Friday, May 6, 2011

I guess I'm the number one Symbian champion now

That's kind of embarrassing.

In July, 2010, I wrote a post that noted that the leading smartphone operating system in the world was not iOS, and not Android, and not Windows, but Symbian.

I guess my sharing of this fact made me the number two Symbian fanboi, after Nokia itself.

Well, times change, Nokia moved to Windows, and now I'm the number one fanboi, since Nokia has outsourced Symbian development.

Nokia said [on April 27] it will outsource Symbian development to Accenture, transferring 3,000 employees who worked on the development of the platform. It also announced its largest jobs cuts in history, with plans to shed another 4,000 jobs by the end of 2012, mostly in the U.K., Denmark and Finland, where 1,400 jobs will be cut.

As I previously noted, this does not necessarily mean the end of Nokia. The mobile phone industry is very cyclical, and Nokia could be the dominant player two years from now.

And Symbian itself is about as dead as FriendFeed. In other words, it's still alive and kicking. Symbian-Freak still gets traffic, and Nokia is still pushing its newest Symbian phone, the E6.

But, like FriendFeed, people wonder when the end will come:

Dispelling the fears of app developers, a Nokia spokesperson in an emailed response to Deccan Herald said “We have not specified a date when the last Symbian device will ship, but will (continue to) release more products on Symbian and modernise it,” she said.

There are 200 million Symbian customers and Nokia plans to ship 150 million more devices, she informed. She also added that Nokia will continue to support products based on Symbian platforms for years to come. But many developers feel that Nokia is getting ready to bury Symbian quietly. Murugan said there was no long-term future for Symbian beyond existing devices and planned launches. “Nokia may not say it, but Symbian wont last beyond three years,” he said. “Symbian will die and that is the bottom line,” said Sharma.

So, who's the Symbian equivalent of Benjamin Golub? Or, who's the t-shirt that reports to Marty Cole?
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