In a recent interview that was posted to the Chinese version of Nokia Conversation, full transcript on All About Symbian, Stephen Elop, the CEO of Nokia, said “software updates to Symbian devices are expected until at least 2016”. That’s half a decade away from now, which is kind of a hard pill to swallow since this past February Elop said that Nokia would switch to using Windows Phone as their primary smartphone operating system and that they’d ship around 150 million more Symbian devices before calling it quits. What’s likely to happen is that Nokia is going to keep Symbian afloat for as long as it takes for them to release cheap Windows Phones in volume. One of Nokia’s greatest achievements was shipping smartphones running Symbian for under 150 Euros, but these days that’s not really impressive since Chinese and Indian handset makers have figured out how to make similar devices running Android for the same price. This make us wonder, what’s after Anna?
In November 2010 Nokia talked about a slew of updates that would be hitting Symbian^3 devices in early 2011. Said software update recently got a name, Anna, and a feature list (new web browser, portrait QWERTY keyboard, more responsive home screen), but it never got a ship date. Considering that it’s June in less than a week, a full 7 months after Anna was first brought up, yet still no Anna, we’re not exactly sure what kind of updates Nokia can deliver when given half a decade, especially since Nokia decided to get rid of all their Symbian engineers and turn them into contractors who now work at Accenture.
Anyway, time will tell. In other news, Stephen Elop was asked what mobile phone he uses, and his answer is surprisingly the Oro, the blinged out version of the C7, along with a few “competitor products to experiment with, to make sure I understand what’s going on in the market”. Hopefully that’s code for iPhone.
Update: Video of the interview for those who prefer to lay back and watch, rather than read: