Symbian Smartshow hits London today

And we are most definitely there. With bells on.

To be clear this is the…er.. ‘Smartphone Show‘. Although it’s referred to as the ‘Symbian Smartphone Show’. Are they the sponsors now? I originally thought it was all about symbian only. But Blackberry are exhibiting. So are Motorola, Sony and Samsung. Nokia’s unusually nowhere to be seen. Not quite a full turn out, it seems.

Apart from my incessant wails about the innovation coming out of Helsinki (I’m looking at you, Nokia), the Symbian operating system is one of the world’s most influential platforms.

Some would say that it’s lost the initiative — that the attention, the buzz, the future is all about the next generation of systems. Think Android, think iPhone, think Qualcomm (well, if you screw up your eyes tightly).

What of the behemoth from Redmond? Microsoft, however you look at it, is making continued headway with the likes of Sony Ericsson turning to them with the Xperia. And Blackberry, rushing headlong for the consumer whilst defending it’s business heritage isn’t letting Nokia away with much.

Nokia and Symbian are one, their futures are highly intertwined on a downward slope. Can the operating system and the manufacturer — both the steeped in *telephones* as apposed to the instant consumer focused connectivity of the next generation — turn it about?

UIQ anyone? NEXT!

Nokia certainly pulled Comes With Music out the hat. It’s almost comparable to iTunes in terms of user experience. Is it enough to always play second fiddle to the innovators? 10 million handsets a day says yes. The dire, dire user experience compared against the likes of the iPhone says no.

Nokia had this year to get it right. They’ve got, what, another six months before the innovation of their competitors and the market impetus begins to move sweep them into the big-but-also-rans — the dangerous territory of the Motorola RAZR syndrome.

Even now I can hear the avalance of hate mail gathering at the gates like the proverbial barbarians.

“How dare you make such a statement. Nokia/Symbian is [amazing|brilliant|the best] and you know [flock all|nothing|nothing at all].”

To those people who email (I had over 100 flames last time), I pick a random Nokia function out of the air and point to just how stupidly conceived it is now. It was acceptable in 1999 to have a handset that came out of the factory not working properly (that could only be fixed by a tortuous update). It was acceptable to have 5 different APNs. What the flock is an APN, anyway? I know. I just… what the hell is it doing in front of the consumer? Much of your average Nokia device operation is flatly appalling. A historical ball and chain.

We’ll take a measure of the positivity of the marketplace tomorrow.

I’ll be your Nokia cynic. The rest of the MIR team will, I suspect, be at their Nokia/Symbian rocks heights, ready to be neutered by a ‘Connection required?’ message from the operating system.

Looking down the list of attendees, there’s quite a lot to see.

Let’s have a look down the names that catch my attention from the list.

Accenture? Uh huh. What exactly are they doing with smartphones? We’ll find out.

Interesting to see Blackberry have a stand.

We’ll pop by Mobile Industry Review favourites, DeviceAnywhere and say hi, definitely.

F-Secure’s chaps will, I’ve no doubt, be trying to tell us all about how our Nokias are about to get nailed by viruses. Would this be the right point to yell ‘AS IF’ very loudly?

Fujitsu? Aye. Well known developer of innovative Symbian phones since 2002, it says here. I wouldn’t know a Fujitsu handset if it slapped me with a 100ft wide kipper.

Handango will be there. I wonder if the mobile operators across the planet are falling over them hunting for their very own application stores?

Who else? LG. Aye. They’ll be there with the Renoir I’m sure.

Microsoft? No. No show. That’s a conspicuous omission.

Motorola are there. They might as well put up a big sign saying WE HAVE NO MORE INFORMATION ON THE ANDROID DEVICE. SORRY. We’ll nevertheless see if we can stick the camera in somebody’s face and get some news on that.

NEC will be rubbing everyone’s noses in the fact that they don’t really manufacturer 2/3G devices anymore on the basis that it’s hugely old (compared to the trilobit speeds that Japan operates on).

Interesting to see that Orange are making an appearance. No Vodafone. No other operators.

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