Nokia gives up on Symbian (the brand), promises Belle update for February
It’s been an interesting few years for Nokia in terms of branding. At first, all their new services were Nokia-branded. Nokia this, Nokia that. Then all of those things got rebranded, with Nokia making way to Ovi. So Ovi this, Ovi that. Then Ovi was dropped, and everything (or rather, the few services still left working) got rebranded to Nokia again.
And now we have one more new Nokia-branded thing. An operating system, no less.
Today is Wednesday, December 21, 2011. Please mark this date in your calendar. It is today that Symbian has died. Finally and officially.
And, perhaps telling of the importance ascribed to it inside Nokia these days, that announcement was buried inside another announcement.
Nokia decided not to call Symbian Symbian anymore. The newest version of the OS, Symbian Belle, will be known from now on as Nokia Belle. Of course the OS is still there, alive and kicking (at least until Nokia’s transition to Windows Phone will be complete). It’s just that it won’t be called Symbian anymore.
This may have been done because the Symbian brand itself was pretty much worthless anyway. After many years of being basically shattered by the media, it just had to go. Although Nokia has been associated with Symbian (obviously), it’s clear which is the stronger brand. And it has prevailed. This may be an interesting attempt to shed a new light on Symbian-powered devices (make them more appealing to people who hate Symbian because the media told them to hate Symbian), or simply to get rid of the appearance that Nokia works with many different operating systems. From now on, for branding purposes, Nokia devices will either run Windows Phone or they won’t. Nokia Belle is something that you and I know is a smartphone operating system, but that bit of information may be irrelevant to many of those who’ll buy such a handset.
Alongside the brand change, Nokia finally announced when the Belle update will be out for existing devices which are currently on Symbian Anna (the N8, E7, E6, X7, C6-01, C7, and Oro). And, just as expected, it won’t happen this year. The update will come in February, probably around the end of the month if you ask us (that’s Nokia’s usual M.O., plus it’s when Mobile World Congress will happen, and we’re guessing that the Finnish company will announce the availability of the update then).
Nokia has also let us know that new N8, C7, and C6-01 units are now being dispatched across the world from factories running Nokia Belle. So if you buy one of these devices soon, you may end up getting one with Belle preinstalled. These units will arrive in China first, apparently, and they’ll make their way to other countries after that. There’s no clear time frame though.