Embattled Symbian boosted by 11 new Japanese handsets

Steve Dinneen
Follow Steve
IN A rare show of support for Nokia’s embattled smartphone operating system Symbian, Japan’s Fujitsu and Sharp yesterday unveiled 11 new handsets powered by the software.

Though Symbian is the most popular smartphone operating system, activated on more than 400m phones since 2000, it has lost ground since the introduction of Apple’s iPhone in 2007, and Japan is the only market where other manufacturers than Nokia are still taking it on.

It has been squeezed further since the introduction of Google’s critically acclaimed
Android operating system, which is now seen as the main competitor to Apple’s iOS.

On Monday Nokia said it would take over development of the platform from April 2011, resuming management of a key asset it gave to the independent Symbian Foundation to run only a few years ago.

The cross-industry Symbian Foundation will in the future take care of only licensing of the software.

Although Nokia receives no direct benefit from other makers using the platform, its own portfolio is helped by the breadth of independent software developed for use on the phone, which in turn is increased by a bigger user base.