At least 100 million users of Nokia
smartphones have been kept in the dark about opportunities to download software applications years before Apple
launched its AppStore, says Lee Williams, Executive Director of the Symbian Foundation
. “It’s actually probably one of the biggest marketing mistakes… certainly in the mobile industry, for as long as I can remember,” Williams said at the Reuters
Technology Summit. “Somewhere between 100 and 125 million units have shipped with that capability. There’s been a download facility in 100-125 million phones,” he said. And who’s ever spoken about it? Does anybody know it’s there?… Maybe 10 percent have ever even loaded a third-party application onto their product.” So is Apple getting credit for other people’s work? “Absolutely. I was laughing out loud when I saw the iPhone OS3 launch,” Williams said, adding that what was tagged as the world’s most advanced mobile OS (operating system) features, Symbian had had for 3-5 years.
Williams did credit Apple with one thing — a knack for design: “They pioneered new ground by taking this beautiful display size and doing a display-only product. That was pioneering”. Symbian software is used in about two-thirds of all smartphones but of course not in the hugely popular Apple iPhone.