Symbian: Mobile OS Boss... For Now

Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s Android may grab the headlines, but Symbian Ltd. still has the numbers when it comes to cellphone operating system. (See Symbian Reports '08 Results.)

The London-based firm announced today that it shipped 19.6 million Symbian mobile phones worldwide in the second quarter, a 5 percent increase over the same period last year. Overall, the firm has shipped the Symbian code on 225.9 million phones since the company started 10 years ago. (See 10 Things You Should Know About Symbian .) By comparison, Apple is expected to ship up to 6.1 million iPhones in the quarter ending this September. The first Google Android phone will not even come on the market until later this year. (See Android Arriving November 10?)

Nonetheless, Apple -- and the economy -- may be starting to affect Symbian sales. The 5 percent growth in the quarter compares with a 17 percent rise in the previously reported three months. (See Symbian Passes 75M Mark.)

Following the winds of change in the market, Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) bought its remaining stake in Symbian earlier this year and plans to make the OS open source -- like Google's Android code-base -- through the Symbian Foundation . (See Symbian Wants the World.)

The Symbian Foundation is expected to start to open the code in 2009.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 3:33:21 PM
re: Symbian: Mobile OS Boss... For Now Yes, Symbian rules for now. But I think the overblown media coverage (cough!) and the iPhone craze are just proof points that folks expect more from the mobile experience than what Symbian is capable of delivering.

IPobserver 12/5/2012 | 3:33:20 PM
re: Symbian: Mobile OS Boss... For Now IGll Gfess up to being an S60 (Symbian) fan boyGǪ. IGm amazed by depth of capability on my N95 8GB.

But I concede it can be awkward to use. IGm on my fourth S60 phone, so IGve got to know it well.
My wife G the ultimate normob G claims not to know how to even answer a call on my phone, or look up a number. SheGs very smart and efficient, so obviously thereGs a usability problem. Also worrying is that independent developers, especially in the U.S., are noisily complaining about how hard Symbian is to develop for.
That said, IGm still a big fan and looking forward to upcoming features such as FreeWay, which is supposed to make seamless switching of radio bearers (e.g. WLAN to 3G) faster and easier.
I think youGd also have to credit Symbian and Nokia for getting so much capability into increasingly lower priced devices.
joset01 12/5/2012 | 3:33:09 PM
re: Symbian: Mobile OS Boss... For Now Informative post, please post more often :-)

Dr. Brijesh Kumar 12/5/2012 | 3:33:09 PM
re: Symbian: Mobile OS Boss... For Now
To me, the real beauty of symbian is not what you do or see as a user, but how efficient symbian is in managing a mobile's resources. The real power of symbian is visible when you do write a rather complicated mobile application on a symbian phone that requires call interruptions, sms processing and some type of communication.

Symbian's microkernel implements very efficient task switching, combine that with a request and callback approach to all services, a great UI development interface, a number of mobile specific services available readily, use of standard IDEs like Eclipse, Netbeans, Visual Studio etc. with suitable plug-ins and we have an operating system that is a delight to work with and designed with mobile phones' needs in mind.

iPhone is good for certain things, but use of objective "C" for the development really sucks a big time.

IPobserver 12/5/2012 | 3:32:56 PM
re: Symbian: Mobile OS Boss... For Now Quick S60/Symbian rantGǪ

ThereGs a new firmware available for my phone. What gets me wound up is that each time I upgrade the firmware, half my installed apps disappear or don't work afterwards, even using the back-up service in PC Suite.

All About Symbian recommends you insure house before you start. lol.

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