Sony Ericsson drops Symbian to focus on Android

Sony Ericsson will stop making smartphones featuring Symbian operating system (OS) to focus on Google's Android OS, according to a report by the Financial Times.

Sony Ericsson will stop making smartphones featuring Symbian operating system (OS) to focus on Google's Android OS, according to a report by the Financial Times.

Bert Nordberg, CEO of Sony Ericsson, said it wanted to focus on Google's open source Android OS as the manufacturer released third quarter results, which showed a profit of €49m (£43m) for the quarter ending 30 September compared with a loss of €164m (£144m) in the same period last year.

"Our strategy to focus on the smartphone segment is succeeding and smartphones now comprise more than 50% of our total sales. During the quarter, we launched our Android-based Xperia models in new markets, such as China and the US, and it is our ambition to become the global number one handset provider on the Android platform," said Nordberg.

Roberta Cozza, analyst at Gartner, said Sony Ericsson's and Samsung's focus on Android OS leaves Nokia as the main driver of the open source Symbian OS. "There's no point continuing to develop on a platform driven so much by a competitor," he said.

"Symbian is not evolving as fast as other platforms on the market. It's not attractive to developers in terms of competitiveness. We'll need to wait for Symbian 4 in 2011 before we start to see something more exciting going on," Cozza added.

But Nokia's use of Symbian OS for low-end smartphones will leave the OS with "nothing to give at the high-end", she said.

Hewlett-Packard has hired ex-Nokia head of Meego operations, Ari Jaaksi, as a senior vice president of its new mobile operating system webOS, according to Reuters.

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