In June Nokia announced the acquisition for 264 million euros for 52% of shares that he was lacking in the British company Symbian, publisher of the eponymous operating system, which powers nearly all of its smartphones, including its variation S60.
At the same time it announced the creation of the Symbian Foundation, dedicated to the future development of this operating system and open to all manufacturers of mobile. He also announced the possibility to recover and deploy the operating system without paying a license, subject to an annual membership to the association (determined from 1 to 500 dollars).
Today, after the meeting of the teams of the former consortium Symbian in the new Symbian Foundation, the first effects of this strategy are being felt. In a note posted on his blog, the association in fact reveals the road map of the operating system for mobile use in the world, including the pace of development will greatly accelerate.
An update by half
The Symbian Foundation provides for the delivery of a major upgrade of Symbian every six months until 2011. The first of these versions, called Symbian 2, based on the S60 5.1 version, will arrive in June in beta, the final version expected at the end of the year. The foundation gives up the development of other interfaces of Symbian, including UIQ and MOAP to focus on S60.
Symbian 3 follow the same process of development than its predecessor with a beta version expected late 2009 and a final version in mid-2010. “In buying Symbian, our goal was to revitalize by creating a free OS for smartphones with an ecosystem of developers to the rapid development of third-party applications,” said Xavier des Horts, communications director for Nokia France. Note that the manufacturer has also announced at the Mobile World Congress last February, the launch in May of Ovi Store, a shop for mobile applications based on the model of Apple’s App Store.
The growing competition from Google’s Android and Apple iPhone
At the time of version 3 of the iPhone is unveiled and the first “Google phone” has arrived on the French market in Orange, large maneuvers Nokia appear as a response to the rapid development of competing platforms Symbian.
According to the latest figures the firm Gartner, Symbian remains the undisputed leader of the OS for smartphones, with 52.4% market share in 2008, against 63.1% in 2007. It records a growth much slower than the BlackBerry OS (+ 96.7% over one year) or that of the iPhone (+ 245%). Symbian must operate properly to turn the touch control, the asset of the iPhone, which made its success since its launch and which will also be one of the advantages of Android.