Nokia takes back Symbian development

By on November 9, 2010, 9:16 AM
Nokia has announced it will assume full control of the Symbian operating system, retaking management after giving to the open source community just 18 months ago. The company will begin taking care of Symbian platform development in April 2011, leaving the Symbian Foundation with the responsibility of only licensing the software. Symbian will continue be developed by its community of programmers around the world, but Nokia will now oversee the process.

Nokia bought out other shareholders in Symbian in 2008 and opened the software for any manufacturers to use for free, on an open-source basis. Symbian failed to win wide adoption and essentially became a de facto Nokia-only operating system this year after Samsung and Sony Ericsson abandoned it in favor of Google's Android. The Finnish handset maker has remained the key contributor to the development of the software and is responsible for some 95 percent of Symbian phone. The OS continues to lead the mobile market but its share has been steadily slipping.

Despite the move, many speculate that Nokia is de-emphasizing Symbian development and instead focusing on Meego, the mobile OS which Intel and Nokia teamed up to push nine months ago. MeeGo phones and tablets will be available in 2011, with handsets arriving in the first half of 2011, and tablets sometime later in the year.

"The future of Symbian as a platform does not depend on the existence of the foundation," Jo Harlow, Nokia's Senior Vice President of Smartphones, said in a statement. "The changes announced by the foundation have no impact on Nokia's Symbian device roadmaps or shipping commitments. The platform powers hundreds of millions of smartphones - including our own - and we expect to deliver ongoing support and innovation benefitting the Symbian ecosystem in the future."





User Comments: 16

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Jibberish18 said:

I can't stand Nokia. They should either let Symbian die completely and move onto another OS OR make it decent for touch screen phones and improve upon it to use for all of their low end phones. It's not a bad OS. It's just A) Aging B) Not made for touch screen phones C) Not graceful

DJ83 said:

The fall of Symbian has saddened me. I used to love it in the earlier days, and agree with Jibberish's comments that is old and not as supportive of the touch screen interface. The 6600 I had was followed with a n82, I loved both, but now they seem ancient.

bam13 said:

Symbian is dead and I donĀ't think itĀ's ever gonna be resurrected, the sooner Nokia accepts this the better for the whole company...

TwiztidSef said:

It may be a good idea to have Nokia just delegate tasks to the open source community that is working on this. Keeps everything focused and such. As long as Nokia doesn't try to control it completely, they might have some luck at this.

I personally believe if all the Linux communities focused on like 8 distros instead of however many its up to now, then we may have much more advanced Linux OSs.

Jibberish18 said:

twiztidsef said:

It may be a good idea to have Nokia just delegate tasks to the open source community that is working on this. Keeps everything focused and such. As long as Nokia doesn't try to control it completely, they might have some luck at this.

I personally believe if all the Linux communities focused on like 8 distros instead of however many its up to now, then we may have much more advanced Linux OSs.

THIS ^ is the amazing thing. You have gigantic corporations who can't keep quality control on a project because of so many factors but you give that SAME project to the open source community and they, as they say, "Make It Happen!". And most of the time, if the opensource community has the capability, they make the features of the new OS MUCH better than they would be from an actual company. They can work without all of the politics.

ruzveh said:

the disappointment is in the font they use in thier OS. Its really difficult for me to browse through the phone and there are lots of features missing which is there in my Nokia 6630. Seriously i was the first one to buy 6630 and till date using the same. I am ok with call and sms on the move. I dont get time for the rest. I would want the same model with faster processor and better battery and i am more than satisfied customer of Nokia and loyal too ;)

My next phone is Nokia 6630. Simply cant change or stop loving it. Nokia phones also disappoint us in their keys. They have become smaller than 32nm :P. Its difficult to type flawlessly on it. Seriously dear.

If i take over as Nokia head i gaurantee to take a V shape profits for the company. I will bring it atleast at par with other phone makers. Think nokia think

hassaan said:

Symbian OS is a deep OS people, and one that is more trusted (by many) and more flexible than Android or iOS, its the UI that you have an issue with, this can be fixed.

Symbian^3 is a great OS and is currently flying out in Europe, all the games that are on iOS and Android are starting to appear and perfect copies too, great new apps are coming too and with QT now on the go alot will be portable even back down to Symbain^1

Symbian Org. does develop code for the platform, read their blog anyone who says otherwise, and it will remain open source.

sMILEY4ever said:

Jibberish18 said:

twiztidsef said:

It may be a good idea to have Nokia just delegate tasks to the open source community that is working on this. Keeps everything focused and such. As long as Nokia doesn't try to control it completely, they might have some luck at this.

I personally believe if all the Linux communities focused on like 8 distros instead of however many its up to now, then we may have much more advanced Linux OSs.

THIS ^ is the amazing thing. You have gigantic corporations who can't keep quality control on a project because of so many factors but you give that SAME project to the open source community and they, as they say, "Make It Happen!". And most of the time, if the opensource community has the capability, they make the features of the new OS MUCH better than they would be from an actual company. They can work without all of the politics.

twiztidsef has a valid point but that has nothing to do with this article. Nokia left symbian, and now it took it back. That's about it. Oh and the "make it happen" didn't happen.

aj_the_kidd said:

Symbian you had a good run, but your time has come and gone,

jazboy said:

I believe Nokia should shift to another OS which support touch interface better otherwise they will continually loose against Apple. I like Nokia phone very much. They really make very good handset but they should understand that world is now moving to touch interface and they should take appropriate steps before its too late.

Puiu Puiu said:

If nothing major is done, symbian is as good as dead. I'm sure that within a year or 2 it will faze out.

Recipe7 Recipe7 said:

Symbian was acceptable pre-iPhone... it is really a dinosaur OS. They really need to work it from the ground up if they want to get any kind of recognition for this crazy move.

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The UI of the Nokia phones is not part of Symbian, far as I know. Symbian provides the OS and services, and I think that Nokia could put a decent UI on top of that. Still, I have no idea what they're planning to do with it. It would be nice if they were clearer on that.

edison5do said:

I donĀ't like like the Nokia Os on their phones, really if they want to keep being competitive in these times where Android, win7 Phones, and others are getting bigger, they will need to do something about that.

Guest said:

You guyz should check the Symbian^3 phones' features before you feel dissapointed.

For example, USB OTG3?

Serag said:

Symbian is a pretty proven full featured OS, sure stuff are far more advanced features-wise, but there's still a huge base of Symbian phones, basically Nokia that could still use the hoped development caused by Nokia taking back the OS.

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