Why will Nokia fail to get rid of Symbian

Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop announced recently what seems to be the end of Symbian. But, he might be underestimating Nokia’s dependency on the aging operating system.

Symbian is bringing some needed revenue for Nokia, although not enough to keep their leadership position. It is not surprising that Nokia has announced a move away from Symbian. It is surprising that the death of Symbian is so readily predicted before any real sign that the plan B will be successful. By moving to Windows, Elop is betting all his chips in red number 7.

Betting on a losing horse

The signs are not good for Window Phone 7, and it will not help to pair up with a phone manufacturer which many consumers now consider out of touch with what they want. Read more of this post

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2010 will bring great things for the Nokia 5230

I am just back from my holidays back home in Barcelona and I wanted to share with you what I think are very good signs for the new Symbian^1  Nokia 5230.

If you watch TV during the Xmas period, you will have noticed that over the last decades adverts for mobile phones seem to have overtaken those for perfumes and toys.

It seems that Vodafone and Telefonica have gone into a  price-plan tug of war,  offering cheap tariffs all over the place. The “Planazo” from Movistar (a Telefonica company) seems to be everywhere on TV in Spain.

What I found surprising is that their star handset to launch the Xmas season (from both Telefonica and Vodafone) is the Nokia 5230. Read more of this post

In Denial? It is only human…

Before I joined the Symbian Foundation, I was working on improvement programme for Nokia. During that time, I learned and observed the impact of change in people.

Theory says that a person normally goes through 4 stages/moods before it fully embraces the change. The first two stages consist of denial: either that the change exist all together or that, even when we accept its existence, it is going to impact us at all. This is also true of communities migrating from a close to an open source model.

While, technical changes are easier to accept, the hardest challange remains in encouraging ‘once upon a time’ customers to now be equally responsible for the development of the platform and reminding suppliers that are no longer bound by SLAs, only by common sense.

In a way, that is probably why open source projects with one major member contributor and many users, that limit their collaboration to minor updates, seem easier to accept (maybe because they feel more familiar). However, what are we really trying to achieve by going open source? Will this really unleash platform innovation?

The next stage to denial is exploration. When you start asking yourself what opportunities I can seize if I jump deep into this change. Is it possible that by investing some resources into improving the Symbian Platform I can open up larger opportunities for me and my company?

Start planning what contributions you need to make in order to enable your business model. You can not assume that someone else is going to do it for you, as everyone scratches their own “itch”. You can hope that you will find common ground with other contributors, allowing you to share the “scratching” cost. Recognising the advantage to the community of coordinating “scratching” efforts, the Symbian Foundation has set-up a centralise Release Management and Planning function. We are a growing team of 4, currently working towards building delivery plans for Symbian^2 and Symbian^3.

I guess the last stage is when the change feels so natural that you can not even imagine how you use to survive doing things the “old” way.