Sony Ericsson is to stop making smartphones featuring Nokia’s Symbian operating system.
The move means that the troubled Finnish mobile maker is likely to be the only significant user of Symbian.
Analysts said Sony Ericsson’s decision confirmed the “failure” of Symbian as an open source platform, given that it was supposed to be used by several large mobile makers.
While Android and Windows Phone continue with a licensing model, the list of abandoned licensed mobile operating systems grows:
- First there was the original PalmOS/Garnet OS (from Access), licensed in its day by several vendors including Samsung.
- Then came SavaJe that was dead on arrival.
- Then there was Windows Mobile with over a thousand devices and hundreds of licensees. Now a fading memory.
- There’s LiMo, licensed by operators but not not seen in the wild.
- And now the mighty Symbian is standing with no takers (except its own parent).
Note that MeeGo, WebOS, BlackBerry OS and Bada are not licensed.
In 2010, as Windows Phone is not yet shipping, it’s clear that for any vendor without their own operating system, Android has been the only choice.
The question I have is: how long before every top tier vendor has their own OS?