Smartphone Wars

Gartner's July Forecast will be 'depressing reading for Symbian fans.'

Gartner analyst Nick Jones has blogged that Gartner's forthcoming July forecasts for smartphone market share, will be “depressing reading for Symbian fans.”

According to his blog, the rate at which Symbian is losing market share is accelerating. Symbian still has a strong standing in the smartphone market, but if it continues to haemorrhage users, then Jones predicts it will lose out to other platforms. Android in particular, is capturing more and more of the expanding smartphone market.

Jones theorises that the user experience is what is driving users away from Symbian. This issue has been partially addressed in the early previews of Symbian 3 but, according to Jones, user experience is still a thorny issue in this upcoming release. And a look at the Symbian roadmap does nothing to quell Jones' fears: Symbian 4 does promise a whole new user interface for Symbian devices, but it is not scheduled to be shipped until 2011. Meanwhile, Symbian 3 focuses on new features, such as podcast management and a "Buy now" button in the Symbian Radio app, which provides information on the current song and artist, and allows the user to make an immediate purchase, if desired. “None of these matter. People will never use the features if they don’t buy the phone,” Jones concludes.

Jessica Thornsby

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