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Nokia’s Symbian gets OS CPR

Just when we thought that Symbian had joined the technology graveyard – buried alongside the Betamax and AmigaOS, it gets OS CPR.

Symbian gets a revival even after Nokia executive Stephen Elop’s internal memo was leaked, a memo in which he pronounced Symbian DOA by comparing it to a platform on fire (and not in the good way). It was expected by most analysts that Nokia would adopt Microsoft’s new phone OS on future Nokia hardware.

Nokia was relegated to the cellphone sidelines after the iPhone was released in 2007, and was all but pushed out of the smartphone market. Staying alive primarily via their feature phone offering the company took serious losses.

A few days ago Nokia pushed back into the smartphone market with the release of two new phones and an updated Symbian OS dubbed Symbian Anna (or Symbian^3 or Symbian^4 – depending on who you talk to). Their OS update has new icons, better text input capabilities, a faster browser (vitally necessary) and a renewed version of Ovi Maps.

But is this OS CPR too late? Symbian developers have been dropping the OS in favor of its more popular counterparts. “It’s just a bit too late to put Humpty Dumpty back together. Developers are bailing out in droves,” says Tero Kuittinen, an analyst at MKM Partners. Nokia’s development tools have been called cumbersome, which has kept Nokia from attracting a larger number of developers, developers who prefer the greater toolset available with the iPhone and Android systems.

Despite Nokia’s developer problems, they still have managed to reach over 5 million downloads daily from the Ovi Store, compared to 10 million for the Apple App Store – showing that Symbian isn’t dead yet.

The two new Nokia models being released with the upgrade Symbian operating system are the E6 and X7 and are expected to cost around $500 USD. Both will be released to the public later this quarter.

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