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Smart phones - Off in the distance
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The Bellinghman
Date: 2011-02-09 12:42
Subject: Smart phones
Security: Public
Tags:phones
I see from the Reg that Android has overtaken Symbian as the most popular smartphone OS, with 33% of the market.

Apple has fallen back a bit (numbers doubled, but share down to 16%).

Windows Phone 7 is sitting on 2%.

This is interesting, for a number of reasons.

Firstly, Nokia have lost their dominance of the market. This is probably down to Apple and RIM having shown that there's no need to go for Symbian in a phone. Nokia could be in big trouble as a result.

Secondly, Apple have done only reasonably well - in theory, they could have been sitting there in first place, not well back in third, having effectively reinvented the smart phone model that Android is exploiting so well.

Thirdly, Android sales are up sevenfold year-on-year, so some further growth is to be expected. I wouldn't be surprised to see them top 50% of the market, at which point app makers will be really considering the platform.

Fourthly, though Microsoft have lost overall percentage, with WP7's introduction failing as yet to take over their earlier OSes, WP7 is very new to the market, and it's going to be another period or two before we can tell what its market trajectory will really be - they could yet follow Android.

I think the next year could be rather interesting.
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martyn44
User: martyn44
Date: 2011-02-09 13:30 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Have you seen the Nokia boss's 'Its all your fault and you've got to try harder' message to his minions?
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2011-02-09 13:38 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Nope.

I've seen the Burning Platform memo, which is pretty strong, though: words to the effect of "we're in an awful place, and we've got to do something different or we're toast".
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martyn44
User: martyn44
Date: 2011-02-09 13:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
That was the one I meant. I just interpreted it slightly differently. I do, however, have a (somewhat elderly) Nokia phone in my pocket.
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The Uitlander
User: uitlander
Date: 2011-02-09 16:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
This doesn't surprise me. Symbian had market dominance, which it squandered on the altar of refusing to listen to its own staff about usability and end user experience some years before Nokia gobbled it up. Many of their good developers were headhunted by Google towards the star of the Android project, and those that were left behind have been suffering the death of a thousand cuts. Its very sad to watch from the outside, but I'm very pleased I moved on from there some years ago.
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Perdita
User: perdita_fysh
Date: 2011-02-09 13:42 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Have you seen the Nokia memo doing the rounds today?
http://wallblog.co.uk/2011/02/09/nokia-ceo-says-it-is-unbelievable-it-still-doesnt-have-an-answer-to-the-iphone-in-leaked-memo/

Nokia certainly think they're in trouble! There's room enough for them to find a foothold though. I can't get on with touchscreen keyboards so was chuffed when the Sony Xperia X10 Mini Pro came out, giving me a physical keyboard and android phone with a sony camera in a pocket size at last. I figured I'd also get sony reliability and battery life. Sadly half the android apps don't work, the battery life is less than a day and it fails in numerous ways.

So Nokia - make a small phone with a keyboard that runs android properly and is reliable with a good battery life and you'll have one customer here at least, because no one else is doing it.
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martyn44
User: martyn44
Date: 2011-02-09 13:46 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Don't want much, do you, a phone that does what it says on the tin, day in, day out and doesn't require next generation LiPo batteries to last more than a text.
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Silly Swordsman
User: silly_swordsman
Date: 2011-02-09 14:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
As far as I can figure out, Symbian is effectively dead, thanks to arcane programming model and a perception of shrinking market.

Microsoft is very strict with the hardware spec on WP7, making it less attractive for 3d party manufacturers than Android. However, Microsoft has traditionally taken good care of developers, and it's not at all unlikely this will come to their rescue, especially if the Android platform gets too fragmented.

It's also interesting to note that the various platforms have different preferred languages:

WP7 - C# (effectively - it's Silverlight/ .NET)
Android - Java
iPhone - Objective-C
Symbian - C++
Blackberry - Java

Looking at that list, I'd bet on Android, Blackberry and WP7.
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lady_findel
User: lady_findel
Date: 2011-02-09 18:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I own a Nokia N900 that runs on Maemo, a light-weight version of Linux. Granted, it is more of an internet tablet that can make calls, but Nokia could have made more out of this. This phone is stable, fast, can do a lot of things outside of smartphone scope. If they had banked on this, with the open source function Linux offers, I think they could have had something wonderful.
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2011-02-09 18:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I note that Maemo has now morphed into Meego.

But you are right - they were there before Google did it with Android.
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