updated 11:20 am EST, Mon November 8, 2010
Nokia grabs control of Symbian dev from Foundation
Nokia today shook up the Symbian Foundation and the platform by revealing it that it would take control of Symbian itself. All development will take place under Nokia's own banner, while the Foundation will now be limited to licensing the Symbian name and other intellectual property tasks. The handover should take place by the end of March next year.
The Finnish company stressed that it was "committed" to Symbian and didn't expect the decision to impact any of its phone releases. About 50 million devices running Symbian^3 should ship, Nokia said, though it didn't say when the sales period would end. Symbian^4 is expected sometime next year.
Nokia's switch has been characterized as helping fast-track Symbian but has come as the Foundation was given a Samsung is dropping it entirely by the end of the year, while Sony Ericsson has made no future plans beyond the Vivaz line.
Most one-time loyalists to Symbian have dropped it in favor of Android. Google's platform has had multi-touch, home screen widgets and other modern features for longer but has also had a much simpler interface. Despite having much larger market share than Apple and Google, Nokia's Ovi Store has trailed behind in catalog size and features due to frequent developer complaints. Some of the problems have included a confusing publishing environment, a lack of simple programming interfaces and a too-diverse phone mix that makes it difficult or impossible to target enough devices.