Guest Post: Symbian OS – One Of The Most Successful Failures In Tech History
This a guest post by Tim Ocock who first worked at Symbian when the consortium was created in the summer of 1998. Returning in 2001, he worked in a dual commercial/technical role that necessitated almost unrestricted access to both the ‘shopfloor’ engineering teams and upper tiers of Symbian’s management. He left in 2004 to found Symsource, one of the few dev houses specialising in Symbian still in business today. He is currently Technology Director at Steely Eye Digital Media, a full service digital agency in London’s Soho, leading the webification of mobile and appification of desktop web.
Symbian is the biggest smartphone operating system by market share, the oldest smartphone platform still in use, used by almost every major OEM at one time or another. Yet one could be forgiven for thinking Symbian is dead and buried, with news of layoffs at Nokia, management departures at the Symbian Foundation and rough reviews of the latest flagship N8 device. How does a platform powering 9 million new devices every month have almost no credibility with developers, analysts and press alike? This is the story of one of the most successful failures in tech history.