Nokia still in the dark over Symbian shutdown
28th Mar 2011 | 12:39
Promises high-end handsets in the near future
Nokia has issued a letter to developers outlining the future for Symbian and Windows Phone 7 - and it seems the Finnish firm is a long way from being settled on a strategy.
The Symbian platform will keep getting the same handsets planned for 2011 and 2012, which is what Nokia is calling 'its transition period'.
That transition is defined later on in the letter as the point where Nokia is looking to get as many customers onto Windows Phone 7 as possible:
"Our intention is that when users come to the end of the natural lifecycle of their Symbian device they will make the change to a Nokia Windows Phone device and so it would not be in our interests to undermine their Nokia smartphone experience."
"Operators have also been very supportive in their commitment to help us continue to sell and support Symbian devices while we make the transition to Windows Phone."
However, the next crop of Symbian-based smartphones will still have a fair bit of gumption about them, with Nokia promising "GHz+ processing capabilities and faster graphics speeds" as well as "the first major update [arriving] in summer, delivering a new home screen, new flexible widgets, new icons, a faster browser, new Navbar and a fresh look and feel to Ovi Store and Ovi Maps, including integration of social media services in Ovi Maps."
The lights are dimming
But the writing is starkly inscribed on the wall for Symbian - Nokia's plan is only to push it in the markets where it is already strong (ie China, Turkey, Russia etc) and also while it works on getting Windows Phone 7 ready for territories where it still is incompatible:
"For that reason certain markets will play a more significant role in selling the 150 million Symbian devices than others and we will be selling devices long after Windows Phone devices from Nokia have already started to appear in other markets.
"That is why we cannot give you the date when Symbian will no longer be supported."
The full letter is published here if you want to read all about Nokia's promises over Symbian and the QT development platform - if you're a die-hard Symbian fan, we should warn you it won't fill you with massive hope...