& cplSiteName &

Mobile 2012: Symbian Opens Wide

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor
6/11/2009
50%
50%

The Symbian Foundation -- keeper of the world's most popular mobile operating system -- revealed exactly what "open" means for the code-base in coming years at Light Reading's first-ever virtual tradeshow, Mobile 2012, this afternoon.

The Foundation's catalyst and futurist, David Wood, spoke to an online audience to explain why mobile companies might need openness and also spoke of some of the potential pitfalls. He firmly cast the Foundation in the open camp, not only promising open software development kits and easy access to the code-base but also saying that outside developers, researchers, and other interested parties would have a say in the future roadmap for the OS.

The power of four
The backdrop for the move to openness, Wood told listeners, is the anticipation that mobile devices will quadruple in performance in many respects between now and 2012. "They'll have four times the raw processing capability," Wood says.

This means four times the storage and processing speeds that will double twice in three years, if Moore's Law holds. Battery life is the only hold-out as its performance just doesn't track with silicon, Wood noted.

More mobile raw power brings complexities, however, Wood said. Smartphones and other devices are getting harder to design, build and code software and apps for, Wood explained. Meanwhile, without more intuitive user interfaces, even power users can find phones confusing.

What's open, really?
There are two possible approaches to dealing with this level of complexity, Wood said. One is keeping all of the hardware and software development in-house, creating your own app store, and generally keeping a tight grip on the reins. This is the typical cellphone model and one largely adhered to by Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and BlackBerry , albeit with software development kits (SDKs) for third-party apps.

Symbian, meanwhile, along with Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), the LiMo Foundation , and others, is now pushing for a more open environment. Wood says that, for Symbian, open access means that any interested party can access the SDK and operating system code base and make changes to it. This means anyone from developers to research labs and universities can get their grubby paws on the Symbian OS. Furthermore, Wood says, the Foundation will push "open governance," whereby anyone involved with the work has a say over how the operating system's roadmap will evolve.

This means of course that Symbian has to take the rough with the smooth. The key danger of such an open approach is that code-base is developed by thousands of different parties to meet their own special needs and gets fragmented, the curse word of the open-source movement.

"Fragmentation is easy; integration is hard," quipped Wood.

He notes that Symbian already has some experience of this problem and suggests that the Foundation will have to "lead by example." This means integrating good changes to the code-base quickly and well, "fast standards," Woods calls it.

Despite the potential for code-base crack-up, however, Wood suggests that the Symbian OS can only be improved by going open source. "It's a better approach, to involve the entire community... get their overall brain power involved in these challenges."

– Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
From The Founder
The independent evaluation of Nokia's key virtual network functions (VNFs) was a defining moment for the Finnish giant.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP’s Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it’s going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Documentaries
Leading Lights 2016 Highlights

5|25|16   |   02:26   |   (1) comment


Some of the high points from this year's Leading Lights awards dinner at the Hotel Ella in Austin, Texas.
LRTV Documentaries
Light Reading Hall of Fame 2016

5|23|16   |   05:43   |   (0) comments


Find out who has been welcomed into Light Reading's Hall of Fame this year.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE TM Forum Highlights

5|23|16   |     |   (0) comments


ZTE showcased its new ICT solutions at TM Forum in Nice.
LRTV Interviews
Gamma's MD on the Emergence of UC2

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


Gamma Communications Managing Director David Macfarlane believes the unified communications (UC) market has reached a tipping point.
LRTV Custom TV
The Ultimate 5-Minute Guide to Digital Customer Engagement

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this short video, you will hear all about how Digital Customer Engagement is the key to meeting customer expectations, keeping them happy, and maximizing revenue. VP Product & Marketing at Pontis, Ofer Razon, breaks down for us the five essential capabilities for successful Digital Customer Engagement. Don’t miss!
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 1 – NFV Use Cases Get Real

5|19|16   |   05:57   |   (0) comments


Consensus is building around the key use cases for NFV, including managed IP services at the network edge and on customer premises, which can generate new revenues from enterprises/SMBs and consumers; Evolved Packet Core to support LTE migration; and adjacent technologies, such as TAS and IMS, to support VoLTE and next-generation charging and policy control ...
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 3

5|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang discusses the challenges of operational transformation and how Nokia helps its customers. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Level 3: Why UC Is In Demand

5|17|16   |   04:12   |   (1) comment


Andrew Edison, Level 3's senior VP of sales, EMEA region, talks about the drivers of growth in the unified communications services market.
LRTV Custom TV
ARM's OPNFV Action

5|17|16   |     |   (0) comments


At the ARM booth at MWC 2016, Joe Kidder and Bob Monkman speak to Light Reading about OPNFV and their upcoming action.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 2

5|16|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang gives advice to service providers on how to move to NFV. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Interoute CTO on NFV's Maturity

5|13|16   |   06:46   |   (1) comment


Matt Finnie, CTO at international operator Interoute, explains how NFV has made life easier in terms of logistics and how Interoute can now enable a 'software-defined moment' for its customers.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
UBBS 2016 Highlights

5|12|16   |     |   (0) comments


Highlights of Huawei's UBBS event in Hong Kong.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
December 6-8, 2016,
June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
Hot Topics
DT: Telcos Must Escape Vendor Prison
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/24/2016
AT&T to Start 5G 'Friendly' Trial by 2016 End
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/24/2016
WiCipedia: Short Skirts & Back-Up Plans
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 5/20/2016
Google Doubles Down on Machine Learning, AI
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 5/19/2016
Eurobites: Be More European, EU Tells Streaming Services
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 5/20/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.