Nokia takes over Symbian development

Symbian Foundation will become a licensing operation only, according to Nokia

Nokia is taking over the development of the Symbian smartphone OS, and is still committed to the platform, the company said on Monday.

The Symbian Foundation will transition from its current role as the entity in charge of developing the platform to become a licensing operation only, according to Nokia.

There has been a lot of speculation about the future of Symbian, after both Samsung and Sony Ericsson decided to move away from the platform and instead push competing OSes, especially Android.

However, Nokia is standing firm in its commitment to Symbian, and this change will have no impact on the company's roadmap or shipping commitments, it said in a statement.

The change is "unsurprising," according to market research company CCS Insight. In July, Ben Wood, director of research at CCS Insight, said Nokia miscalculated in making the platform open source. A lack of support from other vendors means Nokia has to do most of the work itself, while the open nature of the platform allows competitors to keep a close eye on its progress, he then said.

Nokia has started shipping a number of phones based on Symbian version 3, including the N8. Symbian version 3 is an improvement over earlier versions of the platform, but is still trailing Apple's iOS and Android, according to CCS Insight.

Recently, Nokia also said it is changing the way it updates smartphones based on Symbian version 3. Instead of receiving big upgrades, the products will be upgraded on a more continual, incremental basis.

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Mikael Ricknäs

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