Nokia's Elop promises support for Symbian through 'at least' 2016

Nokia (NYSE:NOK) CEO Stephen Elop said the company is committed to supporting the Symbian operating through "at least" 2016, even as it moves full steam ahead to use Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone as its primary smartphone platform. 

Stephen Elop Nokia Symbian

Click here to watch Nokia's Stephen Elop discuss the company's Symbian future.

"Even as we go through a transition to our primary smartphone platform, Windows Phone, you will see that continued investment. And I know there have been questions about how long does that continue, and we've now been very clear about that--that software updates to Symbian devices are expected until at least 2016," the Nokia chief said in a post on the company's Nokia Conversations blog. "So there's a long history still to be paved for Symbian in the future." Elop said that support includes everything from customer service to applications and services.

Nokia previously said 2011 and 2012 will be transition years for the company, both in terms of strategy and financially. The company has committed to releasing 150 million more Symbian devices in the next few years, but has not put a specific timeframe on when its support for Symbian will end.

The Finnish handset giant said last month it will slash 4,000 jobs and outsource its Symbian software activities to Accenture as part of the transition. The Symbian outsourcing deal also includes the transfer of about 3,000 additional employees to Accenture.

Nokia intends to release its first Windows Phone device by year-end and then begin shipping devices in volumes next year. Jo Harlow, Nokia's executive vice president of smart devices, said in an interview with PC Magazine this week that the company expects to release new Windows Phone devices every three months or so. 

For more:
- see this Nokia Conversations post
- see this AllAboutSymbian post
- see this Bloomberg article

Related Articles:
Nokia to release new Windows Phone devices at steady rate
Nokia looks beyond Qualcomm to ST-Ericsson, others for Windows Phone silicon
Microsoft's Mango promises to connect apps to Bing search
Nokia cuts 4,000 jobs, outsources Symbian work to Accenture
Nokia earnings exceed forecasts, Windows Phone partnership detailed
Nokia pushes ahead with Symbian, but uncertainty remains