Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Has Symbian not learnt from Psion?

Last week I went to the Symbian Smartphone show with hope, it had moved out of the docklands and the Handset business is facing competition at the high end. After 30 minutes at the show I was fealing that Symbian is at the risk of missing the party.

In the Keynote Symbian's CEO spoke about the fact that this year 50M new smartphones will be sold making 250M handset shipped in the 10 years it has been formed. He said that these numbers demonstrate to developers that by sticking with with Symbian they will have the advantage of speed. However when you look at the new developer networks what you see is a shop that sits outside the networks control and has very simple terms (providing that you are not a competitor to the main spftware).

in talking about evolution accuse Symbian of being bloted. Whilst long time watchers call the death of UIQ which means that the new Foundation will be based on the S60 platform. This means that Symbian is at risk of becoming a Software arm of Nokia and who would want to get in bed with the largest handset maker?

This years Symbian event was my fifth year in attendance the quality of the speakers this year was weaker than in the past. I would have hoped that in moving to Earls Court they could have got Senior Executives from Vodafone, Orange and T-Mobile they did not. This forces me to question just what level of endorsement does Symbian have? Having considered things I fear that they have little more than warm words.

The FT is reporting that in this economic downturn will hit the handset guys rather than the Networks. The Symbian devices are amoungst the most expensive and so are at risk when budgets are cut by Networks looking to limit costs. Walk into a handset shop and what you see from RIM, Apple and Windows Mobile all impresses more than the Symbian Handsets.

Psion stopped making PDA's when they were let down by Motorola on the development of a Smartphone and internal research showed that the consumer want a number of devices rarther than one that did it all. Whilst PSION allowed some excellent engineers to develop few remember that however did not save the company. On the basis of what I saw last week Symbian is at risk of being the platform that the train passes rather than stops at.

No comments: