New phones will still have Symbian app support
When Nokia's first slate of Windows Phone-powered handsets hit the market, so will a new version of Nokia's mobile app store.
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When you buy a new Nokia phone - which could be possible as early as the end of this year - it will be a bit different than any other Windows Phone-powered device on the market. That's because it will still feel like a 'Nokia' experience.
That is to say, users will still be able to power up the phone and browse through Nokia's vast collection of Symbian apps. In addition to being able to run all the latest and greatest Windows Phone content, Nokia is still supporting the legacy Symbian platform.
"Indeed, in our online store the applications for Windows Phone, for Series 40 and for Symbian will all be collected together," Elop said in an interview with his company's own Nokia Conversations Web series.
Because there are still millions upon millions of Symbian-powered Nokia phones activated and in use around the world, Nokia has assured developers that it will still support the Symbian platform until at least 2016.
But rather than try to kill it off slowly over the next five years, it seems Nokia wants to hold onto it as much as possible.
It's surprising that Microsoft would have allowed Nokia to promote Symbian apps on its new Windows Phone-powered phones, but then again we have no idea what all went down in those boardroom meetings between the two companies.
Of course, we expect most people who purchase a Windows Phone device from Nokia will be more interested in the modern, top-of-the-line WP7 apps than the old fashioned developers who are still creating Symbian content.
It does bring to light just how cataclysmic of a change it is for Nokia to even have considered the possibility of letting a third-party OS enter its development facilities. Just five years ago that idea would have been laughable.
Surely over the next five years, Nokia will have to come to grips with the fact that Symbian is a dead platform, though hopefully for the company, in that time its customers will replace their Symbian-powered Nokia phones for Windows Phone-powered Nokia phones. The manufacturer has near monopolistic holds in many developing parts of the world so millions of its users don't really even have a choice as to what phone they want.
The real winner in a situation like that is Microsoft, which will be able to leverage that market position in other parts of the world to strengthen its brand in the regions that really matter like the US and Europe.
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