Nokia will take control of Symbian development from next Spring, leaving the Symbian Foundation to look after licensing software and protecting other intellectual property, including the Symbian trademark.
Nokia will then be able to work on enhancing the Symbian platform at a faster pace, following the announcement that the handset manufacturer intends to add features on an ongoing basis, rather than holding back for a major release (originally planned as Symbian^4 in the first half of 2011).
As part of the transition, the Symbian Foundation will reduce its operation, with a reduction of staff that will be announced later, and work with remaining licensees. Although Samsung and Sony Ericsson have recently stated that they will not continue with Symbian Foundation development, there are still vendors in Japan that use the operating system.
Following the announcement, Nokia stated that it will invest its own resources in developing Symbian, expecting to deliver a ‘strong portfolio of Symbian-based smartphones to people around the world’.
Jo Harlow, Nokia Senior VP of Smartphones said: “The changes announced by the foundation have no impact on Nokia’s Symbian device roadmaps or shipping commitments. The platform powers hundreds of millions of smartphones – including our own – and we expect to deliver ongoing support and innovation benefitting the Symbian ecosystem in the future.”. The company expects to sell over 50 million devices based on the Symbian^3 OS installed on recent models that include the Nokia N8, C6-01, C7 and E7.