Skip to main content
June 26, 2008

Balanced views from the technology press

GLOBAL – There’s been no shortage of coverage of what is possibly one of the biggest stories to hit technology for a long time.

The tech press have been ruminating long and hard on Nokia’s benevolent gesture of giving, for nada, its Symbian-owned OS, to the newly formed Symbian Foundation and opening up its platform to whoever wants a piece.

The arguments have been balanced but as we’re a positive bunch over at Conversations we’ve highlighted a few choice words from the world’s tech gurus.

Let’s start with Gareth Beavis over at TechRadar who agrees the new initiative will only benefit the consumer, saying

“Overall, the feeling is one of positivity, especially for the consumer. An open handset war will revolutionise the way we use the mobile phone; touch-screens and other intuitive interfaces will quickly come to the fore as hardware becomes a necessary platform to allow the software to grow, rather than being the selling point.”

The same journalist has also followed up the article with an interview with Ulf Wretling, general manager and head of the developer program at Sony Ericsson, grilling him as to what the new look Symbian OS means to future of the mobile. This is a small snippet of Ulf’s prediction

“The Symbian system allows manufacturers the chance to develop a different type of phone. Essentially, with Symbian, any type of interaction is possible. For instance, we introduced the accelerometer, which changed the way you could interact with the mobile phone. But with Symbian we can start looking at different areas, such as mobiles for the old or young, blind of deaf.”

Bill Ray, who writes for those investigative hounds over at TheRegister, is cagier, wanting to see how this move will lead to greater revenue for Nokia before declaring it’s a potentially successful development but James Brown, the analyst from Frost & Sullivan he spoke to “believes the plan might yet have legs”

“This is seen as a strategic move to stave off competition … and position Nokia as more than a Mobile Phone Company. Nokia will now own relationships with all of the big five handset manufacturers and a tremendous developer ecosystem”

Although Charles Babcock at sees the formation of the Symbian Foundation as a defensive move rather offensive from Nokia et al, he clearly sees the benefit of rival mobile companies joining hands

“By taking a bold step toward opening up Symbian, Nokia gathers a community of like-minded vendors that will jointly make a greater investment in Nokia’s core technology and form a broader front. It will be harder for Apple or Google to penetrate that front, if it adds value for customers rapidly.”

And finally, more analyst insight from Neil Mawston of Strategy Analytics who chatted to Peter Clarke from EEtimes. He suggests the outcome will provide more mass market smartphone penetration for Nokia and the Foundation:

“We expect Nokia to use royalty-free Symbian software as a loss-leader to drive profitable growth in handsets and services in 2009. This is a good move for Nokia, because cheaper smartphones for the mass-market will eventually drive higher global volumes of Nokia devices and Ovi content.”

But let us know what sort of impact you think Symbian Foundation will have on the mobile industry. Will it have a positive effect?