Research Report: Symbian, Android to Merge

by Ostatic Staff - Jul. 25, 2008

Nokia's recent acquisition of Symbian and the subsequent open sourcing of the platform, in addition to their acquisition of Trolltech earlier, have cemented the company as a leader in open source mobile platforms. Google's Android project has garnered interest from industry leaders and carriers worldwide. Research firm J. Gold and Associates believes Symbian and Android are destined to merge.

There are myriad technical and cultural issues to this theory. Symbian has been around since 1998 and is deployed on more handsets than any other OS out there. Android has been around for less than a year and is based on Linux. The developer communities are quite disparate, and while the capabilities of the systems are similar, the APIs are very, very different. While Android continues to build support and community, Symbian already has a large and active community.

All of this is not to say that Symbian is somehow better than Android, but it does highlight a difficulty with any merger of the two projects. The fact that Symbian is already deployed on so many handsets makes it compelling to those who would see a merger, but this writer believes that any hope of a merger is folly at best.