In the new year, we launched a new application on an old platform — VOA for Symbian OS.
The VOA Symbian app is focused on VOA‘s networks English, French, Hausa and Persian, specifically for North Africa and the Middle East regions, and it features multimedia news, photo, text and video content from the Voice of America news services.
Why Symbian? Because the decade-old Nokia platform is still strong in the African countries, still maintaining a top 4 Operating System ranking in many markets jockeying for position between Google Android, Apple IOS, and Nokia S40 OS. Of all those systems, Android is slowly taking the most market share from the older Nokia platforms, but it’s a slow churn rate due to Nokia’s rock-solid industrial designs — their phones are notorious for lasting forever — and because of the financial and technical challenges in the area, users aren’t upgrading their phone every 2 years (or less) as many people do in the more developed world.
The timing of the app launch will also help us with our surge efforts to help spread news and safety information in the Central African Republic, where there’s currently a humanitarian crisis going on. Symbian holds a stable 10 percent market share in the country, behind Android (42%) and Apple (18%) for the top three mobile operating systems.
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