Difference Between Android and Symbian

An operating system, as the name suggests, is the basis of any device. In this case, it is a cell phone, more precisely. In this growing world, several operating systems have been introduced as competitors of one another. While some failed to gain that much attention, a few of them caught the attention of the public. Android and Symbian are two such operating systems. Symbian was at the peak, and now, Android has replaced it.

Android vs Symbian

The main difference between Android and Symbian is that Android is an operating system designed mainly for touchscreen phones or devices, whereas Symbian is mainly designed for keypad phones. Symbian was released earlier than Android, and it comparatively has a larger share in the market.

Android vs Symbian

Android is a new operating system based on Linux. It has been gaining attention since its release. It is designed to be compatible with touchscreens as well as keypad phones. Nowadays, mobile phones that are called smartphones have an android operating system in them. Android is full of features, and as a result, several mobile phone producing companies compete with each other to manufacture the best android smartphone.

In contrast, Symbian is not new; it has been in the market for many years now. It was highly popular at the time of its release. But it has somehow failed to keep up with the technological updates. This operating system was mainly designed for keypad and QWERTY mobile devices. With the decreasing demand for these devices, Symbian has also lost its place in the market.

Comparison Table Between Android and Symbian

Parameters of ComparisonAndroid Symbian
ReleaseAndroid got released on September 23, 2008. Symbian got released on June 5, 1997.
DeveloperIt was developed and released by Google. It was developed and released by Symbian Ltd.
Programming It is written in Java, C, C++ etc. It is written in C++.
Language Availability It is available in 100+ languages. It is multilingual.
Kernel VersionIt is based on the Linux kernel. It is based on the microkernel, EKA2.
DeviceIt is created mainly for touchscreen devices. It is created mainly for keypad devices.
SoftwareIt is open-source software. It is a closed-source software.
Package Manager Its package manager is .apkIts package manager is .sis, .sisx, .jar, .jad
Latest VersionThe latest official version was released in September 2020. Its latest version was released in October 2012.

What is Android?

Android is an operating system based on the Linux kernel, which was introduced on September 23, 2008. It was commercially sponsored and developed by Google. This operating system was specifically designed for touchscreen devices like mobile phones and tablets. HTC Dream was the first-ever Android device that was launched in September 2008.

The Android operating system is open-source software, and it is loaded with some pre-installed proprietary software like Google Mobile Services. This open-source code allows the development of other Android variants for digital cameras, game consoles, PCs etc. Android is programmed in Java, C, C++ etc.

Android is known for its user-friendly interface and customizations it has to offer. The Android marker is packed with tons of free and paid applications, which further gain attention. The navigation system is also very flexible and featured. This operating system is loaded with all the latest features, including split-screen, fast-charging, extendable storage etc.

Android is comparatively newer to the field of operating systems has about one-tenth of the total market as that of Symbian. But Android has definitely surpassed the former in popularity.

What is Symbian?

Symbian is an early operating system based on a microkernel, which was introduced on June 5, 1997. Initially, it was developed by Symbian Ltd., but later on, Symbian Foundation, followed by Nokia and Accenture, took it over. It was specifically designed for keypad and QWERTY devices.

The Symbian operating system is closed-source or proprietary software. But Symbian³ was released in 2010 as free software. This operating system was programmed in C++. Although it was highly popular, with time, it started losing its market value and was only limited to Nokia and some high-end phones.

Symbian’s user interface is based on a graphics toolkit called AVKON. The software kept releasing updates until 2012, but it could not keep up with modern technology. Its latest version is the one introduced in 2012, and no updates have come up since then. Symbian lacks compatibility and flexibility, unlike Android.

Symbian was prevailing in the market since the very initial years of mobile devices. It has about 44 per cent market share. Even though it has had a huge demand, it has lost its place in the market today.

Main Differences Between Android and Symbian

  1. Symbian was released earlier than Android.
  2. Android is based on Linux kernel, while Symbian is based on a microkernel.
  3. Android is mainly for touchscreen devices, whereas Symbian is for keypad and QWERTY devices.
  4. Symbian is proprietary, while Android is open-source software.
  5. Android is more flexible and featured as compared to Symbian.
  6. Features like split-screen, fast charging etc., which are available in Android, are not available in Symbian.


Advances in the field of smartphones are growing day by day. Everyone is coming up with something new every moment. The heights of popularity that smartphones have reached is highly commendable. With the introduction of newer technologies, the operating system has also improved a lot.

Android and Symbian are two very popular operating systems. Symbian was very popular in the past years, and now, Android has taken over it. Android is comparatively newer and consists of all the latest features. On the other hand, Symbian has lost its market value and is now limited to some phones only. All of this is due to the advancement of technology.

Today’s generation needs the latest features, flexibility and compatibility. For maintaining its market value, the software has to promise all these factors. Currently, Android 11 is the latest one, and Android 12 is on review. The market of Android is growing with time as it keeps on coming with something interesting each day.


  1. https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/5635045/
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