The Nokia N8, to be released later this year, will be the last N-Series handset running Symbian. From then on it's MeeGo all the way.
That's not to say that Nokia will be dropping Symbian entirely, but the Finns have long seen it as the perfect OS for spreading the smart phone joy into the less well-off demographic, so it should come as no surprise that its own flagship handsets will be switching to MeeGo.
"Going forward, N-series devices will be based on MeeGo" a Nokia spokesman told Reuters. That's pretty clear, and means those rushing out to buy an N8 will find themselves cut off from future N-Series applications.
It also raises the question of which OS will run the N9, which was expected to emerge shortly after the N8. Nokia's been getting good press for keeping the price of the N8 down in comparison to the iPhone, but perhaps that's in order to make way for a higher-priced iPhone 4 competitor running MeeGo.
Symbian will remain on lower-end devices, and if Nokia can push Qt hard enough (and the company is certainly putting its back into it at the moment) then perhaps cross-platform applications will smooth the technical gap. But sustaining two incompatible smartphone platforms won't be easy, even for Nokia. ®
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