Nokia retakes reins of Symbian OS

Darren Allan

November 8, 2010

Nokia is to take back control of the development of the Symbian operating system.

The Symbian Foundation, which has been overseeing the platform since 2008, piloting it on an open source course, will be relegated to the role of a licensing body.

The move comes after phone manufacturers such as Samsung and Sony Ericsson turned away from the OS in favour of the likes of Google’s Android, leaving Nokia as the sole major player currently producing phones with Symbian.

Symbian may still be the most popular smartphone OS in the world, but Gartner figures for the second quarter of 2010 show a heavy fall, from a 51% to a 41% market share.

Ben Woods of CCS Insight told the BBC: “With the benefit of hindsight, it looks like the decision to go with the open source approach was the wrong one. The delays caused by the open source approach has undoubtedly led to Nokia losing its competitive edge.”

Whether Nokia retaking control of the OS can stem this decline, we shall have to see. Of course, the Finnish firm also has another iron in the fire in the form of MeeGo.


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