Symbian shipments fell 21 percent in the first quarter, compared to the prior quarter, leading people to question whether the operating system, mostly used by Nokia (NYSE: NOK) and Sony (NYSE: SNE) Ericsson (NSDQ: ERIC), will be used in lower-end devices, or if it is failing to benefit from the popularity of other smartphone, like Apple’s (NSDQ: AAPL) iPhone, reports TechWorld. In the first quarter, Symbian shipped 18.5 million phones, compared to 22.4 million in the previous quarter. The article says the drop is more than a seasonal shift going from a busy holiday quarter to the slower first quarter. However, when you look at the year ago period, shipments actually increased 16.5 percent, so it’s unclear if that’s actually true. Still, with all the attention and focus on Apple and Google’s (NSDQ: GOOG) upcoming operating system, it’s unclear if Symbian will to see how it’s being affected. The article is a little thin on details, and mostly raises general questions about the smartphone market, and whether people were willing to spend more money on software, or if they’d rather put the extra dollars toward a better camera or more memory. But it seems the two would go hand-in-hand. In general, Symbian response is that it hasn’t been immune to economic slowdowns, but is confident about its position in the market. In the current quarter, eight customers have already launched 13 new models.