Symbian banking on open source success

Supporters of the mobile phone platform are hoping that Nokia’s open source ambitions for Symbian will boost its popularity in the booming smartphone sector.

Symbian

Ahead of the Symbian Smartphone Show, which opens in London later today, users of the smartphone operating system are talking-up the prospects for platform despite growing competition and market saturation.

Users hope that making the software freely available will help it regain the market share it has lost to the likes of Apple and combat the threat of new market entrants such as Google's Android platform.

The two-day conference is the first since Nokia announced in June it would buy out its partners in UK-based Symbian for $410 million (240 million) and make its software royalty-free to all phone makers.

Nokia decided to set up the not-for-profit Symbian Foundation and make the 10-year old operating system open source and free from the first half of 2009.

Around 40 companies have said they will join the foundation.

However, competitors have eroded Symbian's market share to 57 per cent in the second quarter of 2008, down from 66 per cent in the same period a year ago. BlackBerry maker RIM had 17.4 per cent of the market and devices running Microsoft's Windows Mobile platform had 12 per cent, according to research firm Gartner.

"Being the top dog is hard to maintain when you have more and more competition," Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi said. "In the long run they will see share decline as Apple, RIM and Microsoft are trying to get into the consumer market."

Symbian, which is backed by Samsung, Motorola, AT&T, Sony Ericsson and LG, has been left behind by demand for touch technology, which was kicked off by Apple's iPhone.

Symbian's executive vice president of research, David Wood, expects that sweeping away licensing fees will generate fresh excitement around the platform.

"There's been a great deal of interest from long-term partners and new partners," he said. "The biggest change is ease of access - you don't need to negotiate a licence."

Featured Resources

How virtual desktop infrastructure enables digital transformation

Challenges and benefits of VDI

Free download

The Okta digital trust index

Exploring the human edge of trust

Free download

Optimising workload placement in your hybrid cloud

Deliver increased IT agility with the cloud

Free Download

Modernise endpoint protection and leave your legacy challenges behind

The risk of keeping your legacy endpoint security tools

Download now

Recommended

El Salvador becomes latest target of Pegasus spyware
spyware

El Salvador becomes latest target of Pegasus spyware

13 Jan 2022
Mac shipments grew at twice the pace of PCs in 2021
Hardware

Mac shipments grew at twice the pace of PCs in 2021

13 Jan 2022
Nokia and Ligado partner on 4G, 5G enterprise private network
5G

Nokia and Ligado partner on 4G, 5G enterprise private network

5 Jan 2022
Apple becomes world's first $3 trillion company
business management

Apple becomes world's first $3 trillion company

4 Jan 2022

Most Popular

How to move Microsoft's Windows 11 from a hard drive to an SSD
Microsoft Windows

How to move Microsoft's Windows 11 from a hard drive to an SSD

4 Jan 2022
Microsoft Exchange servers break thanks to 'Y2K22' bug
email delivery

Microsoft Exchange servers break thanks to 'Y2K22' bug

4 Jan 2022
Solving cyber security's diversity problem
Careers & training

Solving cyber security's diversity problem

5 Jan 2022