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November 19, 2006

Term Project Blog #7: Nokia Phones and Symbian OS

Symbian smart phones are discussed in the article, “Is Nokia Flying Too Close to the Sun?” Symbian is a company that makes Symbian OS, a mobile operating system. Recently, Symbian announced that it has sold over 100 million Symbian smart phones worldwide, 37 million of which were sold in 2006. The operating system has been used with products made by Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Nokia, and others. Particularly, Nokia uses the Symbian OS for most of its high-end phones.

Symbian-based handsets can support many programs, from satellite navigation to instant e-mail access. The question is: do Nokia users really want all of these features? Nokia has a reputation for having a simple design and being easy to use. With so many complex features, even basic tasks such as making a phone call or sending a text message may be difficult for users who are not tech-savvy. This may prevent Nokia’s new phones from appealing to purists and first-time cell phone users. Nokia wants consumers to think of these products not as phones, but as multimedia computers.

While the idea of having an MP3 player, GPS, internet browser, camera, and phone all in one package does sound appealing, Nokia should keep in mind that these phones will have to be targeted at a new segment of the market. Previous customers who bought Nokia phones for simplicity and ease of use will most likely not be interested in these fancy phones. Even if the company targets consumers who enjoy new gadgets and features, it may lose some of its reputation. Though Apple iPods only serve one main function of playing music, their simplicity and quality have lead to their continued success. Nokia’s simple, high-quality image may soon be lost as it puts time into creating many new features rather than putting more effort into making existing features work better. Even technology gadget-lovers will be disappointed with the decreasing battery life, lower build quality, and long boot up time. It will be interesting to see whether these new phones wind up helping or hurting the company.

Posted by sumorgan at November 19, 2006 06:03 PM


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