Chapter 1. Introduction to Java ME, Symbian OS and Smartphones

Symbian OS is the operating system that powers more than 70% of smartphones worldwide. In addition to providing one of the industry's most powerful native platforms for after-market applications, Symbian OS pushes the boundary further by allowing third-party software developers to work with a wide variety of mobile technologies including Symbian C++, Flash Lite, Python, POSIX-compliant C and, of course, Java ME – the focus of this book.

The Symbian OS ecosystem has flourished over the last decade and, like any success story, is made up of many parts. Handset manufacturers, such as Nokia, use Symbian OS as the foundation stone of their user-interface platforms. In Japan alone, Symbian OS powers over 30 million phones that use NTT DoCoMo's MOAP platform. The latest version, Symbian OS v9, is used in almost all of Nokia's famous Nseries (feature-focused) and Eseries (business-focused) devices.

In this chapter, we explore the Java Platform, Micro Edition (Java ME) technologies and see how they are uniquely positioned to address the on-going mobile phone software revolution. We start with a look at recent history, follow with a brief discussion of the Java language itself, the composition of Java ME and the benefits it inherits from Symbian OS. Finally, we wrap up with a look at the mobile phone market and get a glimpse of what the future holds.

2003: Rise of the Mobile

One of the problems with turning points in history is that ...

Get Java ME on Symbian OS: Inside the Smartphone Model now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.