"According to the company's quarterly results, Symbian shipments have hit an all-time high, though dissent among shareholders could impact future business. Global shipments of Symbian Operating System (OS)-based phones reached 2.76 million units in the fourth quarter of 2003, up from 0.98 million units the same period a year earlier, according to the company's quarterly results. Shipments for the entire year reached 6.67 million. December was the first month in which more than one million units were shipped by Symbian OS licensees.
But the results come as news agency Reuters reports that minority shareholders of Symbian are planning to block a move by mobile phone giant Nokia to take a controlling stake of 63 percent of the British mobile phone software company. Psion, which owns a stake in Symbian alongside a consortium that includes Sony Ericsson, Panasonic, Samsung and Siemens, announced in February that the firm would sell its 31.1 percent stake to Nokia, subject to shareholder approval. Nokia will have a controlling stake following the transaction. But, according to reports, minority shareholders are planning to block the move. "This is not a done deal. Other shareholders are expected to move in. It means Nokia could own as little as 46 percent of Symbian, rather than a majority," one source told Reuters."
Symbian continues to grow, but all is not well in the magic kingdom - dissent among the ranks makes some of the future uncertain. I still maintain that the numbers Symbian touts are not all they're cracked up to be. Symbian says there are just under 7 million Symbian-based smartphones that have shipped. Now how many of those phones do you think are sold to people who will never install an application, never sync it with their PIM data, and never use it as anything more than a phone? From everything I've seen and read, most people fall into that category. Nokia didn't even include a sync cable with the 3650! Sure, it comes with Bluetooth for synching, but Bluetooth penetration among home users is nowhere near high enough to assume that more than a tiny fraction of users.
So the question is, when is a smartphone not a smartphone? I believe that if people aren't using a device any differently then they are a "dumb" mobile phone, then these numbers mean less than you might think. However, it's worth noting that once the hardware is in the hands of the user, there are tactics the carriers can take to drive adoption of services and applications, so the numbers hold some benefit in the long run. Symbian is indeed in a strong position, but long-term, will Symbian survive or will it simply be re-named "The Nokia OS"? :lol: