Let me be succinct. Here are three reasons why I believe Symbian will continue to shape the mobile handset operating system market.
First, the Symbian operating systems has by far the largest installed base of any of the smartphone operating systems.
Currently more than 330 million mobile handsets are equipped with Symbian, and each year more than 45 million additional mobile handsets are projected to be equipped with the Symbian operating system.
In addition, the fact that so many Nokia devices ship with the Symbian OS, and its inclusion in the cutting-edge devices brought to market by NTT DoCoMo in Japan, creates a huge gravitational pull. That market force may prove irresistible to mobile handset application developers and contributors worldwide.
Second, the Symbian operating system platform has now made a complete and rapid transformation from a proprietary platform to an open source platform.
The fact that this is now completely open source will accelerate and attract further innovation in Symbian-based mobile handsets. Developers will find it hard to ignore a rugged, commercially hardened, open source OS that already has such a huge installed base of devices. In addition, the Symbian OS allows optimal use of limited hardware resources for virtually any portable commercial electronics device.
Third, the Symbian OS will soon have fully integrated support for Symmetric Multi- Processors (SMP).
This will further extend the ruggedness gained, from an enormous installed base already, into a new market arena for resource-limited handheld devices. Taking advantage of SMP architectures will enable a great leap forward in performance and optimization of software.
Abhijit Kabra is a senior executive with Accenture's Product Software and Solutions Business. He can be reached at Abhijit.firstname.lastname@example.org.