Nokia Dumps Symbian and Employees Off to Accenture

by Matt Klassen on April 28, 2011

In a case of what one might call reverse déjà vu, Nokia decided this time to wait until after it had unveiled its new Symbian upgrades and new smartphones before it unceremoniously ripped the carpet out from under the struggling mobile OS. In fact, like so many cheesy formulaic movie scripts, the only thing unexpected about the announcement that Nokia has finally dumped Symbian—and several thousands OS related employees—is just how expected it was.

To wit, we’ve seen this confusing flip-flop from Nokia so many times before that even though we should expect nothing but the same from the Finnish company, we hope that maybe, just maybe, this time things will be different. 

But of course things aren’t different, as yesterday Nokia announced that it was officially done with Symbian, signing a deal with the Accenture that outsources control of the mobile OS and transfers some 3000 employees to the consulting firm. While Nokia will keep official ownership and intellectual property rights to Symbian, it looks like its torturous affiliation with the Finnish company is finally coming to an end.

This certainly wouldn’t be the first time I’ve sat staring at my computer screen, dumbfounded by the confusing marketing strategies employed by the world most popular cellphone manufacturer. Whether it was with MeeGo or WP7, Nokia has done nothing but undercut Symbian, only to later vainly attempt to restore consumer confidence in the OS in an effort to sell doomed ‘flagship’ smartphones.

In all seriousness, if Nokia executives are still wondering why their company is losing ground faster than Poland facing a blitzkrieg, they need only to look in the mirror and realize that every single move they’ve made over the past year has been the wrong one, even the moves clearly designed to undo the previous mistakes.

Lost in the Symbian shuffle, though, are the fates of some 4000 employees, those unfortunate enough to not have their responsibilities transferred to Accenture in the deal. Nokia has announced that in an effort to reduce its overall operating expenses by 1 billion Euros by the end of 2012 it would, in addition to offloading Symbian and its cronies, be laying off thousands of employees.

But just in case you thought that Nokia would actually break its love-hate cycle with Symbian, perhaps giving the OS a chance to flourish under new management, Nokia has made it clear that it will still retain all ownership rights to the OS as well as all intellectual property rights, meaning that obtrusive and unhelpful meddling will probably continue to be the order of the day even as Accenture tries to reverse Symbian’s fading fortunes.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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