Nokia Sticks With Symbian as Rivals Turn Away
Nokia (NOK) looks increasingly alone in its support for the Symbian smartphone platform, even as the global handset market leader is launching new devices based on an upgraded version of the system, which should be better able to match rival software.
Apart from Nokia, which builds most of its smartphones around Symbian, phone vendors like Samsung and Sony Ericsson (SNE) have also made use of the open-source system in their devices. But these two have now put their Symbian development on hold, focusing instead on other platforms such as the ever more popular Android.
While still the world’s most widespread smartphone platform, Symbian has been losing ground to newer rivals for some time. According to research firm Gartner, Symbian’s market share dropped to 41 percent in the second quarter this year, from 51 percent a year earlier. Google’s (GOOG) open operating system Android surged to 17 percent from two percent.
Still, recent improvements should make Symbian more competitive.