Throwback: Symbian OS Evolution (S60, Belle, Meego)


A retro lookback @ Nokia’s evolution from Symbian to MeeGo
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Find Meego/Sailfish phones:

Symbian was a mobile operating system (OS) and computing platform designed for smartphones.Symbian was originally developed as a closed-source OS for PDAs in 1998 by Symbian Ltd.

As a pioneer that established the smartphone industry, it was the most popular smartphone OS on a worldwide average until the end of 2010 – at a time when smartphones were in limited use, when it was overtaken by Android, as Google and its partners achieved wide adoption.

Symbian OS was essentially a shell system and required an additional user interface (as middleware) to form a complete operating system. Symbian OS became prominent from the S60 (formerly Series 60) platform built by Nokia, first released in 2002 and powering most Nokia smartphones. Symbian OS eventually became the most widely used smart mobile operating system, though notably not as popular in North America.

Symbian^3 was released in 2010 as the successor to S60 5th Edition, by which time it became fully open source. Symbian^3 received the Anna and Belle updates in 2011. The Nokia 808 PureView in 2012 was officially the last Symbian smartphone from Nokia.

MeeGo is a discontinued Linux distribution hosted by the Linux Foundation, using source code from the operating systems Moblin (produced by Intel) and Maemo (produced by Nokia). Primarily targeted at mobile devices and information appliances in the consumer electronics market, MeeGo was designed to act as an operating system for hardware platforms such as netbooks, entry-level desktops, nettops, tablet computers, mobile computing and communications devices, in-vehicle infotainment devices, SmartTV / ConnectedTV, IPTV-boxes, smart phones, and other embedded systems


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  1. I played 500+ Java Games on my Nokia 6303 classic but only 10+ Android games… I miss those good old days…

  2. Quick question: I have a Sony Ercisson satio u1i that ran on Symbian OS, can I install a different OS like Asha or MeeGo or any other OS ….Thanks

  3. Late to the party here but a good look back.  There are a few misrepresentations though.  First, the initial phone you show is running Symbian 60 5th Edition which was basically a touch layer grafted on top of the non-touch Symbian 60 Series 3 OS.  It was a stop-gap measure to hold people over until the touch-enabled OS was ready.  The first phones running the true touch-enabled Symbian^3 OS were the N8 and E7.  The actual lineage was Symbian Series 60v3 (non touch) -> Series 60 5th Edition -> Symbian^3 -> Symbian Anna -> Nokia Belle.  In fact, Belle was a huge improvement and modernization over Anna which was a small incremental update of Symbian^3.Second, Meego is not related to Symbian in any way shape or form.  Symbian's roots came from the Psion EPOC OS (which was more or less DOS-based).  Meego is the successor to Maemo 5 (using in the Nokia N900) which is built on the Debian Linux platform.  The only reason why the iconography was similar was they were being developed at the same time and Nokia was initially positioning Meego to replace Symbian but that idea was dropped when they moved to Windows Phone.Meego was WAY ahead of its time and would've faired very well if it had quality app support.

  4. The best operating systems for mobile ever, such as combining Android and iOS.
    But why does Nokia give low specs for their phones??

  5. The Nokia N9 was pretty great. It's unfortunate they threw their lot in with Windows (even though those were great too, and quite underappreciated). I still don't know why Nokia spent the time and resources into meego, released it and immediately announced it was obsolete, unsupported, and wouldn't be continued as they moved to windows.

  6. primitive multitasking? S60 / SYMBIAN (aside from what blackberry used) was & STILL is the only OS that actually has REAL multitasking ! Android (except from dual-windows, which was available from Android N (7.0) upwards) & iOS employ App switching* !S60 could even multitask app processes, something these current "smart" 🙄 phone OSes Android & iOS for the most part, CANT do…. unfortunately.


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