Symbian Movement Enlists 14 New Members

Nokia's Symbian has announced that it signed 14 companies to support its mobile platform; this brings the total number of members to 78 which compares very favourably to the other mobile ecosystems.

Google's Android has 47 members while the LiMo Foundation has 55; the Symbian Foundation, which is currently part of Nokia, is expected to be converted to an independent not-for-profit organisation that will bring together under one entity Symbian, S60, UIQ and MOAP(S).

Amongst the 14 members are Bank of America, HP, MySpace, Qualcomm and SanDisk; it is worth noting that Nokia and Facebook are rumoured to be working on a strategic partnership but the social networking website has yet to join the Symbian foundation.

The announcement comes a few days before the 2009 Mobile World Congress starts in Barcelona and gives the Symbian foundation the upper hand when it comes to the sheer number of members. Of course, this is largely irrelevant if there's a lack of action.

Apple's platform has only one member - itself - and still manages to produce hardware and software solutions that can easily outclass those produced by Google's Android.

Last year, Nokia purchased Symbian altogether and promised to make the platform available on a royalty-free basis. The first draft of the Symbian platform should be out this year with a final release candidate ready in 2010.

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Our Comments

Symbian is certainly the most popular OS out there, dwarfing the rest of the competition. But, its market share is dwindling and 2009 could be the first year where Symbian occupies less than half of the market, down from a 73 percent share of the pie back in 2006. Latest figures also showed a falling royalty per phone which is largely academic now that it will be a not-for-profit. Still, it does show the work that remains to be done in the face of rivals like the iPhone, Android or RIM.

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