At a Nokia developer event that took place earlier this week in Mexico, one of the presenters had a slide up that revealed the next two versions of Symbian and what makes them standout. Similar to how Google names Android versions by using dessert names in alphabetical order (Donut, Eclair, Froyo, etc.), Nokia is using women’s first names. After Symbian^3 there was Symbian Anna, then Belle, and now we know about Carla and Donna. Carla is set to introduce a new version of the Nokia browser, version 8, which we have no details about; it’s also going to come with Dolby Surround Sound support, more NFC features, and an improved widget engine. It’s rumored that the successor to the Nokia N8, which is currently the best camera phone on the market, will run Carla. As for Donna, all we know is that it’ll support dual core processors. That’s it. When will these respective operating systems come out? Carla is a late 2012 to early 2013 product, and we have no idea about Donna, though we have severe doubts that it’ll even ship.
What’s aggravating about all of this is that when Symbian was in Nokia’s hands, they innovated at such a glacial pace that a large portion of Nokia smartphone owners simply switched platforms. Yesterday Gartner released their Q3 2011 smartphone figures and Symbian is at a pathetic 16.9% market share whereas just one short year ago it was 36.3%. Yet during the past 12 months we’ve seen Symbian^3 come out, Symbian Anna, and now Symbian Belle devices are starting to trickle out into the market. It’s a bit odd that an operating system that’s nose diving into irrelevance is being whipped up into shape just before it kicks the bucket. Then again Nokia followed the same strategy with MeeGo. The Nokia N9 has one of the best operating systems on the market, yet it’s been killed because Nokia has committed to Windows Phone.
Anyways, as always, we look forward to seeing what Nokia brings to the table since they have an incredible brand and they’ve got some world class designers lurking around their Finnish offices.