Nokia and Accenture announced an agreement on April 27th with plans to outsource further Symbian development. That deal has been finalized between the two companies and is expected to go into effect in early October.
The main reason for such a move is so Accenture can support Symbian while Nokia focuses on making the transition to Windows Phone devices through a partnership with Microsoft announced in February. On top of support for Symbian, Accenture is also expected to use the skills of employees to provide software, business, and operational services for Windows Phone to Nokia. Starting this month, around 2,800 Nokia employees in China, Finland, India, UK, and U.S. will be transferred to Accenture. The agreement lasts until 2016.
Jo Harlow, Executive VP for Smart Devices at Nokia, explains the partnership decision:
“Our collaboration with Accenture allows us to meet our ongoing commitment to support our Symbian smartphone customers and continue to leverage the talent that has the deepest experience on the platform. As we move our primary smartphone platform to Windows Phone, we will look to explore potential opportunities to tap this talent pool as they develop and expand their knowledge and capabilities beyond Symbian.”
Indeed, Nokia is already hard at work pumping out Windows Phone devices. Nokia previously confirmed on Twitter that its first Windows Phone 7 device will ship by the end of 2011, and additional smartphones are coming in volume next year.
So far, five Nokia Windows Phone handsets have leaked: Ace, Lumia, Sabre, Sea Ray, and Sun. They pack at least a 3.7-inch display, a slightly underwhelming 1.4 GHz single-core processor, and 5 MP camera, though some have larger displays and higher-resolution cameras. They will run Mango+, which is presumably going to be Microsoft’s first update to Windows Phone 7.5. Nokia World starts on October 26th, so expect to hear the official details then.