December 21, 2010 1 Comment
The Symbian foundation has closed down, just only about 2 years after it was started by Nokia. Symbian is still around, but is fully under Nokia again. But ever since the beginning of Symbian, Nokia was its main partner, releasing many S60 phones. Nokia tried to get other phone manufacturers to share the Symbian OS with them but it was not compelling at all. Tauting Symbian to be very open ended and having a long legacy since Psion, it soon fell short of its dreams. Companies like Motorola, Sony Ericsson and Samsung had made a few S60 phones but limited models (maybe less than 20 in total).
Yes, Nokia’s future of a open sourced mobile operating system which all phone manufacturers can share and develop together on was indeed an ideal plan but there were some kinks in the plan:
- Noone wants to fully share anything they develop. While running Symbian, Samsung had its own skin (TouchWiz) and so did Sony Ericsson. Even Android phones now have different skins from different manufacturers. They wanted to share something but still be able to differentiate and have a selling edge.
- Not long after Symbian foundation was announced, the biggest search company Google released its Android mobile OS.
- Other closed mobile OS like blackberry, iOS and WebOS still took a lot out of Symbian’s market share.
- Symbian wasn’t really the easiest platform to develop on or noone was eager to create apps for Symbian. Symbian still looking hard for developers one year after the foundation was announced.
- Nokia seemed as if it wasn’t fully devoted to Symbian itself, as they also began developing the Maemo platform.
So on the 8th of November 2010 after its other partners like Sony Ericsson and Samsung gradually dropped off, Nokia announced that it reclaims Symbian under its own wing again. Finally on 17th December 2010, the foundation website was taken down.
Brief history/timeline of Symbian and Symbian foundation:
- 1980: Psion was founded
- 1998: Psion became Symbian
- 2001: First Nokia Symbian phone, Nokia 9210 communicator
- 24-Jun-2008: Nokia acquires Symbian, Symbian Foundation announced [source]
- 21-Oct-2008: Android first release [source]
- 12-Mac-2009: Symbian Platform Release Plan revealed [source]
- 30-Apr-2009: S60.com site closure announced [source]
- 08-Jun-2009: Symbian still trying hard to woo developers [source]
- 09-Aug-2009: Nokia rumoured to ditch Symbian in 2012 [source]
- 11-Nov-2009: Samsung dropping Symbian for Bada [source]
- 04-Feb-2010: Symbian fully open and free source [source]
- 01-Jul-2010: Best Symbian site, Symbian-guru.com ends [source]
- 24-Sep-2010 : Sony Ericsson abandons Symbian [source]
- 19-Oct-2010 : Symbian CEO exits [source]
- 22-Oct-2010: Angry Birds on Symbian [source]
- 08-Nov-2010: Nokia reclaims Symbian [source]
- 17-Dec-2010 : Symbian foundation website closes [source]
- 31-Dec-2010 : Samsung terminates Symbian support [source]
Nokia phones especially their current flagship phone, the Nokia N8 has very high end functions like HDMI out and USB OTG plus a high resolution camera with xenon flash, but the OS running the phone is clunky, hard to use and lack apps. Finally some developers are starting to release popular games like Angry Birds on Symbian but this is few and far in between. There’s no idea how long Nokia will still stick with Symbian or eventually migrate to Maemo (or Meego). We hope to see a revolutionary Symbian if Nokia wishes to continue on further with it.