sales of 2.5G solutions have been turning weak recently, indicated the sources. MediaTek shipped 550 million 2.5G solutions in 2011.

Indeed, MediaTek has been working on its new platform for so called ‘smart-feature phones’ during the last two years at least. The essence of it can summarized via the following quotes (these exerpts are from the closing “More Details” section, therefore no links are provided here):

MediaTek:

‘Smart-Feature phone’ refers to a feature phone device with Internet functionality.

July 11, 2012: for the latest Twitter case

MRE (MAUI* Runtime Environment) is MediaTek’s innovative middleware technology designed for mobile developers and application providers to deploy services and content for ‘Smart-Feature phones’ [put it otherwise: MRE is a phone application development platform similar to JVM and Qualcomm Brew]. MRE-enabled devices will enable many users to access leading Internet services, such as Twitter, in an intuitive way.

*MediaTek Feature Phone Software Framework and Platform

With MRE, smart-feature phones will be able to run Twitter on minimal memory and hardware requirements, allowing manufacturers and brands to offer price-friendly devices with value-added mobile internet services. People with smart-feature phones will be able to experience a rich native application experience of Twitter consistent with smartphone applications like Twitter for iPhone or Twitter for Android.

Key internet service and application provider partners for MediaTek:

July 11, 2012:
“Our new partnership with Twitter further reinforces MediaTek’s focus on providing differentiated services and value for handset brands, giving them the means to offer affordable, compelling and differentiated mobile solutions to consumers in key emerging markets ,” said Cheng-Te Chuang, Corporate Vice President of MediaTek.

Jana Messerschmidt, Vice President of Business Development at Twitter, said, “The mobile Internet presents a great opportunity for Twitter to reach every person on the planet. Our partnership with MediaTek will help people in emerging markets enjoy the same rich Twitter experience on their mobile devices as more than 140 million others around the world.”

Earlier global partnerships

June, 2011:

According to Ming-Kai Tsai, Chairman of MediaTek, “MediaTek has redefined the mobile landscape through our partnership with Yahoo!. By integrating Yahoo! services into our mobile platform solutions, we are providing our customers and end users with access to the best experience for hugely popular Yahoo! services like Messenger, Mail, News, Weather and much more.”

Rose Tsou, Senior Vice President of Yahoo! Asia Pacific said, “The mobile Internet presents a wealth of opportunity for Yahoo! and our partnership with MediaTek will further connect us with our audiences in growing markets such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam and India where new to Internet users are coming online for the first time through their mobile devices.”

November, 2011:
“Our new partnership with Facebook further reinforces MediaTek’s focus on providing differentiated services and value for handset brands, giving them the means to offer affordable, compelling and differentiated mobile solutions to consumers in key emerging markets such as India,” said Cheng-Te Chuang, Corporate Vice President of MediaTek.

Vaughan Smith, Mobile Partnerships and Corporate Development Vice President of Facebook added, “Every phone should be social and we’re excited to be working with MediaTek to bring Facebook to more devices, in more markets around the world and helping users to connect and share anywhere, anytime.”

May, 2012:
Regarding the new partnership, Ching-Jiang Hsieh, President of MediaTek said, “With the rapid development of mobile Internet applications and services, mobile gaming has become one of the leading value-added service and application in the mobile Internet industry today. I see our new partnership with Gameloft as a major breakthrough for the industry: With MediaTek’s strong platform customization and Gameloft’s cutting-edge game development capabilities, together we will be able to bring even more value to mobile phones, thereby increasing the competitive edge of our customers among mobile phone industry.”

“We look forward to leveraging MediaTek’s high performance mobile platforms to deliver our exciting selection of games to even more users worldwide. Gameloft has been present on the Chinese market for over 10 years with strong business and creation teams and we are thrilled to increase our presence to propose our games to the billion phone users in China. In sync with Mediatek’s philosophy, Gameloft’s mission is to provide a good experience to the mass market at a very reasonable price. Together we share the vision of leveraging our mutual technology and experience to serve the needs of the public in the broadest way possible,” said Gonzague de Vallois, senior vice president of Gameloft.

Leading local handset brands partnering with MediaTek on that:

November, 2011:
“With MediaTek’s new MRE solution, we are in a position to redefine the mobile landscape and give our users their first mobile browsing and social networking experience on a handset that costs less than US$50,” shared Dilip Modi, Managing Director of Spice Mobility, India.

May, 2012:
George Zhu, CEO of TECNO, leading handset brand in Africa also noted regarding the MediaTek-Gameloft partnership, “As one of MediaTek’s strategic partners, the concept of “entertainment” has always been one of the mainstays of the TECNO brand name. We are very excited about the benefits that this strategic partnership will bring to our users. As these two giants combine their strengths, it will allow us to develop even more competitive products which will bring our customers an even better gaming experience.”

Nokia, however, has already been on that route for some time:

What we offer in the current Nokia Asha products is a nice combo of applications, Internet experience and contemporary services. Through our Store, people all over the world are downloading more than 3.5 million apps per day. We have put lot of emphasis on providing locally relevant apps so that you can find what is meaningful in your part of the world.

However, we also have some of the global phenomenons like Angry Birds available on Asha as well. On the Internet experience side we are very proud of the Nokia Browser. It gives people access to the full web yet doing that in a cost-effective way. The browser can compress data traffic by upto 90% ensuring that your phone bill doesn’t explode. And the specific services we offer like Facebook, Twitter, QQ, Foursquare, Maps, email, etc. give people the tools that most of us are using on a regular basis.

Source: Nokia’s next billion: Antti Vasara looks to the future for Series 40 [Conversations by Nokia, Jan 26, 2012]

And Nokia continues with that approach quite parallel to the MediaTek’s recent effort:

The new, free Twitter for Nokiaapp is now available for Series 40 feature phones. …

This new app brings most of the features you’d expect to see from a Twitter client on a smartphone to hundreds of millions of feature phones around the world.

Twitter for Nokia is available for download today wherever Twitter is accessible around the world. Future built Series 40 phones will have the app preinstalled.

Source: Twitter for Nokia now on Series 40 [Conversations by Nokia blog, July 12, 2012]

Nokia aims to

  • further develop its Series 40 and Series 30devices, and
  • invest in key feature phone technologies like the Nokia Browser, aiming to be the world’s most data efficient mobile browser. Early results of this innovation can be found in Nokia’s latest Asha feature phones which offer a full-touch screen experience at lower prices.

Source: Nokia sharpens strategy and provides updates to its targets and outlook [Nokia press release, June 14, 2012]

In the area of Mobile Phones, we continue to renew our Series 40 portfolio. … We acquired Smarterphone, a Norwegian company that brings new user interface technology and expertiseto Nokia. We’ve increased download rates from feature phones to more than 4 million a day by improving store access and payment schemes and adding new apps like Whatsapp, Foursquare and EA.

We released a new version of Nokia Life, which delivers education, health, agriculture and entertainment services via SMS. And we delivered a new proxy browser, and we’re now bringing the browser and web apps down to super low-end devices.

… the acquisition of Smarterphone in this space to give us more flexibility and speed as it relates to the user interface elements, for example, of that platform. ..

Source: Nokia’s CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results – Earnings Call Transcript [Seeking Alpha, April 19, 2012]

Nokia has today announced the availability of Nokia Browser 2.0, a major update dedicated to Nokia Series 40 devices. The new version reduces data consumption by up to 90%, meaning that consumers can enjoy faster and cheaper internet access. Web sites load up to three times fasterin comparison to devices without cloud-accelerated browsing and consumers will also benefit from a number of other enhanced capabilities.

The browser includes a revamped, modern user experience that makes it simple to find, install and use interesting web apps that offer a richer, more desktop-like internet experience. Launched in mid-2011, the Nokia Browser is the first browser of its kind to support web apps, and now boasts a catalogue of more than 10,000 of the latest apps. Several publishers have experienced over a million downloads in a matter of months, demonstrating strong consumer demand.

Nokia makes internet access faster and easier with new browser for Series 40 devices [Nokia press release, April 23, 2012]

Nokia Browser, Life Tools and Maps for Series 40 have become hugely popular, with Nokia Browser becoming the fastest growing Nokia service ever and Series 40 products accounting for a third of downloads from the Nokia Store (up from 13% in January 2011)

Source: There’s something about Mary… [Conversations by Nokia, Jan 3, 2012]


More Details

MediaTek Announces Global Partnership to Bring Twitter to ‘Smart-Feature Phones’ [press release, July 11, 2012]

MediaTek Inc., a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions, and leading communications platform Twitter, today announced a global strategic partnership that will see Twitter integrated into MediaTek’s mobile platform solutions, enabling users in emerging markets to access a rich Twitter experience via affordable mobile devices, more easily than ever before.

With this partnership, MediaTek will preload the Twitter application in its MRE middleware as the default feature in its reference design for mobile handsets. Mobile manufacturers and brands can expect to reduce the time-to-market and to develop product differentiation for their consumers. With MRE, smart-feature phones will be able to run Twitter on minimal memory and hardware requirements, allowing manufacturers and brands to offer price-friendly devices with value-added mobile internet services. People with smart-feature phones will be able to experience a rich native application experience of Twitter consistent with smartphone applications like Twitter for iPhone or Twitter for Android.

Mobile internet usage continues to grow every year, more so in emerging markets, innovative products such as the MRE solution helps MediaTek to address the growing demand for mobile internet access. This global partnership underscores the significant potential to present users worldwide with a gateway to access Twitter.

MRE is MediaTek’s innovative middleware technology designed for mobile developers and application providers to deploy services and content for ‘Smart-Feature phones’. The MRE solution provides millions of users in emerging markets with the ability to enjoy rich online experiences previously available only on smartphones. MRE-enabled devices will enable many users to access leading Internet services, such as Twitter, in an intuitive way.

“Our new partnership with Twitter further reinforces MediaTek’s focus on providing differentiated services and value for handset brands, giving them the means to offer affordable, compelling and differentiated mobile solutions to consumers in key emerging markets ,” said Cheng-Te Chuang, Corporate Vice President of MediaTek.

Jana Messerschmidt, Vice President of Business Development at Twitter, said, “The mobile Internet presents a great opportunity for Twitter to reach every person on the planet. Our partnership with MediaTek will help people in emerging markets enjoy the same rich Twitter experience on their mobile devices as more than 140 million others around the world.”

The latest smart-feature phone solution, the MediaTek MT6255, will be the first model to carry Twitter applications. In the near future, twitter service preload will be also expanded to all MediaTek mobile platforms.

Mediatek MT6255 Baseband Chipset Features List [Quazmo blog, Feb 7, 2012]

As you may aware Taiwanese based Mediatek is the top most producer of low cost mobile base band chipset. New to add to their 2G solutions arsenal is the cost down better spec version for MT 6235 platform. Its to be noted that in the recent past Mediatek is facing heavy pressure from Shanghai based Spreadtrum and Taiwan based M-Star also there are speculation that more to come. Let’s have a basic features list review for MT 6255 platform

Mediatek MT 6255 chipset uses ARM9 [1.1 DIMPS/MHz] core processor with clock speed of 416 MHz. Built on System On Chip concept the added specialty is it has both SAW [Surface Acoustic Wave] and RTC [Real-Time Clock] embedded to the chipset which avoids external components. Also they have emphasized on the long battery life which is kind of a common requirement these days. Display can support up to WVGA [800×480] resolution. Cosmos 1.5 UI and Gemini 2.0 for dual sim function are available. Can support both optional 1Gb + 512Mb and 1Gb+256Mb memory options. Support external applications via MRE and Opera Mini v4 is pre installed. Can Play both Mp4 H.264 and H.263 formats at 30 frames per second for both HVGA [480×320] and CIF [352×288]resolutions. On design now, phone running on MT 6255 platform chipset will be available in the market some time around Q2 2012.

From MT6235 Design Notice V2-3 [July 2008]:

MT6235 Main Feature

  • EDGE Class12, GPRS Class 12
  • ARM926EJ-S 208MHz with cache
  • PMU / Touch panel driver integrated
  • 2M / 1.3M / VGA camera (YUV)
  • Chip UID – 315 bit
  • FR, EFR, HR, AMR speech codec
  • Support up to 16.77M color WQVGA LCM
  • Excellent melody format support
    – MIDI, WB AMR, AAC, AAC+, eAAC, digital music
  • Polyphonic melody, 64-tone wave table, stereo loudspeaker

  • SBC encoder capability supports BlueTooth A2DP function
  • Advanced DSP acoustic functionality
    – AEC, noise reduction
  • SD/MMC/MS/MSprocard & SDIO support
  • USIM support
  • Built in USB2.0 (High speed/Device), IrDA
  • QWERTY keypad support
  • Multi-memory system with more flexibility for phone design
    – NOR/pSRAMwith or without AD MUX; burst mode of up to 104 MHz supported
    – NAND-boot supported
    – NAND data storage supported
    – LPSDRAM supported

Snapshot of MT6235 Reference Phone

image

From a MediaTek presentation [June 20, 2011]:

Delivering Value-Added Services (VAS) with MRE now

MRE

MRE (MAUI* Runtime Environment) is a Middleware platform designed for MediaTek’s Feature-phone solution that provides a Content Downloadable Mechanism that enables applications expansion previously reserved for smartphones

*MediaTek Feature Phone Software Framework and Platform

MRE Overview

Seamlessly Integrated into the Software Architecture

image

Partnership Establishment and MRE Strategy

Partner with key leading service providers and Local Brands to enhance the MRE ecosystem through an integrated platform and open strategy

Open and neutral strategy

  • Facilitate and foster the MRE ecosystem with an open attitude to enable more developersto participate in the ecosystem
  • Long-term objective: Open MRE SDK to the market

MediaTek as ecosystem facilitator

  • We won’t be involved in MRE Service operation
    – Still focus on chipset core business
    – Won’t compete with Customers/Solution & Content Providers

Enhance platform value

  • Migrate native applications to MRE to reduce maintenance effort & lower cost with more flexibility
  • Attract more developersto enrich MRE solutions/contents
  • More differentiation possibilities for customers

Integrate key internet services

  • Launch MRE applications of key internet services as part of Mediatek solution e.g.: Yahoo, Facebook….

Intensify partnership with local brands

  • Provide reliable solutions to local brandsfor VAS business

The Must-Know Mediatek Ecosystem

1. Extreme Price Sensitive:
-Mediatek’s Customers care about every cent..
2. Major Attention Focusing on Emerging Markets
3. Significant Market Size:
-2010 MTK Solution Shipment up to 500M even more than Nokia
4. Low Memory Size/Very Optimized Contents Needed:
-Smartphone development logic/practice not properly applicable to Mediatek’s feature devices
5. A New Blue Ocean Market for VAS:
-Not many well compatible VAS solutions for Mediatek devices especially for non-China emerging markets

Why Does MRE Matter for Your Biz?

1. An Official Middleware Supported by Mediatek:

> MRE has become a “default component” with the activated status built in MTK feature phone OS/SW architecture

  • this is a very effective approach to penetrate MRE. As long as our customers take our SW branch (must be needed to operate our chipsets), MRE is as default existing right there.

2. More Strong Stickness/Incentive for Customers to Take

> More original Native MTK apps & Critical Killer Apps will be made by MRE apps in near future….

  • like fundamental app tools such as Calculator, Clock… Or even some key internet apps will be offered to customers in form of MRE instead of native apps as the default apps on SW branch. Customers must adopt MRE to get those key apps compatible. This strategy will create more strong stickness at our customer side to adopt MRE

3. A Systematic Support Rolling Out….

>“Mediatek Forum” established to promote MRE as key strategic plan since this May

  • Forum will organize MRE roadshows and technical seminars in SEA and India to joint our identified SP/CPs on launching out MRE solutions. This is the strong commitment made by Mediatek.

4. Mediatek’s Customers Need MRE to Make More Differentiations:

> More flexible & control for customers on developing differentiations

  • The SW/VAS differentiation for Mediatek’s customers to create is very vital for their survival in homogenous ecosystem. MRE is a technology platform/weapon committed by Mediatek to offer more flexibilities/control for customers to develop the competitive differentiations. SP/CP will take a significant role to facilitate this evolving trend and critical for our customers to rely on

From another MediaTek presentation [June 20, 2011]

Why MRE Rather Than Java?

image

MRE Competitiveness Summary

  1. Cost Efficiency:
    -Less Memory Required: even MCP 32+32 or 64+32 affordable to run
  2. Higher Performance:
    -Light and optimize to perform on Mediatek’s platform
  3. More Flexibility:
    -Many possibilities and development room for customers to create the differentiations, which can enhance the attractiveness/ stickiness
  4. More Penetration Space to monetize:
    -MRE is able to penetrate to low/mid feature phone segmentations which Java hard to reach, which is a new Ocean Blue market to grasp
    -Downloadable:
  5. More Biz Opportunities:
    -The emerging markets for VAS/Content demand on feature phone environment have a tremendous space to grow. This is like a Virgin Land for us to cultivate and to benefit

What is MRE? [MRE blog, Jan 21, 2012]

MRE (MAUI Runtime Environment) is a phone application development platform similar to JVM and Brew. On the MRE platform, you can realize solutions for smart feature phones on feature phones. Meanwhile, MediaTek also provides developers and end suppliers with highly efficient development tools (MRE SDK) and compilation environment for applications, allowing developers to develop applications more quickly and effectively.

Use MRE Platform to Easily Construct a Value Chain for Phone Software
All the functions in MRE are designed to reduce the development and deployment cost for application programs. They are the basic for constructing a good environment.

  • For phone users, phones with MRE platform allow you to download or install MRE applications and games to experience the fun of smart phones.
  • For developers, MRE SDK provides you with high-speed tools and rich APIs, helping you realize various types of applications.
  • For end suppliers, the MRE solutions solve the closed-ended [?closedness?] problems of feature phones and provide rich application experiences.

MRE Features

Supports Local Commands:
MRE applications are developed by ANSI C language and support local commands compiled by ADS, RVCT and GCC. The operating speed of applications can reach or approach the speed of static binding commands. DLL is supported to run applications from the external memory card.
Full Package of Development Tools:
The MRE SDK package provides a full set of development tools and documents, including the integrated development environment, simulator, debugger, monitor, API reference files and sample codes.
Bountiful Interfaces:
MRE packages bountiful interfaces from the MAUI platform and provides standard and simple programming concepts which help you develop all kinds of MRE application programs in easier and faster ways.
An Open Platform:
MRE is a platform of full documents open to companies or individuals to develop application programs. You can acquire more development tools and support from this website.
Sandbox and Digital Certification:
The sandbox mechanism protects the phone system and the user’s personal data from being attacked by hackers through MRE API.
The digital certification ensures the completeness of MRE applications and prevents the system from being damaged by hackers through modifying the MRE applications.

MRE Modules

The figure below lilsts the modules in the MRE platform.

MRE is composed of SAL (Software Abstract Layer), Framework and MRE API. SAL and Framework construct a complete operational environment. Framework is established above SAL which realizes the core functions of MRE, e.g. memory management, dynamic link, etc. By MRE API, the MRE applications call the framework API and MTK platform API to achieve various and rich functions.

From arm.com: ADS (ARM Developer Suite)

ADS consists of a suite of applications, together with supporting documentation and examples, that enable you to write and debug applications for the ARM family of RISC processors. You can use ADS to develop, build, and debug C, C++, and ARM assembly language programs.

The ADS toolkit consists of the following major components:

  • command-line development tools
  • GUI development tools
  • utilities
  • supporting software.

See Further reading on page ix for a list of the ADS documentation

From arm.com: RVCT (ARM RealView Compilation Tools)

RealView Compilation Tools consists of a suite of applications, together with supporting documentation and examples, that enable you to write applications for the ARM family of processors. You can use RealView Compilation Tools to build C, C++, and ARM assembly language programs.

… If you are new to RealView Compilation Tools, read the RealView Compilation Tools Essentials Guide for an overview of the ARM tools and an introduction to using them as part of your development project. …

From wikipediaGCC (GNU Compiler Collection)

… The current stable version of GCC is 4.7.1, which was released on June 14, 2012. … The standard compiler release 4.6 includes front ends for C (gcc), C++ (g++), Objective-C (gobjc), Fortran (gfortran), Java(gcj), Ada (GNAT), and Go (gccgo). Also available, but not in standard are Pascal (gpc), Mercury, Modula-2, Modula-3, PL/I, D (gdc), and VHDL (ghdl). A popular parallel language extension, OpenMP, is also supported. …

From answer to “COSMOS platform and Touch Panel phone. Is this two?” question:

COSMOS only support Touch platform. … The COSMOS platform we launched in W11.12MP, full touch platform, the UE, UI design to meet current user needs, giving users a new experience on a feature phone (class smartphone). … COSMOS support from MRE2.0.

MediaTek Gemini solution to open the dual card dual standby new era [press release (Chiese), Jan 16, 2012]

According to the latest report released by the U.S. market research firm Strategy Analytics, in the third quarter of 2011 has surpassed the United States, the world’s largest smart phone market. With the era of 3G smartphones, the freedom to switch between different networks become increasingly important consumers online increasingly urgent demand for voice and data at the same time, all this in mind, Samsung, Nokia, Motorola and other international manufacturers have access to the dual card dual standby market segments, dual card dual standby mobile phone market has great potential.

At present, a lot of dual sim dual standby smart phone terminal market. However, due to frequent 2G/3G gateway into different countries, roaming and load data download service, dual card dual standby mobile phone prone to continued power a short time, dropped calls and download dropped. Part of the program provider is the blind pursuit of multi-card more than to be ignored these consumers are most concerned about the use of the fundamental problems.

As a leading IC design roots in the mobile phone industry for many years, MediaTek has been a user needs as a fundamental starting point, and constantly develop innovative mobile phone solution. MediaTek years ago, leading the industry to launch dual-card dual standby solutions for the Gemini, the solution has been launched by virtue of the high stability of its platform, the industry’s lowest rate of dropped calls, high system integration and industry-unique low-power, in the short within the time had become the standard one of various mobile phone manufacturers to quickly lead the wave of mobile development.

After continuous R & D and innovation, the United Nations Development Technology Gemini solve the program to achieve a cell phone in a set of chips (BB + RF) of the original architecture, almost does not increase any of the BOM cost of the software to achieve more than one SIM card standby function. Users can be more than one SIM card into a mobile phone in the standby mode to answer any one card calls. Continuing escalation of this program to consolidate MediaTek’s leading position in technological innovation, complete solutions (total solutions) is highly integrated and highly optimized mobile phone hardware and software system architecture, the terminal performance not only to the limit, but also the industry’s lowest power consumption level.

MediaTek recently launched a new generation of dual-card dual standby solutions for the Gemini V2, continuation of the advantages of a the MediaTek total solution complete system solutions that can support two SIM cards operate in 2G/3G networks, the solution for mobile households huge demand of the Internet more to do breakthrough software to optimize the industry’s dual card dual standby program to achieve the only one SIM card during data transmission, another SIM card can receive or make calls, while the standby time with the previous performance the same. Other existing dual card dual standby program, data transmission at the same time, another SIM card is completely unable to voice dial-up behavior. MediaTek Technology Gemini V2 to innovative technologies to enhance the ability to support voice and data synchronization, and give full play to the advantages of dual-card users can enjoy download or the Internet, while answering the phone, avoiding the phenomenon of dropped calls, and truly worthy of the name pairs card dual standby.

Years ago, the three operators in China had dual card dual standby become one of the customized standard, the MediaTek launch of the “true dual standby function will greatly operators welcome. Now is able to switch between the GSM, WCDMA network. The user can no longer have to worry about the bobble in the high-speed Internet access when important calls or call application setting, both to ensure call the Internet correct, they do not particularly change, this is a best of both worlds.

The smart phone’s standby time is short, has been plagued by a number of smart phone users, how do low-power enhancements, MediaTek give full play to the advantages of its total solution, Gemini V2 also achieved a major breakthrough in power on hardware, software and system optimization and innovation, its power consumption is half of the other dual card dual standby solutions can be found: when tested with other programs, Gemini V2 mobile phone standby time is twice that of other programs , but not because of the dual-card feature caused by the wear and tear of standby time. Data upload and download speeds, Gemini V2 to achieve the same industry-leading level in the protocol stack to achieve a great deal of optimization, the program’s data upload and download speed of response is about two to three times faster than competing solutions. become the fastest dual card dual standby solution, which can provide users with an excellent online experience.

In addition, MediaTek uphold from the consumers’ experience starting in Gemini V2 dual-card switching, and choice of Internet user interface (UI) has done a lot more intuitive, more user-friendly design, for example, the user can specify which a card for Internet access, so Internet access will give priority to use this card, which help users to achieve tariff optimization, while ensuring the quality of voice and data to achieve the best.

With a high degree of stability and excellent performance, MediaTek dual card dual standby solution has become the leading fashion benchmark, widely recognized by the major operators, handset manufacturers and users. I believe in the future development, together Technologies R & D and introduced more chip products that meet market and consumer needs, work with partners to promote the Chinese mobile phone industry continue to move toward prosperity.

MediaTek Brings Yahoo! Services Around The World [June 1, 2011]

MediaTek Inc, a leading manufacturer of semiconductors for wireless communications and Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO), the premier digital media company, today announced a global partnership that will embed Yahoo!’s services into MediaTek’s mobile platform solutions. MediaTek is the world’s largest mobile chipset maker and in 2010, the company shipped over 500 million units for assembly into a wide range of mobile phones distributed worldwide.

Yahoo! will be MediaTek’s first global mobile service partner to deliver mobile Internet services including Yahoo! Messenger, News, Finance, Weather, Mail and other Yahoo! popular services on MediaTek’s MAUI Runtime Environment (MRE). MRE is MediaTek’s new middleware technology designed for mobile developers to deploy services and content for ‘Smart-Feature phones.’

With the launch of the MRE technology and the partnership with Yahoo! and MediaTek, the market can expect more ‘Smart-Feature phones’ to be available at an affordable price. This partnership will also allow users of handsets powered by MediaTek’s System on Chips to easily discover and connect with Yahoo! through its best-in-class products, content, tools and services and help them get the most of the digital world. MediaTek has been working closely with leading handset brands such as Cherry Mobile, Spice Group, Spice CSL and Nexian to develop products based on the MRE technology and it is in ongoing discussions with other brands.

According to Ming-Kai Tsai, Chairman of MediaTek, “MediaTek has redefined the mobile landscape through our partnership with Yahoo!. By integrating Yahoo! services into our mobile platform solutions, we are providing our customers and end users with access to the best experience for hugely popular Yahoo! services like Messenger, Mail, News, Weather and much more. ”

“Our collaboration with Yahoo! makes it more convenient for handset manufacturers to accelerate their speed to market and to reduce their deployment cost of those popular services. This is a significant milestone and a win-win for all parties who can now capitalize on the high growth rate of feature phones happening around the world.”

Rose Tsou, Senior Vice President of Yahoo! Asia Pacific said, “The mobile Internet presents a wealth of opportunity for Yahoo! and our partnership with MediaTek will further connect us with our audiences in growing markets such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam and India where new to Internet users are coming online for the first time through their mobile devices.”

The MediaTek and Yahoo! product development roadmap covers MRE, widget capable ‘Smart Feature phones’ and the Android platform. Services included in the roadmap are Yahoo! Messenger, Mail, News, Weather, Finance, Cricket, Flickr and Answers. More services will be added in the future.

Yahoo Licensed MRE Clients [MRE blog, Jan 3, 2012]

With MRE technology, Mediatek mobile device end user can enjoy powerful and high-performance Yahoo services in low-end feature phone. These Yahoo services include Yahoo Messenger, Yahoo News, Yahoo Weather and Yahoo Finance.

Yahoo Messenger

  • Y!M (Yahoo Messenger) is Yahoo chat client for MRE (formerly VRE) enabled MTK platform phones.
  • This version of Yahoo Messenger supports basic features that enables users to do text chat with friends, manage friends, updating profile status, search, Profile picture display, emotion icons, links in chat etc.

Yahoo Weather

  • This is Yahoo Weather mobile client application for MRE (MAUI Runtime Environment) enabled MTK handsets.
  • Application provides weather information for cities. Information provided will be either in Celsius or Fahrenheit units. Application provides weather forecast for five days. User can search cities for which he desires to get the weather information or he can also set a city as his favorite by adding it in My locations list. The weather information of favorite cities is displayed in home screen by default.

Yahoo News

  • This is Yahoo News mobile client application for MRE (MAUI Runtime Environment) enabled MTK handsets.
  • Application helps to fetch news of various countries. User can make any country as his home country after which news categories of that country will get displayed. User can fetch list of headlines for particular selected category and can view summary of news for any listed headline. If user wants to read full news then application will open yahoo news link for that particular news in browser.

Yahoo Finance

  • This is Yahoo Finance mobile client application for MRE (MAUI Runtime Environment) enabled MTK handsets.
  • Application provides information for stocks of various companies by using ticker symbol or searching company’s stock by name. Yahoo Finance application provides graphical representation of ups and downs of stocks of company for different time periods.

MediaTek Announces Global Partnership to Bring Facebook to ‘Smart-Feature Phones’ [press release, Nov 8, 2011]

MediaTek Inc., a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions, and Facebook today announced a global partnership that will see Facebook embedded into MediaTek’s mobile platform solutions, enabling users in emerging markets to access Facebook, many for the first time, via affordable mobile devices.

MediaTek is the world’s largest mobile chipset platform provider, shipping over 500 million units in 2010, for assembly into a wide range of mobile phones distributed worldwide. This partnership will allow users of handsets powered by MediaTek’s Runtime Environment (MRE), to better connect with their friends, family and coworkers.

MRE is MediaTek’s innovative middleware technology designed for mobile developers and application providers to deploy services and content for ‘Smart-Feature phones’*. The MRE solution provides millions of users in emerging markets with the ability to enjoy rich online experiences previously available only on smartphones. MRE-enabled devices will enable many users to access leading Internet services, such as Facebook, for the first time.

This global partnership underscores the significant potential to present users worldwide with a gateway to access Facebook. Last year, phones powered by MediaTek chipsets represent over 40% of the overall Indian handset market. With the launch of this global partnership, MediaTek is expecting more than half of its customers in India to adopt its MRE solution.

“Our new partnership with Facebook further reinforces MediaTek’s focus on providing differentiated services and value for handset brands, giving them the means to offer affordable, compelling and differentiated mobile solutions to consumers in key emerging markets such as India,” said Cheng-Te Chuang, Corporate Vice President of MediaTek.

Vaughan Smith, Mobile Partnerships and Corporate Development Vice President of Facebook added, “Every phone should be social and we’re excited to be working with MediaTek to bring Facebook to more devices, in more markets around the world and helping users to connect and share anywhere, anytime.”

MediaTek is currently working with leading handset brands, including Spice Group and Micromax in India, Cherry Mobile in the Philippines, and Nexian in Indonesia to roll out their mobile solutions in these key markets.

MediaTek’s chips have been a powerful force behind the worldwide mobile telephony revolution. In emerging markets such as India, the ability to offer features such as color interfaces, cameras, video recorders, QWERTY keypads and dual SIM capability at a compelling price point has driven the uptake of MediaTek-powered ‘Smart-Feature phones’.

“With MediaTek’s new MRE solution, we are in a position to redefine the mobile landscape and give our users their first mobile browsing and social networking experience on a handset that costs less than US$50,” shared Dilip Modi, Managing Director of Spice Mobility.

“This is a true breakthrough for the industry, and we are very proud to be working with a leader in innovation like MediaTek to create unprecedented value for our users across India, many of whom will access popular internet services such as Facebook for the first time via their mobile device,” added Vikas Jain, Business Director of Micromax Mobile.

*‘Smart-Feature phone’ refers to a feature phone device with Internet functionality

MRE Facebook Client [MRE blog, March 8, 2012]

Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life. Now it is available on MRE!

 

 

Boost Up Web Browsing On Smart-Feature Phones [Dec 2, 2011]

Opera Mini mobile browsers to ship worldwide on MediaTek’s MRE Platform

Opera Software and MediaTek Inc., a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions, today announced that Opera Mini, the world’s most popular mobile browser, will be included into MediaTek’s Runtime Environment (MRE).

MRE is MediaTek’s innovative middleware technology designed for mobile developers and application providers to deploy services and content for “smart-feature-phones”. The MRE solution provides millions of users in emerging markets with the ability to enjoy rich mobile Internet experiences previously available only on smartphones. This partnership will allow users of handsets powered by MediaTek’s MRE platform to enjoy the best and most affordable Internet experience.

Opera Mini has an impressive user base, with more than 140 million users each month and growing. It offers cloud-assisted browsing, where its renowned compression technology reduces data load by up to 90% before sending it to phones. This results in a much faster page-loading speed on a limited bandwidth connection, as well as lower data costs.

“MediaTek and Opera Software share the same vision. We both want people to access the Web on their own terms,” said Lars Boilesen, CEO of Opera Software. “The MRE solution makes the traditional feature phone smarter and, at the same time, delivers the best user experience. Opera Mini makes the Web an enjoyable experience regardless of bandwidth. We look forward to seeing the next billion people to surf with Opera Mini on MRE-powered phones.”

MediaTek is the world’s largest mobile chipset platform provider, shipping over 500 million units in 2010, for assembly into a wide range of mobile phones distributed worldwide.

MediaTek Announces Global Partnership with Mobile Gaming Giant Gameloft [press release, May 11, 2012]

MediaTek Inc., a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions and mobile gaming giant Gameloft, today jointly announced a global strategic partnership. Through this global partnership, Gameloft is committed to fully support a wide range of gaming applications available on MediaTek’s feature and smartphone platform solutions. Gameloft has also begun to allocate dedicated R&D team and resource for the development of games that will run on MediaTek’s mobile phone platforms.

To meet the rapid growth of the mobile gaming market, MediaTek and Gameloft have come together to offer high quality games supported by MediaTek’s high performance mobile platforms that can meet the increasing demands of gamers regarding speed and multimedia features. MediaTek announced that its newest single chip solution, the MT6255, which will come pre-loaded with Asphalt 6: Adrenaline™, Gameloft’s most popular racing game to date, as well as trial versions of three other best selling games, Block Breaker 3™, Assassin’s Creed Revelations™, and Brain Challenge 3 : Think Again!™—all at no extra cost to manufacturers. Besides, Gameloft has already begun to funnel resources and game development teams in France, Vietnam, and China to create games that will run on MediaTek powered mobile platforms.

According to a recently released market survey carried out by IT research firm SuperData, mobile gaming will be a $7.5 billion market by 2015E, more than triple the $2.7 billion that it is today. The survey also showed that Asia is currently the largest market for mobile gaming, with revenues forecasted to total $3.2 billion by 2015E, accounting for 40% of the total market. Since anywhere between 3.5% and 10% of mobile free-to-play game audiences will convert to paying users, this market segment offers a large potential for growth.

Regarding the new partnership, Ching-Jiang Hsieh, President of MediaTek said, “With the rapid development of mobile Internet applications and services, mobile gaming has become one of the leading value-added service and application in the mobile Internet industry today. I see our new partnership with Gameloft as a major breakthrough for the industry: With MediaTek’s strong platform customization and Gameloft’s cutting-edge game development capabilities, together we will be able to bring even more value to mobile phones, thereby increasing the competitive edge of our customers among mobile phone industry.”

“We look forward to leveraging MediaTek’s high performance mobile platforms to deliver our exciting selection of games to even more users worldwide. Gameloft has been present on the Chinese market for over 10 years with strong business and creation teams and we are thrilled to increase our presence to propose our games to the billion phone users in China. In sync with Mediatek’s philosophy, Gameloft’s mission is to provide a good experience to the mass market at a very reasonable price. Together we share the vision of leveraging our mutual technology and experience to serve the needs of the public in the broadest way possible,” said Gonzague de Vallois, senior vice president of Gameloft.

George Zhu, CEO of TECNO, leading handset brand in Africa also noted, “As one of MediaTek’s strategic partners, the concept of “entertainment” has always been one of the mainstays of the TECNO brand name. We are very excited about the benefits that this strategic partnership will bring to our users. As these two giants combine their strengths, it will allow us to develop even more competitive products which will bring our customers an even better gaming experience.”

MRE Gameloft Games [April 11, 2012]

Gameloft is the leading mobile game provider in the world. Now end user can enjoy the high quality Gameloft games on MRE devices!

Asphalt 6

 

 

Assassin Creed

 

Block Breaker 3

 

Brain Challenge 3

 

See also:
App Review [list of posts on the MRE blog], currently 20
MRE Eco-System Introduction [MRE blog, Feb 3, 2012]
MRE Version Number Unveiled [MRE blog, Jan 16, 2012]

MoMagic develops App Store solution on MRE platform for application users [MoMagic press release, March 29, 2012]

MediaTek Inc, a leading fables semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions and MoMagic Technologies which focuses on mobile platform operation and mobile Internet service for India and other emerging markets have tied up for an application development platform called Maui Runtime Environment (MRE).

Developed by MediaTek MRE allows developers to realize smart phone solutions for feature phones. MRE provides application developers high speed tools and rich API set to provide users a rich experience. Phones with MRE Platform are closing the gap with smart phones.

MoMagic has developed App Store solution on MRE platform to help application developers an efficient way to distribute and monetize their application. The App Store will be first launched with a large number of MRE Applications in all areas like Utility, SNS, Games, Entertainment and others. Solutions provided are of a wide variety for the huge feature phone customer base.

“MoMagic Technologies is always focused to work on middle and low end of the phone user. The App Store has been developed keeping in mind the feature phone users”, said Mr. Arun Gupta, CEO, MoMagic Technologies.

“The App Store is very easy to use and navigate around. Store allows users to view newest MRE Applications, most downloaded ones, highest rated ones and also the ones downloaded for future reference”, he added.

Using this App Store user can view the Application details like description, user rating, download, etc. A number of Applications and games can be downloaded with the ease of the download manager and one can pause/resume downloads as preferred. All these features seem to take feature phone one step closer to smart phones in terms of application experience.

It seems in a very short span of time the difference between smart and feature phones would fade awayand it’s all because of platforms like MRE and solutions like MoMagic’s App Store.

“For the past few years we have seen multiple new entries in the mobile platform and hence development of Applications and App Store as a result. All this seems great but the development of Applications has been mostly directed towards smart phones and feature phones have been left out. We should not forget that worldwide feature phones market share is close to 70%, and in Asia and Africa it is still close to 80%”, Mr. Arun Gupta further said.

MediaTek Announces Investment into Spice Digital [press release, July 29, 2011]

MediaTek Inc., a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions, today announced that it has invested into Spice Digital Limited, one of the largest Mobile Value Added Services ( mVAS ) player in India with presence in close to 20 countries. In connection with this agreement, MediaTek will invest US$ 20 million.

According to a recent study of Standard Chartered, India is set to become the fastest growing major economy in the world by 2012. It is also estimated to have more than 700M mobile subscribers, with that number still increasing. In addition, market research states that the mVAS (mobile value added service) market in India will enjoy over 100% growth over 5 yearsand will constitute about 10% of total telecom revenue for Indian operators. It is no surprise then that an increasing number of Indian operators are putting attention and resources into mVAS, which represents a huge market potential.

Spice Digital Limited was incorporated in 2000 and has become one of India’s top VAS companies with over 30M subscribers. It offers innovative solutions for telecom operators, enterprises, and government agencies using different mobile connectivity mediums of Voice, IVR, SMS, USSD, WAP, 3G & Mobile Applications. The company is well connected with all major operators in India including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance Communication and also enjoys accelerated penetration into Africa and SE Asia.

During the signing ceremony held in MediaTek headquarters this morning, Mr. Ming-Kai Tsai, Chairman of MediaTek said, “The mobile Internet presents a wealth of opportunity for MediaTek and we believe India’s IVR and mVAS market, where Spice Digital’s core business lies, will continue to grow. Through this investment in Spice Digital, we are hoping to capitalize on its market potential and reinforce its strong operator relationship and leading position in India, SEA, Africa and Middle East.”

Dr. Bhupendra Kumar Modi, Chairman of SPICE Global stated, “India is already one of the fastest growing large economies in the world and has the potential to become the world’s largest economy. Mobile Internet can help India achieve double digit GDP growth rate and our businesses continue to lead the country’s move on the digital highway with mobile Internet. MediaTek is well known as a leading Mobile IC solutions provider. We are very excited to have signed this definitive agreement with MediaTek. Through this investment, we can together offer more advanced and innovative services and enrich the digital mobile life of the future.”

Oversea MRE Devices ! [MRE blog, April 6, 2012] [$73, 2.8”, 320×240]

With MRE technology, Mediatek worldwide customers can easily to introduce the local applications for product differentiation. So more and more MRE enabled low-end feature phone devices appear in the market with rich mobile games and mobile internet services today.

Thailand:

GNET G818 GNET G817 i-Mobile U3502 I-Mobile S501T
clip_image002 clip_image003 clip_image004 clip_image006

India:

Lava C51 [$42] Micromax MX434I Micromax X55 [$55] Spice M-5225 [$32]
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Wynncom O-888 Wynncom O-777 Wynncom O-799 Karbonn K55 [$51]
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LAVA KKT 36 [$64] FLY DS123 FLY E141 TV Micromax X288 [$36]
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Lemon Duo 339 Super [$45] Spice M-5885 [$60] HT Mobile I9 HT Mobile 404
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Micromax X368 [$38] FLY Q100 [$43] Micromax MX151 [$23] iBall i225 [$22]
image image image image

Philippines:

Cherry Mobile W2 Star Mobile T501 Star Mobile B501 Star Mobile B302
clip_image002 clip_image004[7] clip_image006 clip_image008[4]

Indonesia:

Nexian G963
[$74, 3.5”, 480×320]
Nexian G965
[$85, 3.5”, 480×320]
Nexian G790
[$58, 2.8”, 320×240]
IMO M306
clip_image001 clip_image003[5] clip_image005 clip_image007[5]
       
Nexian G855 Nexian G967 Venera AKTIV215 IMO M180 [$45, 2.6”, 320×240]
clip_image009 clip_image011 clip_image013 clip_image015

Malaysia:

Spice CSL BB 7500 Spice CSL DS 720
clip_image002[9] clip_image004[5]

Africa:

Tecno T77 [$54] Tecno HD70 Mi-Fone MI-400 G-PLUS L300
clip_image002[11] clip_image003[7] clip_image005[5] clip_image007[7]
       
G-PLUS S20 G-PLUS L300 Tecno T50 Tecno T281
clip_image009[5] clip_image011[5] clip_image013[5] clip_image015[5]
       
iTel E7
[$73, 2.8”, 320×240]
     
clip_image016      

LaTAM:

Verykool I605 BLU Deco Pro BLU Deco
clip_image002[13] clip_image004[7] clip_image006[9]

Other:

MegaGate W750
[$99, 3.5”, 480×320]
F-Mobile B8300 [$67, 3.2”, 400×240]
Pakistan Vietnam
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Nokia Design direction

Update: Marko Ahtisaari, Head of Design at Nokia on the Lumia 920 & Working with Microsoft [minipcpro YouTube channel, Oct 31, 2012]

On the day of the official launch of Windows Phone 8 and http://www.mobilegeeks.com got a little behind the scene’s for you. Sascha took a trip to Nokia’s headquarters in Finland and got to sit down with Marko Ahtisaari Head of Design at Nokia sits down with us for a 30 minute Q&A. He tackles questions like what is the working relationship like with Microsoft? What would make to proud to hear people say about the Lumia 920? Where to you draw your design inspiration from? Quite a bit of insight is provided into the design process and he even takes a moment to clear up what he meant when he was quoted on spending half his time on non smartphone projects. It’s pretty interesting since the information came about in a round about way from a wearable computing question. Well worth watching if you want to know how things come together.

Marko Ahtisaari, Executive Vice President, DesignPeople Made: Conversations with Nokia Designers [published on nokia YouTube channel, July 31, 2012] prepared for and shown on “People Made – An Exhibition on Nokia Design” held between June 8 and September 2 in Helsinki (see the background information below)

Views/opinions/answers by Marko Ahtisaari, Executive Vice President, Design; member of the Nokia Leadership Team, leading both the industrial design and user experience design activities in Nokia.

Part 1 – PT1 [7:27] What is the biggest motivation in your role?

… [8:23] I think for me it’s that moment when you see the impact of something that you and the team have been working on, in the hands of people and then inventing ways to use it, or take it further that you haven’t anticipated. And I think that power to cross things that spread imagination and empower people. That’s for me, and recently that’s been with N9 getting feedbacks in how the imagination races when you start using it. And us of course making it better. [8:57] …

Part 2 – PT2 [3:30] Where will Nokia Design have its biggest impact in the future?

… [4:12] Further to what Pete’s said one particular topic of the studio, the scale is what we can do to impact change at extremely affordable price points. And that’s something that our industry as a whole does not get excited about, innovations in that area. They care more about something very expensive parts of the portfolio like get N9 and innovating then. What we can do under 10 Euros, under 5 Euros that changes everything, in a way from bottom up? That’s very unique and exciting. [4:51] …

Regarding the design aspects of N9 see:
Nokia to enter design pattern competition for 2011 smartphones with MeeGo [this same Experiencing the Cloud, Dec 9, 2010 – Jan 31, 2012]
Nokia N9 UX [?Swipe?] on MeeGo 1.2 Harmattan [this same Experiencing the Cloud, June 24 – Oct 27, 2011]

[12:40] What are the foundations Nokia Design is laying for the future?

… [13:20] I think if continue on that, real challenges: we make things that are combinations of hardware and software, how do we make the business more sustainable in value in the sense that we can give you a phone and it has a longer life. May be one phone is enough, and then you can upgrade it, even in our industry where the cycle is so fast, and constantly the engines and technologies are changing. How do we get to a path that isn’t built on selling you one every year. [13:47] … [15:01] I think one area where we have huge opportunities: we are just at the beginning. If you look at the physicality of the object, how natural we can make the interaction? I think the N9 shows a bit, it’s like a hint. It’s the first glimpse of how you can make something so direct. Peter and I were last summer in the garden of alvaraldos (??), experimental summer house muratsava (??). In the garden walking with Nato Fukasawa (??), and we were asking “Do you think that your view of just discovering the most natural way that a person relates to an object, is that already applied to software?” He said: “Oh, maybe now with this directness .. I’m coming to see you next year.” [response] “Oh, we have something to show you.” We are just at the beginning, so how do we make common technology to recede to the background, so feel even more natural, it becomes even more invisible? [15:58]

Part 4 – PT4 [8:28] How will our industry change in the next decade?

… [10:29] I think an important angle to that which Peter you raise as we have to develop ways of moving very quickly in five to ten months, not just five to ten years, and catch the small things that change. Couple of the things that are certainly happening: one is this drive to lower and lower cost, then almost anyone can manufacture, and how is that changing? Everything sort of democratization of making things, not only effecting our industry. And then the other one, which is I think good all around us, more democratization of information, so we are getting to a point where there will be a website for that. And this period of having apps as a way to structure our relationship with these devices probably [will end]. It’s difficult to see from the inside, because this is all moving so fast, but I think we’ll see more of the open web again, then we’ll have the Internet back. [11:22] … [12:02] We are very sensitive to small beautiful ideas [12:05]

[15:25] What will the Nokia Design legacy be in the future?

… [16:00] Potential. [16:07]

Important presentation video (you should click on the image to go to a video page):
image
see at: http://www.dmi.org/dmi/html/conference/europe12/CE12AHT.htm

More information:
Nokia Lumia (Windows Phone 7) value proposition [this same Experiencing the Cloud, Oct 26 – Nov 2, 2011]
Designing smarter phones–Marko Ahtisaari (Nokia) and Albert Shum (Microsoft) [this same Experiencing the Cloud, Nov 23, 2011]
Best practice industrial and user experience design – Nokia and Microsoft [this same Experiencing the Cloud, Dec 17, 2011 – Jan 31, 2012]
Less focus on feature phones while extending the smartphones effort: further readjustments at Nokia [this same Experiencing the Cloud, June 25, 2012]

Simplifying core use of phones is the focus of innovation at Nokia [The Hindu, July 24, 2012]

Nokia recently launched Lumia 610 in India, adding to the Lumia 800 and 710 ranges it already has in the market. It plans to launch the Lumia 900 here soon.

Marko Ahtisaari, Executive Vice-President (Design) of Nokia, spoke to M. Soundariya Preetha on the “heads up” design principle the company is adopting for its products. The correspondent was at Nokia’s design studio in Helsinki recently at the invitation of the company. Excerpts:

How does Nokia plan to take forward its “heads up” principle in the design of its products?

It is about designing products in a way that allows people to have heads up. It means the user interface is planned simple, is easy to quickly look at and does not demand more of your attention. I am interested in the 50 to 100 everyday things that people do with the phone that can be designed better. It involves combining innovation in hardware and software, an innovation that helps simplify the core use of the phone. One example is what we already have in the market for some time: on the screen of your phone you see the time and some view of what notifications you would have on the screen even when the phone is taking almost no power.

Why is design an important factor in a product?

We are ahead in a trend towards purity and we are focusing the product on essentials. People appreciate attention to detail. Our key challenge and opportunity is how do we apply the same level of attention to detail to all ranges of our products. Another challenge and opportunity is material innovation. We are meaningfully different because of quality and attention to details.

Apart from design, the other key areas that make the difference include photography features, continuous innovation, and features related to location and motionon our products (maps, drive, and public transport).

Can you elaborate on the plans to extend some features of the smart phone to all ranges?

Nokia recently launched Asha touch products, introducing full touch experience at new price points. We can do these kinds of hardware and software combinations, and can innovate in all price points. We cannot restrict innovation to a category of products.

Moving forward, how would you like Nokia products to be?

It is designing phones that feel human yet extremely advanced, phones that feel very organic and beautiful. Design is the soul of a product. It plays a key role in building products better, and it means consequent attention to details.

Design also stands out by re-imagining and improving what people do every day with phone and designing the product is such a way that people can use it heads up. It allows people to be connected to each other.

More information: Smartphone-like Asha Touch from Nokia: targeting the next billion users with superior UX created for ultra low-cost and full touch S40 devices [this same Experiencing the Cloud, July 20, 2012]

‘Heads up’ urges Nokia design chief [Yle News, March 15, April 27, 2012]

Nokia’s Executive Vice President of Design Marko Ahtisaari says in an interview with the Finnish business magazine Optio that he is looking for the next big leap in mobile user interfaces. It is likely to involve a radically different way of using mobiles.

His vision for the mobile phone in 2020 can be summarised in two words: ’heads up’, meaning that users should be able to use their phones without hunching over a screen.

He refused to give further details, beyond saying that it is a breakthrough, and that it involves speech commands.

In a word association exercise, Ahtisaari said that Google’s Android operating system was a ‘business innovation’, and had ‘nothing to do with design’. He also described Apple’s iPad as ‘significant’, and the iPhone as ‘five years old’.

Nokia’s forthcoming Lumia 900, meanwhile, was described as pure, clean-cut and simplified.

Ahtisaari also said that work on developing tablets takes up around a third of his time at Nokia.

On Windows Phone and Nokia’s ability to change its preferred smartphone platform, Ahtisaari told Optio that he believes the premise of the question is wrong.

”First you have to ask, how much Windows Phone should change,” said Ahtisaari. If the operating system is modern and holistic, it is pointless to change it. The most important thing is to get it into the market quickly, because the life cycle of operating systems is not eternal. Evolution always goes in 7-8 year leaps.”

Nokia’s Lumia 800 and 900: Seamlessly Simple [Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), July 10, 2012]

Q & A with Marko Ahtisaari, EVP, Nokia Design
The smartphone market is highly competitive with two operating systems currently taking a large share. With the Lumia project, Nokia set out to establish the Windows Phone operating system as the third ecosystem, building awareness of its superior capabilities and simplicity and to establish Nokia as the leader of this ecosystem. Designed to be singularly beautiful, and as the lead product in Nokia’s brand renewal, the Lumia line also expresses the company’s strategy to stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Which came first the device or the OS? Which side (Nokia or Microsoft) initiated this unique collaboration?

The Nokia Lumia 800 and Nokia Lumia 900 were both born out of work that was ongoing at Nokia and Microsoft before the two companies came together.

Early on, we discovered that the design principles that inspired us were closely aligned. These are phones that aspire to be human and advanced and authentically digital. The design approach is one of rich reduction: on-screen and off this required taking away the unnecessary to make a simpler more beautiful phone. It’s a phone that puts your stuff front and center, where you want it and can find it fast. These phones are designed to be unobtrusive when in use, with the boundary between physical and digital interaction blending seamlessly at the curved edge of the screen. The result, we think, is a very natural fit.

Did the Nokia ID team have strong UI competency? What challenges did you face designing within Microsoft’s OS constraints?

Yes, our Lumia team comprises ID and UX designers. One of the biggest challenges was controlling the screen temperature of the colors. Nokia Lumia smartphones are colorful to the core; color is inherent in the polymer of the polycarbonate and central to the digital experience with the live tiles. The bold and simple look of these matching colors belies the amount of work that went in to achieving them, but the results we ultimately achieved on the Nokia Lumia 800 and Nokia Lumia 900 really make the Windows Phone interface pop.

How was research divided among the two teams? Did Nokia focus on materials? How did the Nokia team contribute to user research?

Yes, we started with materials; it’s the material that determines the form and function of the phone. Polycarbonate is RF transparent, so it offers great antennae performance and, as we mentioned, it allowed us to ingrain the color in the monobody. It’s a material that Nokia has mastered, and we continue to innovate with. For the Nokia Lumia 800 and Nokia Lumia 900, we used post-processing techniques more commonly reserved for metals, such as machining to tight tolerances and removing part lines, ensuring there is high definition in every detail to create a premium look and feel for the phone.

What was the biggest obstacle to getting the monobody to flow seamlessly into the glass display?

We had immense challenges in manufacturing and assembly. We had to rethink the entire construction concept and design of the phone from the inside out. We had made the body out of a single piece of polycarbonate, and so we needed to assemble the internals and chassis in sections through the screen aperture, locking them together with a puzzle joint. It was a bit like putting a ship inside a bottle.

We minimized flaws by using as few parts as possible, simple split lines, tight tolerances and relentless attention to detail. All of the openings on the body were machined after the injection moulding and then coated to achieve the most precise geometry possible. In this way we were able to produce the part with a level of craftsmanship normally associated with materials like metal.

How did you arrive at using cyan, light magenta and lime as the colors for the body?

We wanted to create a timeless device, not follow a trend. The colors of our Lumia range are inspired by the CMYK color palette, traditionally used in the print industry. These colors are distinctive modern design icons, people recognize them instantly. As primary colors they contrast with each other, and when you put them together with a black glass screen they produce a bold confident look that really stands out.

This line has a strong heritage including the N9. Which design element was most difficult to leave behind or omit in iterating from the N9 to the Lumia 800 (or Lumia 900)?

The Nokia Lumia 800 was a continuation of the Nokia N9 approach, iterated to get the best of Windows Phone. We brought back the camera key to better integrate the camera experience and utilized 64 pixels of screen real estate to position the soft keys.

With a less but better design attitude, everything has to earn its place. We took the same approach with the inbox accessories. Starting with the USB cable, we designed the USB plugs with aluminium caps to make the plugs as compact as possible. We created the European charger as a pure cylinder, matching the 38mm diameter socket. The high gloss white finish from the tool meant we could avoid the use of protective coatings while allowing tight draft angles and masking visual imperfections.

What do you hope will be the design legacy of these devices?

People want phones that look great and work brilliantly. The best legacy for Nokia Lumia 800 and Nokia Lumia 900 would be to continue to give people exactly that.

Background

Helsinki is World Design Capital 2012 [Conversations by Nokia, Jan 5, 2012]

Marko Ahtisaari, Nokia SVP Design, said: “WDC Helsinki 2012 is a natural way for us to talk about our latest design innovations such as the Nokia N9, in which the physical form, materials, user interface and services – such as Nokia Maps – are combined into one seamless whole.”

One of the many activities Nokia will organize during WDC Helsinki 2012 is a design exhibition. The exhibition provides people with a unique chance to learn the stories behind some of the Nokia devices that changed the world. In addition to looking at the past 20 years, the exhibit will also give insights into the future design of mobile products.

People Made: An exhibition designed and curated by Nokia Design [nokia YouTube channel, June 11, 2012]

People Made traces the past, present and future of Nokia Design at World Design Capital. From June 8th to September 2nd 2012, Helsinki hosts the exhibition as part of a celebration of Hi Design. Conceived and curated at the London Design Museum in 2011, this film examines the inspiration, design and creation of People Made. To learn more about People Made, visit: http://nokia.ly/LxqRM9 HI Design 2012: http://nokia.ly/KNrFip

People Made: Nokia’s role in shaping the industry and changing lives [page on the Nokia website, June 8, 2012]

People Made -An Exhibition on Nokia Design 8 June - 2 September 2012

People Made, an exhibition as part of World Design Capital Helsinki, looks across more than 20 years of Nokia product making, and explores how Nokia has been instrumental in changing the lives of millions of people around the world.

Life-changing design innovations

People Made -An Exhibition on Nokia Design 8 June - 2 September 2012

The exhibition charts some of Nokia’s most significant design innovations, starting with the first mass-market digital handset (Nokia 1011) through to Nokia’s latest game-changing products (Nokia Lumia 800 and 900).  The exhibition also offers a compelling human dimension.  A new film installation called ‘Changing Lives’ shares personal, and often emotional, perspectives on Nokia and the influence of its products as told by the people who have had their lives changed by mobile technology.

People Made -An Exhibition on Nokia Design 8 June - 2 September 2012

Nokia designers on the future of the mobile industry

People Made -An Exhibition on Nokia Design 8 June - 2 September 2012

A further aspect to the exhibition is a film documenting a series of conversations between Nokia designers on the role they and design have in shaping the future. Taking a speculative look at the coming decade, the designers explore where the industry is headed, the challenges and opportunities that will exist, and they share their thoughts on advancing design and the Nokia legacy.

Innovations in colour

People Made -An Exhibition on Nokia Design 8 June - 2 September 2012

A special addition to the exhibition during its stay in Helsinki is a studio called the Colour Space. The Colour Space explores and celebrates the process of design.  At the centre of the space is a permanent showcase of Nokia’s latest innovative experiments with colour.

Showcasing the brilliance of the Finnish design community
The Colour Space will also host ongoing workshops, seminars and ‘live’ projects where experts from the Finnish design community show some of the practices and methods behind the brilliant design work that permeates our lives.

People Made — Nokia Products That Changed The World will be at the Cable Factory in Helsinki from June 8.

People Made at WDC Helsinki [Brand Book Nokia blog, June 13, 2012]

People Made, the exhibition which premiered last year at London’s Design Museum, has just re-opened its doors at World Design Capital Helsinki.  As part of the Hi Design expo at Kaapeli, People Made looks across more than 20 years of Nokia product making, and explores how Nokia Design has been instrumental in changing the lives of millions of people around the world.

“The exhibition charts some of Nokia’s most significant design innovations, starting with the first mass-market digital handset, the Nokia 1011, through to Nokia’s latest game-changing products such as the Nokia Lumia 800 and 900.” says Stephen White, who curated People Made. “But the exhibition also takes a speculative look forward in a film with Nokia designers discussing their role in shaping the future.”

New elements for this run of the exhibition include a film installation exploring the influence of Nokia and its products as told by Nokia customers. The second new element is a space celebrating the process of design through ongoing workshops and seminars where experts from the Finnish design community share some of the practices and methods behind the brilliant design work that permeates our lives.

People Made – Nokia Products That Changed The World
8 June – 2 September 2012
Merikaapelihalli, Kaapelitehdas, Helsinki
Entrance free

Design and curation: Nokia Design
Exhibition build: Eastway, Fair Factory
Photography: Angel Gil

Working harder: How industrial design influences Nokia [Nokia Connects, June 30, 2012]

If there’s one thing that practically everyone agrees on when it comes to Nokia phones, it’s that they’re beautifully designed and as hard as nails.

In fact, there’s an entire genre of memes dedicated to their amazingly indestructible nature. While these are loads of fun, what they show is how the principals of industrial design underpin everything Nokia does. But what exactly is industrial design and why has it been so central to Nokia’s evolution, and reputation?

What is industrial design?

Industrial design has its roots in early 20th century Germany. Eager to catch up with the industrial dominance of Great Britain and the USA, the state began to sponsor efforts to integrate traditional craftsmanship with industrial mass production. This eventually led to the creation of the Bauhaus, a school which was a to have a huge effect on not just industrial design, but everything from typography to architecture. Rather a group of like-minded creatives, than an explicit design philosophy, Bauhaus inspired designers embraced the new era of mass production as an opportunity to create art for living. You don’t have to look far to see their influence.

The World Capital of Industrial Design

In fact, if you happen to be anywhere near Helsinki, this year’s World Design Capital, you can just jump on a tram to the Cable Factory. Here you’ll find Hi Design 2012, an exhibition dedicated, to showcasing Finland’s amazing wealth of industrially designed products. Finland, as well as the other Nordic countries, industrialized a lot later than most of Western Europe. As a result, the Nordic countries were better able to preserve their traditions of craftsmanship and integrate them into commercial production. Today, the Finns produce a huge selection of carefully constructed mechanical masterpieces, everything from stunning lifts by Kone to kick ass snowmobiles from BRP Finland. Then, of course, there’s Nokia.

People Made

Nokia helped put Finnish Industrial design craftsmanship on the map, so it’s no surprise an entire floor is dedicated to mobile tech. The exhibition, People Made, which first kicked off at the London Design Museum, looks back over 20 illustrious years. From classics like the first mass-market digital handset, the Nokia 1011, right up to the Nokia Lumia 800 and 900, you get a real sense of Nokia’s design heritage. The beauty of these devices, as well as accessories like the Nokia Play 360 and Nokia Luna, are great examples of how industrial design has evolved over the decades. We’re sure that those early German design pioneers, from almost a century ago, would have approved.

See also: Nokia Products That Changed The World: Stephen White [Nokia Connects, Dec 7, 2011]

Back in November Nokia Connects headed down to the ‘People Made: Nokia Products That Changed The World’ exhibition at the London Design Museum. The installation featured a mix of Nokia phones, intriguing statistics, film and interactive displays to help visitors explore the last 20 years of Nokia design. Whilst we were down at the Design Museum we managed to secure an interview with Stephen White (the curator of the exhibition). Stephen is a Principal Designer at Nokia and was the prime driving force behind this exhibition coming to fruition.