Nokia has been holding a series of meetups across the globe over the past month as part of its efforts to support the launch of the new N900 smartphone and Maemo 5 operating system. At yesterday's meetup in London, members of the Maemo marketing team unofficially revealed Nokia's plans to drop the current Symbian (S60) OS from the flagship N-Series range of smartphones and switch to the Linux-based Maemo OS. Symbian will be retained, likely to be used in second-tier smartphones such as the E-Series and X-Series. We've heard about this possibility before, but this latest report is the first time Nokia has indicated how it intends to split its two operating systems across its product portfolio.
The report indicates this will be a gradual process with upcoming N-Series handsets running Symbian already in development. Nokia currently views the N900 and Maemo as "bridge" products mainly targeting developers and enthusiasts, but aims to develop Maemo into a mass market platform to compete with the iPhone OS, Android, and Windows Mobile, competitors that Symbian has been losing market share to.
I personally see this as a positive step for Nokia as I have been extremely impressed with Maemo 5 on the N900 with its slick, intuitive interface, very fast performance, and in my opinion probably the best web browsing experience on a smartphone with its Mozilla-based browser. The open source nature of the OS should also be very developer friendly and will hopefully be successful in gaining support. There is also some early info on the concept for Maemo 6 due to be released in 2010, which looks very promising.
We would love to hear your thoughts on this possible development![The Really Mobile Project]