MeeGo to replace Symbian in the future as Nokia goes beyond Smartphones?

| February 22, 2010 | 5 Replies

There has been previous drama already (in August and November) when Maemo was claimed to be replacing Symbian, and being dropped completely in Nseries by 2012. Nokia flat out denied the Maemo swap and said both Maemo and Symbian will co-exist.

“Symbian will continue to be the smartphone OS of our (Nokia’s) choice”

Well, one thing, Maemo is no more. It is now MeeGo. So technically, Maemo isn’t replacing Symbian, MeeGo is. But read on and you’ll see why not even MeeGo is replacing Symbian in smartphones.

The roadmap shows Symbian is here to stay at least until 2012. There’s a lot of exciting stuff coming from Symbian.

But an interesting interview with Nokia’s Senior Vice President responsible for Smartphones, Jo Harlow has revealed some interesting insights into the future of MeeGo (Maemo) and Symbian. Click for “KNOWYOURMOBILE’S” interview.

Some points of interest:

  • MeeGo – can go on a range of devices. It’s an internet based OS. Cannot replace Symbian (right now) as MeeGo not ready for mass market. Symbian can run on a range of devices from mid-high end to low, sub £80 handsets

“MeeGo can’t replace Symbian because when we talk about the mass market, it’s about the transition to more of an internet-based OS”.

  • It will be a long while before Symbian is replaced by MeeGo …but it seems a likely possibility.

Maybe in the future MeeGo can replace Symbian, but not now….How quickly could MeeGo replace Symbian? It’s a lot longer until that will happen.”

  • Symbian for classical smartphone, centred around phone functionality

“Symbian is based upon phone functionality. It’s about what is a classical smartphone and putting functionality around that.”

  • In 2002, S60 was introduced and gradually took over S40 (though S40 is still here, designed for low end where no internet/low cost is paramount). It’s evolution and it will happen again with MeeGo?
  • Nokia won’t be dropping Symbian in Smartphones. Indefinitely it seems, Symbian will be king of Smartphones. That’s why the Symbian ” focus is so strong on renewing the UI and making it a better experience.”.
  • But Nokia is going beyond smartphones.

  • So it seems MeeGo will definitely be ruling the roost at the NEW high end.

“In 2002 when we introduced S60 people asked whether it would replace S40. I think you need to look at where will the market go for mobile devices.Where is that going to evolve too?

There’s an evolution that particularly MeeGo supports that’s beyond what we know what a smartphone is today. There’s the smartphone business and we need to use the right smartphone platform to exploit that rather than having one thing to serve everything we do.”

VIA knowyourmobile (VIA @camb078)

In a video interview when asked about the proportion of MeeGo to Symbian devices by 2012:

“Where is the market going…you have a market stretching in two directions. Traditional smartphone, stretching really well into mass market….and consumers who aren’t going to follow the path of entry to feature phones to smartphones. Many consumers want to go directly to smartphones so that’s an important development, and very clearly the role of Symbian is to take our services and experiences to the mass market.

At the same time, at the other end  you have other products being developed. eReaders, tablets, netbooks etc, …how far that experience which is more internet based computing experience, how attractive that is to the mass market…that will determine the percentages. Our approach is to have the kinds of platforms that will allow us to explore both those opportunities.”

N900 has shown how attractive the whole internet based computing experience is.

To Summarize:

Symbian is the big safety net to keep and attract mass market appeal. MeeGo is the experimental OS for branching out beyond the Smartphone.

MeeGo will replace Symbian in the future as Nokia goes beyond Smartphones but Symbian to stay with traditional smartphones as we know it today.

The replacement is at the high end as we evolve to something higher than smartphones.

Here’s a couple of video interviews with Jo Harlow where she talks about the things discussed


-From this video – all future Symbian Launches will be on Symbian^3 (and up). Is that including Eseries? Seems there’s still a future for non-touch devices.


More MeeGo related.


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Category: Maemo, Nokia, S60, Symbian, Video

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Hey, thanks for reading my post. My name is Jay and I'm a medical student at the University of Manchester. When I can, I blog here at and tweet now and again @jaymontano. We also have a twitter and facebook accounts @mynokiablog and Check out the tips, guides and rules for commenting >>click<< Contact us at tips(@) or email me directly on jay[at]