Thursday, August 13, 2009 Nokia - switch to Maemo, "not" ditch Symbian (rumor)

Nokia N800 makes for a great OpenStreetMap vie...Image via Wikipedia

Now Financial Times, Germany speculates about Nokia finally giving up on Symbian as a smartphone platform in favor for Maemo . Maemo, the community developed Linux platform for mobile devices is Nokia's choice for its internet tablets.

FTD goes on the write citing sources close to Nokia about Symbian becoming too complicated a piece of code ( 20 million lines ) and Nokia having to do some contortions to add touch to its N97 flagship model. If this were true Symbian would be confined to low-end phones which Maemo would not fit. The fact about this might out by October, when the N900 smartphone based on Maemo is expected to be released.

Nokia has been steadily losing market share to niche players - RIM, HTC , Android - not to mention Apple. Its North American strategy has also not clicked as it should have. Symbian is great but I thought it would be very easy to customize it until I could not see much of a change in the UI in phone after phone. When all handset makers were really struggling to differentiate the UI and menus, Nokia with its momentum and distribution channels could afford to not do much about it till the iPhone came along. Apple had not only a great UI but also an ecosystem that delivered pure numbers.

Nokia might change the game a little, with Maemo smartphones since it is rather an unknown quantity which will keep the competitors busy to figure out Nokia's strategy. Nokia also has to do spec up the hardware a little like how RIM did with the Blackberry Bold and recently Toshiba with the TG01. If this news turns out to be true, it is good as Nokia can concentrate on a more recently platform and still use Symbian for the large segment of low-end phones.
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