Nokia’s just released three new smartphones for the masses. Ok! And they’re all running a new version of SymbianOS. OK? After all the despair and hardship that led up to their teaming up with Microsoft, shouldn’t Symbian be dead by now?
And don’t get me wrong. The new handsets certainly look attractive and usable, and each have their amenities. The €290 701 boasts an 8MP camera, 1GHz processor, and what Nokia claims is the brightest screen the world has ever seen. The tiny €270 700 is tiny, Nokia calling it the smallest monoblock phone on the market. And the €180 600 is their loudest smartphone to date. All feature NFC, which Nokia plans to use with its other products, and carry Bluetooth, GPS, and FM radios. As much as I’m reminded of Android phones, pretty neat.
So why go with Symbian? After all, Stephen Elop said that Symbian was “crufy”. It was dead in the water. While it was never the sad joke that MeeGo became, its time had certainly passed.
Or so we thought? Now we have this Symbian Belle release. And it seems they’ve gone ahead and tried to fix their past mistakes… by copying Android in every way. Widgets! Status bar notifications! All stuff that, if Nokia was going to do this sort of thing at all, it should have been two years ago. These phones put themselves in the same category as the recently released N9. They’re potentially solid phones that will still be rendered irrelevant by what it’s up against in the market. They’re not quite wasted opportunities, but they’re squandered on a public that won’t truly want them.