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Nokia is set to take back the Symbian platform as licensees like Samsung and Sony Ericsson abandon the operating system in favour of Google’s Android.

The company said that it would be taking full control of the Symbian platform from next year, while the Symbian Foundation will be responsible for licensing software and other trademark property such as the Symbian trademark. The first phase of the foundation’s transition will involve a reduction in operations and staff numbers.

Symbian Foundation’s Executive Director, Tim Holbrow said, “There has since been a seismic change in the mobile market but also more generally in the economy, which has led to a change in focus for some of our funding board members. The result of this is that the current governance structure for the Symbian platform – the foundation – is no longer appropriate.”

Despite the big changes in the mobile market, the foundation is still optimistic that the OS will still be a solid platform.

Nokia’s Senior Vice President of Smartphones, Jo Harlow said that it is still committed to Symbian and will push more handsets running on the OS in the next coming months.

“Make no mistake, Nokia chooses Symbian,” said Harlow in a posting on Nokia’s blog site.

 

Harlow added, “Do not confuse the endof the Foundation with the end of the Symbian platform. The Foundation has been very important in steering the platform through increasingly challenging waters, but the Foundation and the platform are not the same. Nokia has no intention to change the plans announced on the 21st October to continue to develop and evolve Symbian.”

“Nokia believes in Symbian because we know that it isthe only platform capable of serving our global audience with a range of devices carrying locally relevant content and services. We also believe that decisions were needed to make Symbian more competitive and attractive to developers,” continued Harlow.

“Nokia remains committed to Symbian as the most used smartphone platform around the world. The Nokia N8 generated the highest online pre-orders we’ve ever experienced and we have a family of Symbian^3 smartphones including the Nokia N8, Nokia C7, and Nokia C6-01 which are available now, as well as the Nokia E7 which is expected to ship before the end of 2010. Nokia expects to sell more than 50 million Symbian^3 smartphones,” concluded Harlow.

The Symbian Foundation leadership team will work together with Nokia to ensure that the reduction in operations of the foundation will bring as little disruption to the ecosystem as possible. Further details of this process will be shared at a later date.

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