Recent Changes at Symbian and Mobile Games

June 24th, 2008 by Arjan Olsder Posted in Analysis & Editorial | No Comments »

Today, we have posted two articles in relation to Nokia’s move to
acquire a majority share in Symbian. Till now, Symbian owned a minority
share and used Symbian for their S60 Devices.

The move seems to be supported by other share owners of Symbian like SonyEricsson and Motorola. Those two both own the UIQ part of Symbian. Motorola’s best experience with putting Series 60 devices on the market was under the Sendo brand. After the first S60 release, they acquired Sendo.

Following the acquisition is bad news for the UIQ team. Rumours say that 200 employees (about 50%) will be laid off whereas other Symbian employees will go to Nokia’s payroll. The OS will be free for all members of the Symbian Foundation. These members include AT&T, LG, Motorola, NTT DoCoMo (also in LiMo), Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Texas Instruments and Vodafone.

The reason for the acquisition might be to strengthen Symbian’s position against competitors entering the market. Examples of those would be Google’s Android and LiMo. Being part of the Symbian Foundation, could mean extra dedication from handset manufacturers to support the OS.

In the long run, this could mean that the amount of Symbian handsets on the market could explode. The technology to provide mobile games for it is well known at a lot of mobile game developers and these days more and more portals offer Symbian support. The low/mid-end devices in the market today wouldn’t have much problem to support the load of older S60 versions and with licensing costs out of the way, the smartphone OS is better accessible then before.

For Nokia, it also means that the possibility to launch the N-Gage service on competitor devices becomes more easy. Nokia always stated that N-Gage would never be a service exclusive to Nokia, though the examples have always been to make N-Gage available on operator portals.

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    Arjan Olsder is the Vice President of Pixalon Studios. Opinions expressed on this publication do not have to represent those of Pixalon Studios.


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