Symbian in “maintenance mode.” Is this the end of the line for the platform?

by: J. Angelo RacomaOctober 16, 2012

You’ve got to hand it to Symbian. It held the top smartphone spot for quite some time until Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android eventually toppled the platform in terms of user base. I had been a big fan of Symbian since its early EPOC days, and I’ve had my share of Symbian-powered smartphones from the Symbian-powered Nokia communicator series to a 2008 E-series, which was my last Symbian device.

But given the faster pace of platform and app development on iOS and Android, I made the switch and never looked back. It seems Symbian is at, or is nearing, the end of the line. Nokia itself is ceasing updates on Symbian. The Nokia Developer site hints that Nokia may have stopped actively developing the platform.

Dear developer,

Thank you for your improvement ideas, thus (sic) Symbian is in maintenance mode and no new features will be implement[ed] without extremely good reason (business case). We have written down your ideas for future development if there is a chance that new features will be released.

Kind Regards
Nokia Developer support

The latest Symbian update, which was Belle Feature Pack 2, seems to be the latest release, and Symbian is now in “maintenance mode.” This is developer-speak for “complete,” which means no further feature updates will be added to the platform, except perhaps for minor patches that address small bugs. In short, it’s the end of the line for good ol’ Symbian.

There’s an update, though, which may shed some light on the comment.

We do not comment here on Nokia’s product roadmap. Please follow Nokia’s press releases for obtaining such information.

The above message refers to Symbian as a developer platform (that’s what Nokia Developer works with) and dismisses a bug report, or rather feature request, which does not belong here and has no chance of ever being implemented as part of the developer offering. Nokia Drive is an application, it is not part of the developer platform and as such not in the scope of this bug reporting channel.

We are still welcoming bug reports which are affecting the developer platform (NOT product related bug reports) and we will do our best to fix them, if at all possible withing the current platform context.

Best regards,

Either way, Nokia has made the big move to Windows Phone, and with Windows Phone 8 launching formally later this month, it makes more sense to focus on a platform that has more growth potential.

Are there any Symbian fans out there? Do you think Symbian is EOL, or should we expect further updates from Nokia?

  • Rico Suave

    There are still millions of Symbian devices throughout the world. Hopefully they will restore the license from SPL to EPL, and let the open community replace the proprietary code.

  • We need Symbian platform also. May not be Nokia but we hope some Company come’s to Symbian’s rescue as Jolla did to MEEGO HARMATTAN !!! God bless Symbian too…………. :)

  • MasterMuffin

    Symbian is the worst Os ever, it’s not for smartphones! MeeGo was nice, I had fun playing with n9, but I like wp8, going to buy lumia 920 to play with (still going to use sgs3 as #1 phone). Hope nokia rises again to the top spot fight :)