Analysts have jumped on the announcement from Nokia that it will again delay shipment of its N8 smartphone as indications of further problems with the Symbian^3 OS. Some are now calling for the company to dump the OS in favour of Android as the Google OS is predicted to gain further market share in coming years.
Responding to this viewpoint, Nokia's current head of its smartphone business line, Anssi Vanjoki, likened this move to 'Finnish boys who pee their pants for warmth in the winter'.
While Vanjoki will leave Nokia within a few weeks, he believes that handset vendors adopting Android instead of developing their own OSs are only hurting themselves. "In the long run, consumers would start buying smartphones because of the OS and not the hardware."
Some analysts have accepted the analogy believing that, if the manufacturers move to Android, there would be a loss of brand recognition, leading to "permanently low profitability."
Regardless of this warning, handset vendors such as HTC, Motorola and Samsung have benefited from using Google's mobile OS, launching an onslaught of Android-powered smartphone devices in the market one after the other.
A recent report from Informa Telecoms & Media predicted that smartphone users will surpass one billion by 2013 with Android becoming the most popular operating system by 2015. The firm said Android would see compound annual growth of 78 per cent each year from 2009 to 2015, giving it 38 per cent of the market by the end of this period, according to Informa.
Informa analyst Malik Kamal-Saadi said: "If [Symbian] continues to under-perform in bringing innovation, pressure will grow for Nokia and could push the company to consider the adoption of an alternative platform, notably Android, in the future."
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