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Nokia To Ship Just One More Symbian Device?

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

Nokia is reportedly scaling down its Symbian usage and will apparently ship just one more handset running Symbian

Nokia continues to distance itself from the Symbian mobile operating system, with one media report stating that it will only ship one more Symbian enabled handset.

This could mean that Nokia will turn its full focus onto Windows Phone as its mobile operating system of choice across its entire handset portfolio.

Media Report

Nokia is apparently still committed to shipping the Nokia Belle (formerly known as Symbian Belle) software update to customers sometime this month.

However Nokia has supposedly cancelled the development of all but one new Symbian handset. The Finnish handset maker will reportedly launch only one Symbian handset (the successor to the N8) to market, or so the Register understands, although it quoted no sources.

TechWeekEurope contacted Nokia but received no response at the time of writing.

Symbian Belle was first revealed to the world last August. It offers some user interface improvements, new apps and enhanced feature support. It follows the previous version of Symbian (Anna), that Nokia released last year for Nokia N8, Nokia C7, Nokia C6-01 and Nokia E7 handsets. Symbian Belle is currently available on a number of smartphones, such as the Nokia 700, 701 and 600.

Belle increases the number of home screens from three to six, providing more room to display apps and services. Live widgets come in five different sizes and the status bar now incorporates a pull-down notifications tray. It also features further enhancements to the web browsing experience and better multitasking.

Windows Phone Move

Nokia of course dropped Symbian like a hot potato this time last year – one of the first and perhaps most important decisions made by then new boss Stephen Elop.

Elop is a former Microsoft executive and he selected Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 at the principal operating system for Nokia’s flagship handsets. The decision was long overdue for many industry observers, as Symbian had been struggling to keep pace with the improvements offered by rival mobile operating systems such as Apple iOS and Google Android.

At the time Nokia insisted it would still be releasing more Symbian handsets in 2012, which caused some market speculation as to why Nokia is persisting with Symbian when it was clearly committed to another operating system.

In May 2011 CEO Stephen Elop used a video interview on Nokia’s Conversations China blog to confirm that Symbian support would continue until at least 2016.

However not with Nokia driving the development, as in June last year Nokia finalised its Symbian agreement with Accenture. That agreement sees the IT services giant take control of the development and support of the Symbian operating system going forward.