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Symbian: Failure or sleeping giant?

The Twitter world is all excited about the new presentation by Morgan Stanley’s Mary Meeker. I must say hearing her name brought up fond memories of the the pre-dot.com bust period, where she was heralded as one of the main prophet of things to come. I am glad she is back, because the data she has put together on the mobile revolution is excellent.  Besides confirming the tremendous growth, one chart really struck me:

Mobile internet usage by Smartphone OS

(Source: Morgan Stanley, AdMob, Gartner, Net Applications)

The chart shows that iPhone users are heavy mobile internet users, which of course is no surprise.  Through a great UI and a complete easy to use eco-system, they have shown the way.  But take a look at Symbian, the smartphone that was not even recognized as a smartphone by Microsoft, which has a 49% market share yet only accounts for 7% of page views.  Nokia represents the largest proponent and maker of Symbian devices by far – so the question is can the complete lack or interest of Symbian users in mobile data be attributed to a total failure by Nokia?  After all, Nokia has tried with Club Nokia (B2C portal which is now gone), Tradepoint (developer program that no longer exists), Comes With Music and Ovi to stimulate data, but all initiatives have arguable failed. But given Nokia’s tremendous market power and commitment to Symbian, and the fact that they should theoretically easily be able to identify why the iPhone is so successful and be able to copy parts of the success ingredients – does this make Symbian the sleeping giant in mobile data?  Tough call…

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