By Stephen Schenck | November 8, 2010 4:25 PM
Development of the open-source Symbian platform is about to shift into the hands of Nokia’s engineers, as the Symbian Foundation and Nokia announced today that Nokia will take the reigns of future OS design while the Foundation steps back and concentrates on managing the software’s licensing.
While Symbian devices are among the most prolific smartphones in recent production, the platform’s popularity is on the downswing, with eyes turning to emerging smartphone stars like Android and the nascent Windows Phone 7. Hardware manufacturers have been backing away from the platform in recent months, with Sony Ericcson deciding not to manufacture further Symbian handsets just two weeks ago.
As the last major Symbian phone manufacturer, it makes sense for Nokia to get itself as closely integrated with the software’s future development as possible. While Symbian started out with a bang, bringing the first WebKit-based browser to a mobile phone, it hasn’t had the opportunity to really shine recently. The vertical integration of software development with hardware design and Nokia’s marketing muscle might be the shot-in-the-arm Symbian needs for a PR makeover.
In the immediate future, the Symbian Exchange & Exposition 2010 kicks off tomorrow, and Nokia plans on releasing its E7 Symbian-based QWERTY slider before the end of the year.