113 Ways Symbian Can Maintain Its Smartphone OS Lead
by Darryl K. Taft
2Bring Sexy Back
Or just bring some fun to the platform. For years, Nokia, which is the primary user of the Symbian OS, has been synonymous with boring-especially when compared with devices like the, uh, iPhone. Add more games and get on some cooler devices like the Nokia 7705 twist or the Nokia netbook.
3Keep Lee Williams at the Helm of the Symbian Foundation
Though as executive director of the Symbian Foundation, Williams has been criticizing Google’s Android, he has a vision for where Symbian should go and the determination to open-source the platform and add new, interesting features.
4Open-Source the Symbian OS Code Base
The foundation is well on its way into open-sourcing the Symbian code base by having open-sourced the kernel. Symbian has open-sourced 16 out of 134 packages in the OS, but those 16 being the kernel means the rest will go much more easily, Symbian Foundation officials said.
5Ride the Qt Wave
Qt is a cross-platform application and UI framework. Using Qt, developers can write applications once and deploy them across desktop, mobile and embedded operating systems without rewriting the source code. Putting Qt in with Symbian will give developers a boost.
6Take Advantage of Nokias Patent Application for 3D Multitouch
7Gain Deeper Penetration into the U.S. Market
Symbian, particularly through its main user, Nokia, has had relatively low penetration in the United States as opposed to Europe and elsewhere. According to the New York Times, “As recently as March 2002, [Nokia] led the American market with a 35 percent share. By last year, though, it slipped to 10 percent and by June of this year—the most recent figure available—Nokia’s share was only 7 percent.”
8Help Developers Publish Applications
Symbian is doing this through its Symbian Horizon program. The Symbian Foundation created Horizon in response to developer concerns that there were too many challenges and costs associated with developing and publishing a Symbian application to the global market of potential customers.
9Help Developers Create Better Applications
Symbian has done a host of things to better empower developers to create applications for its platform, including devising an all-new developer Website and blog. In addition, Symbian enables developers to use what they know to build applications for the platform, including Web technologies, dynamic languages, and native C and C++, among others.
10Stick to Your Knitting
Symbian needs to continue to branch out, but also must remember to stick to its knitting by continuing to focus on the strength it has in local markets and emerging countries.
11Use Leverage to Lower the Cost of Premium Symbian OS Phones
When first announced, the Nokia N97 cost about $800. To compete with the intense competition in global mass markets, prices have to be lower.
12Keep Adding Strategic Players to the Symbian Board
Symbian recently announced the addition of Qualcomm and Fujitsu to its board. The foundation must continue to forge relationships with operators, particularly in the United States and also in China because of the sheer size of those markets.
13Remember That One Size Doesnt Fit All
While the Symbian OS drives many different devices, there are different strokes for different folks. Symbian needs to realize this in forging and maintaining relationships.
14Remember the Enterprise and Enterprise Developers
In the rush to beat back Android and the iPhone, Symbian should not lose sight of the enterprise and the value of relationships with enterprise vendors.