Recently, Motorola took a stake in UIQ, a user interface solution for mobile devices pre-integrated with the Symbian mobile operating system. Symbian has long been considered a company dominated by the agenda of Nokia; and Motorola’s apparent “buy in” to the ecosystem looks to be (at face value) a knee-jerk reaction to its current poor performance. But ABI Research asks: Why would Motorola entertain strengthening the competitive position of its biggest competitor, Nokia?
Research director Stuart Carlaw answers, “Motorola could be characterized as a blue-sky thinker, which is good with respect to long-term planning, but falls short on the here-and-now trends. Conversely, Motorola may look to release compelling multimedia phones to the market quickly, in order to combat softness in this segment of its portfolio.”
“It is prudent for them to keep all OS options open with support for Linux, Microsoft, and Symbian, as these are the triumvirate of technologies that will shape the future mobile software market. It is interesting to see some tiering of the OS in Motorola’s platform strategy, with Linux becoming the mid-tier choice whilst Symbian and Microsoft temporarily occupy high-end devices.”
ABI Research found that Symbian looks set to enjoy a solid market share of 70% or more of the smartphone OS market for the next few years. “However,” adds Carlaw, “Linux is forecast to encroach upon its position in the latter periods, with Microsoft occupying a solid third position. How interesting it would be if Motorola placed UIQ on top of a Linux OS.”
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