In an interview with the Chinese edition of Nokia Conversations, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop provided a few more details on the company’s plans for Symbian, the operating system about to take a back seat at Nokia due to the adoption of Windows Phone 7.
The interviewer asked ‘where we are at with Symbian’, and Mr. Elop didn’t shy away from providing firm details. His answer in full is as follows:
“So we are in a period where the investment in Symbian absolutely continues. Even as we go through a transition to our primary smartphone platform, Windows Phone, you will see continued investment. I know there have been questions about how long it will continue and we’ve now been very clear about that – software updates to Symbian devices are expected until at least 2016. So there’s a long history still to be paved for Symbian in the future.”
This is very positive news for Symbian fans, as it provides concrete evidence that Nokia isn’t about to abandon the OS completely. There is one slight concern here though – Nokia smartphones running Symbian have been dominant in China for many years, made stronger by signing with China Mobile in 2009, and despite their market share dropping from more than 70% to around 50% in the last six months, still remain the number one mobile OS in the country.
Seeing as the interview was for the benefit of China’s 900 million mobile phone users, and given Symbian’s popularity there, could Mr. Elop’s plans only be relevant to China? After all, Nokia has previously indicated Symbian would still be around in certain markets after it slows in others.
Could the Windows Phone 7 markets still see a Symbian dropped a couple of years before?