Nokia announced yesterday that the Symbian Foundation will morph its role from an operational entity to an IP and trademark licensing entity. This news should not affect Symbian's future. After all, Nokia paid EUR 260 million to acquire Symbian to save royalty fees. This news along with Nokia's previous announcement about the Symbian platform iterations clearly suggests one thing; Nokia appears to be not interested in highlighting Symbian as a consumer-facing brand unlike Google's Android. Not talking about Symbian could also save PR nightmares for Nokia. Whether Symbian is developed by an independent entity or within Nokia is ultimately irrelevant. What is more important is how Nokia maintains support from the developer community. If it fails to inspire developers then the platform will lose mind share among users and lose market share in the smartphone market.
From now onwards Qt will take the central role in Nokia's software strategy and Nokia may stop talking about Symbian altogether in future. It remains to be seen whether Nokia will apply this to its other platform, MeeGo. In future Nokia may deploy Qt even on its Series 40 platform and may call every Qt-enabled phone as a smartphone.
On paper Nokia appears to have a clean software strategy with Qt but so far we haven't seen any tangible evidence of it. Previously we expressed concerns with Nokia's speed of execution with Qt and it looks like we will have to wait until 2011 to see the real evidence of this software strategy. We also note that Nokia is the only vertical vendor who is open sourcing its proprietary platforms.