Why Traveler on Symbian is important
I should give it its proper branded name… IBM Lotus Notes Traveler. There you go, that keeps the brand police happy. As you know, IBM Lotus are the software brand that gives you choice. You can use a BlackBerry, you can use Windows Mobile (with Traveler and with other solutions such as CommonTime, DME and Intellisync), you can use Symbian devices, and you can use an iPhone (with iNotes Ultralite).
IBM Lotus Domino 8.5 is very close to shipping, and one of the many new goodies is Traveler support for various Nokia devices running the Symbian operating system. A contact from a very well-known and valued Lotus customer (hi Richard) recently asked me “which devices does that cover?” – you can find the answer here, and the answer is “lots of devices”.
So why is this so important? Well, choice is important and at Lotus we like giving you choices. IBM Lotus Notes on Windows, Mac or Linux. Domino on a whole range of server platforms. It costs more to develop, but we think you’re worth it.
The other reason it’s important is that, if you look at that range of Nokia devices, people in many organisations will already have those devices in their hands. So the cost of enabling mobile e-mail and calendars may turn out to be lower than you think.
And the other other reason is market share. This surprised me when I saw it yesterday. According to Gartner (December 2008) Symbian devices accounted for 49.8% of smartphone devices shipped worldwide in the 3rd quarter of 2008. RIM (i.e. BlackBerry) were next with 15.9% followed by “Mac OS X” with 12.9%. Does that mean iPhone? Probably. Windows Mobile took 11.1% of the market, Linux devices took 7.2%, and the one-time giant of PDAs, Palm, took just 2.1%. So, Symbian was the clear market leader, and thus my title is vindicated.