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Samsung shuts out Symbian

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Samsung is pulling its support for Symbian developers and content ahead of the Windows Phone 7 launch, leaving Nokia even more isolated in supporting the world's most popular smartphone OS.

A mail sent out to developers schedules the development lab to close at the end of October, while the the Forum lasts until December 30. Anyone hoping to get a Symbian application signed for the Samsung Apps store will need to ensure it completes the process before the end of the year - though developers might decide not to bother.

Samsung has always been the most promiscuous of manufacturers, happy to partner with any OS that came along and never burning any bridges. Much of that comes from the company's history as an OEM, providing whatever service the customer desired - the customer usually being a network operator cruising Seoul for some handset action.

When Samsung launched its developer programme it admitted this was just to avoid its customers having to get support from Nokia for Symbian development. It's hard to imagine there are many developers still interested in Symbian who won't be targeting Nokia handsets.

Samsung's plan has long been to rival Nokia, but it can't do that while pandering to every desperate OS out there, especially when the company's own Bada OS is supposed to be spreading smartphone capabilities into feature phone handsets, the space where Nokia has pegged its own Symbian handsets. Thus the developer support for Symbian disappears.

Samsung has not said it won't make new Symbian handsets - OEM'ing is in its blood. If someone comes along with a fat cheque book then all bets are off. But the company won't support developers creating applications for a platform that it now considers to belong to the competition. ®

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