Can Symbian BREW Blackberry?
Perspectives of Wireless Marketing Wars Who will Be the Winner?
According to the research held by analytics company Canalys the
market of smart mobile devices in Europe, Near East and Africa grows
more rapidly than market of mobile phones. Within the first half
of 2005 9.6 million of smartphones and PDAs were sold compared to
3.6 million during the same period of the previous year. Such trend
is observed worldwide almost 70 million full feature handsets are
sold worldwide. According to analysts the two main processes in
progress stipulate such growth at the moment. On the one hand, ordinary
users interchange their old smartphones and PDAs to newer ones.
On the other hand, there is an upsurge in interest in mobile E-mail
and extended abilities of smart mobile devices from companies and
Modern smart mobile systems are to be: always available (small
sized / handy), always On (optimized memory usage, minimal battery
use), extensible (new software can be added if necessary), affordable,
and of various form factors. Moreover, a smart mobile device should
combine the maximum of mobile technologies available at the moment:
- Mobile E-mail
- Support of HTTP protocol
- MP3 etc.
This is a vast domain for competition among manufacturers of operation
systems for smartphones and PDAs.
There are several very large players in this market: Symbian OS,
BREW OS, Blackberry OS, Windows Mobile OS and Palm OS etc.
Ulf Morys, General Manager at Gameloft GmbH:
Symbian: more important in the future, but still
niche market (Nokia market share ca. 33 % overall; not more than
1/3 of this Symbian phones & some other Symbian phones). Overall
optimistic estimate: ca. 10 % of total newly sold phone base.
BlackBerry: interesting for business / productivity
applications; no mass market.
WindowsCE: difficult to judge. Microsoft will
keep pushing it s platform, but results were often unsatisfactory
in the past; make sure that the partners can actually bill for applications
delivered to this platform. We ve seen problems with this.
BREW: real mass market potential in US and Chinese
market, not very relevant for European market.
SYMBIAN is a software licensing company that develops and supplies
the advanced, open, standard operating system Symbian OS for data-enabled
mobile phones and PDAs.
As of September 2005 60 phones that run under Symbian OS from eight
manufacturers are shipped worldwide and a further 56 phones from
eleven manufacturers (among them Fujitsu, Mitsubishi, Nokia, Samsung,
Sony Ericsson, BenQ and Motorola) were in development. Symbian OS
is an undisputed sales leader in Europe and has a strong market
share in other countries. Currently Symbian s market share is 55.9
per cent from worldwide sales (according to IDC analytics company),
at that 82 per cent of devices were manufactured by Nokia (in whole
since 2005 beginning there were sold approximately 34 million data
enabled devices with Symbian OS on board).
Philip Solis, ABI Research senior analyst, author of the study
Smartphones: The Market for Smartphones and Smartphone Operating
Symbian's chief advantages are that it is easy to build applications
for, and that it has a large developer community. Disadvantages
are that Symbian is primarily limited to Nokia handsets, and its
market is concentrated in GSM-heavy regions.
19 of 60 devices with Symbian OS support WCDMA. By the way, smartphone
Nokia 6680 is recognized a 3G world bestseller telephone.
Key Features of Symbian OS
- Rich suite of application engines the suite includes engines
for contacts, schedule, messaging, browsing, utility and system
control; OBEX for exchanging objects such as appointments (using
vCalendar) and business cards (vCard); integrated APIs for data
management, text, clipboard and graphics
- Browsing supports WAP 1.2.1 for mobile browsing
- Messaging multimedia messaging (MMS), enhanced messaging (EMS)
and SMS; internet mail using POP3, IMAP4, SMTP and MHTML; attachments;
- Multimedia audio and video support for recording, playback and
streaming; image conversion
- Graphics direct access to screen and keyboard for high performance;
graphics accelerator API
- Communications protocols wide-area networking stacks including
TCP/IP (dual mode IPv4/v6) and WAP, personal area networking support
include infrared (IrDA), Bluetooth wireless technology and USB;
support is also provided for multihoming capabilities and link
Quality-of-Service (QoS) on GPRS/UMTS Networks
Mobile telephony Symbian OS is ready for the 3G market with support
for GSM circuit switched voice and data (CSD and EDGE ECSD) and
packet-based data (GPRS and EDGE EGPRS); CDMA circuit switched voice,
data and packet-based data (IS-95, cdma2000 1x, and WCDMA); SIM,
RUIM and UICC Toolkit; other standards can be implemented by licensees
through extensible APIs of the telephony subsystem
International support conforms to Unicode Standard version 3.0
Data synchronization over-the-air (OTA) synchronization support
using SyncML; PC-based synchronization over serial, Bluetooth wireless
technology, Infrared and USB; a PC Connectivity framework providing
the ability to transfer files and synchronize PIM data
Security full encryption and certificate management, secure protocols
(HTTPS, WTLS and SSL and TLS), WIM framework and certificate-based
Developing for Symbian OS content development options include:
C++, Java (J2ME) MIDP 2.0 and PersonalJava 1.1.1a (with JavaPhone
1.0 option), and WAP; tools are available for building C++ and Java
applications and ROMs with support for on-target debugging
User Inputs generic input mechanism supporting full keyboard, 0-9*#
(numeric mobile phone keypad), voice, handwriting recognition and
predictive text input.
BREW - Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless
is a combination OS, application platform, and marketing system.
BREW started with QUALCOMM-based CDMA chipsets and technology a
vast market but BREW is independent of the wireless technology utilized
by a particular handset or network and can support other wireless
technologies. Ideally, BREW can work with any device, and Qualcomm
is planning to port it to Global System for Mobile Communications
(GSM). Qualcomm is trying to remove the gap between GSM and CDMA
operators. As CDMA strengthened hand, the GSM lobby propped its
own version of CDMA which they named WCDMA (Wideband CDMA). WCDMA
has been launched in a group of countries (80 operators in 29 countries),
and many more are gearing to launch it within this year, it is already
successfully running in countries like Korea, Japan, China, India,
Brazil and in some parts of North America.
So far prevalent in the CDMA domain, BREW is gradually transiting
to the GSM bastion of Europe as the continent's operators introduce
3G services based on WCDMA (by the end of year 2005 the number of
WCDMA networks users worldwide increased by 2,6 times compared to
December 31, 2004 and reached 43,81 million users). Such a scenario
could make Qualcomm a worldwide flag carrier in mobile market. In
all, 40 commercial BREW device manufacturers (Audiovox, Kyocera,
LG, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, BenQ etc.) offer over 135 BREW-enabled
devices as of January, 2006 according to Qualcomm. Almost 10% of
all handsets shipped worldwide are BREW compatible and the number
of application downloads (May 2005) exceeds 300 million. The success
of BREW has been built on CDMA platforms of major mobile operators,
including Verizon Wireless, China Unicom, Telstra and KDDI.
Regardless of platform, BREW requires little memory (150KB), which
makes BREW applications workable even on low-end phones.
BREW provides basic capabilities for such advanced services as
GPS, VoIP, Bluetooth 1.1, MP3 and MIDI support, video recording
and playback, multimedia streaming, e-mail. The set of BREW services
includes communication capabilities of TCP/UDP sockets, HTTP protocol
support, SMS-MMS services, extended telephony capabilities. BREW
supports several programming languages including Java, and via extensions
BREW understands C/C++, interactive animation Flash and XML.
The Wall Street Journal paralleled BREW with Microsoft Windows
in wireless communication domain.
Victoria Alexandrova, Project Manager, PDA applications
Department of QArea Company: Who I see a winner? Symbian,
of course. It is convenient, applicable, multi functional and easy
for understanding. However, if I were in the USA I definitely would
rather use BlackBerry, since they provide top quality service.
BLACKBERRY is a proprietary operating system, provided by RIM (Research
in Motion, Canada), for the BlackBerry devices and BlackBerry enabled
devices (BlackBerry email is already on a few handsets including
Siemens SK65, Nokia 6820/6822, Motorola MPx220). BlackBerry is one
of the leading wireless solutions, which allows users to stay connected
with wireless access to email, corporate data, phone, web and organizer
features. The true power of BlackBerry is mailbox integration. BlackBerry
can integrate seamlessly with a user's existing corporate or personal
email account providing a wireless extension of their regular e-mailbox.
The first BlackBerry was released in early 1999. The first BlackBerry
with integrated cell phone, as well as the first BlackBerry sold
outside of North America was released in 2001, using the European
GSM/GPRS standard. RIM at the moment has a very dominant position
in the mobile email market. BlackBerry is used worldwide, available
from 95 wireless carriers in 40 countries. In November 2004, RIM
announced the number of subscribers to the BlackBerry service to
have reached two million, having doubled within ten months. Proceeding
their steady growth, RIM announced an additional one million subscribers
in May 2005, only six months after having reached two million.
Rudy de Waele, CEO at Random One (R1): The
market is going more Symbian due to the strategic moves Symbian
did with S60 platform, delivering Symbian to various devices of
different brand manufacturers and Nokia s latest partnership with
Vodafone to increase the use of S60 as a standard software platform.
Windows Mobile is going to catch up bit by bit, they have the market
advantage in US and they can benefit from the Microsoft PC/Mobile
synchronization that becomes more and more popular and is a crucial
element for the success of mobile data services, but I don t see
them getting quickly at the same level of Symbian on a global level,
it s going to take at least 4-5 years for them to catch-up, if ever
Meanwhile I don t see a bright future for Palm OS, neither BREW,
though BREW is still quite strong in the market due to Qualcomm
strength on the market.
Nobody can compete with Symbian as of now, their competitors will
have to come up with a stronger OS and that doesn t look obvious.
At last, don t forget about Linux who has a lot of potential, specifically
in mobile, I see a bright and growing future for them.
No wonder, RIM manufactures a top notch device (with BlackBerry
OS on board) that is secure, stable, and dominates market share
with state and local government, the military, and with commercial
corporations. In 2005 RIM was the first largest PDA supplier, and
their technology BlackBerry occupied the second place among OS manufacturers
giving Microsoft product the go-by.
RIM develops its own software for its devices, using C++ and Java
technology. Third party developers applications must be digitally
signed, that guarantees the application authorship. Available services
are: Wireless Email Service, Wireless Calendar Service, Wireless
Internet (HTML and WAP formats) Services, Voice and SMS, Mobile
Data Service, Attachment Service, Instant Messenger, GPS Service,
Note: BREW includes CDMA and WCDMA chipsets
The full feature handsets market is hard to predict, however almost
all analysts predict steady and increasing growth of this market
(which is observed at the moment). Each manufacturer aspires to
create a common OS to globalize and standardize application development,
distribution and management (as they say) to develop applications
for all but not for each distinct device. Some people welcome such
opportunity and some are bothered by possible monopolization and
subsequent abuses in this domain. What is observed at the moment
that each of the manufacturers had occupied a distinct characteristic
niche, where he is successful, and already from there with mixed
success tries to conquer the mobile wireless world.
Alexei Golovashov, Senior QA Engineer, QArea Group:
BlackBerry? One of its main advantages is an advanced ergonomics
both of the device itself and its software. The user interface,
as of today, I suppose, is one of the best among developed for PDA
devices. While its main disadvantage is absence of memory card.
Absence of the latter means that it can not be used for other purposes,
it is narrow directed. I use my Symbian as MP3 player and to watch
movies. I will not be able to use BlackBerry for that even if I
want to. BlackBerry is convenient only for business domain, I guess,
while Symbian also can be used as a game platform, and its a rather
essential part of users who use it that way. BREW, from my point
of view, has no bright future at all. J2ME is that well-developed
that nobody pays attention to BREW. Furthermore, all BREW applications
are to be certified, that complicates their usage and distribution,
- says Alexei Golovashov, QArea's Senior QA Engineer.
The whole world, and wireless market in particular, moves toward
high speeds, multiple functions and extended business possibilities.
3G networks is the next inevitable stage of mobile market development.
It provides plenty of capabilities both for business and entertainment,
communication and data transfer, Internet access and mobile e-mailing.
Most of 3G devices should combine all available 3G technologies
to be competitive. This factor will also affect the development
of devices and operating systems for them. As we can see, the mobile
market requires a device that could fullest reveal the capabilities
of next generation mobile networks 3G and 4G.
These numbers are dramatic confirmation of 3G leading position:
173 Commercial 3G Operators in 75 Countries worldwide (as of February
02, 2006), over 228 million reported 3G CDMA subscribers (as of
November 30, 2005), 826 models of 3G devices worldwide. The industry
standard for 3G wireless networks consists of 5 operating modes
three of them are based on CDMA technology: CDMA2000, WCDMA (UMTS)
In this light BREW OS has a great opportunity to become a leader,
though Nokia 6680 under Symbian OS is a 3G world bestseller telephone.
The services by 3G carriers are quite actual already 80% of British
mobile users are ready to pay for mobile TV service, nothing to
say about GPS, high-speed packet data access and high quality voice
Still large companies, financial giants, transnational corporations
and government institutions adhere to the tried technologies they
use BlackBerry undisputed leader in enterprise mobile solutions
for mobile professionals and seek no alternative for it. However,
if You still want an alternative for You BlackBerry You should be
set for paying a pretty penny of some $500 for a new device and
a new connection and it is not easy at all to find an equal substitution.
And let us don t forget that more players like Windows Mobile OS
and Linux OS are on their way and hit their stride. Table Annual
global sales gain and market share of each OS Note BREW OS is not
included in the table.
| OS vendor
||2004 % share
||2005 % share
Undoubtedly, there s still a long way to go: Symbian powered nearly
34 million devices last year, more than double what Microsoft was
able to ship, but the gap is narrowing.
Microsoft is preparing their new mobile operating system Crossbow
which is to replace Windows Mobile 5.0 launched in May 2005. Crossbow
will have both Push Email and built in Internet Pager, thus Crossbow
will provoke competition to BlackBerry OS. Microsoft aspires to
get over Symbian and BB at a time and we know how this usually results.
New product will take time to be tested to make sure it runs smoothly
in operator s networks. After all, will operators agree to update
their software and servers for new applications to run properly?
MS provided an adequate tool set for the developers to develop
software for their platform. In many ways they are helping to open
up software innovation on devices. While developers for Symbian
OS quite often complain of its being bad documented and too many
OS versions. Microsoft s long legacy includes an understanding of
the Developer and providing Developers tools. Symbian is a newcomer.
Still, we shouldn t forget about the power of open source: Why would
a Developer want to restrict themselves into a platform with a proprietary
software code? Some experts consider that just the developer support
is going to be key in who wins in the consumer market place.
Much also depends on marketing and promotion: Symbian's operating
system is used in many top-end business phones today, because of
its support for features such as PIM, voice-conferencing, push email
and Web access. Nokia phone stands for world recognized brand and
image phone and it does pay dividends. To have Nokia s smartphone
is almost the same as to drive Mercedes.
The potential of growing markets should also be considered: the
demand for mobile phones in India, China, Eastern Europe and Africa
is not a new phenomenon. Just in time enter a growing market and
you can lead the race (Industry analysts forecast that 80% of the
next billion mobile phone customers will come from emerging markets).
This is a niche market,
all around. We say Europe we mean Symbian, we say USA we mean
Windows Mobile, BlackBerry and BREW. BREW is limited to CDMA markets
(US and Chinese markets), Blackberry is closely tied to business
and corporate clients, Symbian is prevailing mainly in Europe:
it turns out they have nothing to brew . I hope none of them comes
to dominate, since that is a recipe for stagnation; the 3 equally
balanced would be perfect for fair competition and product development.
We can not provide adequate predictions for someone's success
or failure. It will be just a forecast.
All is left is to guess who to place stake on http://www.qarea.com