Nokia may have recently announced its intention to switch to the Windows Phone 7 platform for its high-end smartphones, but if you were hoping Symbian would die a quick death, you can think again — Nokia will continue to release Symbian phones "until 2012 at least".
At a media briefing in Sydney this morning, Nokia Australia’s managing director Chris Carr stressed that Symbian and Windows Phone 7 will co-exist until at least 2012. When pressed if 2012 would be the last year of Symbian smartphones, Carr refused to confirm or deny the presence of Symbian phones beyond this point. He also said Nokia has "invested an enormous amount of money" in Symbian and stressed the continuation of the platform in years to come.
Carr did confirm Australia will see a Windows Phone 7 based Nokia smartphone in the "first half of 2012" but wasn't willing to provide any more information beyond this very rough time frame. Interestingly, Nokia's top area of focus is "winning in smartphones" (Charlie Sheen anyone?), and Windows Phone 7 is the primary OS for this strategy.
Curiously, Carr also specifically referenced Nokia's competitors Samsung and HTC, saying like these companies do with Android and Windows Phone 7, it is not uncommon to have multiple OS strategies. Of course, this is very true, but HTC and Samsung are in a much stronger position because one of these platforms is Android, and not the dead duck in the water that is Symbian.
Nokia also used this mornings briefing to show off two of its latest Symbian smartphones — the Nokia X7 and the Nokia E6. Both run the latest Symbian Anna platform, which the company claims offers a number of new improvements including faster Web browsing speeds, all new icons (yes, icons), and enhancements to the basic look and feel of the device during general use.
We had a brief hands-on demo of both devices, and although we can’t make any huge conclusions, we suspect both of these devices will suffer the same fate as the Nokia E7, Nokia N8 and Nokia C7 phones — all possess excellent hardware, but are let down by the Symbian OS.
So, would you buy a Symbian phone despite the promise of greener Windows Phone 7 pastures ahead? Let us know in the comments below.