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Old 17-02-2010, 07:54 PM
snoFlake snoFlake is offline
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BBC to offer iPhone apps for news and sport and Not Symbian

BBC to offer iPhone apps for news and sport

iPhone App followed to Android and BlackBerry App but not Symbian as the article points out, even mentioning Symbian's market share and that there is an iPlayer app for Symbian. A bit worrying for Symbian and although they're doing their best to stir up some hype with the SF^3 grass roots campaign there just seems to be no developer interest.

Olympics, BBC, Banks, shops blah blah you know them, all have iPhone Apps and have zip on Symbian (the Telegraph app won't even work for me on N97), so no matter how many times people bang on about Symbian's 40%+ market share it's just not happening. No major events or organistaions I can think of have released a Symbian App or toy (other than Nokia) in the last 6+ months meanwhile other platforms (notably Apple but the others are starting to roll) are flooding out.

Two reasons, firstly not many of the installed Symbian base actually do much with their "smartphone" particularly the non touch variants hence incredibly low web access numbers proportionally so not as much incentive to develop as headline share would imply. Secondly and more worryingly I believe there is an impression both from profitability and number of manufacturers actively using Symbian at the moment and the direction it's market share is headed that it's on it's way out and that it is only installed on legacy devices whose owners haven't renewed their devices yet and that organisations are developing for the platforms they anticipate from trends and buzz that are going to be their next devices on renewal.

And to some extent this is fair a lot of the editorial staff here at AAS talk up the Symbian market share as a behemoth but of course many of these installed base have a very low committment to Symabian as they have provably not installed or paid for many extra add-ons over their ownership (plus this won't be transportable anyway). So what does this 47% (or whatever) installed base actually mean, possibly not much.

SF is going to possibly have to stand on it's own as a platform forgetting about the installed base and currently the cupboard is a bit bare. The handsets that have been released on S60v5/SF^1 have mostly had a pretty torrid time of it N97, i8910, Satio etc only 5800 and the 55/52xx's seem to have got on (partly on price). Apart from the SE Vivaz's (which I quite like but they are carrying pretty lame SF^1) no devices were announced at MWC so far to support the trumpeting of SF^3 (I get the reason, they're still in development) meanwhile there's a flood of new and pretty spanky devices on Android even Microsoft got themselves back in the game (and if they deliver on that wow!) and now we're maybe looking at a summer release for a Nokia SF^3 device which is right when Apple iPhone hype is at it's highest and they got absolutely killed last time. Added to this the fact that last Symbian flagships from Nokia SE and Samsung all sank for varying reasons but certainly the OS useability and reliability played a large part in it and the pressure for rapidly disappearing mindshare and relevance is much more critical that often conveyed I think.

I understand why there is a hiatus of new devices but Symbian really really needs a hero device (not necessarily top end) something so compelling that it will draw attention and investment that are daily ebbing away back to it. This is not really the Symbian Foundation 's fault they're trying their best with a bit of a hospital pass it seems to me but the wasted year+ 2008-2009 is haunting them. Yeah yeah yeah I know background work, licenses etc. who cares certainly not the paying consumer all they want is a working device that is as good or better than the competition and this I think is the damage the N97 shambles and mindset has wrought. SF^3 looks really nice but once again I have a niggling feeling they've been aiming at where products were Autumn 2009 not what we're going to be seeing from today and summer especially onwards in devices on the shelves starting now. It seems there's real ongoing danger of seeing a 1 year out of date OS on out of date hardware. If 2009 repeats in 2010 I think Symbian as an OS with infuence over other ecosystems could well be over and will subside to an S40 servant status. Maybe this is the Nokia plan, not so much mid-high end but feature phone level.
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