Nokia dumping Symbian

N8 will be the last Nokia N-series phone running Symbian operating system.

June 25, 2010
Nokia dumping Symbian

Nokia’s Symbian operating system has been dealt a further blow with the cellphone maker announcing it will be dropping it in favour of the Linux MeeGo operating system for its high-end smartphones.

Symbian, still the most dominant of the smartphone operating systems available, has been in decline for the past year with Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android making deep inroads into its market share. Just a few months ago Symbian held more than 50% of the smartphone OS market but it is now closer to 44%.

Now Nokia has decided to drop Symbian from its high-end N-Series smartphones and replace it with MeeGo, the Linux-based operating system co-developed by Intel. Speaking to Reuters Nokia spokesman Dough Dawson said: “Going forward, N-series devices will be based on MeeGo.”

The move is undoubtedly prompted by the increasing popularity of Android-based phones as well as the iPhone from Apple. Since Nokia open sourced the Symbian code in 2008 there has been very slow progress in its development, opening the door for competitors such as Android and iOS. And despite its widespread use Symbian has not gathered as much momentum among community developers as had been hoped.

All the while Linux-based operating systems have become increasingly popular for smartphones as well as netbooks, tablet PCs and other portable devices.

Earlier this year Nokia and Intel announced a joint venture in which they combined their respective Maemo and Moblin Linux operating systems into MeeGo as a portable device-focused operating system. And the first official release of MeeGo has already been made.

Nokia says that it will continue to use Symbian on its cheaper smartphones.

The Nokia N8, due out later this year, is expected to be the last Symbian-based N phone from Nokia.

All of which makes Symbian’s future fairly uncertain.

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