back to article Symbian show struggles for identity

This year's Symbian show has a date; October 27th, and a venue; Earls Court, but is looking for suggestions from the crowd when it comes to a name, theme, branding and content. The news comes in a blog posting from David Wood, who delights in the job title of "Catalyst & Futurist" but explains that the new Foundation has no …


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  1. David Simpson
    Thumb Up

    Symbian needs sex

    Symbian needs a large dose of sexy if it has any hope of catching up with android and iPhone OS.

    Symbian has looked the same for the last 5 yearsand it didn't look good 5 years ago.

  2. Mr F&*king Grumpy

    Come again ?

    "This is a bit like saying that internal combustion is going to have to pick up some hints from Tesla and its ilk to compete with electric power"

    Apart from the fact that Tesla is a "he", not an "it", what exactly is this ridiculous analogy supposed to be illustrating ?

    God, standards have plummeted around here....

  3. Christoph

    No problem

    Just lose the 'm' from their name and they'll get plenty of people turning up.

  4. Anonymous Coward


    "Symbian has, of course, been open sourced for a long time - although licensed "

    (a) Symbian is not yet open source in the commonly understood sense

    (b) Open source software *is* licensed - it's the choice of licence that makes it open source.

  5. andy bird
    Thumb Down

    such a shame

    ok ...

    1) the Tesla analogy is apt. Symbian is an established platform and should be leading not imitating instead they are looking to the new platforms on the block for inspiration.

    2) this is a real shame. i am new to the smartphone market and bought the symbian based e71 and am amazed what it can do especially compared the crippled iphone platform. Symbian should be shouting from the roof tops that not only can it do anything an iphone can but it can do a lot more.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns


    They need the 'Psion' factor. When they lost that and Nokia started leading the company, they lost their way. Quartz was stunning when it first appeared. But it was so delayed in making it into products (finally as UIQ in just one phone) that it didn't look so revolutionary to the public.

    By the same token, they should have been wowing people with everything that's good about the iPhone first.

    Nokia can never innovate the way Psion did because they're too big and have a traditional corporate mindset that doesn't want to change anything until they're forced to by competitors. So, the future for Symbian is to sit and wait for new great ideas from other companies and then rip them off so that Nokia can use its muscle to put that software on *many* more phones than the companies who first did it.

    And there's the problem. Nokia know it works that way which reinforces their mindset that they can just rest on their laurels and only change when they have to - by copying everyone else.

  7. David Wood

    Not struggling - just asking questions

    I enjoy the provocative writing style of the El Reg troop. It invariably supplies food for thought.

    In this case, though, I disagree that Symbian's act of asking for feedback indicates an organisation that is "struggling". Instead, I see it as an indication of strength.

    There are already plenty of strong ideas inside the Symbian Foundation about compelling aspects of the Symbian story that deserve to be highlit at the forthcoming October 27-28 event. A certain kind of company would stop at this stage, confident it had already found the best solution. But Symbian's view is that, by opening this kind of question to the wider community, we'll end up with a richer understanding - and a better outcome.

    And that's what's happened - take a look at the steady stream of thoughtful comments to my posting on the Symbian blog, at

    // David Wood, Symbian

  8. Catherine Keynes

    The phone show?

    But really they should get a kindergarten focus group to decide, just like they did with the logo.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    David Wood's job title

    Having worked at Symbian, I'd say David's job title should be something more like "Point Misser, Fail Maker".

  10. Mage Silver badge
    Black Helicopters


    Don't confuse Symbian with looks of weird S60 GUI.

    Gnome, KE, IceWM or Android aren't Linux.


    Android isn't really about Linux. It's about out doing iPhone at having CONTROL. It's a proprietary version of Java on Linux really. I'm amazed the way FOSSers are all gungHo about Android, They don't understand the Chocolate factory.

  11. chris
    Thumb Down


    "Symbian might not be as sexy as the iPhone, but it's everywhere (outside the US)."

    That analogy is about as accurate as comparing Bridgestone tyres with a Porsche.

    I really hope you're not paid to write this!

    A letter and two numbers for you in the US. "E" and "7" and "1".

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