Over The Air is on the ground in Las Vegas for the CTIA wireless trade show this week and will be posting videos galore of all that we see. Be sure to check back regularly for updates. So far, the smartphone summit showed some interesting developments from Symbian and UIQ.I sat in on a roundtable discussion this afternoon at the Smartphone Summit. Sitting at the table were representatives from Motorola, Sony Ericsson, Symbian, and UIQ. The topic was the new version of UIQ and what the four organizations plan to do with it.
The basic ground covered shows that this latest version of UIQ is set to help bolster the midrange consumer phones from Sony Ericsson and Motorola. The four companies think this latest build, plus the new options that developers will have to create for it, should make it more competitive and easier for consumers to use.
In short, they need to compete with Nokia's S60, badly, and UIQ 3.3 is the first step in bringing a more competitive platform to market.
I have to question whether or not it really will. Nokia has such a massive head start with the S60 platform, I don't think the combined efforts of UIQ, Motorola, and Sony Ericsson can take out the world's largest manufacturer. If you consider Motorola's handset woes, it seems even more unlikely.
There's no doubt that Motorola, more so than SE, needs to get some fighting legs to stand on. UIQ 3.3 can give it those legs, but Motorola still has a lot of ground work to make practical and desirable handsets running it.
I also question UIQ's ability to penetrate the U.S. market at all. Neither Sony Ericsson nor Nokia has a large presence in the U.S. market. This despite the strength of the S60 platform. How Sony Ericsson, Symbian, UIQ, and Motorola can raise user awareness of the power of UIQ 3.3 is beyond me at this moment, especially with the tsunami-sized momentum that Android has behind it.