jump to navigation

Open-Source Symbian Has Caught AT&T’s Eye December 8, 2008

Posted by aikservices in Android, AOL, Apple, AT&T, BlackBerry, CDMA, Google, GSM, iPhone, Mobile, Research In Motion, RIM, Smartphone, Symbian, Telecom, Windows Mobile, Wireless.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The world has been waiting for an open-source Symbian mobile  operating system, but it won’t have to wait much longer. The Symbian Foundation expects to have its first version ready in the first half of 2009.

The foundation is making strides and gaining more support. Symbian on Thursday announced AOL, Cell Telecom, Intrinsyc, ISB Corporation, Trusted Logic, and Xenient have added their endorsements to the 58 other companies already supporting the open-source effort.

“We are delighted with the response from the Silicon Valley community, as well as from developers around the world, to the plans for the foundation to build on the leading open mobile platform,” said Lee Williams, who has been nominated as executive director of the foundation and who was a keynote speaker at this week’s Symbian Partner Event in San Francisco.

The AT&T  Connection

Even though Symbian has a commanding lead in the global mobile operating-system market with nearly half the implementations worldwide, competition is rising. Research in Motion, Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android, and Windows Mobile are all challenging Symbian on the smartphone front.

What’s more, Symbian hasn’t gained much traction in the U.S. Symbian could gain an advantage, though if comments made by an AT&T executive at the Symbian event Thursday pan out as some observers expect.

Roger Smith, AT&T’s director of next-generation services, told the event that the wireless  carrier is considering how it might standardize on only a few mobile platforms over the next few years. He cited Symbian as a “credible candidate” to be among those platforms.

Speaking of an open Symbian, Smith said, “If done well and done right, this can be a game-changing event.” It’s all part of AT&T’s move to take more control over its destiny in the mobile operating space.

A Fragmented Market

“At the end of the day, the mobile OS platform market is going to be fragmented for the foreseeable future. While there is Windows Mobile, there is no Windows of mobile, meaning one dominant platform that will rule everything,” said Michael Gartenberg, vice president of mobile strategy for Jupitermedia. “We are going to see any number of strong players here amongst many.”

Symbian has been a strong platform in Europe for some time. But until the birth of the Symbian Foundation, talk about Symbian revolved around Nokia, its creator. Nokia’s interpretation of the Symbian mobile operating system was in the Series 60 devices. Some industry watchers have speculated about Symbian becoming a unified  platform for AT&T.

“It’s hard to see a carrier standardizing on a single platform and what benefit that would have for them,” Gartenberg said. “Even more interesting is that these comments came from someone at AT&T, which of course has the exclusive [U.S.] franchise on the iPhone, which is now one of the best-selling devices in mobility, period.”

Wireless Industry News


No comments yet — be the first.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: