Symbian Sale more Strategic than it Appears

by Sonal Desai    Jul 20, 2009

Last week, Nokia surprised everyone with the selling of the Symbian professional services unit, responsible for Symbian OS customer engineering and customer support, to Accenture. In fact, Symbian OS has been tied up with Nokia and the perception was other handset vendors would not find Symbian open enough.

The Finland-based company even attempted to make it an open standard. However the outcome was not on expected lines. Nokia believes with an IT consulting player like Accenture acquiring the ecosystem around Symbian would benefit more and that would contribute to its success.

Nokia has managed to morph itself very well for the business needs. From a logging company to an electronics giant, Nokia has recognized the need to benefit from network innovations. What is happening now is a typical Nokia response.

However, according to T.R. Madan Mohan, managing partner at Browne and Mohan, "This has no major bearing except that competition between windows mobile and Symbian would now be played more by open standard virtues."

So with Symbian being a part of Accenture, Nokia could signal support for an open standard. Secondly, this would allow Nokia to concentrate on developing the core product while the Symbian user group and Accenture would now drive the applications around the OS platforms. In a way this increases the number of applications around the Symbian platform. This is a common strategy used by players to exploit open innovation, similar to the one used by Nintendo in the games industry.

Infact, Nokia’s acquisitions have always been to increase its value control of mobile platform. Right from Trolltech (a cross platform application and UI framework which is used by Google, Photoshop, Skype, etc), Navteq, Twango (online media sharing site), and recently Symbian, it has helped to improve in dash application development, interoperable software.  Recent acquisitions have increased the network centrality and network density (refers to the number of players connected in the ecosystem) of Nokia in the mobile world.

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