Nokia Launch: Symbian ^3, Or Just Maps?

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Mystery Nokia announcement could be a new Symbian ^3 phone, or maybe just some map software

A Nokia invitation has sparked rumours of a smartphone running the new Symbian ^3 operating system, but may be just some maps and messaging software.

The invitation gives no details of the “virtual event”, at 9am tomorrow, but links to a countdown on Nokia’s site,.with the slogan “Everyone Connect”.  This has sparked stories that the event will feature the launch of the much-rumoured Nokia N8 phone, the first to run the Symbian ^3 operating systems launched at Mobile World Congress.

New phone, or maps integration?

Update: Read the actual announcement - three new phones but no Symbian ^3

Symbian ^3 is the first version of the Symbian Foundation’s operating system to be fully open source, delivering on plans announced in 2008. It has improved graphics and better data performance, and Nokia is understood to have a new phone on the way based on the new operating system.

The phone giant currently has somewhat tired smartphones based on the present Symbian version, including the N97 smartphone which was a disappointment. Nokia’s recent N900 Linux device is currently generating more excitement than its Symbian smartphones.

Leaks have suggested that the N8, or “N8-00” will have a 12 Mpixel camera, a lrage touchscreen HD video recording and other exciting features.

Unfortunately, the smart money seems to suggest it won’t appear tomorrow. Instead, we are likely to get a software announcement, specifically the integration of Nokia’s Ovi Maps with its Nokia Message app, according to a tweet from the normally well-informed Eldar Murtazin, editor of Mobile Review. The announcement may or may not include some other phones as well.

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Free Prize Draw: Win one of the first iPads in Britain

On the other hand, everyone might miss the announcement entirely. Although the event timer on Nokia’s site is accurate, the email invitation specified 9am GMT, which could mean journalists arrive at the virtual event one hour late.

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