Symbian uses Qt for development, as well as other choices
"Android development has none of the advantages of open source development! You can't just code in QT ... All platforms are unfamiliar to developers used to Symbian ... At least the APIs and programming style of Windows Phone 7 and iOS are based upon desktop software"
Actually, Symbian development uses Qt. So it too is based on desktop APIs. And, unlike Windows Phone and IOS, it isn't simply "based on" - it *is* using the same Qt. The same code can compile for Symbian, Maemo/Meego, Windows, Linux, OS X and more. As a developer, I think Qt is one of the best application toolkits I've come across.
It's a true that every phone has its own language which is a bit of a shame (why can't I use, say, C++ and Qt for Android or Iphone?) However, Symbian does offer C++/Qt, Java and Python, so it also offers far more breadth of choice than other platforms. Most programmers will be familiar with at least one of C++ (Qt itself is easy to pick up), Java or Python. On Android it's just Java; on Iphone it's just Objective C.
But the bigger problem with IOS development is that you can only do it on an Apple PC, and you have to pay Apple to release software.
(To be honest though, it's a shame that companies ignore J2ME these days. Back in 2005, you could have apps which ran on 99% of phones out there. Not just smartphones, but almost _all_ phones. Whilst J2ME may have some limitations, if it's good enough for Google Maps and Opera Mini, it can do most things that apps do. But now in 2010 onwards, it's just an app for the less than 5% of Iphone owners. Thanks to Apple, and the way companies idolise them, we've gone backwards, and I'm left struggling to find apps even though I have the market leading smartphone platform.)
"I don't see as this is a big issue, you pay your money and make your choice. Similar thing to the PC verses MAC debate."
Based on market share, it's more like Mac and Linux users debating, whilst most people actually get on and run Windows...
"I'd hate to see Android take the world by storm and crush all opposition it it's wake because that would just lead to a stagnating platform much like we saw with Symbian and WinMo, and waiting years for something bright, shiny, and new to come along to take it's place (i.e. iOS and Android)."
Er, my "stagnating" Symbian has had features like multitasking and copy/paste for years, and it's Iphone users that had to wait years to catch up. And my Nokia phone is perfectly bright and shiny.
AnonymousDareDevil: "All this paranoia about apps in smart phones is just silly. Does anyone choose their phone based on the number of fart apps?"
Indeed, I entirely agree with your comment. This is why Nokia still dominate, despite having fewer fart apps. Most apps are simply wrappers to websites, anyway (it seems every other tab on my browser has an obligtary ad for an "Iphone app" to read the website that I'm already reading).
Well my Nokia phone has a killer app: it's just like those apps that let you read a website, but it works with _any_ website. And, get this - it even works if the website hasn't released an app specifically for my phone!