Nokia has signed a deal with French wireless carrier Orange to put its Symbian-based S60 smartphone software in some Orange phones. The arrangement will allow Orange to customize phones to specific objectives.
Nokia will finally phase out its Symbian operating system in the summer, according to a published report. The phone-maker will continue to sell Symbian-based handsets in emerging markets until supplies run out but will no longer ship the devices, the report said. Nokia, which has embraced Microsoft's Windows Phone platform, sold only 500,000 Symbian phones in the first quarter, including the 808 PureView, which features a 41-megapixel camera.
Nokia managed to hold onto to its global smartphone sales lead in the second quarter, selling 97.9 million handsets -- a 22.8% market share -- as dealers sought to dump supplies of Symbian-based phones, Gartner reported. Android widened its share of the smartphone software market to 43.4%, up from 17.2% a year ago, and third-place Apple's iOS grew by 4 percentage points, to 18.2%, behind the tumbling Symbian. Overall, smartphone sales increased 74% and accounted for 25% of total handset shipments.
Nokia will no longer sell lower-priced feature phones or Symbian-based smartphones in the U.S. and Canada, its top U.S. executive says, adding that the cellphone maker wants to focus solely on its Microsoft venture. Chris Weber also said that Nokia would sell its handsets only through wireless carriers. In a separate interview, Weber offered details on Nokia's first Windows Phone 7 handsets and expressed doubt about a 2011 release. He said the phones would outshine their rivals in the cloud and offer better user interfaces.
Nokia's newly installed CEO Stephen Elop moved to put his stamp on the phone maker by disclosing several changes in company policy after its upbeat earnings were announced. Elop said Nokia will upgrade Symbian-based smartphones on a more incremental basis and release its first MeeGo-based handset next year. The company also said it would listen to offers to invest in its Nokia Siemens Networks venture.
Palm CEO Ed Colligan said the company has no plans to develop Treo smartphones based on the Symbian platform. Colligan said he didn't see a reason for a Symbian-based Treo now that Palm has a deal with Microsoft to run Windows Mobile and noted that Symbian was backed by Nokia, a Palm rival.