It seems UIQ is heading for the technology dumpster. Nokia’s purchase of Symbian Ltd will streamline the whole product line so that by 2010, S60 will, in a number of guises, dominate the smarter products of Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Motorola (if it’s still here) and LG.
Observers are already making claims that this is in response to Android, though the Symbian partners deny this. Yet whilst Symbian has in excess of 200 million devices in the wild, and growing, Android has none, and seemingly delayed its first device until next year.
Motorola also announced a couple of new Linux handsets, but with very limited market appeal.
My opinion is that Symbian’s move is against Microsoft not Android. MS have stated a number of times that they are driving down the cost of Windows Mobile, and by so doing the next release, Mobile 7, will be in a position to directly compete in the mass consumer market.
Fortunately for Symbian’s partners, especially Nokia, MS product has so far been poorly received except in some corporate applications and first adopters. Nokia will therefore try to suppress any acceleration of Microsoft in their market place.
Nokia as a hardware supplier can offer an OS free of charge, Microsoft as a software supplier can not. So Symbian, a working OS, will attract more hardware manufacturers, and therefore more developers.