Gartner: Symbian will lose smartphone battle, Microsoft's standardised handsets will win the day

I had to do some digging to find this to contrast to the recent Gartner prediction that Symbian will be the market share leader in 2014.

The following article appeared in 2003:

Symbian will lose smartphone battle

By Rob Jones at Gartner Symposium ITxpo, Cannes [07-11-2003]

Microsoft’s standardised handsets will win the day, says Gartner

Analyst Gartner has warned that, without a concerted effort by Symbian and its backers, Microsoft will sweep them aside in the smartphone business.

Redmond’s ability to offer standardised handsets which are easier for businesses to support and use will help the software giant win corporate approval, the market watcher predicted.

Nick Jones, vice president and research fellow at Gartner, said that, while Microsoft did not have a good corporate smartphone today, he believed it would do by the end of 2004.

The analyst predicted that Microsoft will ship a phone boasting strong integration of a range of packages, such as Exchange and Outlook.

Symbian, he added, needed to resolve a number of issues to be a credible, corporate alternative. Its platform and menus differ slightly on various handsets, which means that they often do not have the same user interface.

“Symbian is not very committed to fixing this problem. So Microsoft is getting stronger and Symbian is not addressing the corporate market,” explained Jones.

“This is unattractive for chief information officers. They need standard systems and that’s what Microsoft will provide.

“If by the end of next year Symbian hasn’t solved its problems, Microsoft will be a very strong competitor for a standard corporate smartphone.

“Symbian could lose the battle and at the moment I’d have to say it will probably happen.”

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  • Roman

    Ah, normalcy restored (I got worried after your last post). By making a bunch of contradictory calls, Gartner assures for itself a way to later only pick those that were right in retrospect and tell its clients, 'See I told you so' in a few colorful marketing brochures. Another, equally plausible possibility is of course picking leaders based on who pays more. Conflicts of interest are an understatement in the prognosticator industry.

    Funny how your site is about disruption when it is exactly sites like yours, with independent quality analysis will likely disrupt Gartner, Forrester, and some financial analysts in the process.

    • pk de cville

      Yes, it seems like sites like this are disruptors.

      What's your disruption? Simple. You have a huge opportunity to call them as you se'em…

      The politics in the large prognosticator firms (w/ rivers of $$$$ coming in directly from firms they're analyzing) don't allow for freedom and writing with honesty and openness.

      May the best honest and perceptive analysts win the day!

    • You may be on to something.

  • Jon T

    Said it on another post here, but Gartner is a shambles…
    No-one has done more to expose the lies and statistics bending done by Gartner than Daniel Eran Dilger..
    <a href="” target=”_blank”> <a href=…” target=”_blank”>

  • Tom

    One ironic deceptive statistic from Gartner this month was to exclude ipads from consideration of Internet use on mobile devices. It would be obvious, with literally MILLIONS of iPhone users buying ipads that the percentage of iPhone users on the Internet would decline. We are using our ipads instead.
    So, to leave out ipads in consideration of Internet use would artificially skew the results toward android.
    One can only hope that as android 3 tablets hit the market, the iPad usage would then be included.

  • Vertti

    That sounds pretty awful… "Microsoft’s standardised handsets"…

  • Niilo

    I fundamentally mistrust any forward looking market share estimates from any analyst company.

    Analysts (and also investment banks, consultancy firms for that matter), as they say at in their disclosure sections, seek to do business with the companies they cover. They thus tend to just predict the extension of the status quo, unless of course (like Android) a trend is so big they would look stupid ignoring it.

    What makes this blog so interesting is that you put a stake in the ground on who the winners and losers are going to be. Highly refreshing.

    • I'm sure without the burden of a paycheck, many analysts could also call them as they see them. Salaried analysis suffers deeply from incumbent skew because incumbents have the budgets to spend on analysis and can therefore "maintain the lifestyles analysts have become accustomed to."