Older Devices

7610.gifOne thing that constantly surprises me is how many companies want to develop for older phones. Take Nokia S60 for example. Despite the fact that S60 3rd devices have been available for over a year now, some network operators, especially those in developing countries, are still selling many S60 2nd Edition phones.

This translates to companies specifying current new development for both S60 2nd and S60 3rd. It’s the same in the Windows Mobile World with the older ‘Windows Mobile 2003’ only just now reaching ‘end of development life’ despite Windows Mobile 5.0 and 6.0 devices shipping.

I don’t know why S60 2nd is still popular – probably price. Whatever the reason, this is a message to not just Nokia but all phone OEMs and tools vendors to consider backward tools support for old devices. When creating new versions of tools it’s very easy (and tempting) to drop tools support for older phones. For example it happened in Carbide.c++ 1.3 which doesn’t (officially at least) support S60 2nd. As an aside, it can be hacked to support S60 2nd with varying success.

Carbide.c++ 1.2 disappeared from the Nokia site and, due to developer pressure, recently reappeared as an unsupported download without a full installer. Microsoft and Sun tend to be better at backward tools support. It remains to be seen how the newcommers (Apple, LiMo and Android) do.