Why Is Symbian Charging Its Partners?

Symbian, which recently agreed to be acquired by Nokia, is part of a growing number of mobile platform makers — Apple, Google, LiMo — that are all are vying for the attentions of the mobile developer community. The company sent over an email this morning with details of its Symbian Partner Network (SPN), which will theoretically allow members to work better in the Symbian ecosystem. There are tons of benefits to this new partner network, and I’m sure some of them are actually useful.

In exchange, “partners” would have to pay $1,500 for the annual membership, down from a previous $5,000-a-year membership price tag. Yet I wonder if $1,500 is also too much. Somehow it feels like, after spending $410 million on Symbian, its new corporate masters are pinching pennies precisely at a time when they shouldn’t be.

Symbian, thanks to Nokia’s deep pockets, can afford to spend liberally on the ecosystem. Not only that, it needs to spend liberally, for it isn’t the only game in town anymore. If it wants to keep folks (partners) loyal to its ecosystem, Symbian will have to throw in some sops. Google and Apple, after all, are doing their best to attract developers.