Nokia likes to remind us that Symbian is the most popular Smartphone OS on the planet, but let’s face it, they aren’t fooling anyone. The open source operating system has been growing increasingly irrelevant in a post iPhone / Android world, and today the very foundation that was designed to protect the Symbian ecosystem is dealing what many would consider a death blow.
Starting on December 17th the Symbian Foundation will be shutting down all their websites which include access to the source code, bug fixes, and documentation for the OS. This effectively puts control of Symbian’s fate back in the hands of Nokia, which if history repeats itself probably isn’t a good thing considering every other major manufacturer has abandoned it.
Symbian will remain an open platform which means technically anyone could host the code and documentation if they wanted to, but I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you. We’ll let you know if we find anymore nails to drive into the coffin in the coming months.
The Symbian Foundation's Lee Williams has decided to call it quits and step down from his position as CEO for "personal reasons," Mobile Industry Review reports.
"We thank Lee for his work over the past two years and wish him all the best in his future ventures," Symbian said in a statement. "The Board of Directors has appointed Tim Holbrow, formerly the Symbian Foundation’s CFO, to the position of Executive Director with immediate effect. We congratulate Tim and welcome him to his new role."
Williams is the latest in a string of technology execs to leave their position. Recent weeks have seen the resignations of Nokia chief Olli Pekka-Kallasvuo, Nokia MeeGo chief Ari Jaaski, Nokia head of mobile solutions Anssi Vanjoki, and more recently, Microsoft's Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie.
Samsung's mobile strategy has always been multifaceted. The company has built phones running on software from Microsoft, Google, and now their own Bada OS. So it's no surprise that Sammy has finally decided to make some space and give Symbian the boot. Samsung sent out an email to all their registered Symbian developers that laid out in no uncertain terms their plans to shut down all Symbian development by year's end.
With even Nokia working on MeeGo as an alternative mobile OS, things are looking grim for Symbian. It is possible that Samsung could remain a member of the Symbian Foundation, but they would not be contributing. Do you think Symbian will continue shrinking, or is a turnaround in store?
Taking shots at Nokia’s ailing smartphone platform Symbian is almost too easy these days, and it would seem another hardware manufacturer is announcing that it wants off the bandwagon in favor of Android. Sony Ericsson has been developing Android based phones for quite some time now, but many were wondering just how much longer they would continue to support more than one mobile OS, and now we know. “We have no plans for the time being to develop any new products to the Symbian Foundation standard or operating system,” Aldo Liguori, a spokesman for the London-based company, said by telephone today. Liguori confirmed remarks made by Chief Technology Officer Jan Uddenfeldt to Swedish technology newspaper Ny Teknik.
Symbian continues to hold onto a tenuous lead in the smartphone market, but its share has declined from 51 percent to just over 41 percent over a one year period. With the loss of Sony and Samsung the Symbian Foundation’s only high profile partner is Nokia who for one reason or another continues to use the OS to power its high end smartphones. To be fair Sony hasn’t formally withdrawn from the Symbian Foundation, but with no new products being planned it sounds more likely this will evolve into a common law divorce, a separation without all the messy paperwork.
Symbian keeps falling into the same category as RIM, powerful but faltering. What would it take for these guys to get back in the game? Let us know what you think after the jump.
So Symbian caught wind that Google's Eric Schmidt was thumping his chest over the 200,000 Android powered smartphones that are being shipped every day, and offered up this message: "Suck it, Google!"
Symbian didn't actually say that, not verbatim, anyway. But the company did counter Google's showboating over Android shipments with an announcement of its own.
"The Symbian Foundation today revealed it has shipped over 27 million devices in the Q2 period," Symbian announced. "This equates to almost 300,000 per day, 207 per minute, or over three a second. These figures, released in Canalys' latest report (www.canalys.com/services/reports/spmt), highlight Symbian's continued position as the world's most popular smartphone operating system, which has now become the first to be shipped in over 25 million devices int he space of one quarter."
Android users will no longer have to put up with websites pocked with vexatiously barren patches. The full version of Flash 10.1 for Android will be be in the hands of handset makers on Tuesday. It has been redesigned from the ground up to provide an identical experience across various devices, including PCs , smartphones and tablets. A device with at least Android 2.2 (Froyo) is needed to run the rich media player in its new, mobile-friendly avatar.
"We may not see a huge number of these devices available on Tuesday, but the pipeline for Christmas, CES, Mobile World Congress next year is really exciting," Anup Muraka, director of technology strategy at Adobe, told IDG News Service. Though the mobile version promises a rich media experience on par with PCs, it boasts some new mobile-specific features, including support for multi-touch and accelerometers.
The latest version of the Flash player will soon debut on BlackBerry, Palm webOS, Windows Phone 7, LiMo, MeeGo, and Symbian phones .
When I signed up for T-Mobile one year ago, I didn't expect to sit around in envy halfway through my service agreement as other wireless vendors pump out one awesome smartphone after another. The G1 I snagged was supposed to be a precursor of things to come, only it hasn't quite worked out that way.
Maybe things are getting ready to change, or perhaps it's just wishful thinking, Either way, T-Mobile is now offering the Nokia E73 Mode smartphone built around the Symbian platform. It's the thinnest full QWERTY keyboard smartphone in T-Mobile's stable, and with the Switch Mode feature that let's users switch between customizable home screens, T-Mobile's billing this one as ideal for both work and play.
Some of the other features include a 5MP camera with flash and auto-focus, 3G support, Bluetooth, microSD memory card slot, built-in GPS receiver with Ovi Maps and Nokia's turn-by-turn navigation service, Microsoft Exchange support, a 2.4-inch QVGA (320 x 240 display), and of course Wi-Fi.
The phone costs $70 with a two-year service contract, or $300 by itself. As for me? I'm still holding out for a compelling Android phone to entice me to stay with T-Mobile 12 months from now.
What smartphone are you rocking, and are you planning to upgrade anytime soon?
Skype continues to conquer new territory, the latest being three Sony Ericsson smartphones based on the Symbian platform, the VoIP software company announced today.
"Applications for communication and social networking are incredibly popular with mobile users. The opportunity to use a world-class app like Skype, in combination with the excellent applications and capabilities we have already integrated into our Satio, Vivaz, and Vivaz pro devices, will make up a compelling package to our customers," said Kristian Tear, Executive Vice President and Head of Sales and Marketing at Sony Ericsson.
Just like with other platforms, those who own one of the above Symbian devices will be able to make free Skype-to-Skype calls to other Skype users around the world, send and receive IMs from individuals or groups, share pictures and videos, receive calls to their existing online number, and pretty much everything else you can do with Skype on the desktop.
Apple and Adobe have been trading verbal blows quite regularly, with both companies even accusing each other of being a “closed system” at an unwittingly hilarious point in their duel. But Apple’s resolute vow to never allow Flash on the iPhone and iPad means Adobe, whether it likes it or not, will have to concentrate on other mobile devices. And it does seem to have the blessings of nearly all other major players in the smartphone market.
But Adobe might just be counting its chickens too early, especially given its failures to bridge the vast gulf between desktop and mobile versions of the Flash players. It can’t really afford another failed attempt.
Nobody really talks a whole lot about Nokia anymore, not with sexy smartphones like the Motorola Droid and Google's Nexus One stealing all the spotlight. Part of the problem is that Symbian, even though it dominates the market, hasn't kept pace with other OSes. Look for that to change with Symbian 3.
According to Nokia, "it is about renewal" with the upcoming OS and the new phones that will be built around it. Symbian 3 should be "functionally complete" by the end of Q1. It will include a more polished UI that's easier to use, an improved homescreen, a podcast manager, and a bit more pep, among other features. According to David Rivas, a vice president at Nokia, Symbian 3 will help get his company back on track.
And as for Android? Rivas claims his company has a more "open" stance around Symbian and MeeGo than Google does with Android.
"Anyone can go to the Symbain website and see what features will be coming months in advance," Rivas explained. "Show me where you can do that with Android."