Friday, August 19, 2005

More on Symbian's First Two Quarters of 2005

In Technology News, Yankee Group analyst John Jackson provides additional commentary on Symbian's most recent results. According to Jackson, the obvious drivers behind Symbian's growth are "Nokia and Symbian's investments in getting its platform to scale down to market."

Jackson said, "The key for all the smart phone operating vendors, whether it's Palm or Microsoft or RIM or Symbian, is getting its product into mass market-friendly price points and form factors. Symbian has taken the requisite steps to achieve that and all the vendors are working toward that. You can see evidence in the market."

Jackson added, "Everybody is working to hit that volume inflection point. The combination of Nokia as a principal owner and the primary advocate in the marketplace is a powerful one."

Jackson concludes by saying,."The question is what does Symbian mean to an end user in the long-term, or even in the near term? Nobody is rushing out to buy a phone that's built on Symbian. That's not what the mass market is doing. So it's the whole question of what it is versus what it does and staying relevant."

Unless I'm reading things wrong, Jackson seems to miss the point here. Of the four smartphone operating systems he mentions, Symbian with its Nokia connection is really the only mass market play in the group, which explains its market share dominance.

He is probably correct in noting that most people aren't running out to acquire a Symbian phone, but that's more likely due to their customer base usually wanting a Nokia first and not caring as much (or knowing for that matter) what OS is on the handset. I don't think the same holds true for the other platforms, such as PalmSource, Windows Mobile and RIM. If you have a phone with one of those OSes then you most likely know it....