updated 12:30 pm EST, Fri February 3, 2012
Nokia may see market dropping Symbian faster
A potentially major rumor has Nokia accelerating the death of Symbian as a smartphone platform. The company has officially planned for a transition through 2013, but the Register heard only one new model, a sequel to the N8, was still in the works. Existing owners would get the Belle update, but every other project on the OS had supposedly been cancelled.
Nokia hadn't commented on the rumor.
The move might be supported by a series of official observations. While detailing its early successes with Windows Phone, Nokia revealed that it had shipped fewer Symbian phones than expected, as customers either switched to Android, iPhone, or even BlackBerry platforms in addition to sometimes holding off for Windows Phones like the Lumia 800. Nokia's decision to outsource Symbian to Accenture has been widely interpreted as a way of dropping Symbian without having to directly fire 3,000 workers.
Chip designer ST-Ericsson has given hints as recently as last week of Symbian being downplayed at Nokia. There was a "reduction" of sales in the near term to "one of our largest customers" in its outlook for its winter, the company said. ST-Ericsson is one of Nokia's main processor suppliers, and it has already been chosen to power late 2012 Windows Phones, supporting its own claims that it would have a temporary disruption to business.
Although Symbian S40 for basic feature phones will survive, the full smartphone platform has been gradually slipping behind. Nokia chief Stephen Elop made clear his intentions to drop Symbian smartphones quickly, as he likened the OS to a "burning platform" where Nokia would die if it refused to pick something else and get competitive with the iPhone and Android.