Not a chance. That won’t be happening anytime soon. Symbian is still the most popular mobile phone OS on the market. It runs on millions of handsets around the world, and it will continue to be one of the top mobile operating systems for the foreseeable future. But Symbian is in between a rock and a hard place. In the one hand, it is going against iPhone OS which is very powerful and completely closed. In the other hands, we have Google Android which is gaining traction fast. But going open source, Symbian foundation is hoping to get developers to enhance the platform and keep it at the top for longer.
One could argue that it is too late for Symbian to catch up with what it should have done a while ago. While the transition to open source has been completed months in advance, the move won’t put a dent in Android’s momentum. Still, Symbian’s move is pretty aggressive:
About a third of the Android code base is open and nothing more. And what is open is a collection of middleware. Everything else is closed or proprietary
There are a few experts that have argued for Apple going open source as well. Let’s just say it won’t be happening anytime soon. The chances of that happening is probably smaller than the chances of Microsoft going open source with Windows 7. Let’s not forget that Apple SDK does provide developers with ways to enhance iPhone’s functionality, so it’s better than nothing.
Considering all the issues that Apple has had with Adobe, Google, and other developers, it’s hard to see Apple ever making the move to the other side. The company has had a lot of success with its current business model, and unless something drastic happens, Apple will continue its closed source policy.
Apple is growing for now, and things are going to get even better with iPad and iPhone 4 coming soon in the next few months. Symbian’s move was really a no brainer considering the rise of Android. Whether it will be a success is another story.