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Nokia Looks To Ease The Cost Of Entry For Developers

For companies or individuals interested in developing for Nokia phones that don't necessarily have the resources to join Forum Nokia, a new opportunity has arisen. Today Nokia announced its Launchpad mobile software developer offering for the closet developer in everyone.
For companies or individuals interested in developing for Nokia phones that don't necessarily have the resources to join Forum Nokia, a new opportunity has arisen. Today Nokia announced its Launchpad mobile software developer offering for the closet developer in everyone.According to Nokia's Ben Wang, head of developer programs, Nokia has spent a lot of time and energy in the past 3 years catering to the elite Forum Nokia members. "We came to the realization that there are many other companies, though, doing serious development for Nokia products that we can't support in Forum Nokia. So we decided to come up with a management program along with some tools and assistance that can scale to the number of developers out there."

The result is Launchpad. Launchpad provides access to Nokia technologies comparable to those usually offered only to Forum Nokia, but it does so at a fraction of the cost. Companies or developers can buy the tools for 800 Euros. For their money, developers get access to:

*Technical info, including APIs, SDKs and technology roadmaps; *Free Carbide Developer Edition (Symbian OS) developer tool software, with a 50% discount on additional Carbide Developer Edition copies; *Discounted Nokia mobile device purchase program; *Discounted technical support case ticket; *Discounted application signing (Symbian Signed); and, *Discounted S60 book offers and certification exams.

Wang noted that this new program will help "smaller companies join in the Nokia developer community quickly and easily."

On top of that, Launchpad also eases the pain of real-world testing. Previously, non-Forum Nokia members had been forced to pay full retail prices for handsets in order to test the applications they've spent time developing. Launchpad also alleviates that pain by discounting the cost of the handsets to Launchpad customers.

Wang believes Launchpad will help encourage developers to continue creating programs for the Nokia platform in greater numbers.