Elop: New full touch UI is coming to Nokia S40 phones

If you are interested in news about Nokia, you probably already know about the first Nokia “Sea Ray” Windows Phone video that leaked to the net earlier today.

But Sea Ray Nokia Windows Phone was only half of the video. During the other half, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop outlined Nokia transition period strategy to the employees. With a lot of interesting nuggets hidden within it.

Most interesting among them – was the confirmation that Nokia is working on a full touch user interface for it’s S40 phones.

When talking about the things Nokia is delivering this year – Elop first talked about Nokia smart devices – Symbian Anna, N9, Windows Phone, etc;, you know the drill. Then he turned to the other part of Nokia business – mobile phones (that’s Nokia S40 and S30 low end handsets). Here’s what Elop had to say about what Nokia is working on to deliver&launch in coming weeks and months in it’s mobile phones division:

In mobile phones – it’s very much about “Sonic”, it’s very much about full touch activity that’s going on, it’s about the work we have to do around Series 40 to ensure it continues to help us in the future. It’s the “Clipper” program and the underlying “Meltemi” software effort

Lot’s of hints about future of Nokia S40 OS and product initiatives/project names here. But most of them only make sense to insiders at this point. “Sonic” may the name of full touch effort or it may be a separate project. “Clipper” program is a total mystery to me.

But Meltemi software effort name I heard before – in a leaked internal Nokia Memo that The Register saw. It’s actually pretty interesting and said:

There will also be opportunities within the Meltemi organization, for personnel working within the MeeGo teams.

Especially when put together with what Elop said earlier in that video:

We are not saying precisely what device, or when, or how – but the user experience you see here is something that will live on as well.

Hmm. We know now that Nokia is working on a full touch interface for S40. We also know that Qt is being ported to S40. Meego 1.2/N9 Swipe interface is done in Qt and Elop promised it will be ported to other, non-Meego devices. And Swipe/Qt port to Windows Phone is extremely unlikely. Then we have a “Meltemi” software effort for Nokia mobile phones and a statement that some Meego engineers will be transferred to Meltemi.

Is it just me – or does all this point to a next generation of S40 OS, with Qt on top of it for apps and Swipe user interface? Is it even a realistic proposition for low end devices, or will the new S40 be moving up market? And, btw, S40+Qt+Swipe full touch UI-  looks like this could become the biggest smartphone platform in the world very fast. I wonder what will they name it, S40 V7 is so old and boring. Or, with Nokia software execution history, is this all just my pipe dream?

Oh what a room for speculation here. Let’s start some in comments 🙂


Author: Stasys Bielinis

While I like to play with the latest gadgets, I am even more interested in broad technology trends. With mobile now taking over the world - following the latest technology news, looking for insights, sharing and discussing them with passionate audience - it's hard to imagine a better place for me to be. You can find me on Twitter as @UVStaska'

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  • Anonymous

    By Making S40 a smartphone platform nokia will once become worlds largest smartphone maket…

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  • Prasenjit Bist

    ofcourse thats something samsung is doing with BADA OS