Home Report: Nokia to Discontinue Symbian Smartphones in the United States

Report: Nokia to Discontinue Symbian Smartphones in the United States

The death spiral of Nokia’s smartphone brands continues. Symbian, which once was a global powerhouse for smartphone adoption, will no longer be sold in North America. This comes on the heels of the news that the MeeGo-based Nokia N9, considered to be its most powerful and user-friendly phone to date, will also not be available in the United States.

There was really no reason for Nokia to keep Symbian around in North America. It had never reached any type of critical market or mind share and devices were rare on the shelves of the four major U.S. carriers. Yet, there is something to be said for Nokia’s dominating brand getting phased out. It never had a great user interface, although it had a healthy app store with Ovi, with thousands of developers worldwide making Symbian apps. Yet, with Nokia prepping for a large scale launch of Windows Phone 7, there is no room left in the North American market for Symbian or MeeGo.

In an interview with AllThingsD, Chris Weber, the president of Nokia’s U.S. subsidiary, said that once Windows Phone comes out “we will essentially be out of the Symbian business, the S40 business, etc.”

“It will be Windows Phone and the accessories around that. The reality is if we are not successful with Windows Phone, it doesn’t matter what we do (elsewhere),” Weber said to AllThingsD.

Nokia’s market strategy has Microsoft written all over it. CEO Stephen Elop was a former Microsoft executive, as was Weber. The idea is to start in the U.S. and then make devices available worldwide. The theory is that any type of critical mass in the North American market can carry overseas, much the same way that it has for Apple and Android.

Nokia also plans its biggest marketing campaign ever for Windows Phone, which also falls in line with Microsoft’s blueprint. Microsoft’s XBox lost money for years as the company poured dollars into its advertising effort, and the effort eventually paid off.

Nokia’s Windows Phones are expected to come out later this year integrated with “Mango,” the next development of the platform.

Are you going to miss Symbian? Or is it hard to miss something that you have never really seen before? On the other end, are you excited about new Windows Phones, from Nokia or elsewhere? Let us know in the comments.

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