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Samsung plans Symbian-free future

Oh my god, it's full of widgets

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Samsung's roadmap includes Windows mobile, Android and its new Bada platform, but there's no sign of Symbian in the plan.

The details come from Samsung VP Don Joo Lee, who told Digitimes that the company would be giving up on Symbian to focus on Android, Windows Mobile and Bada-based handsets, in its continuing campaign to supplant Nokia as the world's biggest mobile phone company.

That campaign has been running for a few years now, and the company reckons it will ship 200 million phones in 2009. Nokia should ship around 100 million more than that in the same period, but Samsung is becoming a contender.

Samsung phones won't be Symbian based: they'll be using Android for high-end consumers and retaining Windows Mobile as it still has the edge in the enterprise, while the new Bada platform will fill that mid-range feature-phone market.

We still don't know a lot about the Bada platform, but it seems likely it will support widget-based applications in much the same way as Palm's Pre - AJAX extended using OMTP's BONDI or the forthcoming W3C specifications. Such applications should run on all three platforms, making the underlying OS less important than ever.

All of which spells bad news for Symbian: with Nokia's lacklustre support for the platform in the high end and Samsung pulling out completely, it's hard to see a future for the smartphone platform, despite its existing domination of the market. ®

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