Nokia Ditches Symbian for MeeGo on Future N-Series Smartphones
So long, Symbian. Nokia says its N-Series flagship mobile devices will now run MeeGo, the OS Nokia developed with Intel. Already scheduled for a third-quarter debut, however, is the Nokia N8, which will be the first Nokia smartphone to run Symbian 3.
Nokia has announced that, going forward, it will pair the Linux-based MeeGo
software with its N-Series devices. According to Reuters, the move is expected to better equip
Nokia to compete with rivals Apple and Google, which makes the popular Android
mobile operating system.
"Going forward, N-Series devices will be based on MeeGo," Nokia spokesperson Doug Dawson confirmed to Gizmodo.
Nokia's N-Series handsets are its most advanced. (Under Nokia's naming system, X-Series handsets focus on social networking and entertainment, E-Series handsets focus on productivity and enterprise use, and C-Series handsets are more mainstream, representing Nokia's core products.)
In April, Nokia introduced the N8, its newest flagship device, scheduled to debut during the third quarter and to be its first to run Symbian 3, which supports multitouch gestures, features a two- and three-dimensional graphics architecture and is said to deliver a faster and more responsive user interface. It will also allow for multiple home screens that can be personalized with applications and widgets.
The feature-rich N8 will also feature a 12-megapixel camera with a high-definition video editing suite, Ovi Maps for free walking and driving directions, 16GB of built-in storage and a MicroSD card slot with support for 48GB of memory. The N8 is exactly the weight of the Apple iPhone 3GS and nearly the same dimensions-which Apple slashed with its new iPhone 4, trimming the iPhone's body size by 24 percent.
Nokia and chip giant Intel first introduced MeeGo, named for a combination of Maemo and Moblin programming communities, at the Mobile World Congress show in February.
"This collaboration benefits developers, consumers, and software and hardware vendors. It's a complete Internet experience," Kai ???ist???m??Ã©, Nokia's executive vice president of devices, said at the time. "Applications and other content are not in a walled garden; rather the ecosystem is more like an open frontier."
In a June 1 report, ABI Research forecast that Linux-based smartphones would outstrip the rest of the worldwide smartphone market in growth and account for 33 percent of the market by 2015.
"Due to its low cost and ability to be easily modified, Linux in the mobile market today is nearly as disruptive as Linux was in the server markets a decade ago," ABI analyst Victoria Fodale said in a statement.
However, market research company Ovum, in a June 2 report, said Linux-based MeeGo nonetheless needs some "major investment" if it's to catch up with competing operating systems.
"The reality is that Nokia and Intel need to sell more MeeGo devices if they want access to the potentially lucrative [stream] of tools, consulting and systems integration surrounding cross-platform, multiscreen application development that Qt [MeeGo's cross-platform application framework] offers," Ovum Principal Analyst Tony Cripps wrote in the report.
In making the decision to put its N-Series focus on MeeGo, Nokia appears to be taking some needed advice.