Lack of clear design architecture
To me, on the basis of some months of experience with a touchscreen Nokia 5530 only, the problem with Symbian is its lack of a coherent consistent user interface. However good the underlying operating system, and nice the hardware, Symbian devices cannot hope to challenge the iPhone, unless the user interface is sorted. Do any Symbian designers actually use the products? A few of simple failings with the 5530 which are nothing to do with the underlying platform are as follows:
* touch screen user interface with finger drag, covers a few functions like lists and browser, but not email, for example;
* touch screen UI removes cut&paste so you cannot copy from a web page, so far as | can tell;
* on screen text input, for example for texting, has no vertical scroll;
* the rebarbative flashing green and red bars though which you handle alarms and incoming calls are difficult and I still miss about a quarter of calls (down from about 90% when I got the phone);
* has anybody actually installed an app from the various unfriendly sites available?
* the dullness of supplied profiles - a choice of black and while with grey or black and white with red;
* lists are a particular issue with bouncing at the ends which makes selection of the bottom item (always Exit) slow;
* the software writers may understand the difference between Back, Close and Exit, but this user does not;
There are many more, many more annoyances, but I do not have the enthusiasm for Symbian to document the awfulness in more detail.