|Symbian founder on mobile past, present and future
||25 Sep 04
on The Register.
So what innovation and what services do you think we are going to see?
Ask yourself, what are people going to with all their pictures in the future?
What are they going to do? Is writing to CD-ROM really safe? Sorry -
it's gone in a few years. Are people going to do a 3-stage offering, or
make one of their copies in an alternative geographical location?
Nobody does that.
With digital you can do things better; for a really simple straight forward
No one has designed architecture for the home. We've got Wi-Fi and broadband
and Bluetooth but there's no way to put it all together.
So who, then? We've seen that even with the best intentions Wintel can't do
a good job. It has to come from the consumer electronics people;
What would you do differently, if you had your time as CEO again?
We wouldn't have spent time on user interfaces. We'd have left that
much earlier. [In 2001, Symbian left the business of designing UIs to its
licensees, with the exception of UIQ, which remains part of the company].
Everyone was keen to share and we tried hard for two years, but it was never
going to happen. Everything about those companies [phone OEMs] is based
in their own UIs. So that was two years wasted.
In hindsight we came to the right view; but we never learnt that lesson.
There were other things people were keen for us to get into early, for
example WAP. We could never have NOT done it, but I had a pretty good
feeling it wasn't going to be worth it. But I wasn't the customers.®
So it has to go back to being vertically integrated; you have to tackle
the product offering yourself. You start doing something vertically
because you can't work with everybody. So somebody has to break through,
starting with a niche.