Part One: Primary, Secondary, Belle?
I have always wondered what Nokia meant when they said that they were adopting Windows Phone as their “primary smartphone platform”. Why “primary” if there is no secondary? Right?
Also, why have they gone through the trouble of renaming “Symbian” to “Nokia Belle” if this is the end of the road?
Are you following my drift? I have consistently suspected that Windows Phone will not be the only platform that Nokia would push in the market. The legacy of Symbian is too big, too strong, and too useful to be thrown away completely.
Okay, so Nokia has killed Symbian. Symbian is dead; long live Nokia Belle OS.
Part Two: Belle, Carla, Donna?
Before Symbian was killed, Belle, Carla and Donna were just names for subsequent versions of Symbian. However, note the radical shift since Symbian was killed. Now, Belle is the OS, and there are no more official references to Carla and Donna. Instead we hear of “Nokia Belle Feature Pack 1”, which is what Carla used to be (see Nokia Belle FP1 is Carla).
Are you following me? Nokia dropped the “Carla” moniker and replaced that with FP1. I bet that instead of Donna, we will hear of FP2.
Symbian OS is dead. Long live Nokia Belle!
PS: Nokia 808 PureView runs Belle FP1 (Carla)
Part Three: My OS Looks Better Than Yours?
My article on the brilliance of what Nokia has done with the 808 PureView, the new Nokia Belle flagship, has expectedly generated a lot of buzz. As usual, a comparison of different platforms showed up, with the respective chief whips of Android and Symbian (that dead platform) showing up to pitch for their camps.
I am going to build this argument around a statement made by the chief whip for Android:
The simple fact is that Belle only looks so good when compared with previous Symbian versions not against Android or iOS.
Do you know what is wrong with this statement? It is the pre-supposition that one OS looking better than another invalidates that other. In other words, the idea that Android looks better than Belle makes Belle redundant.
Of course, it doesn’t take much to see that such an idea is preposterous. It is plain silly and flies in the face of reason.
Different car brands look better or worse from one another, yet they all sell. Same for TV sets, clothes lines, and wrist watches. Heck, even ladies have different levels of beauty, yet have their fair share of male suitors. See the point? They sell to varying degrees. But they sell.
Plus, if we follow that line, Android is a rather poor copy of iOS, UI-wise. Odd, but Android sells anyway. See why Nokia Belle continues to sell, even after its precursor, Symbian has been killed by the American tech press and by Nokia’s CEO?
Fact: Nokia Belle is good enough for many people. As a matter of fact, it meets the needs of some people better than either iOS or Android could ever hope to do.
A friend who wants a new phone spoke with me yesterday. I made a number of recommendations, which she turned down. She wanted the Nokia 500, a Belle smartphone. She had her mind made up. Nokia smartphones did it for her and she was getting that particular model. She had also had the chance to use one for a few hours and was in love with it.
Smell The Coffee!
Now, y’all that keep speaking of the Symbian ecosystem, please note the difference: there is Symbian, the platform that is being killed. And then there is Belle, the resurrection and the life (I know that sounds blasphemous; sue me).
Get it? Nokia won’t admit it. But here is the best kept secret of the mobile industry, and its coming from me: Nokia has re-invented the most popular and most successful smartphone OS ever. Nokia Belle may never rule the smartphone landscape like its precursor, Symbian, did. But, who cares?
The important thing is this: Symbian OS is dead. Long live Belle!
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with HDML/WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.