Nokia disappoints with Symbian strategy

13 Apr 2011

Nokia’s faithful left the vendor in no doubt they were disappointed by the launch of the latest version of Symbian yesterday.

It’s fair to say we share their dissatisfaction. Having expected a sweeping future strategy announcement, what we got was Anna, two new smartphones, and vague promises about future availability of the new operating system.

The firm introduced Symbian Anna on the business focused X7 and E6 smartphones, promising the new platform offers usability improvements covering text input, browser speed and access to updated Ovi Maps.

Smartphone head Jo Harlow said the updated operating system will available soon for additional devices including the N8, E7, C7 and C6-01, but digging beyond the well polished press release reveals the firm is unsure when that will happen, and that users aren’t happy about it.

“The exact dates on which Symbian Anna will be available for download to existing devices are not yet available, beyond ‘in the coming months’. We’ll keep you posted as soon as more information is available,” a company blogger wrote. Users quickly responded with a torrent of abuse regarding the time taken to develop the new platform, and called for a commitment to a launch date for existing devices.

Nokia sparked rumors of a troubled birth for Anna in December, when it delayed the launch of its flagship E7 device until 1Q11. The unit was destined to be one of the first to run the new software, but now appears to be consigned to the “coming soon” list. The vendor also persistently delayed its high-end N8, reportedly due to software problems.

For the time being, the new X7 and E6 are scheduled to launch during 2Q11 – a target Nokia must live up to or risk exhausting the last of their faithful follower’s patience.

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