Home > Wireless > Smartphone wars: Symbian’s Stronghold Smartphone wars: Symbian’s Stronghold Eugenia Loli 2005-03-02 Wireless 18 Comments Take a look at this pie chart and keep in mind that these results (in german) are from 3rd quarter of 2004 only and are global results. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 18 Comments 2005-03-02 10:25 pm Anonymous pie chart aside, that article is prepared by a moron. 2005-03-02 10:38 pm Anonymous You are right. I changed the article’s link to the original copy, in german. That commentary from MS-Mobile is indeed moronic. 2005-03-02 10:43 pm Anonymous I guess symbians market share will continue to fall until it equals with nokias market share, because microsoft is a very strong opponent. Until this happened however, there will be a chance for linux based phones, which are not controlled by one manufacterer or one big company whatsoever. This is a good thing I guess. greets, tim 2005-03-02 11:16 pm Anonymous Who makes cellphones, well smartphones? company – system Nokia – Symbian SonyEricsson – Symbian Siemens – Symbian, Windows Mobile HTC – WIndows Mobile Palm inc – Palm OS Motorola – Symbian, Linux, WIndows Mobile 2005-03-02 11:46 pm Anonymous symbian is owned by nokia, siemens, lg, samsung, mot (maybe they sold their share), ericsson, etc. is it a surprise that symbian is doing well? I like symbian but symbian’s success is evidence of the monopolistic mindframe/activity of the cellular/telecom players. It is not evidence of product quality or consumer preferences. The cell phone makers are shoving it down your throat because they own it. I don’t approve of this type of behavior. This is one of the rare times that i am happy to have MS around (ouch did i say that). This is also probably one reason why palm is pursuing opportunities in China. The china vendors are not married to symbian. They don’t own it. 2005-03-03 1:55 am Anonymous That monopolistic consortium created Symbian specifically to prevent Microsoft from getting a toe hold in the cell phone industry. Nokia, Eriksson and Motorola had absolutely no intention of ending up beholden to Microsoft the way PC OEMs are. So, they ensured that there would be a competitive smartphone OS which is not owned by Microsoft. But, the fact is that all of them offer phones with other OSes as well, so how are they forcing Symbian on you? And, slightly off topic, but if you read the reviews of smartphones, the market does seem to favor Symbian based phones at the moment. Pretty much everyone likes the Sony Ericsson P9x0 and the Nokia 66xx over the current breed of MS Smartphones. 2005-03-03 2:13 am Anonymous “That monopolistic consortium created Symbian specifically to prevent Microsoft from getting a toe hold in the cell phone industry.” Indeed this is true but it is still a monopolistic consortium which, in addition to keeping MS out, also seeks to keep other competition out. Choices have been restricted so i don’t know that it is fair to gauge consumer likes and dislikes. In other words, that 80% market share does reflect that 80% of the consumer wanted symbian. It reflects the consortiums strength and market share. 2005-03-03 3:00 am Anonymous If MS getting the major share of cellphone OS, it will became the monopolistic company in all OS aspect. At least Symbian consortium consist of companies, not a company. 2005-03-03 3:17 am Anonymous Choices have been restricted so i don’t know that it is fair to gauge consumer likes and dislikes. In other words, that 80% market share does reflect that 80% of the consumer wanted symbian. It reflects the consortiums strength and market share. I still disagree with this to an extent. Both Palm OS smartphones (the Treo) and Pocket PC smartphones (Motorola MPx series) have been available for quite a while now. From the reviews I’ve been reading though, due to poor form factor, poor processor, lack of memory or some combination of the three, most smartphone owners do genuinely prefer the Symbian phones at the moment. For example, many people were very excited about the new Motorola MPx but due to a slow processor and lack of memory, the Nokia 66xx (at the low end) and Sony Ericsoon P9x0 (at the high end) are considered better devices at the moment. It looks like the biggest problem people are having with the PocketPC platform, at the moment, is building a device with the specs necessary for a good user experience but at a price point where people will actually buy it. 2005-03-03 4:21 am Anonymous It does make sense when you look at who sells more Smartphones, between Nokia (big Symbian shareholder) and Sony Ericsson (also Symbian shareholder) they have a big portion of the Smartphone cake. I do have a Nokia Smartphone, and it is slowly replacing my PDA for day to day things (agenda, email, websurfing)… Leaving my PDA mainly for spreadsheets, documents and music. 2005-03-03 7:24 am Anonymous “That monopolistic consortium created Symbian specifically to prevent Microsoft from getting a toe hold in the cell phone industry.” Symbian is infact the EPOC32 OS By British Company Psion that now has ceased its Hand Held PC Line, except the Psion NetBook. The Consortium was established when Psion offered licenses for the source code to EPOC32, Psion still “owns” all copyrights to EPOC32 (Symbian) except the newer code the consortium members have devised; Nokia Series 60/80 UI, Sony Ericsson UIQ, etc 2005-03-03 8:05 am Anonymous We recently held a fieldtest with a customer that does rough outdoors work for which they need an always on solution with decent keyboard in the palm of their hand. They tested almost every device available, includings ones from Qtec, Palm, Nokia, SonyEricsson, Blackberry, HP, etc. Focus of testing was overall ease of use, text entry and connectivity (GPRS) in combination with their online applications. After three months of on the job testing (65 people involved), the overal winner was Nokia 9500, with the 9300 being a good second. If you look at ‘overall usability’, even the Nokia 6820 is rated above the HP and the Qtec (al 65 use a Windows XP notebook!). Upfront I had placed a bet that they would go for the TREO 650. Nice looks, good formfactor, decent keyboard, but in the end it was the userfriendlyness of Symbian, the very good keyboard and rich applications (good emailclient, good browser) that brought Nokia to the top. I will ask ‘m if I’m allowed to use the whole report (over 70 pages, almost 30 devices included) for an article for this site, because it brings some nice things to the surface about batterylife in minus zero celcius (HP: not even 3 hours of continious use!!!). I will end with one remark, because that opened my eyes the most since I personally have something against non-touch-screen PDA’s and smartphones. The remark was made by one non-tec field consultant, age 49: “For me the best device is the Nokia 9300. I have rather short fingers, and therefore the keyboard of the 9300 preferred over the 9500. Other keyboards are not suited for real typing. It also doesn’t come with a touch screen. That was something I thought I needed, until I tried it in the field. Most touch screen devices force you to get out the pen to perform actions on screen while you are typing. Not handy, especially not when temps are below zero and you are working in the field. More than once I had to search the grass for the small pen.” Oh, the guy had another great practical note too. “Nokia 9500: when the phone is closed, I can clearly see the flat cable connecting keyboard to screen. That looks mighty vulnarable. All it needs is one backcard in your bag to kill the device.” It does make you wonder about the bag and the ‘storage’ model he uses for it, doesn’t it 2005-03-03 8:44 am Anonymous Technically it isn’t Sony Ericsson UIQ, but UIQ all by itself, which in turn is owned by Symbian which in turn is owned by SE , Nokia, etc. Then SE makes phones with UIQ, as oppose to Nokia who makes series 60 etc by themselves. http://www.symbian.com http://www.uiq.com 2005-03-03 10:03 am Anonymous Symbian is a monopoly owned by a consortium of COMPETITORS. Interesting. Most Symbian phones are ‘open phones’, giving users the choice of aftermarket addon software they run. Most users of phones don’t want to know what operating system it is – they just want to use it. Only geeks care about the brand of the operating system. I don’t think Symbian is a big thing when selling a phone or otherwise, to the general public? 2005-03-03 11:32 am Anonymous I will ask ‘m if I’m allowed to use the whole report (over 70 pages, almost 30 devices included) … Please do! It would be really intresting to other companies in the same situation (like us). Lars 2005-03-04 2:32 am Anonymous “I still disagree with this to an extent. Both Palm OS smartphones (the Treo) and Pocket PC smartphones (Motorola MPx series) have been available for quite a while now.” Nokia controls about 40% of the cell phone market. Nokia refuses to offer any non symbian or proprietary OS. that is restricting the market. How many Linux, MS or Palm phones does siemens offer? What about Sony Ericsson? Treo is one small company. Motorola, Samsung, and LG have been hedging their bets but Nokia, Ericsson, Alcatel, Siemen are sticking to tried and true monopolistic practices of the monopolistic telecom market. In this case it is monopoly of a consortium but it still boils down to limitation on consumer choices and creation of a greedy control structure to benefit the early market entrants. I don’t approve of that sort of thing. 2005-03-04 7:03 am Anonymous Nokia controls about 40% of the cell phone market. Nokia refuses to offer any non symbian or proprietary OS. that is restricting the market. Nokia has a massive amount of market share because people prefer their phones. That number hasn’t changed much in the past 6 years, before there were any smartphones available, much less non-proprietary phone OSes. Nokia got popular back with their 1xx series, or whatever it was, that came in like 70 different colors and patterns. That phone directly led to their introduction of the replaceable faceplates. Furthermore, Nokia had next to no handsets available for the CDMA2000 carriers (Verizon and Sprint) and yet they still maintain that market share. I can promise you people don’t buy Nokia phones because of Symbian, they buy them because they like Nokia’s phones. How many Linux, MS or Palm phones does siemens offer? What about Sony Ericsson? Who cares? You don’t have to buy from either of them if you don’t want to. Motorola offers several Linux and MS powered cell phones at this point. But they’re all terrible. They’re big, bulky, under powered and really, really expensive. Why pay $700 for a MS powered phone when I can get a better phone from Nokia for $200? Or are you suggesting that all phone manufactures should have to install other people’s OSes on their phones? Treo is one small company. PalmOne isn’t really that small of a company. Nokia, Ericsson, Alcatel, Siemen are sticking to tried and true monopolistic practices of the monopolistic telecom market. What monopolistic telecom market? The two most common standards are CDMA2000 and GSM, anyone can license them if they want. I mean, GSM is the standard throughout all of Europe specifically to avoid a monopoly. Anyone can purchase any of Linux, MS or Symbian. And right now, the MS phones that Motorola offers aren’t selling. Why should Nokia drop a tried and true system for something that is failing in the market? In this case it is monopoly of a consortium but it still boils down to limitation on consumer choices and creation of a greedy control structure to benefit the early market entrants. You know, by definition if it’s a consortium it can’t be a monopoly right? But, barring that, you’ve mentioned how many big league cell phone players in your message? I count 7 myself. Of them, 2 offer Symbian OS phones, Nokia and Ericsson. They also only offer them on their high end phones, not on any phone that you might get for “free” when you sign a contract. Since we’re only dealing with the portion of the market that is looking for an expensive smartphone you’re talking about mostly informed consumers. And if you look at the reviews of those informed consumers online, you’ll find that they are, by and large, not happy with the MS and Palm based phones available. I could understand what you’re saying if there were no Palm of Microsoft phones available. But, I just bought a new phone this week because the Treo is too big and the MPx has nothing but poor reviews. That leaves Symbian and proprietary phones. So I replaced a Motorola V400 with a Nokia 6620. How was my choice in any way restricted? Seriously, I mean it. I had a choice of LG, Samsung, Siemens, Sony Ericsson, PalmOne, Motorola and Nokia at the Cingular store I was at. I could have purchased among the Series 60, MS Pocket PC, PalmOS, UIQ and an array of proprietary OSes. That doesn’t seem like a restricted market to me, that seems more like one company doing a good job competing. 2005-03-04 2:35 pm Anonymous “the two most common standards are CDMA2000 and GSM, anyone can license them if they want. I mean, GSM is the standard throughout all of Europe specifically to avoid a monopoly.” There are control mechanisms embedded within each of those standards. they are not truly open standards. Those control mechanisms are used to keep competition out. In the case of qualcomm competition is kep out of the chip market. In the case of GSM the control structure keeps non GSM alliance phones makers out or it puts them at a sincere disadvantage. Do you know how much Samsung pays nokia, ericsson, alcatel in royalty for GSM? The korean press throws around 20% royalty. Yep thats a fair standard. Its probably lower but it is still high and more than qualcomm by the way. “You know, by definition if it’s a consortium it can’t be a monopoly right?” A consortium can act just like a monopoly when the consortium has complete control just like a monopoly. GSM Alliance has a lot of control and so does the CDMA development group. The consortium model allows competition on some levels but still keeps tight control over the market just like….. a monopoly. Again compare the behavior in the GSM or CDMA world to that in the 802.11 or 802.anything worlds. I much prefer the IEEE way of doing things as that is a real standards group. I’ll also add that Symbian, OMA and others stil bear that “monopolistic” mind frame. The telecom world is all about control and restrictions and they will avoid true openess even if it kills them.