What is Symbian OS?

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Symbian was a mobile operating system designed for smartphones. It was produced by the software development company Symbian Ltd. Symbian Ltd was established in 1998. In 2008 Symbian Ltd was renamed Symbian Foundation which provided the new open-source platform. In 2014 the development of Symbian OS was discontinued.

What is Symbian OS?

Symbian is a discontinued mobile operating system developed and sold by Symbian LTD. It was a closed-source mobile operating system designed for smartphones in 1998. Symbian OS was designed to be used on higher-end mobile phones. It was an operating system for mobile devices which has limited resources, multitasking needs, and soft real-time requirements.

The Symbian operating system has evolved from the Pison EPOC, which was released on ARM processors. In June 1998, the Pison software was named Symbian LTD as the result of a joint venture between Psion and phone manufacturers Ericsson, Motorola, and Nokia.

In** 2008**, Nokia announced the accession of Symbian LTD, and a new open-source, nonprofit organization called Symbian Foundation was established.

In May 2014 the development of Symbian OS was discontinued.

What was Symbian OS Used for?

Symbian OS was designed to be used on higher-end mobile phones. The Symbian OS was a mobile OS used on Nokia advanced smartphones. The majority of manufacturers of cell phones used Symbian OS before Android. Nokia was a stakeholder and later purchased Symbian LTD, which had created the Symbian operating system.

The microkernel architecture of Symbian means that only the bare minimum is required in the kernel to maximize robustness, availability, and responsiveness. Symbian was designed to compatibility with other devices, especially removable media files system.

There was a large volume of user interface code. Symbian OS includes a reference user interface called TechView. It is similar to the user interface from the Pison 5 series personal organizer and is not for any production phone interface.

Psion and its organizer product no longer produce by Symbian. An amazing tiny PDA called the Organizer 5 was released in 1997. It included an ARM processor, a small, effective OS, and a cool GUI. It allowed third-party apps.

The software development was taken up by Symbian, which used it as the foundation for smartphones. The S60, UIQ, and MOAP interfaces are used by the Symbian OS to create the open-source environment. Symbian is an embedded software system, hence it was created in C++ and was regarded as a primary programming language. The 2nd most used programming language was Java used for the Symbian operating system. Other programming languages that were used were Javascript, Assembler, C#, Visual Basic, and so on.

The Symbian OS system was used in different applications such as Nokia Series 80 interface, UIQ interface (Used for PDA such as Sony Ericsson P800), Nokia S60 interface, and Nokia S40.

The advantages of the Symbian operating system were:

  • It has a greater range of applications.
  • connectivity was a lot easier.
  • It consists of a better-inbuilt wap browser.
  • It has an open platform based on C++.
  • It provides a feature for power saving.
  • It provides fully multitaskable processing.

The disadvantage of the Symbian OS was:

  • It was not available on the PC.
  • Symbian OS has less accuracy as compared to android.
  • It has security issues as it can be easily affected by viruses.

Why was Symbian Operating System Put Out of Practice?

The Symbian operating system was discontinued because developers were not interested in working with the operating system. Symbian OS was an open-source platform many developers used and created many applications. Suddenly Android came into existence with its not-so-good module and feature, which didn't get recognized. But after a few years, Android was the most recognizable and used smartphone.

The problem arose because Nokia and Symbian were satisfied with the solution and never accepted the radical changes in software technology. Nokia was adding new features and improvements to the top. They didn't start working with the internal functionality of the device. Because re-engineering the stuff inside is incredibly difficult and may result in massive risk.

Unfortunately, Symbian OS is not the platform that caters to developers the most; it is viewed as a programming environment with unique difficulties and difficult-to-learn procedures for developers.

Incorrect choices made throughout the software design phase on such a platform may cause substantial problems at the implementation stage.

Additionally, poor implementation techniques could make it more difficult to test and deploy software. Unexpected issues may occur without prior understanding of the dangers, jeopardizing software quality or lengthening the development process.

In 2010 Nokia's Vice President said that Nokia denies any plan to switch to the Android operating system. This results in the massive downfall of Symbian OS.

The most well-known version was the S60 v5, which was updated with Anna and Belle to fend off the rise of Android, but it was already too late. In October 2012, Nokia Belle Feature Pack 2 was the last known upgrade for Symbian. By May 2014, Nokia, the only company still using Symbian, had completely stopped supporting it.

Nokia had switched to the Windows Mobile operating system to maintain its market position, but as we all know, Nokia had to sell its phone division to Microsoft. The Nokia brand is currently owned by HMD Global, which has also begun Nokia's return to the handset market by using Android as the default operating system for devices such as the Nokia 3,5,6, and 9.


  • Symbian OS was a multitasking operating system which used to address the mass market.
  • It was an open platform and allowed third-party Installation to enhance the platform.
  • The S60, UIQ, and MOAP interfaces are used by the Symbian OS to create the open-source environment.
  • C++ was regarded as a primary programming language in Symbian OS.
  • The disadvantage of Symbian OS, it was not available on the PC.
  • The Symbian operating system was facing a problem related to security.
  • The development of Symbian OS was discontinued in May 2014.