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544 posts

Ultimate Geek


# 40951 7-Sep-2009 12:15
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I've been a Nokia user for years. I love the phones, and I've been fond of the Symbian OS, but my thoughts are starting to sway away from it.

In comparison to other OS' such as the iPhone OS, it seems slow and sluggish around menus etc.
I also hear of it being a real pain to program apps for as well.

I know Nokia are doing their best to keep it afloat, but is it really worth it? It just seems like they don't want to admit the truth after all they've put into it.

So I guess I want to ask those who are more informed than I am, how do you see the future of Symbian? Is it able to maintain itself on the market, what positive features does it have over other OS' etc?

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  # 253737 7-Sep-2009 13:17
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I di dread something a week or so ago that Nokia are developing something based on linuxmobile in order to compete with iphone type OSs.



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  # 253751 7-Sep-2009 14:01
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Yea, but that'll be Linux based, not Symbian based. Could be the begining of the end?

 
 
 
 


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  # 253754 7-Sep-2009 14:03
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farcus: I di dread something a week or so ago that Nokia are developing something based on linuxmobile in order to compete with iphone type OSs.


Maemo. It's not new. Nokia Tablets have been running Maemo for years. The difference is that now they announced a Nokia Tablet with built-in mobile broadband. It's not a handset.





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  # 253766 7-Sep-2009 14:27
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Although this is a handset, albeit bulky - and it runs maemo? Or am I missing something (always a strong possibility!). From NokiaWorld 2009.
http://conversations.nokia.com/2009/08/27/finding-maemo-the-new-nokia-n900/





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  # 253772 7-Sep-2009 14:41
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It's a MID (Mobile Internet Device). It's bigger than a handset. And Nokia already said they will run both Maemo and Symbian lines in parallel - Maemo for MID and Symbian for Smartphones.




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  # 253775 7-Sep-2009 14:44
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Ya live and learn!! Slightly off topic, but I wonder how many new market segments they will invent to fit between smartphones and netbooks! MID indeed ......





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  # 253780 7-Sep-2009 14:59
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Clarification:

The Nokia N900 is a 'tablet', not a 'mobile handset'...that is the point MF is trying to make...a slight difference.

The Nokia N900 will run Maemo, a linux based OS, which has been around for many years, but Maemo 5 is the latest version and will be first released on the Nokia N900.

Nokia's has recently publicly stated, that it does not plan to ditch Symbian anytime soon.

That said, lets speculate and look at the facts...
-Nokia owns 100% of Symbian, so it does not make alot of sence to just dump it completely, it would be a waste of an investment.
-Nokia will likely keep Symbian to licence/sell to other mobile manufactors, and possibly Nokias own low tier/entry market handsets.
-Maemo may, I said may, become the OS of choice for top tier smartphones and tablets....but that may depend alot on the success and public reception of the N900 and Maemo 5.
-Bear in mind, that at the moment, Maemo is sill mostly designed for tablets, hence one limit of the Maemo OS is that it will only work in landscape mode (with the exception of the phone app), nothing works in portrait...but on a mobile handset, people have come to expect both.




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ald

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  # 254307 9-Sep-2009 11:37
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Hi Euan, I agree with your call that Nokia won't be dumping Symbian anytime soon.

Just a comment on your facts bullets - Nokia does own 100% of Symbian however they bought out the other shareholders in order to open source it. The code is held by the Symbian Foundation now (http://www.symbian.org/). The plan is that this will broaden the appeal of the OS (other vendors won't feel that they are buying a Nokia OS) and spread the development costs. Going forward vendors will be able to produce Symbian devices without having to pay a licence fee.




Best regards,
Aaron Davidson.

SimWorks International Limited

www.simworks.com - New Zealands leading developer of mobile applications


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  # 257414 21-Sep-2009 19:27
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I believe that Symbian will not completely die away for a very long time yet, instead it will lose the status of being a "smartphone" OS. As it gets pushed in to cheaper and even more mainstream phones, this is already being seen with sub $300 phones sold with S60.




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  # 257756 23-Sep-2009 11:03
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Thats a big call dman. Symbian is a very powerful OS and its hardware requirements far to heavy for it to succeed as a non-smartphone OS. Unless hardware becomes cheaper or Symbian OS lighter it won't be able to power the cheapest phones simply because that would make the hardware for those phones far too expensive. For Symbian, it will either succeed as a smartphone OS or it will fade away I think.




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www.simworks.com - New Zealands leading developer of mobile applications


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  # 257800 23-Sep-2009 13:14
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I think the thing to remember here is that by definition, a smartphone operates using an OS. As opposed to some locked-down generic UI hard-coded into it.

I think it's always possible that the future of Symbian is in the lower-end to middle-tier of the mobile market and that either Maemo or something like it will come along and become the new "power OS".

Nothing lasts forever, but I think Symbian will be around for a while. It ain;t perfect, but it's pretty user-friendly, very intuitive and works well across multiple platforms.




Handsome Dan Has Spoken.

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  # 259207 28-Sep-2009 23:33
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a bold prediction? perhaps, yet still a very realistic one... yes S60 has fairly heavy hardware requirements however the cost of hardware is rapidly going down every year.

Already we see sub 300 dollar phones running S60, that is a price point that I previously would have regarded as way way below what a smartphone should cost! How long until we phones capable of running S60 for half that price? I'm betting it won't be too many years away until you can buy one for $100ish.




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  # 259282 29-Sep-2009 09:48
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And if it does extend its territory into the sub-$100 range then it would cease to be a smartphone OS?

I don't really see how price has anything to do with whether or not an OS is a smartphone OS or not. The usual definition is that a smartphone OS is any OS that you can develop and deploy applications onto. There are of course varying degress of smartness such as the ability to run multiple applications at once (iPhone fail) or intuitive interface (Symbian fail). How smart you judge a particular OS may have a lot to do with the relative importance that you place on capability vs eyecandy. Its subjective so either is a valid metric.

The Symbian UI is aging and overly complex. If a vendor wants a free OS for its low end devices then Android or LIMO would be the obvious choices. Symbian's advantage is that its a super capable OS with a huge installed base. If we do see Symbian on sub-$100 phones it will be a sign that the Symbian Foundation have finally succeeded in getting on top of useability rather than that it is on its way out. That having been said, I'd be very happy to be proven wrong - I'd love to see an N97-like device for under a $100, that might just pursuade me to change back to Symbian again!




Best regards,
Aaron Davidson.

SimWorks International Limited

www.simworks.com - New Zealands leading developer of mobile applications


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  # 259286 29-Sep-2009 09:58
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I'd have to wonder what the advantages of having a cheap Symbian phone would be...a vast majority of Nokia 6121 phones wouldn't know they run Symbian...and wouldn;t know what that means either!

I would love to know how many Symbian users actually take advantage of what their smartphones are capable of...or even bother with FW updates!




Handsome Dan Has Spoken.

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  # 259731 30-Sep-2009 14:00
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everything is relative

a very long time ago a phone would have been regarded as a "smartphone" if it had a contactbook, recent calls list, calendar with appointments, and a few apps such as calculator/stopwatch/alarm/games/etc... you get the gist of the sort of things I'm talking about. But these days even the most crap phones come with this, my current nokia on the vodafone network cost my nothing at all and it has everything I just listed.

These days we think of that phone as a very very dumb phone indeed. Heck, it doesn't even have a camera. Something that not very long ago was a feature you would only see on some of the most high end phones.

Thus with time we will see many features that we regard as being solely in the realm of "smartphones" (such as multi-threading) falling in to the category of increasingly cheaper and cheaper phones. (as the hardware costs to run these features spiral down)

And no, we will not be seeing LiMo or Andriod on a ~$100ish phone before we see Symbian running on it as both of them have heavier hardware requirements, and these is the entire thrust of my post... that in the near future cheap phones will be powerful enough to run a smartphone's OS. Which OS will this be? My pick is S60 as it will have the right mix of cost/licensing and hardware requirements for a (future) low end phone.




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