If Symbian is dead, and Blackberry is dying, iOS is dead and buried

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I know that the headline is sensational, but you’ll see why I put it that way when you are through with the article. I am known to be the voice of reason, and I am not known that way for nothing, so don’t worry yourself about me going crazy. Let’s start upfront by ensuring that we all understand the basis of this article. Mobile blogosphere has been awash with a number of interesting articles in the last few days.

First, Tomi Ahonen published a detailed analysis of Nokia’s current strategy. Titled Some Symbian Sanity – why Nokia will not join Google Android or Microsoft Phone 7, his article put it better than I could have, and it is an understatement to say that I agree with his analysis. Nokia adopting any other OS apart from their own home-grown solution is suicidal.

Tomi’s article was promptly followed by a rebuttal by Robert Scoble in an article titled Why Nokia is still doomed, no matter how many words Tomi Ahonen writes. The rebuttal did not really address the issues that Tomi outlined in his original article.

Then Michael Mace published What’s really wrong with BlackBerry (and what to do about it) and again Tomi responded with Great Analysis by Michael Mace, yet is Completely Not Relevant to RIM ie Blackberry. Actually, Michael Mace’s article is more relevant to the iPhone than to Blackberry, as we shall see later in this article.

It all makes for enjoyable reading, but the terrible and mostly unfounded attacks against Nokia/Symbian are just amusing. I keep on asking, and no-one has provided an answer –

  1. How can a mobile OS that keeps seeing increased sales be rightly said to be doomed?
  2. How can a mobile OS that keeps on improving be rightly said to be doomed?
  3. How can a mobile OS that sells more than its three (or four) closest competitors all put together be rightly said to be doomed?
  4. Why are the same people not singing the death of WebOS and Windows Phone 7, seeing that they have negligible market share? (the Nokia N8 alone is reported to be selling more than all the existing WP7 devices combined)

It is looking to me like some people have decided to ignore facts on ground. Or, they are only looking at the U.S. market where Nokia/Symbian have never had a strong following – and then pushing US realities as reflective of the total picture. And they are so wrong.

The meat of this article
Industry statistics indicate that iPhone sales for the first time flattened out from Q3 2009 to Q2 2010, standing at a rough average of 8.3 million devices sold per quarter (note this is smartphone figures only; iPods and iPads are excluded). This is inspite of the fact that the iPhone iwas now available in more countries and on more networks than ever before. Yet; the iPhone was not selling more. It was not experiencing any increase in sales.

Note: Symbian, the said “dead” and “doomed” OS was, and still is, witnessing increased sales.

From the records, iPhone sales seemed to be stagnating. Better put, it seemed to have stagnated. iPhone 4 sales have boosted things up again, but over the next few months, we are likely to see signs of that stagnation again. Android is experiencing rapid increase in sales but isn’t selling as much as Symbian yet. Symbian is still selling more than Android – and somehow, some people keep screaming that Symbian is dead and all is well with the competition.

Ladies and gentlemen, we need to think again. Do I think the iPhone is doomed because of any of the above figures? I’d be a fool to think such a thing. The iPhone isn’t dying off anytime soon. But it is showing signs of trouble more than Symbian is. When your product is in more stores, on more networks, in more countries and is not selling more, that is a sign of trouble. Stagnation.

Question: So, why do people think that an OS that survived the onslaught of the iOS and Android over the last number of years and is still not just outselling them, but still seeing an increase in sales doomed? When will this anti-Nokia, anti-Symbian joke stop?

Now, you know why I used that heading. If we look at the statistics on ground, Symbian is experiencing sales growth; iOS (iPhone only) has flattened out. If Symbian is dead, iOS is dead and buried. That’s the analogy behind my heading.

Conclusions
I think that Nokia/Symbian bashing makes for good publicity, so lots of (mostly American) blogs have a go and get increased site traffic, and become (more) famous. It is a good way to get heavy traffic.

Me, I’ll just stay here telling it as it is, and when all the hype dies down (as it always will, sooner or later), I’ll still be here telling it as it is.

yomiYears ago when the web hosting was starting off in the country, there were lots of guys around the place serving hype and raising lots of dust. Not one of them is anywhere in the public eye today. They all faded away and their names are history. Me? I’m still there in the web hosting industry keeping my head together (though there are some days I’ve been tempted to tear my hair off), and serving a mostly satisfied clientele numbering several hundreds. I’m still here. I earned the right to be listened to.

Many Nigerian webhosts have sprung up and died since 2003 when I got in as a pioneer. My company, Alireta (formerly DomainStandard.net), is still here. If you are looking for a webhost that won’t disappear tomorrow, you know where to look.

Yes; I just did some shameless self-plugging there 😉

Back to mobile, all platforms have their strengths and weaknesses – and fanboys to boot. Want some advice from me? Sit down, shut your ears to the hype, find what works for you, and buy it.

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58 comments

  1. This article’s excellently written and deserves to be published in TIME magazine and other leading international publications.

    Although I did not have much facts at my disposal as I do now, common sense and a simple look at statistics told me all I needed to know: symbian leads. If the anti nokia and anti symbian folks can’t handle it, they can hug the nearest transformer.

  2. There. Found this in SPAM. – Yomi

    nokia will ever continue to sell symbian phones as long as they keeping selling those cheap phones in markets like china ,india and africa. in today’s world i wonder if we should keep calling phones like nokia 6120c, E51, etc smartphones. yomi, the bar has been raised. check the iphone and top selling android phones today like the htc’s , motorola’s, samsung’s and LG’s and tell me why nokia still consider its crippled underpowered cheap symbian phones “smartphones”.

  3. Tomi Ahonen did his home work very well. I’m printing a copy of his article and Yomi’s write up here. Any noise maker who dares disturbs my ears again about ‘symbian is about to die… bla bla bla bla’ will have to read of copy of this write ups.
    Well done to Yomi and Tomi.

  4. I agree with the overall theme of the article. Nicely written. All the folks calling Nokia or for that matter RIMM (maker of Blackberry) doomed do not provide any strong and sensible reason to back up their statement. I have not been able to figure out what is the motive for calling Nokia or RIMM doomed.

  5. “If Symbian is dead, and Blackberry is dying, iOS is dead and buried”

    Really sensational heading, I must say. I will not say much here so as not to be mislabelled. But suffice to say that I have read your article after seeing a sneak peek of it on facebook.

    What is clear is that Nokia isn’t dying. But it is catching up on UI to remain relevant in the mobile ecosystem. The only advantage Nokia has over ios and Android is that it started way ahead of them. Even with that, the tide is changing fast. In the HYPE war for instance, Nokia is far behind. Nokia’s head-on start will not stop Android in surpassing it soon. By the way Android is going to surpass Nokia in sales, in a matter of two years, I humbly predict. I see it beating Nokia in devices sales in the not too distant future.

    In the top-end high cost handsets/smatphones, Is Nokia Number 1? Of course, we know Nokia does well in cheap phones!

    The only part hindering Apple is their only one form factor phone that they sale. Not varied enough to meet everyone’s need. Despite that, they are the number 4 phone manufacturer in the world! I see that changing soon. the next year is guarded at best for all device manufacturers, I submit!

    When I have studied all the sources that you quoted in this lovely Piece (Not unlike Mozart), I will comment more!!!

  6. LOL !!
    This is a brilliant poke at those critics who refuse to see reason. There are some die-hard Apple fans who regularly comment on this website. I cant wait to read what they’ll write after reading this sweet post by Yomi.

    I remember I used to be pissed at Nokia for not introducing 1Ghz processors in their phones, before realizing that there was no need for extra horsepower when 600Mhz could do the job perfectly, while increasing battery life. 2011 is gonna be a great year for Nokia. I’m waiting for the Nokia E7, and the first Meego handset.

  7. But it [Nokia] is catching up on UI to remain relevant in the mobile ecosystem.

    To remain relevant?

    Still number 1 globally in smartphones
    Still outselling everyone else

    They are the one everyone else is chasing. The one everyone is chasing is the most relevant. When did they lose the relevance?

    Here are platforms that are struggling to remain relevant, because they have been seriously relegated:
    Windows Phone/Windows mobile
    WebOS

    Despite that, they [Apple] are the number 4 phone manufacturer in the world!

    True, and when you add up all of Apple’s smartphones and those of others within the top 4, Nokia flat swallows them all up. Yes; Nokia is struggling to remain relevant.

  8. chei! Yomi! This your creativity with words is awesome: Am nick-naming you ‘Agbe-oro-lere’ meaning word-carpenter. KaI! 6-inches driven into the wood.

    I have always wondered why america is always used as the onlly statistics for measurement by most people. Any producer of mobile OS that is not considering Asia, Africa and especially nigeria would soon be dead-dead, dies and die again: Period.

  9. First of all, I think Yomi has praised himself too much in this article. I’m glad to see that he has acknowledged that at the end :). I think everybody attacks Nokia simply because they are number one. It’s the same reason why some people attack Microsoft products in the desktop ecosystem.

    The point where I disagree with Yomi is why he chose to compare Symbian on many devices with the iOS only on the iPhone. Let’s do the comparison at the software level irrespective of the devices or at the device level irrespective of the software.

    Despite that I think Symbian far outsells the iOS. The fact that bloggers stress themselves about any OS being dead or dying surprises me. It’s like saying that Mac OSX is dead simply because Windows OS far outsells it. Mac OSX is very much alive in it’s niche and is quite growing their.
    Alternatively one can wrongly say that Windows is dead because it’s UI isn’t evolving fast despite the fact that almost all PC manufacturers ship with it.

    I do not know anything about WebOS but I can say that Microsoft still hasn’t got it right on the mobile platform with their Windows Phone 7.

    Android? I’m waiting for the hype to calm down because I still don’t see many people in Nigeria with android phones. Despite being on many devices, it still has no much penetration, at least not in Nigeria.

  10. The point where I disagree with Yomi is why he chose to compare Symbian on many devices with the iOS only on the iPhone. Let’s do the comparison at the software level irrespective of the devices or at the device level irrespective of the software.

    The iPhone is not one device. People keep mixing that up. We have iPhone 2G, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4. That’s four (4) distinct and different smartphones. So, we are looking at Symbian on multiple smartphones and iOS on multiple smartphones.

    What we cannot do is add iPods and iPads to the mix because this is about the smartphone market. Apple cleverly streamlined their mobile product line to all run on iOS, even though only the iPhone is a smartphone. iPods are not in competition with Nokia N8s. Neither is the iPad in competition with the N900. I hope that clarifies things.

  11. Apple cleverly streamlined their mobile product line to all run on iOS, even though only the iPhone is a smartphone.

    I think modern mobile operating systems should be designed to run on not just smartphones but also other mobile devices. That is how Android is, and that is what Nokia is trying to achieve with Meego. Personally I believe if Meego is able to get an appreciable level of traction, Nokia will put more into it and less into Symbian. But right now they just can’t gamble on a new OS while they have a mature one they can improve.

    All they have to do is to create some kind of compatibilty layer that will allow apps designed for Symbian to run smoothly on Meego.

  12. IG, that compatibility layer is already there with Qt. It is cross-platform, allowing you to create apps for both Symbian and MeeGo.

    Perhaps one day, Nokia will bring both under a unified brand called ‘Ovi’.

  13. I have not read these writeups,but before I do,let me say that Nokia’s hardware reliability and ruggedabilty eg 3310 etc, made Nokia invincible.when people buy nokia phones they think first on survival of the phone than OS

  14. IG, that compatibility layer is already there with Qt. It is cross-platform, allowing you to create apps for both Symbian and MeeGo.

    Nope, QT is gui library that gives you API compatibilty across platforms. What I am talking about is ABI ie binary compatibilty such that a developer doesn’t need to recompile a Symbian app to run it on Meego. A little bit similar to what Java offers today across platforms that have the JVM but not exactly. Think of it more like the way 32-bit windows have a subsystem for running legacy 16-bit applications.

    Talking about QT, it’s funny that on Meamo Nokia chose to use GTK based gui library in the form of Hildon instead of it’s own QT.

  15. IG, I see what you mean now. I don’t know why Nokia didn’t go that deep either. Some issues?

    I suspect that they have rectified that issue with Maemo now on MeeGo. It is taking so long to see a MeeGo device on the market. It better be really good.

  16. it’s quite unfortunate. my posts don’t get published. i don’t have to agree with you. let this blog be more fun, entertain opposing views.

  17. “The iPhone is not one device. People keep mixing that up. We have iPhone 2G, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4. That’s four (4) distinct and different smartphones.”

    Just one point of correction please. Only the iphone 4 and the iphone 3GS is still being sold by Apple. Others like the 2G you quoted are not being manufactured and sold by APPle!

    Secondly, I think I would have to agree with IG. If you are comparing Symbian OS with iOS then cool and perfect. If you are comparing Nokia Symbian Smartphones(Multiple) and APple iphones (just two), then it is cognate! It is good that we do not mix up those details!

    By the way, Nokia had a very long head start over Apple and Google Android. It is like running hundred metres with Usain Bolt. Bolt is easily the fastest man on the planet. But if you give give me a good head start, like putting me on the 90 metres mark and allow us to run, then I should definitely beat Bolt.

    Manufacturers that you should compare with Nokia is Motorola, Palm and even RIM. Despite this (as a late starter; barely 3 years), Android is making so much in roads. From next to nothing to this! Over 700% in growth. Even Apple has gapped RIM in less than 3 years as the second largest smartphone manufacturer in the world!

    What this Analysts (Gartner and co) are saying is that, if these trend continues, then Nokia would not be the world power it is in a couple of years. No one is saying Nokia won’t be viable. Even Nokia itself knows this and that is why it is restructuring and improving the Symbian UI.

  18. Mahogany,

    It is unfortunate that you think the way you do. It doesn’t speak well of you.

    If you do not see your posts published, do what everyone else who has technical issues do and send in a mail to complain. We have not seen any comment from you in weeks and so have not censored anything from you.

    I will take a look at the SPAM system to see if any of your comments are lodged in there.

    This blog is fun and entertains opposing views everyday. EyeBeeKay and Afewgoodmen regularly submit opposing views (and strong ones too) and they get published. Please be more matured in your thinking.

  19. I think Iam vindicated.The day i spoke about this unjust hype on nokia/symbian on this site, i nearly lost my license,may be the hype is now glaring.This same hype made one of my friends went for S.E x10 android phone at a price of #80,000 but after using it for a week we had to help him look for someone to buy the same phone for #45,000 for him to replace it with nokia phone that he is used to.Symbian is not perfect and no OS is perfect, but it is fastly changing for good aspecially for the touch screen devices and its teaming customers appreciates it.I think in the next 1 or 2 month in 2011 with 50 enhancements including a new browser for symbian,symbian OS will never be the same again,i mean juicy wise.

  20. Afewgoodmen,

    Just one point of correction please. Only the iphone 4 and the iphone 3GS is still being sold by Apple. Others like the 2G you quoted are not being manufactured and sold by APPle!

    Lots of Symbian (and Windows Mobile and Palm and Android and B lackberry) devices still in use by consumers out there have been dioscontinued too. So? They still make up part of the marketshare of those platforms.

    Now, you want to tell us who to compare Nokia with because clear facts have been presented to refute a false but popular mindset about Nokia/Symbian and Apple’s true position. I didn’t see you tell the guys making noise about how the iPhone has killed Symbian phones that they shouldn’t be comparing Apple to Nokia.

    You iPhone guys celebrated while iOS was ahead of Android too. Apparently, you forgt that Android was a platform consisting of multiple manufacturers and devices.

    Why the sudden segmentation? This is quite amusing. Ah, its a free world, but the facts are there for you all to see.

    I have no problems with the achievements of Android and iOS. They are amazing and commendable feats. My article is not about those, though you want to turn it on its head. I also understand that people find it generally difficult to stay on topic. I have written several articles celebrating iOS and Android. This article is about the stupidity that is often parroted on certain “tech” blogs – a stupidity that says Symbian is doomed.

    Symbian is not dying by a long shot – and iOS is at the moment in a more precarious situation than most iPhone fans will like to admit. Simple. Let’s not confuse the details.

  21. Abubakar,

    The anti-Symbian bias has always been clear to us here at Mobility Nigeria. I do remember when I cautioned you, it was about certain statements that you made that bordered on Symbian fanboyism. I’m sure that you will agree that in standing against iPhone and Android fanboyism, it is just wrong to descend to that level ourselves 😉

    Things stay clear when we present facts and not just respond with the same often muddled arguments that fanboys push. We need to see the merits and demerits of each platform as they are and speak with fairness.

    Cheers.

  22. Mahogany,

    Found your missing comment in the SPAM records. Its public now. You said:

    in today’s world i wonder if we should keep calling phones like nokia 6120c, E51, etc smartphones. yomi, the bar has been raised. check the iphone and top selling android phones today like the htc’s , motorola’s, samsung’s and LG’s and tell me why nokia still consider its crippled underpowered cheap symbian phones “smartphones”.

    Yes; its okay for you fanboys to seek to re-define everything that Apple touches. The first gen iPhone had no multi-tasking and could not have apps installed on it, but you guys upped and named it a smartphone anyway though it violated all the definitions of smartphones.

    Now, you want to penalise Symbian for being more resource efficient and not needing a 1GHz processor. Which honestly is hilarious. I just have a good laugh over that. Who’s raising the bar – the more efficient OS that runs smoothly on a 680MHz processor or the others that require 1GHz processors?

    I also remember asking you several times what the modern definition of smartphone is that would exclude devices such as the 6120c and E51. Not once have you provided an answer. No wonder you thought your comment was censored. Putting forth positions without coherent arguments is a waste of everyone’s time.

    You have a beef with Nokia’s “crippled underpowered cheap symbian phones”, yet those devices continue to witness increased sales. And in your opinion, that’s why Symbian is doomed; right? That sounds like a fun line of argument.

  23. It is not as Rosy for Nokia as the initial article portrays. WE know that Nokia has had to sack one of their top executives and also there was also a CEO change recently. Even an article I submitted, yet to be published here showed this clearly.

    We also know that the Symbian Roadmap appears somewhat confused. There has been a round-about turn in Symbian policy less than two months ago. Does that show all is well with this mobile superpower called Nokia? It only shows that Nokia is trying to put their acts right. And play catch up.

    I would expatiate; Not long ago we knew that Symbian ^3 was expected to pave the way for Symbian ^4 and Qt is to be the platform that links them all including series 60 and MEego. Now this roadmap is not so clear. Nokia has totally abandoned Symbian ^4. Instead we are hearing that they would only make incremental upgrades to Symbian ^3 ala Google Android. Does this paint a picture of a powerhouse in charge and dictating the pace?, or a superpower trying to fit in an ever fast changing mobile ecosystem? I’d leave anyone to decide. Even Rome, and other ancient dynasty had to die because they couldn’t move with the times!

    The Apple iphone from the analysis by Tomi Ahonen has been a determining factor in the progression of the mobile phones. He rightfully divided Smartphone’s history into two; Before and after the iphone. If I must quote; “The original iPhone with its intuitive iOS operating system and touch-screen interface, was truly revolutionary. It truly changed the whole industry. We measure time in two stages, before the iPhone and after the iPhone”. I can remember writing a similar titled article here on MN. iOS is in no precarious situation! Iphone sales is not STAGNANT! It would be good to compare the 4th Quarter report of Symbian and iOS to see how much profit and devices were raked in. Year on year (Q4), iphone sales saw a tremedious increase. To quote; “Some of the highlight numbers include 14.1 million iPhones sold (up 91 percent over Q4 last year)”. Source; Engadget.{ http://www.engadget.com/2010/10/18/apples-q4-earnings-are-out-records-set-for-revenue-earnings/}

    Let’s not jump from the fact that analysts including Gartner did not say that Symbian is not at the top now. But from review of market share and profits, Symbian is managing to make ends meet. Also, the average prices of Nokia Smartphones have been dropping to keep up with number of sales. It is not just how much phones you sale but how much profit you make! AS a result, they are predicting that Google Android would ultimately surpass Symbian. And there is still a space for ios, Symbian in the new mobile ecosystem. Of course, there are 5 billion people on earth with myriads need and varying likes and dis-likes!

    By the way, I love where the iphone is going. Let’s wait for iphone 5 and see where Apple leads the pack next!

  24. The article by Tomi is interesting. It tried to show that Nokia is doing very well in device sales. But fail to link it up with how much Nokia was doing in actual money/profit sales.

    However it correctly compares Nokia’s Symbian and Apple’s iphone as a toyota compared with a Porsche car. It is Clear that Porsche is more expensive and not made for mass market as compared to toyota. So likewise, Nokia does all the selling, and Apple goes home with more Money! So what I Could gather from this is that Nokia sells more devices but does not make as much money as Apple!

    Tomi does not see any reason for Nokia to change its model. But I disagree. Nokia itself is trying improve their model by abandoning Symbian ^4 and focussing more on 3. Meego is also there but we are yet to see any device yet. Nokia E7 is also delayed, just as N8 was delayed.

    It take a Lot to be a superpower. Even the US KNOWS that; with the Assanges (wikileaks) of the world.

    It can’t be so sweet for Nokia except if they can withstand the tide of Android and iOS. Analysts claim not immediately, but surely Android will surpass. Windows phone7 and palm are virtually dead.

    If Nokia is to calm the tides, then it jas to seat up to maintain both its numbers and rake in profits as well. With the overhaul of its top executives and the way Nokia is going, maybe it would maintain its lead…

  25. A serious correction to my article is in order: the iPhone sales figures that I presented were for Q3 2009 to Q2 2010, and so a little dated. The iPhone 4 pushed things beyond that level. Thanks for the updated figures, Afewgoodmen.

    Still, that trend is probably still worth bearing out. We’ll see how it plays out a few months from now, but reputable industry watchers have consistently predicted that stagnation unless Apple takes a drastic new turn (sales from Q3 2009 to Q2 2010 was the first indicator of this happening). If Apple does not, the iPhone range will stay a niche market (and nothing wrong with that anyway)

    Another correction, this time to Afewgoodmen and Bayoabu. You guys keep on saying that Nokia abandoned Symbian ^4 and are staying with Symbian ^3. Please go read up on that again.

    Nokia did not abandon anything. They developed something better – a system that does not need those incremental tags anymore – a system that evolves and grows. The N8 does not run Symbian ^3; it runs Symbian.

    Instead of users waiting for a big firmware update to improve their devices, small separate updates can be pushed out at a faster rate. Features that were initially proposed to come with Symbian ^4 will still be pushed out.

    Yes; there is no reason for Nokia to change their model. The model and strategy that they are implementing now is sound:

    a) keep your loyal customers by retaining Symbian (still the largest smartphone user base in the world)
    b) release a more modern mobile OS (MeeGo) to cater to the needs of those who want them
    c) encourage rapid app development on both Symbian and MeeGo with Qt as a developer platform
    d) lastly, (and this is my projection; not official word from Nokia) probably find a way to consolidate everything one new brand later after (b) and (c) above have reached maturity.

    What is wrong with that strategy? Yes; it takes a lot to lead the pack and as the pack leader, Nokia is taking the right steps. Everything looks though like Android will end up the pack leader soon.

    But Symbian doomed? Naaaah. Not by a long shot. And for the records, iOS on the iPhone (I repeat, iPods and iPads are not smartphones and do not count for smartphone sales or marketshare) won’t even come close – unless Apple does something drastic.

  26. see battle field tactics – fanboys – die hard dug-down positions waoh!
    See the truth staring yet disregarded

  27. I understand their point. The initial plan was abandoned after they realized symbian 3 could as well do the job as well as Symbian 4. But prior to then, they had gone to press on their initial roadmap of Symbian 3 to 4. What has changed in between?

    New knowledge? New CEO? New roadmap? Whatever there was a change!

  28. I personally think that both Yomi and Afewgoodme try to debate(not argue) maturely, but you still smell it strongly that Yomi is inclined towards Nokia and Afewgoodmen towards Apple. The truth is no matter how reasonable and objective you are, you still have a preference and it sneaks into your posts.

  29. IG

    😀 Actually, I really am platform-agnostic. I have no such inclinations as you suppose. I have used excellent devices on a wide range of platforms (including Android, WinMo, and Palm) and sounded like I owed those platforms my very life.

    I simply abhor the (mostly false) kind of hype that surrounds the iPhone. If people started spouting lies about Android, I’d be up in a jiffy to do the same thing that I am doing now in defence of Symbian. While I agree with you that my friend, Afewgoodmen, trieds to debate maturely, I observe that he simply (and instinctively) jumps in to the defence an/or praise of iOS/iPhone/Apple in any way possible regardless of how valid the points that have been made against that company. Actually, I am being very generous in agreeing with you about him. Afewwgoodmen has never once posted one single sentence here on this blog that was critical of Apple, iOS or the iPhone.

    On the other hand, I have no qualms about being critical of even Symbian (do a search for some of my critiques; they were very lucid). People who read those critiques then thought I was anti-Symbian/Nokia (and some Nokia fanboys jumped in to shout me down). Consider that I am the same guy who swore not to spend a kobo of my money on any S60 5th Edition device (a platform that I was and remain critical of) – and I kept my word. Now you say I am inclined towards Nokia.

    Pardon me if I insist that you are wrong in your evaluation of me 🙂

  30. Yomi, that was my thoughts I said above. I am not implying that you are not being objective, but don’t you have a preference? Even though you may like all the shirts in your wardrobe you will still have a favorite. For example you made clear that you prefer hardware qwerty keypads than touchscreen, that’s preference, isn’t it?

  31. Afewgoodmen,

    It is not as Rosy for Nokia as the initial article portrays. WE know that Nokia has had to sack one of their top executives and also there was also a CEO change recently. Even an article I submitted, yet to be published here showed this clearly.

    Again, you side-step the thrust of the article. my article does not say that all is rosy for Nokia. Nowhere did I present anything to suggest that.

    This article’s objective is to show that Nokia/Symbian is not half as close to dying as certain elements want the world to believe. Take a look at the points I have made and refute any that is false. That’s what’s fair. Side-stepping as always is not in good taste.

    For eaxample, look at these four points and tell me if you think that Nokia is doomed –
    1. How can a mobile OS that keeps seeing increased sales be rightly said to be doomed?
    2. How can a mobile OS that keeps on improving be rightly said to be doomed?
    3. How can a mobile OS that sells more than its three (or four) closest competitors all put together be rightly said to be doomed?
    4. Why are the same people not singing the death of WebOS and Windows Phone 7, seeing that they have negligible market share? (the Nokia N8 alone is reported to be selling more than all the existing WP7 devices combined)

    What is it about you and other fanboys that makes you get defensive (and sometimes on the assault) once someone makes an attempt to diffuse the Cuppertino field of distortion? Do you guys love living in the Matrix that much? 🙂

  32. IG,

    That’s preference based on functionality, not on brand. Sorry, I don’t do brands like that. I have preferred shirts in my wardrobe based on how comfortable I find them, but not based on the name tag.

    People who buy me things because of the brand image have learnt the hard way over time that it is like water on a duck’s back to me.

    As such, you’ll see that I have purchased several QWERTY devices across various brands and found them very satisfactory. Lastly, if you ever find me dissing a brand, it will be because that brand produces sub-standard products, not because they don’t make my type of devices.

  33. It is clear that Nokia is not dying. Whoever suggested it erred. It is a good brand. But it needs to put it’s acts together. Let us hope that the ‘”50 enhancements” would do something to improve it’s brand appeal amongst those bloggers.

    I am also platform blind like Yomi. Only I have loved the features if the iOS platform because of the UI Intuitiveness and the Plethora of third party apps available. The biggest of the world. It is nobody’s secret that the number of medical apps in ios is unmatched in other mobile OSes.

    I also use a Symbian 60 device. Very capable too, but lacking in UI suavity. My next device should be a Nokia N8.

    I need to use a Symbian ^3 to make my conclusions. I should say that I am balanced too. I

  34. Afewgoodmen,

    I am glad that we are back to the issue on ground.

    Now you have said that Nokia needs to put their acts together. You tell me – look at how much better the new Symbian is, look at the efforts being put into MeeGo, and the roadmap. Look at the upcoming updates to Symbian. Are you saying that they are not already putting their acts together?

    If you are, what would be your definition of putting their acts together?

    Someone may say that they are not doing it fast enough, but that is debatable. Look how long it took Apple to implement certain features – and they are still yet to get some of those right – bluetooth file transfer, USB storage, etc. Look how long it is taking Android to implement certain feaures too.

    Then look at a platform as large and as diverse as Symbian – and until recently was hamstrung by a committee of different manufacturers. We all know how slow committees move. It looks to me like Nokia has done fine. With management of Symbian now solely in their hands, they can make decisions faster and implement faster.

    Still, feel free to suggest what else they should do apart from the above that I have listed. Who knows? We may have some gems for them.

    Lastly, I am not so bothered about Symbian staying at the top. Honestly, it is not important. Same way it is not important that Apple gets to the top. That they make great products that sell well is just fine.

    As I have predicted before, and as most other analysts will agree, Android is likely to take that number one spot eventually. That is unimportant too. There is enough room in the market for everyone – and everyone cannot sit at the top.

  35. Abubakar,

    Thanks for that link. This is something interesting that Niklas said – and which many people ignore –

    “The N8 is not the highest-end product we’re aiming for. MeeGo will definitely come above the Symbian range in terms of functionality and price. If you look at the Symbian products, they are priced at the lower-end of the high tier in most markets, below the iPhone and competing with the Android devices.”

    If the N8 is not the highest-end from Nokia and it is this good, I can’t wait for whatever it is that Nokia will push out at the top.

    I absolutely enjoyed using the Maemo-powered N900 (minus the terrible battery life). Looking forward to MeeGo. That’s probably where my mobile future lies.

  36. I have read the article so kindly linked by Abubakar Mahmud above.

    Yomi, you are correct. From the interview, It appears Nokia have developed a compelling road-map. Moreover they are putting their acts together. In addition, Nokia new CEO, Elop appears to be very innovative and associated with all the tremendous updates to all the Nokia Oses. There are surely more goodies to come.

    One thing though, the speed of release of these new products isn’t fast enough. Although a reason was given for this. They prefer a short period between the announcement of a device and its availability. Good deal I should say. Because some of us got so exasperated following the long time and wait between the announcement of the N8 and its final availability.

  37. Aewgoodmen,

    For the life of me, I couldn’t understand why Nokia would announce a device only to keep people waiting 8 months for the market launch. In my opinion, it did more damage than good. I am sooo glad that they have changed that policy.

  38. The hype against Nokia originates from US where Nokia is certainly not doing well (for now), but in most other places around the word Nokia is leading and they will continue to lead with those cheap smartphones like Nokia 5230 for a very very long time.To be candid how many people can afford high end phones, even in US people buy this smartphones on contract for a much more reduced amount.

    In my opinion Apple has serious issues now because Adroid and WP7 are serious with competition in the high end smartphone market, but Nokia has nothing to worry about because a person using Nokia 5230 will not suddenly jump to an iPhone 4 even if it is sold for half the price.

  39. I have following all the arguements and they have been interesting to say the least but i guess bosun’s point sums it all up!

  40. @bosun99uk.
    I understand your argument but maybe you couldn’t be so wrong. I will give my reasons.

    First of all, among the relatively cheap smartphones like the 5230, Apple and most Android manufacturers like HTC do not compete in that segment. Only maybe Samsung with a few Bada devices and some cheap android offerings that compete here. Nokia reigns supreme in this segment. The profit margin isn’t so much.

    However, in the top end smartphones you see very good profits, the likes of iOS, Win P7, and Android compete. Along with the top offering from Nokia, like the N8. In the future, other Symbian ^3 gadgets and Meego will join this segment too.

    BUT, Nokia cannot afford to lose this segment to the competition. This is where most of the profits lie. SO NOkia, APple, WP7 MAnufacturers, and Android manufacturers must ALWAYS continue to compete in this segment no matter what!.

    If you read the link that was posted by Abubakar Mahmud (Thank you ) you would understand that Nokia competes in all segments. And needs to make credible products to competes in this elite top-end segment.

    As Yomi, stated up, there is enough room for everyone. And whoever wins in the top-end segment calls the hype! That is where all the hype is and not the countless middle and other cheap smartphones.

  41. I got the quote below from this post -Rumor: Nokia To Adopt Windows Phone 7 by John Biggs on MobileCrunch.

    Mobile-Review goes on to disparage this move, but I’m all for it. What many of us forget is that Nokia is still a top manufacturer and that won’t change. Melding with Microsoft will only buoy both companies over the Android/iPhone fray.

    If this happens, will the story change?

  42. Bosun, your point is valid. But I doubt Nokia will take that step. Like what one outgoing Nokia CEO SAID, “Nokia doing that is like pissing in your pants in the snow to stay warm”. This is only a metaphor to suggest that if Nokia adopts Android or WP7, ON the short run it could be good but on the other hand, on a long term basis, it may just well be suicide. And not the panacea expected.

    Nokia is not just a hardware manufacturer like HTC, but also software, like Apple. Nokia, like the US is a mobile phone superpower at the moment. And it needs to differentiate itself from the pack, ala Apple.

    If you were Nokia, would you take that blatantly defeatist step? I know I would not. Nokia really needs to distinguish itself from the pack.

  43. Symbian has the largest market share by volume of Nokia devices running the OS but in which markets? Nokia admits that symbian has grave shortcomings and its really work hard to do something about it. All the major manufacturers have dumped symbian e.g LG, Samsung,SE, Motorola even companies like Panasonic, NEC, sharp, Mitsubishi that have been producing sophisticated symbian devices for the closed Japanese market are now adopting android. Nokia is holding on just for pride. Palm honorably retired the palm OS of old which we all know is better than symbian and developed webOS.

    my point is this. people want more than just use their phones for calls and SMS. people want PC like functionalities in phones. webOS, bada, android, iOS, WP7, QNX and MEEGO are pruned desktop OSes(from linux, apple OS and Windows). the quality of apps on these platforms are desktop-like. these mobile OSes can easily be ported to tablets which are in fact computers. soon you will see a lot of tablets being powered by android, MEEGO, webOS, QNX. what you would never see is a symbian tablet.

    i would like to know just one symbian phone from Nokia that is doing better saleswise than the iPhone 3Gs, Motorola droid X, samsung galaxy s, even the samsung wave.

  44. just to add. i am no fanboy. the millions and millions of satisfied iPhones and android phones owners can not be wrong.
    whats the big deal Nokia, come on, give us android and WP7 phones! adding 20 mega-pixel cameras to your phones won’t do the trick. android revived motorola. may be Nokia will not continue with its planned layoff of workers.
    imagine android 2.3 on N8. just imagine.

  45. Palm honorably retired the palm OS of old which we all know is better than symbian and developed webOS.

    Palm OS of old was better than Symbian? Odd. Did you ever use any Palm device? I did, and found the OS even more dated than Symbian.

    my point is this. people want more than just use their phones for calls and SMS. people want PC like functionalities in phones. webOS, bada, android, iOS, WP7, QNX and MEEGO are pruned desktop OSes(from linux, apple OS and Windows).

    Your point is amusing. Millions of people have being using their Symbian phones for more than just calls and SMS for donkey years. Where have you been all these years?

    what you would never see is a symbian tablet.

    And how is that a bad thing? Symbian was designed for mobiles – smartphone devices. if you want tablets, go purchase tablets. They are two different markets.

    i would like to know just one symbian phone from Nokia that is doing better saleswise than the iPhone 3Gs, Motorola droid X, samsung galaxy s, even the samsung wave.

    ha ha ha. No since this is Christmas season, let’s make that ho, ho, ho!

    You really do crack me up, Mahogany. You must have been living in the U.S. all these years. Of course, when a manufacturer like Nokia offers consumers multiple device options, sales figures for each device may not hit thee roof like it does with manufacturers who do not offer the same wide variety of options. That’s logic and proven business facts. It won’t change the fact that Symbian outsells the OS that those listed devices run on by a wide margin.

    Still, please provide valid sales figures (with dates) for those other phones you listed and I’ll respond with figures for at least one Symbian smartphone.

  46. the millions and millions of satisfied iPhones and android phones owners can not be wrong.

    You are ignoring the millions of satisfied Symbian users; aren’t you Those symbian users still outnumber your iOS and Andrtoid users.

    android revived motorola.

    Motorola was dead. Nokia is breathing, heaving, and still outgunning every other mobile manufacturer on the planet.

    may be Nokia will not continue with its planned layoff of workers.

    Lots of healthy companies globally are laying off – even much more than Nokia has done. Nokia laying off may have nothing to do with Symbian.

    imagine android 2.3 on N8. just imagine.

    I just can – a 1GHz resource-hogging smartphone that dies by 2.00 p.m. every single day. No; thanks.

  47. “I …. found the OS (palm OS) even more dated than Symbian.”

    well that’s your opinion.

    “And how is that a bad thing? Symbian was designed for mobiles – smartphone devices. if you want tablets, go purchase tablets. They are two different markets.”

    you amuse me even more. so a tablet is not a mobile device?

    the line between a smartphone and a computer is going to be blurred. today companies are developing dual core chips for phones and who knows in the immediate future will have double the amount of RAM offered on current smartphones. and where does this leave symbian?

    ever thought your current smartphone will be more powerful than your 6-year old PC?

  48. “I …. found the OS (palm OS) even more dated than Symbian.”

    well that’s your opinion.

    As it is also your opinion that Symbian is dated compared to Android and iOS.

    you amuse me even more. so a tablet is not a mobile device?

    When did I say it isn’t? But MP3 players, iPods, and the cheap Nokia E51 that you’d have us throw out the equation are all mobile devices too. A tablet is a mobile device; yes. But it is certainly not a smartphone. Go take another look.

    the line between a smartphone and a computer is going to be blurred. today companies are developing dual core chips for phones and who knows in the immediate future will have double the amount of RAM offered on current smartphones. and where does this leave symbian?

    For now, right where it is – the world’s most widely-used smartphone platform. For the future, we shall see – and even you may be in for some surprises.

    ever thought your current smartphone will be more powerful than your 6-year old PC?

    I’ve been in mobile for years. I predicted a lot of what is happening now. Yes; I believed, envisaged, preached and looked forward to my smartphone being more powerful than my 6-year old PC. My current smartphone is already. And – shock, horror – it is a Symbian device.

  49. The definition of smartphones and mobile devices might have to be revisited ‘lol’, because it looks like what is smart or mobile for you might not be smart or mobile for me. Eg for me,any device that cant enter ones jeans or suit pocket is no more mobile.

    This reminds me of when Mark Zuckerberg said ‘the iPad is not mobile’ and STeve Jobs saying that a 7′ Tablet does not make sence, all these are based on opinions and particular context.

    Talking about symbiam on Tablet, i dont think you will see one, but one thing for sure is that you will see a Meego Tablet very soon.

    The same reason you wont see a symbian Tablet is the same reason for the following.

    iPhones and iPod touches have had ios4 since but ipad is just getting it. Apple had to work on it. (unless you believe Apple intentionally delayed it)

    Google says Android 2.2 is not good for Tablet, that OEM should wait for Honeycomb but fortunately or unfortunately Samsung was able to find a way around it.

    RIM got a totally new OS for their Tablet, why didnt they use the normal BB OS.

    The World is big Enough.

  50. I just saw a video presentaed by Motorola called Tablet Evolution, they will be announcing a Tablet at CES in US in January.

    In the video they said the iPad is like a gaint iPhone and that the Galaxy Tab runs Android OS but Android OS is for a phone.

    what catches my fancy here is that, Is Motorola planning to use another OS for thier own Tablet?

  51. In the video they said the iPad is like a gaint iPhone and that the Galaxy Tab runs Android OS but Android OS is for a phone.

    what catches my fancy here is that, Is Motorola planning to use another OS for their own Tablet?

    Actually, Google has repeatedly stated that Android was not designed/optimised from the ground up for tablet usage. Of course, manufacturers have worked small miracles to make it work smoothly on tablets.

    Sources: Google: ‘Android not optimised for tablets’; “Android 2.2 Froyo Not Optimised for Tablets” says Google

    I know that there are die-hard people (especially the anti-Symbian/Nokia crowd) who want us to believe that Android is the be-all OS designed to run on smartphones, tablets and netbooks, Google says otherwise. It is to the credit of manufacturers that they are able to make Android tablets that work well.

    The version of Android that Motorola are planning to use will be much better suited to the tablet form factor than the existing Android versions.

  52. I hate to disappoint you but the stats are out. Sales stats for YoY Q4 ’09->’10 that is.
    Apple increased sales of iPhones by 8 million YoY.
    In the same time, Nokia increased sales of smartphones by 10 million.

    Ouch?

  53. This article by TomiAhonen is a must read;

    Undesirable at Any Price? What happened to Nokia, who invented the smartphone

    It appears Symbian hegemony as the top Smartphone OS in the world has been usurped by Android. And there has been a drop in the number of Symbian devices sold in the Last Quarter; Q4!

    SO whoever says Nokia shouldn’t watch their backs? They need to especially if they want to remain relevant as the number 2 Smartphone OS in the world!!!

  54. So, what’s the situation of things now?

    Unfortunately, Symbian lost out.

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