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Symbian for N-series Giving Way to Maemo by 2012

Are you liking what you’re seeing from the Nokia N900 (s nok) and its Maemo operating system? Nokia hopes so because it let loose that Symbian S60 is hitting the recycle bin by 2012 on its N-series line of devices. Assuming that the Mayans don’t get involved in any calendar tomfoolery, you’ll see Maemo on all N-series handsets by then. That’s the word from a Maemo event held yesterday in London — bear in mind that it was a Maemo event, meaning that Nokia hasn’t officially stated this in any formal capacity.

The news makes sense in several way, though. By comparison, the S60 user interface is looking older than that Mayan calendar as each day goes on. And Nokia left the door open for this very scenario back in August when Om asked the company about a potential dumping of Symbian. Here are quotes back then from a Nokia representative, emphasis mine:

“[t]here is logically not just one software environment that fits all consumer and market needs,”

“In addition, as we’ve stated before, we also continue to explore opportunities around a new class of devices that we see as the next segment of high performance mobile devices.”

Those opportunities are surely Maemo at this point, with the N900 currently starting to ship. “Consumer and market needs” are indeed changing as well — and Nokia must change with them, or else become irrelevant. The bulk of the company’s handsets are low-end, low-margin feature phones, and the rising trend of smartphone sales tells Nokia where the near future is. For Nokia to regain lost market share and earn more profit per handset, it needs to reinvent its smartphone line. Maemo looks to be it, while I’d wager that S60 moves down the line to become the “new” feature phone-plus for Nokia.

3 Responses to “Symbian for N-series Giving Way to Maemo by 2012”

  1. Why did Nokia buy Symbian if they”re going to use Maemo in their smartphones? N-Gage and OVI have been disasters. Nokia makes little profit from selling feature phones. Nokia has lost its way.

  2. @charlie

    You’r talking B.S. Company is moving over 400 million units a year, it holds > 37% os smarphone market, it is rolling out Qt dev environment for symbian (meaning it will be supported for long long long time), it is loosing smarphone market share because of symbian, the mobile world is not made out of iPhones, Droids or N900’s .. there is a much much bigger market – it’s called: dumbphones.

  3. Nokia continues to slide into irrelevance. They just destroyed their s60 sales for 2010.

    they can’t make money b/c they sell their high end phones for 1 euro on contract. How can they move any more product when their high end smart phones won’t be supported in two years?

    And that means no candybar smart phones or thumb boards. Not everybody wants a touchscreen.

    Nokia’s problem isn’t the OS. It is their inability to delivery consumer friendly devices with great services. Why did they spend $9 billion for a mapping company and google can give it away for free?