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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.”