The Beginning of the End for Symbian?

by Gaurav Kheterpal on September 28, 2010

In June, Nokia announced that N8 would be the final Symbian N Series device and it would be all MeeGo from here on. Shortly after, the company had to eat its own words amidst widespread public criticism and announce that “Symbian will remain at the heart of its smartphones in the future”.

It’s been all downhill for Symbian since then. And it got worse a couple of days back when Sony Ericsson joined the Android bandwagon and called it quits on Symbian. Gartner added to Symbian’s misery by calling it “a brave open source experiment that failed”.

Is this the beginning of the end for Symbian, one of world’s most popular open-source mobile platforms?

First things first, I’m an open-source loyalist to the core and the current state of Symbian saddens me. First it was Samsung, then Nokia and now it’s Sony-Ericsson, the list of hardware manufacturers ditching Symbian in favor of Android and Windows Phone 7 is just getting longer. While ZTE, Sharp and Compal are still committed to Symbian, with all due respect, they aren’t exactly the big-league players in the smartphone segment. The Symbian Foundation was formed amidst lot of media hype and fanfare, but it has clearly failed to get the job done.

Gartner says that Symbian is in a “desperate state” and I couldn’t agree more. I concur that the Symbian User Experience is no match to that of Android or iOS but that isn’t the only reason why vendors seem to be in mad rush to abandon Symbian. The Symbian Roadmap is a bit of puzzle and seriously needs to be re-considered in wake of the threatening competition from Android and Apple.

To be honest, Sony-Ericsson ditching Symbian isn’t a big deal from a business perspective. The company has only two Symbian smartphones within its portfolio – Vivaz and Vivaz Pro. The company says that it will continue to be a member of the Symbian Foundation but it won’t launch any new phones on the Symbian platform.

However, even with Sony-Ericsson and Samsung abandoning the ship, Symbian is far from being “done and dusted”.  With a new CEO at the helm, Nokia is now prepared to give Symbian another shot as a desperate measure to reverse the company’s fading fortunes. The company has recently expanded the Symbian^3 family with two new touchscreen and QWERTY business devices – the Nokia E7, a compact touchscreen C6 and the sleek touchscreen Nokia C7.

So, what’s next for Symbian? Will it have the same fate as “Windows Mobile”? Will Nokia take over the reigns again and abandon the Symbian Foundation instead of Symbian as a whole. At this point of time, I don’t know. However, what I do know is that Nokia needs to do something about it sooner than later or else one of the most popular open-source operating systems will soon be history.

What’s your opinion on Symbian? Does it stand a chance amidst fierce competition from Android & Apple? Or is it a sinking ship already? Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment below this post.

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Written by: Gaurav Kheterpal. www.digitcom.ca >. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com > by: RSS>, Twitter >, Identi.ca >, or Friendfeed >

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Intel and MeeGo: Nowhere To Go? — TheTelecomBlog.com
August 15, 2012 at 5:52 am

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Vivaz_ovner August 20, 2011 at 7:06 am

im not suprised that se leaved symbians, because nokia didn’t let them acces ovi store whitout hacking. Ovi store should be all symbians store not only nokia..

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