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Symbian debases platinum

Developer program thrown open to proletariat

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

Symbian has launched a new developer program, the Symbian Partner Network, which bears a remarkable resemblance to the old Platinum Partner Program despite costing $3,500 less.

The Platinum Partner Program provided developers access to live events, marketing assistance, peer support forums and the ability to purchase direct technical support, all for $5K a year. The Symbian Partner Network offers much the same thing, but for just $1,500.

Unsurprisingly Symbian is dropping the Platinum Partner program. It will formally close the doors on August 16th, although the 167 existing Platinum Partners are invited to join the new network.

Given that Nokia, Symbian's new parent company, is planning to give away the product for free it might seem a strange time to reduce their remaining chargeable services, but apparently "market dynamics have changed significantly over the past six years ... As a result of these changes, and from the feedback we have received from our partner community, we have launched the new and enhanced partner program."

We asked Symbian exactly how "enhanced" the SPN is over the Platinum scheme, but we're still waiting to hear back.

Given the imminent arrival of Google's Android and Apple's entry into the native mobile application business, this is more likely a desperate attempt to increase the number of developers working on Symbian apps. But Symbian developers never needed to sign up as partners, and it's not clear that the price of Platinum membership was ever a significant barrier to development. ®

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