And then there was one
You've got to feel for the Symbian Foundation. Ever since Nokia bought out the other partners in the smartphone OS company and then made it open-source, the newly liberated organisation has had to swim against a current of negative vibes.
The thinking behind opening Symbian up was for it to become the default OS for OEMs who didn't have a smartphone OS of their own. Unfortunately Google had the same idea and Android has emerged victorious.
Leaving aside the consistent gripes of developers and end-users alike, there can surely be no better illustration of Symbian's eclipsing by Android than the exodus of founding members from the foundation. A week ago Sony Ericsson confirmed to Business Week that it had no plans to develop anymore Symbian handsets and today Engadget reported on an email sent by Samsung to Symbian developers saying it was stopping support for the platform.
Both SE and Samsung were among the companies Nokia bought out when it liberated Symbian and remain among the ten board members. They're also the only handset-makers on the board other than Nokia itself. So while it's been clear that the OS strategies for the SE and Samsung have moved away from Symbian for some time, this makes it official that the OS is of interest to no one other than Nokia.
And even that interest is questionable. Nokia has publicly stated that MeeGo will be its future high-end smartphone OS, with Symbian continuing to power more mid-market offerings. That makes sense, but developers and consumers need to understand this positioning and consequently manage their expectations. This isn't helped by the need for Nokia to generate buzz around its current smartphone offerings while MeeGo gets its act together.