Symbian director quits suddenly
Symbian Foundation executive director Lee Williams has resigned suddenly and has been replaced by CFO Tim Holbrow.
Williams, who has headed the foundation for two years, left for “personal reasons,” Symbian HR boss Steve Warner told Telecoms Europe.net.
Williams’ departure from the UK-based group follows a tepid reaction to the latest Symbian ^3 software on Nokia’s N8 smartphone, and the news that Sony Ericsson is abandoning the OS in favor of Android.
Nokia is now the only handset-maker to use Symbian, but it is also developing a separate platform, Meego, for tablets and high-end smartphones.
Symbian began life as a company jointly owned by the biggest handset-makers. Most sold out their share to Nokia, which turned it into an open-source operation in 2008.
But Google’s Android has since gained momentum with GigaOm noting that “Symbian just doesn’t yet have the firepower,” to compete with the platform.
The site refers to comments by Williams in 2009, where he claimed big-name vendors including Motorola, HTC and Samsung were unhappy that Android had disrupted the market, and pointing out Symbian still enjoyed backing from Nokia and Sony Ericsson.
Vendors that jumped ship aren’t suffering, GigaOm notes. “They’re still around, still making money and still embracing Android.”
Informa predicts Android shipments will hit 142 million in 2012 compared to Symbian’s 137 million, while Gartner says Android will be challenging Symbian’s leading 30.2% market share by 2014.