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Nokia to cull Symbian from smartphones?

Could be lining up Linux instead

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Nokia smartphones may soon be shipped running the phone giant's Linux-based Maemo operating system instead of Symbian, it has been claimed.

Maemo – also known as the Internet Tablet OS – has been around since 2005 and was originally designed for Nokia’s family of handheld internet gadgets.

Now a report by the Financial Times Deutschland has hinted that Nokia is preparing to drop Symbian from its smartphones, in favour of Maemo. The paper’s source is unclear.

Nokia spent €264m (£228/$367) when it acquired Symbian in 2008, so it’s highly unlikely that the firm will simply drop Symbian from its entire range of handsets.

But Symbian’s global market share has suffered of late, according to figures from market watcher Gartner. For example, the OS’ share dropped from 62.3 per cent during Q4 2007 to 47.1 per cent during Q4 2008, a fall of 15.2 percentage points.

By contrast, Windows Mobile’s share increased by 7.8 percentage points between those two quarters, reaching 12.4 per cent in Q4 2008. RIM's Blackberry OS went from 10.9 per cent to 19.5 per cent, and the iPhone OS from 5.2 per cent to 10.7 per cent.

Pictures of a Maemo-powered Nokia N900 emerged online recently, leading many to speculate that Nokia is on the verge of launching the handset as the first of many Maemo-based smartphones. ®

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