Gillian Duncan | June 3, 2012
Nokia used to be the mobile phone maker king. Now it is hoping to regain its crown with the help of UAE university students.
Once upon a
time, long before the advent on mobile phone applications, Nokia made the
world’s most popular handsets.
Those days have
changed, but the Finnish mobile phone maker is staging a comeback and drafted
in university students in the UAE to help.
students across the country to take part in a competition to design apps for
its online store.
“We designed this competition to
maximise the learning process of this entrepreneurial journey – that is, how to
go from an abstract idea to a fully-developed app available to millions of
consumers worldwide,” said Praveen Prabhakaran,
head of ecosystem and developer experience at Nokia Middle East.
students from eight universities took part in the competition, which was won by
Nabeel Kassim and Zulqarnain Mehdi, from American University of
Sharjah and Troy University.
The pair created BonAppetit, an app which lets
users search for restaurants in the UAE by location and cuisine, enabling them
to contact them directly.
They received a $5,000 prize, a trip to
Finland to visit the Nokia Research Center and an internship at Nokia UAE.
third place were claimed by iMonitor, which sends parents warning messages when
their children go above driving speed limits and Make-a-Meme, that lets users
create memes, which are pictures with funny messages, from a searchable list of
over 150 images which can be shared on social networks. They received $3,000
and $2,000 respectively, as well as an N9 smartphone.
received technical training and coding sessions with Nokia software experts,
while 40 Nokia smartphones were distributed to help students with their ideas.
Institute of Technology & Science (BITS), Pilani,
an Indian engineering college based in International
Academic City in Dubai, saw the highest number of submissions from students, as
well as the most teams ranked within the top 10 finalists.
panel included Tom Farrell, vice president of Nokia Middle East, Abed Agha,
developer of the Arab Idol app and Tom Shambler, editor of Stuff magazine.
developed during the competition will eventually be available on the Nokia