Nokia, once a world leader, is losing popularity to rising stars like Google Android and Apple iOS. Android phones are selling more than Symbian phones. Google activates 300,000 phones every day and Nokia Symbian phones somewhat less. What has happened to the old clear smartphone OS leader Symbian.
Why Symbian failed: developers, developers, developers article tells that the reasons why Apple succeeded in creating a smartphone market have now become conventional wisdom. iPhone was designed to be a mobile computer first, not a phone. Same applies to Android phones.
There’s also a similar agreement on the reasons why Nokia missed out. Nokia’s design philosophy was that smartphones were phones first, not computers. Nokia is has been very reliant on Symbian, but had neglected to develop and polish the user interface over the years.
One reason for problems could have been in the software architecture. The basic Symbian OS was pretty well optimized to run on even pretty low power CPUs (uses less processing power than Linux or iOS for the same tasks), but to accomplish this Symbian went its own way with just about everything. And these new ways were so damned hard to learn, most people just didn’t bother. The sluggish performance you see on your Nokia phone today is claimed to be a direct result of developers doing things in non optimal way.
Your platform can be as clever as you like, but until it’s so intuitive that developers take to it like a duck to water, the cleverness will all lie unused, gathering dust. As you know in real life a lot of real production code is bashed together by short-term contractors and people new to a platform.
Many mobile phone manufacturers that ealier used Symbian are leaving the boat, and Nokia seems to be the only one player left on the boat. Nokia is reducing hundreds of people in Finland on Symbian smartphone development. Nokia announced 1,800 job cuts worldwide in October.
Nokia is closing Symbian Foundation and taking the development to it’s own hands. This sounds pretty much like the end of the open source Symbian era. Symbian Developer web site is closing on December 17th. So if you want something from this what seems to be a slowly sinking boat you have only few days to get that…
Symbian’s future is now reliant on the success of the Symbian^3 platform. The N8 handset is the first Symbian^3 phone, catching headlines.