This sheds a little light on Apple’s recent move to open the source for their modified core components from the KHTML project that make up the Safari web browser. Nokia intends to use it on its Series 60 smartphone platform.
This shrewd move by Apple allows them to leverage the changes that will occur to the core elements of Safari source in its transition to a mobile browser for Nokia and perhaps have assets to introduce into other products. Let us also not forget – when the iPod division was broken out at Apple to have its own R & D and product pipeline, it was assumed this would produce more than iPods in the long run.
Though I am not suggesting a Apple iPhone or iPDA anytime in the near future. surely mobile browsing technology could come in handy. At some point perhaps Apple will choose to license some of its digital rights management to other mobile hardware makers and could then place both Quick Time and a mobile Safari in addition to a music player opn those devices. And with some improved screens – a color iPod could easily incorporate WiFi and host a mobile browser.
Knowing that many of us explore mobile web development on differing levels, this is certainly something to keep an eye on. It also shows that not everything is done out of pure altruism or based on user community complaints – as many of us assumed was the core driver behind the source release. It would seem clear a company of Nokia’s size and scale willing to label Safari a “best of breed open source solution” was excellent motivation for Apple to get the code released to the open source community at large.
Having said that – it will also surely benefit from contributions from many of the unsung and brilliant developers working quietly in the community on both mobile and desktop platforms.