Google's Android OS gets a boost as Sony Ericsson announces it is dropping Symbian for the open-source Android OS.
In the latest blow to its attempt to hang onto the top position for
mobile phone operating systems, Sony Ericsson announced it would no
longer support the Symbian operating system.
"We have no
plans for the time being to develop any new products to the Symbian
Foundation standard or operating system," company spokesman Aldo
Bloomberg.com. Sony Ericsson plans to move toward Google's open-source
Android, which has been gaining traction in the smartphone OS
marketplace. Symbian OS is best known as one of Nokia's mobile
operating systems for mobile devices and smartphones.
Liguori told the news organization despite dropping support for
Symbian, the company would remain a member of the Symbian Foundation and noted
Android would become an important, if not exclusive, part of Sony
Ericsson's strategy going forward. The Symbian Foundation is a
non-profit organization that stewards the Symbian platform and was
founded by Nokia, Sony Ericsson, NTT DoCoMo, Motorola, Texas
Instruments, Vodafone, LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics,
STMicroelectronics and AT&T.
In July, Microsoft announced the general availability of its
Silverlight technology for the Symbian operating system. Microsoft said
it is making the Silverlight tools available for Symbian developers via
the Nokia Ovi Store. Microsoft initially announced plans to deliver
Silverlight for Symbian in 2008 and later released a beta of the
technology in March 2010. In addition, Microsoft officials said this
release marks the first time that Silverlight is shipping on a
non-Microsoft mobile device platform, and the challenge of bringing
Silverlight to Nokia's fifth-edition devices lays the foundation for
bringing Silverlight to any other mobile platforms in future.
According to a recent report
from IT research firm Gartner, the Android mobile operating system will
soon claim second place in worldwide OS deployment after Symbian,
edging past Research In Motion and Apple's iOS in 2010. The
research firm said marketing and vendor support from carriers would
drive Android to 17.7 percent market share through 2010. Though the
growth is impressive, Android's market penetration still falls far
short of Symbian, which boasts a 40.1 percent plot thanks to Nokia's
legacy volume of phones.
Nokia led the handset market
in the second quarter of 2010, with a 36.1 percent market share, and
saw shipments rise to 111.1 million from 107.8 million units the
quarter before. However, the company faced criticism from research firm
Strategy Analytics for its annual 8 percent growth-which was just under
the industry average. "We estimate Nokia's global market share of
legitimate handset shipments dipped to 36 percent, compared with 38
percent a year earlier," Strategy Analytics analyst Neil Mawston wrote
in a July report.
A report earlier this month from research firm IDC said the overall
market for smartphones is due to increase 24.5 percent in 2011, with
rapid growth only leveling off by 2014. Some 119.4 million smartphones
shipped during the first half of 2010, an increase of 55.5 percent over
the same period in 2009. The firm said it expects Android's smartphone
market share to increase from 16.3 percent to 24.6 percent between 2010
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.