MeeGo, Symbian roadmaps to diverge

Mark Jones/Rethink Wireless
03 Dec 2010

Details about the roadmap of Symbian and future plans for MeeGo have been revealed, as Nokia's business smartphones chief Ilari Nurmi spoke to ZDNet about developments with the Finnish giant's mobile platforms.

The biggest news to come out of the conversation is that Symbian will continue to be developed but only for use on business handsets, whereas the upcoming MeeGo will be reserved for high-end devices aimed at the general consumer.

MeeGo is intended for use on a range of devices, not just smartphones, and is already available on the WeTab tablet. The first handset to be running MeeGo was due to be released this year but was pushed back to 2011 in October.

As far as Symbian goes there will now be no break between Symbian^3 and Symbian^4, but a series of incremental updates instead. This is considered to be a better tactic for enterprise phones as it will spare developers the headache of having to work with two different platforms.

“If you look at the largest Symbian developers, you take companies like Microsoft, IBM, Cisco - they are all Symbian developers who are developing the most important business apps for corporate users. All of these companies will benefit from the fact that there is a more evolutionary approach,” Nurmi told ZDNet.

The first major update for Symbian^3 will arrive in the first quarter of 2011, though at the time there won't be any way for IT managers to control them as they will be distributed over-the-air.

Symbian^3's use in non-business handsets is not over yet, though – as shown by recent leaks detailing the N7-00 gaming-centric smartphone running the platform. The device will be the latest in a series of high-end handsets from Nokia, and will be join the more enterprising version of the N8 - the E7 - which is due to be released in January.

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