Mobile Phone Operating Systems – Symbian
The Symbian OS is an open source operating system found in Nokia, Sony Ericsson, and selected Samsung mobiles and Smartphones. Once considered the crème-de-la-creme, today Symbian technology seems to be lagging behind the higher-end competition, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good. Symbian is the top selling OS around the world.
Today’s Symbian technology grew from a 1980s graphical operating system known as EPOC, which was developed by Psion for PDAs. Seeing potential for the technology, Symbian was spun off into a separate company. Then, in 2008, Symbian was acquired by Nokia and an independent, non-profit organisation called the Symbian Foundation was established. The goal was to create a royalty-free, open source software platform. This goal was realised when the Symbian platform was officially made available as open source code last month (February 2010).
While mobile phones using the Symbian OS still dominate the market – with almost 50% of smartphone sales being attributed to Symbian phones – the exact future for the Symbian OS is still being speculated. For all intents and purposes, it looks as if Nokia is aiming Symbian at the middle-range mobile phone market, whilst leaving the higher-end to be battled out between the likes of Apple, Microsoft, and Google.
In addition to Symbian, Nokia also offers Maemo, which could be their Smartphone OS for the future. It will be interesting to see what happens. Whatever the case for tomorrow, today, Symbian still holds its place as the workhorse, reliable OS you can count on.