Linux Lives at Nokia. Project Meltemi to power future Nokia feature phones? MeeGo Lite?

| September 29, 2011 | 121 Replies

After mourning the death of MeeGo and its fall into the hands of Samsung with Intel as Tizen, here’s something positive to pick up on. WSJ has revealled more details on Project Meltemi. You may have heard it mentioned in a leaked internal memo in April, and also quite casually in the leaked staff keynote by Stephen Elop (remember SeaRay hands on. After that was quite revealing)


Meltemi is a type of wind. Do note that Maemo naming schemes have previously had wind names – Harmattan being the latest officially announced with N9/N950. Then comes possibly Maemo 7 with Meltemi?

Well, no not quite. It’s apparently for feature phones and is being led by Mary McDowell.

Now joining some dots:

  • 1GHz for lower end (e.g. S40)
  • Qt for lower end and next billion
  • Swipe and MeeGo-Harmattan styles for lower end
  • S40 to be Linux powered or replaced completely by Meltemi.
  •  = Compelling, disrupting at the low end.

Whilst Windows Phone came in to rescue the high end, it is intended to go to lower price points ($100). Do you see the low starting Meltemi growing and reigniting Maemo hopes at high end?

Source: WSJ

Thanks 3rp3 for the tip!



Category: Maemo, MeeGo, Meltemi, Nokia

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  • Average Joe

    Is “meltemi” going to be open source? If so, it might be good news for me. I’d be happy if the future cheap S40 phones became open systems I can add features to. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be too interested: Android phones (Microsoft tax notwithstanding) are getting quite cheap, and I’d rather buy one of those instead of a featurephone.

  • Max

    Meego Harmattan already runs on 1gz processors so if 1gz processors are coming to s40 phones why not just keep Meego Harmattan and develop it further?

    • guest

      It will be developed from there based on the Meltemi name, the next generation of Harmattan. This is also what Marko was talking about, Swipe on future products. Also, remember that in a few years, there will be no distinction of ‘low-end’ and ‘high-end’ smartphones. Even cheap phones will have kick-ass performance by today’s standards.

    • James

      That’s what the whole rumours about! LOL

  • guest

    Yeah, I was expecting something like this. This is really great news, and will disrupt the low-end market. However, the performance will be an issue somewhat, which apps will run and which not.

    • yabai.youth

      Is it just me that hates how Elop uses the word “disruption”?

      • j

        no. first meego/linux had to be used for the next disruption, that blows everything away, now it’s for the low end?!?!?!?!?

      • Nicholas Peterson

        It’s evidence they don’t know what they’re doing. Essentially they want to have a secondary operating system for low end phones but it has nothing to do with system requirements. They don’t want to pay a Windows license for their low end phones. This will ensure they have something to offer but it’s ridiculous, since by the time it’s ready Android will be the only rational choice for a low end device since it has developer support, user acceptance, and is license free.

        • Mysingen

          Android apps development may be a nice experience, but the Android *platform* is a pretty awkward maintain. Eventually, someone will *really* want to make a plain Linux phone (and succeed in the market). Here’s a sample of Android pains for handset makers, all of which are completely unnecessary if you think even once before you start implementing the Next Big Thing:

          * Google is really bad at accepting improvement patches into their development branch. Handset makers end up maintaining piles and piles of patches that should have gone into the common branch. At the same time, it’s pointless to submit to the publicly available Android branch because it lags so much behind internal development at Google that handset makers can’t use it.
          * The build system is monolithic, so proper *full* modularlization of anything beneath the application layer is basically impossible. You simply can’t build a subsystem in isolation. A reasonable analogy would be that you can’t build the Linux kernel unless you also build glibc, GCC, gMake and a couple of other related but logically separate entitites.
          * The most important framework (frameworks/base) is huge, all in one source tree and very hard to test automatically.
          * Almost none of the classics in Linux/UNIX tooling that are great for platform development have any relevance in Android. If you *can* use them, you are most likely working on something that would be relevant for any Linux phone, not just Androids.
          * Although Android uses Git for source code versioning and Git is great, the monolithic design created a need for a monolithic mechanism to handle all the Git trees. Enter Repo. This tool has no relevance what so ever for a platform based on package management (Debian, RedHat, etc) where you only download the source tree you will actually work on. Working around this mess is possible but painful and will never mix well with traditional package management because both are configuration management systems and you can’t really have more than one without creating a really confused system.

          I just can’t imagine what made them design things this way. It’s crazy.

  • Mariano

    WP sucks! i’m cryin right now.
    Can’t beleive that meego dies

    • migo

      Are you trolling or just stupid? Everything important about the N9 will live on in Meltemi.

      • GordonH

        Dude your the stupid one… The N9 is the best smartphone in the market,it’s the flagship, it’s Nokia chance at the high end segment but the negative N9 “PR”blah blah blah.

  • Pingback: Nokia będzie miała swój własny Bada OS. Jest już nazwa – Meltemi « Spider's Web()

  • Tiago Silva

    That makes buying an N9 even more worrying. I’ll be paying 700€ for what Jack and Jill will be getting for 50€ in a year.

    And *I still want to buy it*. How dumb am I?

    • dsmobile

      Well N9 is a classic Nseries device that you can show your grandchild when you are old and look Star Trek 21 Movie where they have N9 as old Nokia device.

      • migo

        They won’t do an N9, they’d do whatever is new at the time.

      • Prasenjit Bist

        Great man last weekend i saw the saint with the gr8 nokia device

    • Prasenjit Bist

      No U not only get swipe UI and Qt but a full linux kernel with desktop like experience in N9 but in meltemi u get UI Qt but a very optimised kernel with bare minimum. Also another point is s40 being java based it non compatible to Qt and so meltemi is new OS that replaces s40 and s40 goes further down to power device like nokia 101 so the death of s30 confirmed. By the way great move from NOKIA as all of a sudden they are 100% smartphone vendor and NOKIA is more attractive as a brand as they offer smartphone experience at price of feature phone.

      Some months back some one said that NOKIA is giving away its software destiny in microsofts hand but see that is not the case NOKIA still control where the next big dollars are and at what a great way its the low end…. Another point all these news makes N9 even more relevant.

      Exciting times at NOKIA.

  • Rock

    Swipe for lower end??????

    • Prasenjit Bist

      yes N9 like

  • nic

    It’s strange to think of large touchscreens for lower end… But they have actually already began selling small, resistive touchscreens on S40s, so maybe…

    1GHz processors… Hmmm dunno, maybe late 2012, 2013?

    Anyway, whatever they are doing, if it’s going to be linux based and “low-end”, I’m pretty sure the N800 could be a great laboratory. It’s a pity they made it impossible for us to continue playing with it by making it hard to compile newer versions of the Linux kernel.

    • Zipa

      1 GHz processors are already available in S40 phones, such as the C3-01.5.

  • Pingback: Nokia To Replace S40 With Linux Based Meltemi To Connect The Next Billion? | Androsym()

  • yohan.rk

    i don’t understand nokia,while today they announced lowering teir staff(3500 people mostly in germany),they talk again about linux…don’t believe it with their wp strategy;ms can’t let them go linux..or elop ..

    • GordonH

      +1. I think the Linux lower end strategy is another “excuse” to bring Wp7 into Nokia.

  • Pingback: Linux-based Meltemi could be replacing S40 for Nokia’s low-end phones | Mobile Phone Tech News()

  • Sharad Jadham

    Its a good news that Nokia still has belief with Linux. If Meltemi with QT runs on low-end phones this would be really going to be a good choice!

  • Stefanix

    Some time ago I bought a netbook with an Intel Atom processor which came with Windows 7 pre-installed. It was not very usable, slow, lagging, extreme slow start-up, the 1GB memory was not enough. I installed Ubuntu and use it since. No lagging, super fast, easy to use, happy with 1GB.

    If Windows devices are generally seen as high end and Linux based system as low end, I am really happy to use “low end” as much as I can. I am happy about any “low end” phone, running MeeGo, Maemo, or whatever.

  • Ole

    Why use the good OS-es only on low end phones? Do Nokia want some of the customers to choose android?

  • WD-DN

    Why Meltemi but not Meego if they wanna bring the Harmattan UX down to the low-end??? Yet another strange and hard-to-understand decision by Elop…

    • Prasenjit Bist

      Harmattan is on full debian linux kernel not good for low end devices due to price pressure so nokia looking to optimise the kernel furher its like maemo 6 but with not full linux kernel unlike N9 with maemo 5 or harmattan

    • James

      Why do people still not get this…
      The rumours are suggesting that MeeGo Harmattan 1.2*
      Will be re-adapted for use on their lower-end phones.

      This is the OS that’s used on the Nokia N9.
      It includes a highly optimised Qt middleware, more so then Belle even.
      It also includes the widely acclaimed SwipeUX UI.

      This is entirely feasible….
      Esp. since lowest-end SoC’s in Q3 2012, won’t much less powerful than what the N9 uses.
      Plus the whole OS/env is very compartmentalised, so efficiency gains will be quite do-able.

      *aka Maemo6 + MeeGo compatibility layer

      • James

        All they’re doing is “possibly” renaming it to meltemi (maybe just a code-name).
        They probably won’t keep the name “MeeGo”, for obvious reasons.
        Too much of stigma around it because of everything that happened this yr.

  • Pingback: Nokia Meltemi - neues OS für Featurephones?()

  • Meltemi is the name of Nokia’s Windows Phone division…

    • Thomas F


  • Pingback: My Mobiles» Blog Archive » Linux-based Meltemi could be replacing S40 for Nokia’s low-end phones()

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  • Terry

    Hi guys, the Nokia Asha is coming…

  • Pingback: Nokia preps Linux-based Meltemi OS for feature phones, says report | System Monitoring()

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