Today, Nokia announced two new Symbian-based smartphone devices, the E6 and X7, both of which will launch with the latest version of the Symbian software, code-named "Symbian Anna." The update brings new icons, usability enhancements, a faster Web browser and a new version of Ovi Maps.

Despite Nokia's plans to move its smartphone product line over to Windows Phone, the company is still actively developing Symbian during the transition period of 2011 to 2012, and expects to sell 150 million more devices running the mobile operating system. Those will join the 200 million devices in the market now. With those numbers in mind, it's not surprising that Nokia's other news today involves the growth of its Ovi Store, which the company said has increased by nearly eight times over the last year, now reaching 5 million downloads per day.

Ovi Store Performance Update

Although the Symbian OS now has a clearly marked expiration date, for a "dying" (or is that "burning?") platform, it's still doing well. Nokia is citing increased demand for apps from its 200-million strong Symbian customer base as the reason for the Ovi Store's continued growth, in fact.

As of today, the Ovi catalog tops 40,000 apps, with approximately 1,000 new ones added per week. It also has 158 developers from 41 countries who have surpassed the million download milestone for each of their apps, Nokia says.

The company also reported that the Ovi Store is now seeing up to 5 million downloads per day, and of those, the latest Symbian devices (N8, C6-01, C7, E7) account for 15% of the daily downloads.

What's in Store for Developers?

Since the announcement of the Nokia/Microsoft partnership in February 2011, Symbian developers have been concerned about what these changes mean for them and their app businesses. Recently, Purnima Kochikar, VP of Forum Nokia, attempted to reassure developers that all was well, despite this transition.

Kochikar promised that new updates - the same ones revealed today - would arrive this summer. And other updates were planned, she said, including app analytics, in-app advertising, in-app purchasing and more.

In some regions with significant market share, including China, Russia, India and Turkey, Symbian is still the lead smartphone platform, Kochikar said. And the company will continue to sell Symbian phones in certain markets "long after Windows Phone devices from Nokia have already started to appear in other markets," she explained.

"What I can promise you is that we will not just abandon Symbian users or developers," Kochikar wrote. "Our intention is that when users come to the end of the natural lifecycle of their Symbian device they will make the change to a Nokia Windows Phone device and so it would not be in our interests to undermine their Nokia smartphone experience."

Her full message to Nokia Symbian developers can be found here.

New Symbian Devices

That message seems to resonate today with the launch of the new Symbian devices, designed to capture the interest of business users (with the E6) and entertainment-focused consumers (with the X7). The E6 is a BlackBerry-like device with full QWERTY keyboard, high-res screen and support for Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Communicator Mobile and Microsoft SharePoint.

The X7, meanwhile, forgoes the hardware keyboard for a large 4-inch display, 8-megapixel camera and support for HD video.

Both will ship Q2 2011 with Symbian Anna. Other Symbian devices will also receive the new Anna update, says Nokia, "in the coming months."

More details on the phones and the software is available here.