Symbian’s problem isn’t with capabilities, it’s with user experience: namely the clunky, awkward, and occasionally terrible S60 interface. Enter Maemo, to save the day! And also, apparently, a newer, friendlier Symbian. Nokia wants to get better, please.
The latest of Nokia’s reliably rousing Capital Markets Day reports points to two goals, both of which sit decidedly forward from here:
In 2010, we will drive user experience improvements, and the progress we make will take the Symbian user interface to a new level…[Nokia will]deliver our first Maemo 6-powered mobile computer, with an iconic user experience, in the second half of 2010.
Forward in terms of time, obviously, but more importantly in terms of progress: Symbian is getting stale and needs this UI update badly, while Maemo, despite a generally positive reception, is still a little raw, with a slim device selection for at least another year. You can probably assume that Maemo 6 will be more polished and ready for the mainstream, but for now it's just words on paper.
That said, Nokia's self-help regimen will take time. Nokia expects their mobile device volume market share to stay flat for 2010, partly due to their conspicuous absence from the growing US smartphone scene, but mostly, I'm guessing, because even in their European strongholds, Symbian devices are starting to feel plain old.
So yeah, all eyes on Nokia, because things are just about to get exciting! In a year. [Nokia]