Nokia will be selling Windows Phone applications from its own marketplace, with Symbian applications sharing space on the Nokia store shelves until 2016 at the least.
Nokia has been reiterating its commitment to Symbian, with CEO Stephen Elop promising that the company will be supporting applications and issuing software updates until at least 2016 - in China at least. But in his interview with Nokia Conversations China, he also let slip that Nokia intends to sell Windows Phone apps in its own application store.
That's significant, since right now only Microsoft sells applications for its mobile platform, just as Apple holds the monopoly over (legit) iOS app distribution.
Such latitude isn't permitted of other licensees: Samsung, for example, happily sells applications for Symbian, Android, Bada and Windows Mobile though its own "Samsung Apps" service, but customers buying a Samsung Omnia 7 has no option but Microsoft's Marketplace for their mobile applications.
It's not very surprising that Nokia merits special treatment, but given the death of the Ovi brand some have questioned Nokia's future in application retailing: questions Elop sought to address in the interview.
"Indeed: in our online store the applications for Windows Phone, for Series 40 and for Symbian will all be collected together," he said. He was emphasising Nokia's commitment to Symbian, trying to reassure (specifically Chinese) developers that the platform has a future, for the next five years at least.
You can read about the interview on the Nokia Conversations Blog, if your Chinese is up to it (Google's isn't), but the interview itself is in English:
Five years is a long time in mobile, but the very existence of an end date will worry companies who are considering where to invest their development efforts. ®