The Symbian Foundation today previewed Symbian Horizon, a break-through application-publishing program on schedule for general availability in October 2009. With Symbian Horizon, developers will receive assistance in building applications for Symbian devices and in placing those applications in the many global stores which reach Symbian customers, and will receive promotional assistance for bringing those applications to end users. The goal of Symbian Horizon is to reduce barriers to success, while increasing the profitability of creating and delivering Symbian applications.
Upon general availability, companies and developers participating in Symbian Horizon will gain access to a variety of services that support the development, distribution, and marketing of mobile applications. From application certification and in-store presence, to language translation services and marketing programs – Symbian Horizon works with developers to create a single point of management and distribution to the largest group of mobile consumers worldwide.
According to a recent Gartner report , the Symbian OS on which the foundation's open source platform is based is installed on over 70 different types of mobile handsets across 26 countries, and Symbian accounted for 49.3% of the worldwide smartphone market share in the first quarter of 2009. The Symbian platform is highly mature and has a long history of supporting multiple applications running concurrently, internationalization and power management. These are critically important elements of smartphone application development which are not offered by other platforms. And Symbian is the only platform that supports a comprehensive runtime suite including Java ME, Adobe Flash Lite, native Symbian C++ and OpenC/C++, Python and a full web toolkit.
"Our goal is to encourage robust application development, increase revenue and application diversity in mobile stores, and improve the consumer experience – all for the greater benefit of the mobile ecosystem," said Lee Williams, Executive Director of the Symbian Foundation. "And we can help North American developers reach markets in Asia and Europe where the Symbian platform is widely known and loved. We are building a self-sustaining ecosystem that will drive the next generation of mobile and developers that join now are aligning themselves with the future of mobile."
BENEFITS FOR THE MOBILE ECOSYSTEM
Symbian Horizon will provide new benefits to two primary communities within the Symbian ecosystem. The first community is made up of application store providers, either operator or manufacturer-based, such as Ovi Store by Nokia, Samsung Applications Store and AT&T’s Media Mall.
"Symbian Horizon will further complement Ovi Store in cooperation with our global developer community, Forum Nokia, to discover the best quality apps and make them available for Nokia consumers around the world," said Marco Argenti, VP of Media & Games at Nokia. "We are keen to leverage the advances in the Symbian open source community to provide developers with the best tools to build the best apps and experiences for Nokia devices."
"I expect that Symbian developers to have broader opportunities to reach consumers at the Samsung Applications Store thanks to Symbian Horizon. We welcomes a valuable effort of Symbian Foundation and will support Symbian Horizon to provide benefits of total eco-system partnership in the industry." said Yong-suk Moon, Vice President and Managing Director of Samsung Electronics Research Institute based in UK. "Samsung is an early member of Symbian Foundation and has contributed for consumers to have more advanced and exciting mobile experience."
"As a founding member of the Symbian Foundation, AT&T is pleased to support Symbian Horizon and sees this as a wonderful opportunity for mobile developers, operators and handset manufacturers to collaborate together and reach a broader market," said Rob Hyatt, Executive Director, Mobile Content and Applications at AT&T. "Both MEdia Mall and AT&T's recently announced support for Ovi Store by Nokia will use Symbian Horizon to source smartphone applications which are a growing part of our portfolio."
The second target community for Symbian Horizon is comprised of developers ranging from individual developers to companies that want to reach a broader mobile consumer market. Companies already committed to participate in Symbian Horizon include Dynatech, The Guardian, MobileIron, National Public Radio (NPR), Skout, Ustream, and Wine.com.
"Symbian Horizon is a wonderful opportunity for NPR and its member stations to showcase our award-winning news, music and arts content and to expand our reach," said Robert Spier, Director of Content Development & Mobile Operations at NPR. "We are eager to meet our audiences wherever they are, as shown by our record as an innovator and leader in podcasting. This is also a very natural partnership -- Symbian’s open-source heritage aligns with our API-philosophy, which is all about openness and flexibility."
As a leading global news provider - both online and in print - The Guardian has also chosen to work with Symbian Horizon. "The Guardian has a strong reputation for innovation across the board," said Hugh Macdermott, Head of New Product Development at The Guardian. "Mobile is a significant and increasingly important area for us. We are therefore delighted to be involved with Symbian Horizon so early on, as part of our ongoing mobile development program through which we will be working with a number of mobile platforms in order to introduce a wide range of applications for our global audiences."
Skout, the darling of the iPhone market and recent DEMOgod winner, looks to increase user acquisition by participating in Symbian Horizon. "Symbian offers an opportunity for us to leverage a new platform to reach more users," said Christian Wiklund, CEO at Skout. "Much of the Skout team is European, and we know that the Symbian platform leads the world wide mobile market. The distribution opportunity through Horizon will help us drive broader user adoption."
Symbian Horizon is currently in development with a number of participating companies and developers, and is anticipated to be available in October 2009. For more information about Symbian Horizon, or to register for participation, please visit www.symbian.org/horizon.