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Symbian Exchange & Exposition: My Thoughts October 30, 2009

Posted by billyburnettgbc in mobile.
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With Gartner’s prediction that Symbian will continue to dominate the OS market for the foreseeable future, I was excited to get the opportunity to attend this year’s Symbian Exchange & Exposition in London earlier this week.

The first “large” event organised by The Symbian Foundation, it was an opportunity to cement the operating system as a major player in the OS wars amongst the developer community despite recent headlines being dominated by new market entrants, such as Google and Apple.

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Someone had tried to smuggle in an Android handset

So, how was the event itself? Well notably smaller than previous years, with fewer exhibitors, less “big brands” and visitors being evident from the moment you walked onto the floor. This is perhaps a sign of the current economic climate, but also the changing focus of the show – which is education.

With considerably more keynotes and seminars taking place than any other year, with a comprehensive main stage agenda complimented by a series of “topic rooms”, Symbian seemed keen to engage with the developer community and address their concerns. For example, Symbian was keen to highlight the reach of the platform both in terms of market share, but also the growing number of active Nokia Ovi Store users and future benefits of the Horizon Directory.

So, did Symbian succeed? When walking the floor I often heard the Android OS mentioned by both media and attendees as a viable alternative, perhaps strengthened by the timely announcement of the 2.0 SDK. Several media also remarked, when looking at the Symbian Wall of Ideas, that many of the features requested were already available on alternative platforms.

Overall, the event seemed to answer a lot of the concerns of the developer community and provide a clearer view of Symbian’s strategy moving forward. However, with several new handsets coming out on the Android platform in the coming months and Apple continuing to be the media darling, this is the first step on a very long journey to win back the developer community.