| HBS Case Collection
(Revised from original 2003 version)
Symbian: Setting the Mobility Standard
Symbian, a joint venture owned by companies who collectively sold a dominant share of the world's cell phones, faced competition from Microsoft in developing the operating system for "smartphones," which integrated mobile communications and computing functions. In 2003, Symbian's challenges included: 1) persuading its owners to adopt Symbian software rather than internally developed solutions; 2) determining whether to cede enterprise markets to Microsoft and focus only on much larger consumer segments; and 3) strengthening relationships with cellular network operators, whom Microsoft had targeted as alliance partners after it was unable to sell software to Symbian's owners.