One in four developers happy to support Symbian

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29% of developers support Symbian, says Millennial Media, with 100% of them supporting iOS. While that sounds like a bad statistic for Symbian, it’s worth examining the data to conclude that this is healthy for a huge number of mobile operating systems. More below...

First up, Millennial Media are an ad serving platform (similar to AdMob and Quattro), so the numbers are derived from their own reports and advertising systems. There is going to be inherent bias in the system. Also consider that the Boston-based company is likely to be promoting itself as a potential acquisition target to Silicon Valley - the flag waving of Android and iOS support becomes a bit more clear.

Given the nature of the platform, the lack of developer exposure in America to Symbian and that the raw numbers of ads delivered has Symbian very low down the list, it might not look to healthy, but yet more than one in four developers stated they would be supporting Symbian going forward in the future.

Millenial Media

That’s what I mean by promising. When you cut through the hype and PR bluster, when you set aside the views of the media, there is still support from developers to the largest smartphone OS on the planet. I’m pretty sure they can see the numbers of handsets shipped and sold, and can see the potential.

The trick now, as it has always been, if we’re honest, is to give them the tools they are familiar with; a simple and quick route to market (via a well trafficked portal, such as the Ovi Store); and to get them some cold hard cash in their hands.

Along with the launch of Symbian^3 in the upcoming N8, we’re going to be keeping a careful eye on the developer stories that we hope are going to be coming to the fore over the next few months.

-- Ewan Spence, Aug 2010.