Symbian loses key customer as Samsung walks

With the smartphone sector undergoing rapid growth, for Symbian to lose Samsung as a customer will come as a hammer blow to the company as it struggles to establish itself as a mass-market open OS provider.

The Korean company has announced that it will no longer use the Symbian OS in its smartphones from next year, believing that its own upcoming platform, Samsung bada, would be a better fit to the wide range of popular mass market touchscreen phones in its portfolio.

The move away from Symbian, according to Samsung's senior VP, Don Joo Lee, was part of a strategy rethink whereby the company wants to boost its handset shipments between 10 to 20 per cent from its 2009 target of about 200 million. While Samsung has confirmed it would continue to use Android and Windows Mobile, analysts have predicted the use of Windows Mobile would drop significantly next year.

Symbian has depended primarily on Nokia for support and this still seems secure, although there are indications that the company will place its bet on Maemo 6 for high-end smartphones in the years ahead. Sony Ericsson and multiple Japanese manufacturers building for NTT DoCoMo are Symbian's other major customers.

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