Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Nokia Buys Out Symbian consortium and Give It Away For Free

What's the impact on mobile warriors? Well, giving Symbian away for free is not likely going to lower the price of the mobile device by much.

However, Nokia will position Symbian as a strong alternative to Windows Mobile and try to fight tide of Blackberry dominance and upstarts from little known companies like Apple (yeah, a company named after a fruit).

Overtime, we may see greater competition which will likely lead to better software, higher quality phones, accelerated research developments, and potentially lower prices.

For software developers, look for a SDK along the line of what Apple did for the iPhone and Nokia digging into its pocket changes for millions in development help for anyone who wishes to create software for the Symbian.

For consumers, the prospect of greater competition is what a free market is all about. I agree with the conventional thinking that the smartphone market can have many winners and the consumers ought to be one of them.

Personally, this is the rabbit that I have been expecting from Nokia. But it's only a bunny they've got. They need to create excitement the way Apple did with their SDK.

Potentially great news for mobile users.

Here's a list of the major players in the mobile smartphone arena (let me know if I missed anyone):

  • iPhone (OS X) - Look out. Apple has a vision and they look deep into the future. I'm very excited. Cost of OS is neglible.
  • Palm - new OS due in 2009, this century.
  • Window Mobile - Mobile 7 is going to be make-or-break
  • Android - also free
  • OpenMoko (I'm hoping they'll be a major player) - promised new phones in July, OS is free.
  • Blackberry - with a target on its back, it has to innovate quickly. They don't have the deep pocket Nokia and Microsoft has. I see them having the same problem Palm had if they rely only on e-mail.
  • Symbian - OS now free.
  • Linux (I think Nokia has a winner with the N tablet series)

One question I've got is what will the N800 platform be like?

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