Samsung is the latest device manufacturer to announce it will discontinue support for Symbian. It's also a major supporter of Google's Android, which is already eating away Symbian's market share.
Samsung, following similar moves by Sony Ericsson and Nokia, will
discontinue support for the Symbian mobile operating system Dec. 31,
the company announced on the Samsung Mobile Innovator site,
a discussion board for developers. In a Sept. 30 post, the phone maker
recommended that developers post all final queries by Dec. 10 to ensure
that they're addressed before the forum goes dark.
"Registration and certification of Symbian applications for the
Samsung Apps store will cease from 8:00 a.m. on the 31st of December
2010," the post states, adding that Samsung thanks the developers for
their support, and that going forward they should refer to Symbian.org
as an alternate forum site.
The move will reduce the mobile operating systems supported by
Samsung to Google's Android, Microsoft's upcoming Windows Phone 7 and
Samsung's own Bada platform. The phone maker is not alone in its
decision to drop Symbian. In September, competitor Sony Ericsson announced that it would also stop offering Symbian-running handsets
and instead focus its efforts on the open-source Android OS. And in
June, Nokia - a creator of the Symbian platform and its predominant
purveyor - announced that its now-debuting N8 smartphone, the first to
run Symbian 3, will be the last of its high-end N series devices to run
Worldwide, Symbian is currently the predominant mobile operating
system. It commands 40.1 percent of the market, more than twice the
17.9 percent held by the second-position BlackBerry OS or the 16.3
percent held by the third-place Android, according to a Sept. 7 report
from IDC. Going forward, however, IDC expects the well-established
Symbian to cede market share to newer OS entrants, particularly
By 2014, IDC is forecasting Symbian's market share to fall to 32.9
percent - a negative rate of 18 percent - while Android is expected to
grow at a rate of 51.2 percent to achieve 24.6 percent market share.
"Android is the wild card, deserving close observation," IDC analyst
Ramon Llamas said in the report. "Users have quickly warmed to Android,
comparing it to [Apple's] iOS, due to its ease of use and a growing
mobile application storefront. Now that HTC and Motorola have leapt out
in front with their own respective devices, other vendors such as Dell,
Kyocera, LG Electronics and Samsung will soon help grow the Android
CSPs (communication service providers) will also drive support for
Android, helping to grow it to the No. 2 position, up close behind
Symbian, Gartner analyst Roberta Cozza said in a Sept. 10 report.
"Symbian will remain at the top of Gartner's worldwide OS ranking
due to Nokia's volume and the push into more mass market price points,"
states the Gartner report. "However, by the end of , the No. 1
spot will be contested with Android, which will be at a very similar
Cozza additionally predicted a shedding of operating systems by both
CSPs and device manufacturers, as they "revisit their platform
strategies and balance the need to pursue platforms with the highest
current demand against the need to maintain differentiation with unique
The drive to bring budget Android devices to market, currently being
led by Samsung, as well as Sony Ericsson, LG and Motorola, states the
Gartner report, "should help Android become the top OS in North America
by the end of 2010."
Michelle Maisto has been covering the enterprise mobility space for a decade, beginning with Knowledge Management, Field Force Automation and eCRM, and most recently as the editor-in-chief of Mobile Enterprise magazine. She earned an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and in her spare time obsesses about food. Her first book, The Gastronomy of Marriage, if forthcoming from Random House in September 2009.