End of Road for Symbian?
The once mighty Symbian Operating system is now loosing its mighty patrons. A few days back, Sony Ericsson confirmed the end of its roadmap for Symbian based smartphones. (Symbian based smartphones: What was that?). Samsung today followed suit and announced that it was dropping support for Symbian work before the end of 2011. Development labs, forums and reference content will be pulled by the morning of December 31. Samsung will also stop certifying Symbian apps by the same day and leave companies with no option but to use other forums or switch platforms. Most of Samsung’s attention in 2010 has been placed almost exclusively on Android where Symbian has been non-existent, Windows Mobile has been downplayed and its self-made Bada platform is still on just a small number of devices.
If that was a double whammy for Symbian, Nokia’s stealth moves of investing into Meego as an alternate platform for its smartphones is surely the start of the end for Symbian. Nokia may not dump Symbian fully yet, biut would marginalize the platform only for its low end and feature phones stable.
Symbian is modernizing significantly with Symbian^3, which finally supports multi-touch and other more recent smartphone features, but until now has been criticized for an unintuitive interface and lacking more common features like a modern web browser and advanced media support. Many of Symbian’s one-time loyal partners had already scaled back many of their plans as continuing to use the platform hurt their performance relative to the iPhone and even the BlackBerry. Android so far has been the only major, cross-manufacturer mobile OS to challenge the closed but integrated Apple and RIM platforms.
As Symbian falls, Android rises. Almost all of Symbian’s (and WinMo’s) loss is translating into Android’s gain and it certainly looks like Android’s path to the No.1 OS (in terms of units/market share) is very clear.
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