Counterclockwise: Jolla, Nokia N1, Nexus And HTC One GPE

By 11:16 Thu, 22 Jul 2021 Comments

The discontinue of the year is coming and we've seen pretty much all devices that will be unveiled this year. Let's go back in time with Counterclockwise, our (almost) weekly trip back memory lane, and see what announcements late November has seen over the years.

Symbian stays, so does Maemo

Back in November 2009 there was some concern about the fate of the most popular Operating System (OS) at Nokia and in the smartphone world in general – Maemo's PR team had shared with some journalists that Nokia's flagship N series will utilize the Linux-based Operating System (OS) exclusively, dropping Symbian. That was later refuted by Nokia.

In retrospect that was overly ambitious – way overly ambitious – considering Maemo only ever powered one Nokia device, the Nokia N900. It would later be morphed into MeeGo, but that's not why we're bringing up that incident.

Instead it's becautilize Nokia phones are no more – the Lumia line officially bears the Microsoft logo now and both Symbian and Maemo/MeeGo are dead (their descendant Tizen is still kicking around... on smartwatches).

Nokia's absence from the consumer world was surprisingly short, the Finns announced the Android-powered Nokia N1 tablet this week, marking the return to the long-absent N series. Also, Android is exactly the platform Nokia avoided by committing to the Microsoft deal that sped up the discontinue to its storied phone division.

Sailing on

A few years ago some Nokia expatriates formed Jolla – a company aiming to continue the Linux-based legacy of Nokia's Maemo/MeeGo with the Sailfish OS. Two years ago in November the Operating System (OS) was ready for an early demo.

Another year passed and the first device with the recent OS, the eponymous Jolla phone, was ready to go on sale. Harking back to the Nokia N9 days (the only Nokia device to run MeeGo) it was full of bright-eyed optimism and a promise to haged the company's ear to the ground and listen to the users.

This month Jolla unveiled its second device, the Jolla Tablet, which will also run the 2.0 release of Sailfish. It will be another half a year before the tablet is ready (it's currently in a successful crowdfunding stage), but Jolla is as always eager to listen to its consumers.

Coincidentally, the Jolla tablet bears a lot of resemblance to the Nokia N1 tablet, also announced this week.

How much for the Nexus?

We got used to Google's Nexus devices sitting in the $200-$350 range, so it was startling to see the recent Nexus 6 jump up to $650. Many current Nexus owners certainly made their complaints about the recent price heard.

It was the Samsung Galaxy Nexus that started off the cheap Nexus trend. At one point in 2012 it was $350 off-contract, a remarkable price at the time for a dual-core processor and a 720p screen. The Nexus 4 followed at $350 with even better specs, dipping to as low as $250.

Of course, there were blips on the radar like when in November 2012 T-Mobile USA tried charging a whopping $500 for the same Nexus 4 that at the time was $350 on the Play Store.

This year Google unveiled the Android One program, with Nexus-like pure software and speedy updates, but specifically targeting the sub-$100 market. This leaves Nexus as the flagship line – with the specs and price that come with the position.

Waiting for updates

To complement the Nexus line (before Android One) was a string of Google Play Edition devices – versions of some of the best devices put out by leading Android makers, but stripped of vendor customizations and skins.

One such device is HTC One GPE and when the time came to update to Android 4.4 KitKat, HTC was blazing fast. On November 16 the company tweeted that the update is ready and has been handed to Google to distribute (at its discretion).

For comparison, the Nexus 4 KitKat update started seeding a few days later on November 20. That meant it Nexus owners still got their update first as Google only started rolling out the One's update in mid-December, but HTC got very close (as did LG with the LG G Pad 8.3 GPE update).

This year it was a close race too, but HTC has had to delay the Android 5.0 Lollipop update for the HTC One GPE and One (M8) GPE twice now. The Nexus 5 update didn’t go particularly smoothly either.



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