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Dated: Feb. 07, 2013

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Mobile Phones and Tablets

It is Official: the Nokia 808 PureView is the last mobile phone with a Symbian platform.

Symbian has been on its death bed for a long time. Nokia placed it in the "Maintenance mode" in October, and with the beginning of the last year Stiven Elop said that competition challenges can't be solved in that way. It looks like Symbian won't be missed. This OS for mobile devices has gotten old even before it was launched, because Android and iOS had a far better planned development.

Where Does Symbian Come From?

Symbian comes from a company called Psion, which once had very powerful computers that pointed to a bright future. In the late 90' Psion Software has joined Nokia, Motorola and Ericsson so they could create Symbian from their EPOC OS. Symbian has served many devices – S60 for Nokia, UIQ for Sony Ericsson and till the appearance of the iPhone is was considered the OS for the most modern phones.

Do you remember Nokia N95 or the Communicator mini laptops, Sony Ericsson P990i or W810i? Symbian was in all of them.

What Went Wrong Then?

It is easy to say iPhone is guilty, but Apple didn't cause its problems, although it certainly contributed. One of the first employees in Psion Charles Davis said in 2011. That Symbian was infected with Disagreements. "The owners of the licenses had maximally conflicting opinions. That completely stopped the development of Symbian. We could have had an App Store ten years before Apple" said Davis.

A Platform in Flames

SymbianDespite many partners, Symbians only true friend was Nokia, especially outside of Japan, but that company completely neglected everything that Stiven Elop later described as a platform in flames. There is one true adage that says that the most dangerous time for a company, is the time of its peak, because then the company thinks it is untouchable.

That happened with IBM in the 80', with Microsoft in the 90', and with Nokia in the new millennium.

Whether you see Stiven Elop as the savior of Nokia or the architect of its destruction, you can understand from the phrase platform in flames that Symbians days are through. Elop pulled the trigger, but he didn't kill Symbian. What killed Symbian was the belief that in the world of Smartphones the only thing that mothered was winning the war between devices.

As it turned out to be – it is not.

"The war between devices now became a war of ecosystems, where a ecosystems does not only include hardware and software, but programmers, apps, adds, searching, social applications, locating services, free communication and so on. Our rivals don't take our share of the market, they take our share in the whole ecosystem and the market." said Elop.

Nokia had the OS in Symbian, but what it didn't have was the time to create and ecosystem that could fight Apple and Google. Elop believes that building that type of ecosystem around that platform requires more time than Nokia can afford, so it will bow to the Microsoft ecosystem.

It is to early to say if this move will save Nokia. It is clear that it ended Symbians life.

M.B.

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