Feeds

Android will sink Symbian

It's the UI, stupid, analyst warns

Security for virtualized datacentres

Symbian needs to cut to the chase and sort out its user interface, the organisation has been warned.

The call comes from Gartner "distinguished" analyst Nick Jones who points out that while Symbian's still colossal market share is vanishing at an ever greater rate, the organisation behind the operating system still doesn't appear to have figured out why.

It's the UI, stupid, to coin a phrase.

That's Jones' argument, at any rate. Apple and Android deliver much better user experiences, and while Symbian 3 is a step in the right direction, phones equipped with Symbian 4 won't be out until well into 2011.

Apple is making a virtue out of touchscreen ease of use. Android is trying to do the same, and if it's slightly less good at this kind of thing than Apple is, at least it has many more manufacturers lined up to not only promote Android-branded handsets but also add alternative GUIs to it.

The Symbian Foundation, on the other hand, appears more obsessed with what's going on under the hood, says Jones.

He's right. Symbian the OS grew separately from the UI, a conscious plan to allow phone vendors to differentiate their devices at the user interface level but have a single, well-developed OS underneath. That made sense when the only serious rivals were basic proprietary OSes in feature phones and Windows Mobile - say no more; look how its clunky, old fashioned UI has sunk it - and allowed Symbian the OS to develop without worrying about then unnecessary things like visuals.

Now that approach has turned round to bite it on the rear end. As Symbian's roadmap shows - it talks about audio policies, cloud integration, better multitasking, multiple personalised home screens, HDMI and Wi-Fi - the Symbian Foundation is stuck thinking about what's going on behind the screen not on it.

But it's largely what's on the screen that, at the moment, is selling handsets, smartphones in particular.

Jones reckons that this inability to move beyond the methodology of the past will be Symbian's undoing, and likens the Symbian Foundation's tinkering to "re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic".

And if Apple doesn't sink it, Android certainly will. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Apple iPhone 6: Missing sapphire glass screen FAIL explained
They just cannae do it in time, says analyst
Oh noes, fanbois! iPhone 6 Plus shipments 'DELAYED' in the UK
Is EMBIGGENED Apple mobile REALLY that popular?
Apple's big bang: iPhone 6, ANOTHER iPhone 6 Plus and WATCH OUT
Let's >sigh< see what Cupertino has been up to for the past year
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
The Apple Watch and CROTCH RUBBING. How are they related?
Plus: 'NostrilTime' wristjob vid action
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Half a BILLION in the making: Bungie's Destiny reviewed
It feels very familiar - but it's still good
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.