S60 for High-End no more?


Is anyone of you listening to Mobile-review podcasts? Chances are, most of you don’t know Russian good enough, so I thought I might share a few interesting moments I heard from the well know Russian blogger, Eldar Murtazin.
More specifically, there were some pretty loud news regarding the development of Symbian in the coming years, some of them you might have heard or expected to happen.

Apparently, the big news is, the Symbian OS is moving to the mid range price segment. That means, while not entirely, it will be replaced with the Linux OS.
The first part is not very surprising or interesting, Symbian OS is becoming more and more mainstream, at the moment Symbian OS can be found on a number of mid range phones. As we all remember, there was time when most S60 phones dominated the higher price point segment.
The second part is what actually made me think over carefully what I heard. The cutting edge, the most advanced gadgets by Nokia will be released without Symbian OS?! Before going on, I should remind you that Nokia already stated their serious intentions to enter the Laptop business, and to expand various online services around it.

Doesn’t it somehow seem to coincide with what Nokia wants to do? Nokia is planning to deploy a whole new series of multimedia computers or ‘communicators’, that will replace the current Nseries and it has nothing to do with the earlier released Linux enabled Nokia Internet tablets. I’m not a programmer myself, but doesn’t Linux based OS bring it one step closer to being a full blown PC? And, again, according to Eldar, the move to Linux-based ‘smarthphones’ will happen a lot sooner than one might expect.

I want to stress that it doesn’t mean Nokia is dropping S60 platform, it just means it will move on to the lower mid segment market , where it will most probably replace the S40, a platform found on most dummy phones by Nokia, and in my opinion, it’s only a beneficial thing and a smart move from Nokia’s side.
So our most beloved Symbian is not dying or anything, on the contrary, it will evolve into a single most widespread mobile phone OS. But the natural question is, will most of us stay loyal to Symbian, or follow the trend, to Linux OS enabled gadgets, where the most cutting-edge hardware is found?

The new OS based on Linux (which will be improved with Nokia own experience from Symbian), like I mentioned earlier, will cover the top segment, and will gradually evolve into what Nokia’s vision is to make personal computers (equal to Laptops, netbooks?), that can’t be called simple phones anymore.

Also Eldar noted an interesting coincidence with the well known fact about Symbian Foundation. While dropping the ball with Symbian, soon making it an open platform for anyone, those Nokia’s high end products, that are packed with innovations, will not feature Symbian at all! While rival firms place their bets on open Symbian Foundation for their high end devices, Nokia own top of the line products will be set again out of competition. As of now, you know that Nokia plans to use Symbian OS for the mid segment, where innovations and uniqe features will be far less than on the Linux OS based products, and thus making harder for the rival firms to copy over anything as interesting and unique as what is found on the new Linux OS based products.
Big surprise, Nokia is again a step ahead of it’s competitors by moving it’s unique features to a different platform, that is not in the hands of it’s direct rivals.
While Motorolla and Sony Ericson might not benefit from this change at all, Samsung seems to be winner in this situation as having placed bets on every OS, with enough resources to shift development to the winner platform.

So to wrap this up, according to Eldar, there will be a considerable change in the market, the top segment to be precise. The news about the launch of the new products based on Linux OS platform is expected to become public at some event in Berlin around end of summer. Quite possibly, this event will define how the mobile market will look the next 5-6 years.

One comment

  • prom1
    April 5, 2009 - 12:56 am | Permalink

    Something about Eldar’s findings I find a bit of marketing bull.

    Example …huge announcement of Nokia & Qualcomm to release top-tier innovative platform with Symbian for Nokia. Along with Texas Instruments announcing a working platform for Symbian support as well.

    Price Points don’t always dictate or limit advances in hardware performance. Case in point is the Nokia 5630XM & E55 both feature a much faster & frugal management of battery power than the current E71 which is NO slouch at S60 3rd Edition Speed and battery life. Heck the E55 offers over 1wk of standby time; I think they mentioned 1mth officially and released MUCH cheaper than N97’s suggested retail price without VAT.

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