Bye, Bye, Symbian…..Why? Why? Why?
Note: This is an older post that I decided to repost being Belle is just so stunning that I found myself asking this question again.
So clearly the big news out of Nokia was the move away from Symbian, and to Windows Phone for it’s main operating system, the big question is why? If you are reading this post you already know all of the goodness that Symbian brings to the table and know little to nothing about Windows Phone expect that no one you know is carrying around a Windows Phone, and soon you might be forced to carry one if you want to keep a Nokia in your pocket.
There are a few reasons for the change however, the main reason is demand. Nokia has been slowly and steadily losing market share for the past few years to iOS, and the seemingly unstoppable Android. Now, even worse according to Nielsen there is no longer even an appetite for the Symbian OS. Even before the WP7 announcement there was ZERO demand for Symbian while iOS and Android took the lions share of market with over 30% each.
Now, even if you look at this chart with rose color glasses and say “this chart clearly is not a world view and this survey was done in America” (which it clearly was) it still paints a somber picture of Symbian’s future. I mean, I don’t even know what OSs would be in the “other” category but they soundly whooped Symbian at 2% and than 1%.
If you follow the sales Nokia is still the worlds biggest smartphone maker however, from 2010 to 2011 they were losing market share at an alarming rate. One of the biggest reason for that is that Nokia almost completely missed the touch screen boat and never really got Symbian changed enough to compete. While others were either making or buying a smooth UI and a great “user friendly experience” Nokia was still sitting on their collective hands. Although the 5800 sold well worldwide the UI was years behind the other major companies in terms of the all important user experience. Nokia is still playing catch up and has never truly recovered to this day.
Between declining sales, the lack of demand, and the perception that Symbian has as being “not user friendly” Symbian had a very tough road ahead of it. Plus Nokia now would have to spend money not only to do a major Symbian overhaul, but also millions that would have to be spent on an ad campaign to change minds about Symbian and promote it.
Now we can go back and forth all day about if WP7 was the right OS to picked to replace Symbian however, you can now clearly see why from a strictly a business perspective Symbian had to go.