Nokia delays E7 Symbian phone, will cut 800 jobs in Finland

Nokia (NYSE:NOK) said it will delay the launch of its newest flagship Symbian^3 smartphone, the E7, due to unspecified issues with the device. The setback is the latest blemish for Nokia, which also briefly delayed the introduction of its N8 smartphone earlier this fall.

Nokia delays e7A Nokia spokesman told Reuters that the phone's release is being pushed back from the fourth quarter into early next year "to ensure the best possible user experience." Nokia unveiled the E7 at its Nokia World conference in September. The device is similar in many respects to the N8, and features a 4-inch screen and slide-out Qwerty keyboard.

Symbian is still the world's largest smartphone platform by market share, commanding 36.6 percent of the global market in the third quarter, according to research firm Gartner. However, that number is down from 44.6 percent in the third quarter of 2009. Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform, meanwhile, is coming on strong, and captured 25.5 percent of the market in the third quarter, Gartner said.

Nokia, which took over Symbian platform development from the nonprofit Symbian Foundation in November, is planning a bevy of upgrades next year to restore some luster to the platform and help it keep pace with rivals. The company gave a glimpse of its plans at the 2010 International Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing, according to IDG News Service. In early 2011, Nokia will roll out more than 50 upgrades to the Symbian platform, including a more intuitive user interface, which is expected to include split-screen text entry, a portrait-mode Qwerty keyboard and support for Swype.

In the second and third quarters, Nokia will add "a new look and feel for the user interface, a more flexible home screen, an updateable HTML5 browser and an easier software update experience," according to the presentation, which was conducted by Gunther Kottzieper, a senior manager at Nokia. Nokia also will add more models with 1 GHz processors and additional graphics memory.

Separately, Nokia also announced it will cut around 800 positions in its home market of Finland, according to Reuters. The company announced 1,800 job cuts in October.

For more:
- see this Reuters article
- see this Reuters article on the job cuts
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this IDG News Service article

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