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Symbian just "re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic"

updated 05:50 pm EDT, Mon July 12, 2010

Analyst warns Symbian to lose share in new study

Symbian's steady decline in phone market share is about to get worse, Gartner analyst Nick Jones warned in an update this weekend. New estimates due at the end of July should show the trend "accelerating" and that Symbian now has a finite lifespan at the top of the phone arena. He expected that the OS would still lead for another few years but would be overtaken by Apple's iPhone and especially Google's Android platform.

Jones pinned the anticipated drops on what he saw as a fundamentally flawed experience that didn't compare well to Android or iOS. While he saw some improvement in the design with Symbian^3, most of the features were lambasted as changes that are either catch-up features or don't actually have a bearing on how users will see the OS, such as audio policy packages, a call for an open cloud manifesto and better internal structure. None of these would necessarily improve the user experience.

"I think the Symbian foundation is just re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic and ignoring the Android iceberg ahead," the analyst wrote.

Symbian^4 is due to have a genuinely new experience in 2011, but virtually the entire health of the open-source project is riding on the project and its uncertain future. If it fails, the company won't have much else to go on, according to Jones.

Any significant failure at Symbian will have severe repercussions for Nokia, which remains Symbian's near-exclusive customer. It has already been losing ground ever since 2007 and would have no fallback OS for some of its devices if Symbian collapsed. The Intel co-developed MeeGo OS would work for some smartphones, but Nokia would have no further development for the platforms it expects to support its low- and mid-range devices. Samsung and Sony Ericsson also still depend slightly on Symbian to fill out their lineups.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    yes and no

    yes, Symbian is going to die.

    No, it doesn't cause it to stop working on smartphones you've bought in the past.

    Nokia would simply have to stop introducing new phones with Symbian - which is not news to them, its exactly what they plan on doing.

    The N8 is the last N series on Symbian. The other series will follow.

    However, on the lowest end phones - i.e. non-contract phones where the carrier pays no subsidy on the phone (and therefore the user doesn't pay that subsidy in their monthly fees - in those markets Apple doesn't compete at all, and therefore Apple cannot supplant Symbian in those markets.

    Android might still do it, however, but right now its not the license fee's it's the heavy Spec's required by Android that keep them from competing there.

    Therefore, there is a small niche for Symbian, for the time being, giving Nokia time to jump ship.

    Symbian S^4, eh...who cares, even if they get it right, they won't have 100,000 apps - it'll be too late.

    Nobody really cares if they get it right, the story is already written, and Nokia knows what they need to do now.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    That's a pretty amusing headline...

    They should make sure they move those deck chairs all the way to the stern since that's the last part part of the Titanic to go under. However Nokia and Symbian are definitely going to end up at the bottom of the ocean and they'll be no "Raise the Titanic" cheering. So much for huge smartphone market share which is like sailing on a supposedly unsinkable ship. The Symbian Titanic is literally surrounded by icebergs. Android is practically sinking every competing mobile OS and nobody seems to mind in the least. The unfair advantage is that it's totally free like dozens of free-floating icebergs.

  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969



    is a horrible mobile OS.
    Nokia deserves to get a kick in the a$$ for allowing this OS to stay stagnant and fall behind the times.

  1. facebook_Piruthiviraj

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Aug 2010


    The death of Symbian

    No doubt symbian is going to end.
    It looked so strong few years ago,But Same can happen to Android too in the future.
    No one is invincible.

    Just waiting for more advanced OS and methods of communication that we dont even think as possible is already starting to shape.The death of symbian is a good thing to allow more space for the future things to spring up!

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