Nokia to Support Symbian Until at Least 2014: Report
While Nokia has committed to making Microsoft's Windows Phone mobile operating system its priority, it reportedly plans to support the Symbian OS at least through 2014.
According to an April 14 report from Australia IT, Nokia's Australian managing director, Chris Carr, told the tech site that Nokia is contractually obligated to support new devices for two years-and the phone maker has already committed to releasing new Symbian phones in 2011 and 2012.
"There's still a lot of ongoing development with Symbian, the two will co-exist," he said, according to the site. "We've invested a lot money in Symbian."
On April 12, Nokia introduced two new steel-and-glass smartphones, the enterprise-geared E6 and the entertainment-ready X7, running an updated version of Symbian, nicknamed "Anna." (Nokia plans to, alphabetically, give women's names to its version of Symbian, according to the Aussie site, just as Google has moved alphabetically through desserts, from Cupcake through Gingerbread.)
"With these new products and more Symbian devices and user enhancements coming in the near future, we are confident we can keep existing Nokia smartphone customers engaged, as well as attract new first-time and competitor smartphone users," Jo Harlow, head of Nokia's Smart Devices business, said in a statement.
The phones are expected to arrive later this quarter, and the Nokia N8, E7, C7 and C6-01 smartphones will able to download the Symbian Anna update "in coming months," said Nokia.
While the Anna update has been controversial-though a major selling point of Symbian was its open-source nature, that's no longer the case-Nokia added in its April 12 announcement that Symbian Anna "greatly enhances the user experience on Nokia smartphones and makes the Qt business opportunity with Nokia even greater."
The same day, it issued a separate press release, announcing that its 158 developers had each passed 1 million downloads in its Ovi Store, and the store is now seeing 5 million downloads per day.
"This momentum continues to demonstrate consumers' appetite for Nokia's global and locally relevant apps, and will help us plan the future apps store experience for improved and new Symbian devices, as well as Nokia smartphones based on the planned collaborative opportunities with Microsoft," Tero Ojanpera, Nokia's executive vice president of services and developer experience, said in the statement.
Nokia's Carr added in his interview with Australia IT that, "it's not unusual in the industry to have multiple OS strategies." And indeed, Nokia additionally plans to support at least one device running MeeGo, the mobile OS it developed with Intel and introduced at the Mobile Word Congress event in 2010.
During a keynote address at Mobile World Congress the following year (video of which is posted at GSMArena), Nokia CTO Rich Green confirmed that device would be the N950 smartphone.
"We had long, hard discussions about this ... but there's a lot of work that's gone into the technology, there's a lot of really interesting user interface and platform design work, some very elegant hardware. We have made a change in plan, this is a strategic change, and so we are committed to shipping the one," Green said.