Symbian OS goes OS

Airsource woke up this morning to Nokia's announcement to make Symbian an Open Source platform, and with it all the concrete platforms like S60, UIQ, and so forth. While Motorola, Sony Ericsson, and NTT DoCoMo are all mentioned in the press release, it seems to me that they had little choice but to jump on board. From an Airsource perspective, S60 pretty much meant Nokia - and now Nokia will mean S60. At the very least, that might make our sales presentations easier.

This announcement is good news in two ways for Airsource's business. Firstly, from a commercial perspective, it removes some of the cloud of doubt about what Android means for the market. Android did not exactly threaten the future of S60, the established leader in the convergent devices market, but it did cast some doubt on the subject. How would an open source competitor affect the market? Businesses, of course, hate doubt, and while S60 was ahead of Android on pretty much everything apart from source access, the playing field there has now been made more level. Obviously a $1500 charge (annual) for source access is not free, but it is vastly cheaper than the old fee to become a Symbian Platinum Partner.

Secondly, from a technical perspective, access to the underlying platform code helps the developer produce more stable products, faster. Some areas of code are always technically more complex and more poorly documented than others, such as MTMs. Access to source code will significantly ease development on the really cool stuff.

We at Airsource look forward to seeing more developments.