Sunday, June 29, 2008

The future of Symbian

Nokia, the Finland mobile giant, has bought Symbian, the most popular smartphone software. Earlier, it was 48% stake holder in Symbian, now it has bought the remaining shares with $410 million. Now, Nokia is planning to make Symbian open source. Currently, companies using Symbian are paying $4 per phone. After Symbian becomes open source there be no charges. Information Week reports:

For businesses, the move raises several critical issues. On the upside, it's possible companies will wind up with cheaper phones--the Symbian OS today costs manufacturers about $4, while Microsoft charges about $15 for Windows Mobile per phone. A free mobile OS could ramp up price competition. On the downside, IT departments could face a tougher battle trying to contain the number of smartphone platforms they're asked to support, if open source leads to more variations of the Symbian OS.

Currently, 67% of the total smartphones produced around the world use Symbian. However, Symbian is not widely used in lower-end phones. In the USA, Microsoft, Apple, and RIM are dominating the scene. If Symbian wants to win this war of mobile operating system then it would have to be rapidly developed because smartphone makers are exploring all the possible ways to include more functions in their little gadgets. Truly, Nokia has put great pressure on Microsoft, Google and other mobile phone operating system producers but to win the battle it has to be very much innovative with Symbian.

Related articles:
Information Week