Symbian Foundation Announces That Its Websites Will Shut Down
As we’ve reported on a previous occasion most mobile phone manufacturers that used to deploy Symbian as an operating system on their mobile phones have now chosen to make the switch to Android. That left Nokia as the only handset maker who still uses the world’s current top operating system for mobile phones. As a consequence the Finish company chose to take over the development of the platform.
This Friday the Symbian Foundation posted a warning letting all people know that it plans to shut down its websites as well as online distribution of source code for the platform a very short while from now, on December 17. “Recently, we announced that the Symbian Foundation will be transitioning to a licensing body. In practise this will mean a reduction in the day-to-day operations of the Foundation by the end of the year” the post on the website reads. The post goes on to explain that as a result, the websites will be shutting down on the 17th of December. Most of the content that used to be available through web services, such as source code, kits, wiki, bug database and more, will still be available in some form. The Symbian Foundation believes that the best idea would be to put it all on a DVD or USB hard drive for users who request it.
The foundation also mentioned that preparing this content will take some time so it probably won’t be available for distribution until the 31th of January next year. While it’s not a fixed sum so far, a charge will probably be levied for media and shipping. Because it’ll take a while for the distribution of the DVDs to begin, most teams were encouraged to download the code ahead of time. According to Symbian some content databases will still be available through e-mail.
As Electronista reports, this shutdown is required because Symbian’s role as a company is now limited to licensing and rights. While Android and several other open mobile platforms keep code available online, Nokia’s decision to revoke the same access was probably based on other companies’ choice to drop the mobile platform and move on to greener pastures. Samsung and Sony Ericsson both announced their intention to abandon Symbian. This left Nokia the only company involved with the operating system.
While Symbian is still the leading operating system (because of many, many years of recording massive sales), the operating system’s market share has fallen significantly in the past few months. It’s only natural that this is happening now that competition like the iPhone or Android-running smartphones are gaining the interest of the whole consumer audience. Why get a regular mobile phone from Nokia when you could get a touchscreen equipped smartphone with a ton of features and access to a store filled with interesting applications and games? There’s hardly a reason to consider Symbian nowadays, even if Nokia has tried to improve it in the recent period. We’ve yet to see what will become of Symbian since Nokia has another pet project called MeeGo which it might end up using on its new generation smartphones.11