Nokia dumps Symbian for future N-series smartphones

Nokia (NYSE:NOK) confirmed its forthcoming N8 device will be the last N-series smartphone release running the Symbian OS. "Going forward, N-series devices will be based on MeeGo," Nokia spokesman Doug Dawson told Reuters, adding the handset maker will continue to employ Symbian across lower-end handsets. "Symbian is enabling us to bring smartphones to more and more people and ensures the benefits of scale for our solutions and services, and for developers," he said.

The N8, expected to ship in Q3 2010, is the first smartphone based on the fledgling Symbian^3 operating system and promises an enhanced user interface and simplified cross-device development. Nokia said it will introduce new developer tools and resources in conjunction with the device. "You'll see a big improvement in terms of the [Ovi Store] experience with the introduction of the N8, as well as with subsequent devices," said Nokia vice president of products and media George Linardos in an interview with Bloomberg published earlier this month.

As of the first quarter, Symbian accounted for 44.3 percent of the worldwide smartphone market--down 4.5 percentage points from a year ago--according to research firm Gartner. Apple's iPhone increased from 10.5 percent to 15.4 percent during the past year, while Google's Android surged from 1.6 percent to 9.6 percent. According to the Symbian Foundation, the non-profit initiative charged with overseeing the Symbian platform, the OS will continue to power Nokia's upcoming Xseries, Cseries and Eseries smartphones, adding that 260,000 Symbian-based smartphones were sold each day in Q1.

For more on Symbian's future:
- read this Reuters article

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