Gartner: Android is the Iceberg Awaiting the RMS Symbian

Posted by Zealot on Jul 13, 2010

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titanic_stern Nick Jones, a VP at Gartner, is not holding out much hope for recent changes aimed at making Symbian viable again. Sure Symbian and Nokia still have enormous market share, but with Samsung closing in on Nokia’s handset crown, and Nokia relegating Symbian to feature phones in the future due to pressure from Android and iOS 4 it is clear the Salad Days at the Symbian Foundation are over.

Jones feels that the only way to save Symbian is for the Symbian Foundation and Nokia (who write most of the actual code) to focus every single resource at the upcoming new version….and he doesn’t see that. Instead, Symbian is still acting like the comfortable incumbent, dabbling in side projects and interesting academic discussions. Everyone else knows that Symbian is fighting for its life and losing…why doesn’t Symbian?

According to Jones…

Forget elegant architecture, forget better multitasking, forget Chinese developers, forget release schedules that don’t deliver S4 devices with a new user experience until 2011. None of these matter. People will never use the features if they don’t buy the phone. The situation is now serious enough that any developer who isn’t working on something directly related to a new UI is wasting their time. The S4 UI is a “bet the platform” project. For any organisation to be in a situation where its survival depends on one project is very dangerous, especially when their  track record in the area isn’t outstanding. I think the Foundation needs a contingency plan in case the planned S4 interface isn’t radical enough or good enough. Maybe redirect some developers and start a couple of skunkworks projects to create new competing UIs for S4, or perhaps announce a competition with a $1M prize for a new Symbian UI to encourage some radical ideas.

I must admit, I agree with him. Symbian hasn’t been innovative in a while with Nokia devoting what creativity it can muster to Maemo, soon it will no longer even be relevant. The window of opportunity to change that is closing fast. Will Nokia take the wheel and change Symbian’s course or is it full speed ahead? Somehow, I don’t think Symbian will be King of the World ever again.

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By day a department manager and writer for a major network device vendor...by night Zealot stalks the mean magnetic streets, striking fear into the hearts of bandwidth abusers and theme park mascots. Zealot has been involved with mobile devices for more than a decade now, starting off with dumb phones, moving to PDAs and then to smartphones, notebooks and netbooks with the odd PMP thrown in. Most of his mobile time currently is spent on a Treo Pro, Zune HD, Thinkpad T61, HP Mini 311, iPod Touch 3G, iPad 16G or a Hackintoshed Compaq Mini 704. He proudly groks the Geek community and considers himself a Neo Maxi Zune Dweebie (thanks Wil Wheaton!).

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  • http://twitter.com/a51m/status/18438852933 Asim Qureshi

    Gartner: Android is the Iceberg Awaiting the RMS Symbian http://bit.ly/c78Sj3 '…The S4 UI is a “bet the platform” project…'

  • http://twitter.com/mobilitysite/status/18431419626 mobilitysite

    Posted: Gartner: Android is the Iceberg Awaiting the RMS Symbian http://bit.ly/cc0oWp

  • http://twitter.com/androidmy/status/18463044959 Android Marvin

    Gartner: Android is the Iceberg Awaiting the RMS Symbian – http://bit.ly/cHDah7

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