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Symbian Mobile Platform Heading For Disaster Says Gartner

Gartner Vice President and analyst Nick Jones has published a rather stern post on the official blog of the website that compares Symbian's current mobile strategy to re-arranging the deck chairs on a sinking Titanic.

More specifically, Nick Jones (opens in new tab) identifies Android, rather than Windows Phone or iOS4, as the iceberg set to sink Symbian. He identified that Symbian, as a whole, is losing market share at an accelerating pace with Android being the main winner.

He also zeroed on user interface as the weakest part fo the Symbian 3 experience, something that the Symbian Foundation should be concentrating on and allocate the necessary resources to it rather than spending it elsewhere.

Jones's criticisms were directed at Symbian 3, not Symbian^4 and although Nokia opensourced Symbian, it still pulls many strings. Furthermore, the fact that Nokia has penned a strategic partnership with Intel over the development of another alternative mobile platform, Meego, will almost certainly have an impact on priorities.

Symbian, Jones adds, is somewhat of a hostage to Nokia with the latter not taking user experience seriously enough. He noted though that the 150 or so other members of the Symbian Foundation should have done a better job of promoting the platform as a whole.

What Jones failed (or declined) to say though is that in losing Nokia as the main driving force, Symbian has become a ship with a weak or absent leadership, one where its own members, the likes of Sony Ericsson or Vodafone, has their own agendas.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.