The mobile world – Symbian, Linux, Windows

I read a long but awesome post about the future of mobile devices and there operating systems.

Its mainly focused on the open sourcing of Nokia’s Symbian, and on the reasons for it and the benefits from it. I mostly agree with it, though I think he forgot a bit about Apple. So Symbian and Linux share the mobile OS market somehow, Microsofts Windows had its time, but didn’t win. Now that Symbian is Open Source, why would any manufacturer buy licenses for Windows mobile? And as the markets of PDAs and mobile / smartphones are basically merged by now, there is no reason to stay with Microsoft.

So whats next, did the revolution really happen without anyone noticing? Do we really live in a free (mobile) world yet? Well, not yet. Open Source, Symbian and Linux are just not “cool” enough to compete with Apple and their iPhone. Obviously the iPhone isn’t superior to other smartphones in anything but in marketing. From a developers point of view the iPhone is a very sad device. Its as closed as mobile phones used to be, you have to pay a fee to be able to develop / sell / give away Software for it. And there is no reason to think Apple will ever understand the idea behind Open Source. It probably wouldn’t even work for them, their business model is just too focused on closed source.

So what will the future be like? Will we all be zombies who blindly follow the marketers? Probably yes, at least the majority. But then, hopefully Nokia and Co will be able to affront Apple’s marketing, and be as “cool” as them.

The mobile world – Symbian, Linux, Windows

9 thoughts on “The mobile world – Symbian, Linux, Windows

  1. Apple do understand some things about open source.
    They were more than happy to steel it for their kernel.

    I think Nokia has been cooler than Apple … ummmm always.

  2. True, they misuse it, though they don’t have a community to benefit from.

    Well, you don’t count, you’re too technical, and you don’t fall too easily for the marketers. 😉

  3. Dradts says:

    “You have to pay a fee to be able to develop / sell / give away Software for it”

    This is just not true. The development kit is for free, and selling software costs a fee of 30% of the retail price. So it’s also possible to give away free software.

    Also, developers seem to like the iPhone platform. There are already 500+ applications available in the AppStore, even though it hasn’t even been released yet 😉

  4. Is it? I thought you have to pay $90 to be able to develop?
    Well, alright, that would be alright then.

    Well, 500+ applications is not too bad, even though its not that many compared to the 1700+ for Android which won’t be released any time soon. 😉

    1. Dradts says:

      I was wrong with my answer. Indeed, you have to pay 99$ to be able to publish software in the AppStore. Development is for free, as long as you don’t want to try your software on any Apple mobile device. You can only try your apps inside the emulator.

      1. I guess the bigger the AppStore grows, the more Apple closes it down. Thats a quite sad development, lets hope the Googlephone will make a difference here…

  5. Dradts says:

    I think Android will be _the_ competitor for the iPhone. But I think it’s great because competition is usually good for the customers. Hopefully this will lead to a more “open” iPhone OS and better contracts. It’s really not an advantage to have only one distributor in every country selling the iPhone.

  6. Android surely will make Apple think. Though Symbian (and Nokia) are the clear market leader, with declining iPhone sales. We’ll see if this new iPhone will change that, and for how long.

    The contracts are really strange, not sure why Apple created this situation…

  7. Hi, good post.

    I’m the author of the blog post you comment on. Just wanted to say you’re absolutely right about Apple. The thing is, when I wrote the post iPhone was just this small thing that was one phone model sold only in US.

    Now of course it has continued to increase market share, has updates to the phone models and sold around Europe too. Android is getting traction. They’re still far from Nokia’s market share – but unless Nokia gets their act together to create a vibrant dev community and lots of apps on the app store – Symbian is not a given winner if you ask me now.

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