Ronnie05's Blog

Maemo and Symbian: Nokia’s Dual OS strategy

Posted in Mobile Devices and Company Updates by Manas Ganguly on November 20, 2009

The Nokia N900 finally sees the light of the day. The N 900 is a device on which Nokia’s high end fortunes will depend upon. However, the Nokia N900 tablet is also a “first ever” in terms of high end device not sporting the Symbian S60 platform. The Maemo 5 OS powers the N900. The N900 sports a 5MP camera and a 32 GB memory and a flash web browser and is priced at $649. The S60 5th edition OS (as used on the N97 and N97 mini) might be mature, but it’s pretty damn woeful. Nokia’s much-hyped 5800 and N97 showed that Symbian is now ill-suited to running a sophisticated, modern and easy-to-use multimedia phone, and so now, maybe Maemo lights the way. Maemo 5 (used by the N900) definitely has a better user experience, and though it’s not perfect either, it’s definitely headed in the right direction. Nokia seems to be finally dipping its toe in to the water of an entirely new firmware future.

Rumors suggest that Nokia will drop Symbian from the entire ‘top end’ N-Series range of handsets in favour of Maemo by 2012. Nokia has products on both platforms, with the Nokia N900 (Maemo), Nokia X6 and the Nokia N97 mini (Symbian). Going forward, Nokia seems to be planning all N Series (Mobile Internet devices) on the Maemo platform and the other phones series (XpressMusic and Enterprise series) in the Symbian platform. What’s more likely is Nokia adds more Maemo-powered handsets like the N900, which it’s called a “tablet”, to an extended top-tier Nseries lineup, while retaining Symbian S60 for its mid-range multimedia smartphones and S40 for basic candybars and emerging-market devices.

Nokia must now hope the Symbian Foundation can get developers to innovate around a somewhat open-sourced OS sufficiently to reinvent the software from its base. But it has to keep an option on Maemo as it waits for the incumbent to catch up.

In the mean time, none of the US carriers have picked up the N900. An unsubsidized N900 @ $649 will be make it very difficult for Nokia to convince its consumers to pick up. Nokia can ill afford N97’s fiasco repeated again. Historically, it dosnot have a great record in securing a competent eco-system, a decent OS and also operators to support its devices. Nokia is atleast trying to change the OS aspect of the equation with Maemo.

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  1. […] } Barely 15 day s after i had written about Nokia’s dual OS strategy, It turns out theat Maemo is not so big news from […]

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