Nokia is back, with new Symbian^3 smartphones

Nokia e7 symbian^3 smartphoneAt London’s Nokia World, the embattled phone giant  unveiled three new smartphones – E7, C7, and an updated C6 – amongst a slew of other developer announcements.

The new lineup was introduced by Anssi Vanjoki, head of Nokia’s mobile business who resigned yesterday. He kept the focus on the products and did not discuss his resignation other than noting this was his last Nokia event. Even so, his departure was foremost in everyone’s minds.

Nokia’s recent management troubles are not limited to Vanjoki’s departure. A new CEO is about to step in and the board chairman is expected to step down in 2012. Many are predicting dark days ahead for the company, but Nokia promised the opposite.

“Today we shift into high gear in Nokia’s fight back to smartphone leadership,” said Nokia’s Niklas Savander on the stage.

Still the largest maker of smartphones globally, Nokia is facing stiff competition from Apple, Google, and BlackBerry maker RIM. According to the company, it currently sells around 260,000 smartphones everyday. However, Nokia’s presence in the US has been largely stagnant for the past few years.

Like its flagship model Nokia N8, introduced earlier this year, the three new phones feature Nokia’s Symbian^3 smartphone operating system. All the models are expected to be available for delivery in time for the holiday season. The entire product line will have access to Nokia’s updated Ovi Store and free access to Ovi Maps, Nokia’s navigation application.

Underscoring its commitment to pushing mobile applications into phones, Nokia combined the annual show with the Nokia Developers’ Summit this year. It also announced updrades to its software development tools, Nokia Qt Software Development Kit and Series 40 Touch and Type SDK. The upgrades make it easier to develop applications for Symbian-based phones. The company also update the Ovi Store to allow in-game billing, where users can purchase add-ons in the middle of the game. This is an additional revenue stream for game developers.

The new CEO will have his hands full guiding the company, but the new phones are creating some positive buzz for now.


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