Nokia OS Strategy: Meego In, Symbian Out?

The internal fragmentation between Nokia's (NYSE: NOK  ) smartphone operating systems has likely caused many developers to simply not develop for Nokia devices. The best example is the fact that many developers chose not to develop apps for the Nokia N900 because the future of the Maemo 5 operating system was unsure with the announcement of Meego earlier this year. Further casting doubt upon Nokia's OS offerings was the announcement of Symbian^3 which was supposed to be released on the Nokia N8 and would likely be used on many of Nokia's future smartphone devices, that is, until today.

Although Nokia has mentioned that Symbian^3, MeeGo and Maemo would have the ability to allow apps to interoperate between operating systems with the use of Qt, there was still quite a bit of fragmentation considering that Nokia had 3 different OSes with somewhat questionable futures. Maemo appears to definitely be dead after the Nokia N900 while Meego appears to have some future even though this joint venture OS between Nokia and Intel has yet to announce a single device planned to implement it. In addition to that, Symbian^3 only had the Nokia N8 and simply added further confusion to the Nokia OS mix. That comes to recent announcement ... Nokia has decided that after the release of the Nokia N8, there would no longer be any N-series devices [the high-end flagship phones] running Symbian^3 which will hopefully improve the unification of devices and OSes on Nokia's high end. The only thing is, this statement does not spell the end of Symbian^3 but rather relegates it to use in lower, less expensive and probably less complex devices.

This makes things wide open for Intel (Nasdaq: INTC  ) to start shipping first millions, then tens of millions of its new mobile-phone oriented Atom processors, first into high-end smartphone models, then into lower models as well, as it is more than obvious Meego and Symbian^3 are taking a back seat-first high-end, then mainstream, and then entry-level smartphones.

Nokia already decided that it is going to sever its ties to Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN  ) and their OMAP series of SoC's, and now it looks like newly established out-of-court relationship with Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM  ) will last only until Intel is able to develop low-power processors, as their present and near-future product line-up just doesn't fit in power consumption demands of majority of smartphone line-up.

All we can say is that perhaps Nokia is beginning to understand what they need to do in order to improve their developer adoption of their Meego OS. Meego certainly has a future as long as Nokia does not cast doubt upon it's future and continues to support it. We also have noticed that there may be some Meego tablets coming out as well and if Nokia can help establish a unified OS architecture similar to Apple's iOS and Google's Android they can perhaps experience the same amount of consumer and developer attention that Apple and Google have been so happy to attract.

You can read from Anshel Sag at Bright Side of News* here

Intel is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. The Fool has created a covered strangle position on Intel. Motley Fool Options has recommended buying calls on Intel. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

 


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