Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Symbian Series 60 market share is bloated/hyped/misestimated

A Symbian powered phone side to side with a Sony Erriccson IOS powered oneWhenever people discuss OS market shares, they usually state that Symbian Series 60 owns the smartphone market. This is true at the first glance-but if you think about how Series 60 phones are used, it quickly becomes void:
Series 60 is mostly used as proprietary OS replacement for dumb phones
Face it, people. My SX1 is damn cool-but I never use any of its features except phone and camera. Many of my friends own Symbian Series 60 powered phones and dont even know what they run. They do install the occasional app or game-but none of them uses the machine as a supplement to their PC or notebook.
A stock T68i ran on some kind of Erricson IOS that was extended to do java and 16bit color later on-it could do almost everything Series 60 does now. Thus, the main benefit this OS offers to handset makers is a faster time to market. Instead of developing your own dumb phone OS, you license it from Symbian.
Sony Erricson owns part of the Symbian corporation-and most of their touchscreen-less boxen don't run on Symbian. They actually run on the very IOS that powered the T68. Sagem behaves similar... . Ridiculously, the IOS powered phones don’t exhibit mayor deficiencies when compared to a Series 60 phone!

Now, these dumb phones are sold to users. These users don't realize what they are running. They don’t buy the phone for its OS, but rather for price and integrated features.

So, to cut a long story short. Series 60 has an insane market share if you define market share only via the amount of devices sold. If you look at the user community, however, you will soon realize that most Series 60 users don't consider their devices as smartphones! Thus, many of the devices sold don't contribute to the 3 party developers.

What do you think? Is the market share justified?


Blogger intellidryad said...

I guess I first heard this statement on Jeff's 1src podcast?

Anyway, if you come to think of it, counting Symbian Series 60 as a "Smartphone OS" is totally ridiculous. How many people really use it as an open platform? They may not know even what "OS" means. In my opinion, the only thing that's special about Series 60 is the avaliability of bluetooth viruses! While Palm and PPC are really closer to a real computing platform, it's funny how Series 60 got much more viruses then it deserves while Palm and PPC got close to none.

I'd be intresting how the share of Symbian would shrink if only UIQ and Series 90 was included :)

6:26 PM  
Blogger Tam Hanna said...

this is exactly it: Symbian users dont really understand what they have in their hands, and thus are easy to lure into accepting files,...

Most PalmOS users would NEVER accept a PRC file beamed over by a person/handheld that they dont know!
Best regards
Tam Hanna

10:59 AM  
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