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Nokia revamps Symbian OS for India

Priyanka Joshi  |  Mumbai 

In the course of the next one year, Nokia plans to introduce up to 10 new Symbian-based smartphones in the country.

According to Deloitte estimates, the company commands about 49 per cent of the market share in India.

Nokia is set to launch the N8, E7, C7 and C6-01 with the new Symbian Anna software update, which includes a number of user experience improvements. Symbian Anna is an update to the existing Symbian operating system (OS), and has been driven almost entirely by consumer feedback. The update would bring a faster web browser, new icons for its main interface, an update to Ovi Maps and enhanced security features. A new split-screen view would also be introduced.

“The Symbian Anna upgrade gives users a set of new icons, a faster web browser, improved text input and enhanced maps. In other words, your phone would get a free make-over,” says Nokia India’s recently-appointed director (marketing), Viral Oza, adding by September, even existing owners of these devices would be able to download Symbian Anna. He said Symbian and Windows Phone 7 would co-exist until at least 2012. “Nokia has invested an enormous amount in Symbian, and we would continue to support Symbian devices till 2016,” he asserts.

Talking about the Symbian Anna features, Oza says, “Even business users would benefit from the improved instant messaging with Microsoft Communicator Mobile email enhancements, including full-meeting request support and business grade security, with hardware accelerated encryption. It also offers easy and secure intranet access for people who want to get on their company intranet.”

Earlier, announcing the launch of dual-SIM devices at a global event, Nokia chief executive Stephen Elop said, “Innovation is at the heart of our strategy, and today, we took important steps to demonstrate a new pace of innovation at Nokia. It's the beginning of a new era for Nokia." Elop also underlined the company’s attempt to fortify its entry-level device offerings. Nokia recently introduced the C-series devices, including dual and single SIM options, with advanced web and maps experience for Series 40 (the earlier version of Symbian operating system) phone users, as well as the choice of a touch screen or a keypad.

Oza says entry-level and feature phones would be important for Nokia in India, where value proposition is the key while buying a new device. Giving users relevant software and services along with the devices is also critical to maintaining its position. With eight million downloads a week on its Ovi Store, close to two million email activations and six million music tracks on its store, Oza insists the company is streamlining the software division to match the needs of smartphone users. The company has already announced its intention to its combine the Navteq mapping unit with its location-based services business.

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First Published: Thu, June 30 2011. 00:26 IST