Open Symbian means more apps for consumers

John Shinal · June 25, 2008 · Short URL:

 As we just told you earlier this week, the delays in getting Google's Android mobile platform onto handsets has opened the door still wider for Apple's iPhone.

Now comes word that Nokia, the world's largest cell phone maker, plans to buy out the rest of the Symbian mobile platform and turn it open source. 

This means developers who want to develop on an open platform now will have several choices beyond Android.

They can build apps for the mobile version of Linux, LiMo, which is expected to be available later this year, or on Symbian. And of course, while it's not open in the same sense, the iPhone platform has developers chomping at the bit.

All the major handset makers are on board with the move to opening up Symbian, because they recognize that applications are going to become the dominant reason consumers will select their phones.

All of this is good news for consumers, who within a year will see a proliferation of phones that can support a broad range of applications -- for everything from games to location-based services to e-commerce apps.

It's also good for software developers, who will have a growing market for their work. 

I have to wonder how long it will take for Research in Motion to open up its proprietary system, given the growing competition it's about to face. 


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