Maemo

Maemo is a mobile platform sponsored by Nokia and is mainly developed to support Nokia internet tablets. The in market devices that run Maemo are Nokia 770, Nokia N800 and Nokia N810 Internet Tablets.

Maemo is not a completely open source software. It contains open source, closed source and proprietery software. The open source part of the software is mainly upstream in the Maemo technology stack and is a non-differentiator, according to Nokia. The software that Nokia proclaims differentiates it from its competitors are proprietry and maintained as closed source. Maemo uses and contributes, as minor contributions and bug fixes, to other open source software such as Debian, Mozzila, GNOME and Pulse Audio. (Source: Maemo Summit 2008).

SDK for Maemo 5, the latest version of Maemo was released in May 2009. Maemo community is approximated at about 16000 members and there are about 700 projects in development in Maemo garage. The developers work on their projects in Maemo "garage" and can share their applications with others in a software catalog hosted on Maemo.org. Currently only free applications can be added to the catalog. Nokia or Maemo.org does not provide support or infrastructure where Maemo applications can be sold. Therefore, it is difficult for Maemo to monetize on their applications compared to iphone or BlackBerry developers, for example. Peter Schneider, the head of marketing in Nokia, said during the Maemo summit 2008, that Nokia will start promoting commercial grade application and software after the shift from OS 2008 to a new concept (http://linuxuk.org/taxonomy/term/33?page=1). He did not elaborate on this "new concept" however.

It also appears that the line between smart phones and Internet tablet PCs may have started to blur. If Nokia adds phone capabilities to its Maemo based products then that will overlap with its smartphone line.

Licensing

Maemo downloadable content may be licensed under open source licenses, closed source and proprietary. It can be assumed that software downloaded from Maemo.org will be free to use for the intended purpose. More information about Maemo licenses can be found at http://maemo.org/legal/terms_of_use/licenses/.

Sponsorship and Financial

Maemo is supported by Nokia (http://lunduke.com/?p=183). Nokia reserves the right at its exclusive discretion to decide whether or not to introduce any Contribution to this or any other project of Nokia.

Sponsor (Corporation, Community, Joint (corporate and community) etc.) - Nokia

Financial source (Corporate, donations etc) - Funded by Nokia

Revenue models -
o There doesn't seem to be a clear way for Developers and other community members to monetize the applications developed on Maemo. Maemo does not have an appstore where Maemo based apps can be sold. Only free apps can be shared on Maemo's application catalog. It was announced in the Maemo summit 2008 that support for commercial grade applications will be added after the shift from OS2008.

Community

Developer activity and developer community: Maemo has a community of more than 16000 members contributing to over 700 projects.

Documentation:

Documentation for Maemo platform is maintained by the Maemo community and can be found at http://maemo.org/development/documentation/. Although Maemo version 5.0 was released, the documentation for maemo 5 is still available in only draft version. As of writing this report, no Maemo 5.0 tutorials could be found on this website.

Market Penetration

Number of end users: So far the only devices that are supported on Maemo platform are Nokia 770, Nokia N800 and Nokia N810 Internet Tablets.

Visibility/Publicity:

Maemo devices are targeted at a very small market segment and is therefore not very attractive to developers.

Application store availability

Maemo has an application catalog (http://maemo.org/intro/share_apps/) where developers can share their applications with public. Currently, only free applications can be posted on the catalog. There is no support for commercial applications.

Type of support

(Professional support, community support, corporate support etc):

Support for Maemo platform is mainly provided by the Maemo community itself. Developers can use the developer forum at http://maemo.org/community/maemo-developers/.

Quality

Quality/Stability of the platform:

Quality of the documentation for developers: There is not enough documentation for Maemo 5.0 available on Maemo.org website.

Portability

Hardware dependencies

The in market devices that run Maemo are Nokia 770, Nokia N800 and Nokia N810 Internet Tablets. Chinese hardware company Optima has announced that they are working on a new mobile internet device that would be powered with Maemo mobile platform. (http://news.techwhack.com/10631-optima-op5-e)

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