Symbian smacked by Windows Phone
Nokia deals the blow
Microsoft's smartphone operating system, Windows Phone 7, is now outselling Symbian - and it's all thanks to former Symbian stalwart, Nokia.
In February 2011, Symbian accounted for 12.4 per cent of the UK smartphone market. A year on and its share had drooped to 2.4 per cent. WinPho, on the other hand, has risen to 2.5 per cent from 0.5 per cent. The figures come from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, a market watcher.
The much-hyped Nokia Lumia 800 took 87 per cent of WinPho sales, Kantar said. Germany remains the strongest market for WinPho, with its share there now up to 3.1 per cent.
That said, in other Western European countries - Germany, France, Italy and Spain - while Symbian's share has plunged, Microsoft's hasn't risen to anywhere near the same extent as it has here.
No, the big gainer, across the board, is Android. Its arch-rival, Apple's iOS, has grown in some territories - the UK, Italy and France - and fallen in others - Germany and Spain, but neither rises nor falls reach double figures, unlike the Google operating system.
In the UK, Android accounted for 48.5 per cent of the smartphone market, well ahead of Apple's 28.7 per cent, up from 22.7 per cent a year ago. Google's February 2011 share was 37.8 per cent.
RIM's BlackBerry came in third with 17.1 per cent, down from 24.4 per cent in February 2011, Kantar's numbers show.
In the US during February 2012, the market is more evenly balanced between Apple and Google: their shares are 47 per cent and 43.4 per cent, respectively. iOS' share was up from 23 per cent a year ago; Android's was down from 55.1 per cent. RIM took 5.7 per cent of the market, down from 12.9 per cent. ®
The news is that Symbian sales are eroding faster than WinPho can backfill
This article is not the real news.
How long do Nokia keep this up before giving Elop the heave-ho? Can Microsoft cash really keep the good ship Nokia afloat? At what point do Microsoft acquire Nokia, become a hardware manufacturer like Apple and piss off every other ODM that supported them in the past? Or will Microsoft try and do a Google/Motorola? Microsoft are bound to copy one or the other - it's all they do these days.
Perhaps Nokia could have successfully launched a WinPho product line had they not simultaneously ditched Symbian while telling all the current supporters of that platform that it stank (even when it didn't). That's got to be easily the biggest corporate strategy fuckup in quite some time.
Then Nokia compounded the problem by genuinely believing that a large proportion of the current Symbian owners would remain blindly loyal to Nokia and proceed to buy their latest Windows Phone tat without any questions - major fail #2.
Ah well, we're only one year in. The success for Windows Phone is always around the corner with the "next" release, so we're told. Eventually Microsoft might crack it, but Nokia will just be collateral damage by then.
Re: Time for a Change of Plan, Nokia ..?
OK, I accept that I might not be a typical user, but I struggle to see how exactly Symbian is universally dreadful for users. Sure, the web browsing experience isn't exactly wonderful with the built in browser, but for the things I actually use my phone for - email and, well, making phone calls, it actually does a damn good job.
And, as far as I can gather from reading reviews of other platforms - which, of course, tend not to focus on this stuff - none of the others yet does the things that I really expect them to, in terms of call handling.
By that I mean things like per-group ring tones, selective alerting for incoming calls, and well integrated VoIP. And, in ProfiMail, a really good IMAP client.
Sure, if you want something to play with apps, and games, then a Symbian phone's probably not for you. But I don't find it a dreadful experience, by any stretch of the imagination, because it's a device for communicating, not gaming, or shopping, or playing music.
Re: Time for a Change of Plan, Nokia ..?
I agree with you. Symbian was (and still is) the most optimised mobile OS. People confuse the underlying OS and the GUI. Overlay a decent GUI and a "dreadful" experience becomes great, eg any of SPBs offerings.
I've never really understood how a third party company without Nokia's resources can take a Nokia phone and create a far better user experience...
Nokia's browsers do indeed suck, but just download Opera.