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Summary:

The Symbian Foundation has (almost) launched its much awaited Symbian 3 mobile operating system, and from the looks of it, it is an OS desperately trying to catch up its nemesis, the iPhone. The phones powered by Symbian 3 will launch later in 2010.

Symbian Foundationsymbian3.gif, the open source foundation, has (almost) launched its much-awaited Symbian 3 mobile operating system. If you watch the video, it looks like an OS desperately trying to catch up to its nemesis, the iPhone. From a user interaction perspective, Symbian 3 finally brings some of the features of the iPhone to the Symbian universe. For example, multiple pages and the ability to flick and move around those pages are new additions.

There are several other enhancements, many of them not visible to the naked eye. I have not seen the actual OS or even a working demo of it so far. Until I get to use the actual OS, I’m going to remain skeptical of Symbian’s claims — just as I’m skeptical of any other entity in a similar situation.

The phones using the Symbian 3 OS are going to hit the market in the second half of 2010. If you want to get a complete overview of  it, visit the web site. Meanwhile, watch the video to get a sense of what Symbian 3 looks like.

By Om Malik

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  1. Symbian has entered the game way too late, so it’s certainly going to be interesting to see how successful their “catch-up” is. But still, as a Symbian user myself (I’ve got a Nokia Nseries phone) this is welcome news. I can’t wait to see a working demo of it, because it’s high time iPhone has been challenged – properly, and by another mobile OS giant.

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    1. Rahul

      As someone who likes Nokia’s phones – not their smartphones– I think it is a good opportunity for Symbian 3 based feature phones. I can’t wait to see what it does in a real live phone.

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      1. to add, I had just been to India and most of my friends have a Nokia Smartphone and they love it. And, guess what, I saw just one or two iPhones

        So, late entry in the US market is not a big deal for Nokia. Their market is elsewhere, so this is awesome.

        I also like the fact that Nokia opened up the source for Symbian, will make it more ubiquitous

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  2. I think it looks pretty hip… after all, they showcased that they have the Myspace app! :-P

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    1. Yeah, FB and a “screaming” guitar soundtrack; just what the Boomers think is going to bring in the Gen Y masses.

      What’s AAPL’s stock price today?

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  3. I am hoping for Nokia to challenge Apple too, its great to have competition. Nokia, at its DNA, is a mobile company. Google on the other hand is not (Google’s core competency is search index algorithms). I question how much Google can really do DNA-wise with Android and Chrome OS (time will tell). But Nokia, on the other hand, will likely spend a lot of its waking hours trying to make sure that Apple doesn’t rule the smartphone world. My only worry is that Nokia seems to have added confusion by running two lines (the legacy Symbian which is now in an open source foundation, and the MeeGo). Wouldn’t it be better to unify Symbian and MeeGo? Or maybe it really is fine to keep things separate and letting the world pick and choose?

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    1. Symbian and MeeGo are meant for 2 different reasons. Nokia exists with both easily and for the better because it gives them more range and more choice for the consumer. I also think that Android is a healthy competitor to Apple mainly because of the pace of their innovation. I think that Symbian and Android and all the other OS out there will be healthy competition for Apple.

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  4. not bad for a late start …i hope they fully support QT toolkit (a company they acquired years back) as native symbian programming is mess

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    1. It says on their website they will use QT

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  5. It doesn’t really matter if the phone runs Symbian^3 or MeeGo. Both support QT so ALL of Nokia’s smartphones should be able to run the same apps.

    QT is built in starting with Symbian^3 and can be installed on anything from Symbian S60 3rd edition onwards (ie. N95 and even older).

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  6. can i update my nokia 5800 to this symbian 3? is this like firmware?

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  7. Symbian is just 10 years ahead of the game against competition in security aspects. All hackers try to find bugs in it, but they cannot. iPhone and Android are hacked in days from release, because they are just toys. For corporate use, you should not even consider anything else but Symbian-based phones.

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