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Nokia privileges Symbian over Linux for 2010

Nokia privileges Symbian over Linux for 2010

Although the much-anticipated N900 has finally arrived and the hype behind its Linux-based Maemo operating system is reaching a climax, Nokia has stated that the Symbian OS will remain its smartphone platform of choice for the foreseeable future.

The news has worried critics, who believe that Nokia needs to make significant progress in 2010 if it is to combat the damage caused by falling share prices, a reduced stake in the global market and increased competition from Apple and BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion.

Industry analyst Carolina Milanesi told Reuters that the focus on Symbian rather than Maemo would not be important as long as Nokia was able to produce hit handsets over the next 12 months.

It is likely that Nokia's reluctance to increase the number of Maemo-based handsets is rooted in the fact that it has not yet been able to realise the full potential of the new platform, as Nokia's Maemo controller Ari Jaaksi explained.

Nokia has been working with Linux for almost five years, using Maemo to run its internet tablets, but Mr Jaaksi said that the move into the mobile market for the platform was made because most customers wondered why the devices did not have mobile network connectivity in the first place.

An updated version of Maemo will become available in 2010, allowing software developers to build a single application with compatibility across a variety of mobile operating systems and ideally allowing Nokia to produce handsets that directly rival or surpass the iPhone.

In this respect Nokia's plans to focus on one Maemo handset could be ideal, although analysts predict that the resultant smartphone would have to significantly improve upon the iPhone's user friendliness in order to succeed.

Nokia's continued commitment to the Symbian OS has also been restated by a spokesperson for the company and it is believed that there will be significant upgrades to the platform rolled out over the next year and a half.

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