Say you’re a Symbian user who’s looking for a new phone. You might have heard about Nokia’s long-term plans for the platform, and while it should still have a few good years left, the writing’s clearly on the wall. You might also have heard about Nokia’s support for Windows Phone 7, even though that hardware has yet to materialize. Do you decide to go with what you know, and get in a few more years with Symbian while you can? Maybe switch to another OS while you have the chance, but if so, which one? Some figures measuring smartphone popularity in five of Europe’s biggest markets paint a picture that Sybmian users are indeed jumping ship, but probably not in the way Nokia would like.
Comparing the three months leading up to July 2010 through those for July of this year, Apple and BlackBerry made modest gains of market share, Microsoft (presumably reflecting both WinMo and WinPho) saw about a five percent drop, but the big action was between Symbian and Android. While Symbian took a huge sixteen-percent nose-dive over the course of the year, Android made almost identical gains.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that tons of individual Symbian users are abandoning the platform and going over to Android, but that appears to be the net state of the European smartphone market as a whole. To be fair, Nokia loyalists weren’t left with much of an option without the company’s new Windows Phone hardware here, so maybe we’ll see those Microsoft figures pull back up over the course of the following year. For now, though, Nokia appears to be in a rough spot.