Nokia chief executive Stephen Elop has confirmed that the company will support the Symbian platform until at least 2016, admitting that he had not been clear about how Symbian will be supported until now.
"Even as we go through a transition to our primary smartphone platform, Windows Phone, you will see that continued investment [in Symbian]," Elop told the Nokia Conversations China Blog.
Nokia announced a partnership with Microsoft on 11 February to create Windows Phone 7 devices, just days ahead of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Analysts welcomed the partnership between Nokia and Microsoft, but warned that it does not guarantee success for either company.
Nokia's N8 and E7 smartphones were the last devices to be released with the revamped Symbian^3 operating system, but have failed to set the smartphone market alight.
With the Windows Phone 7 platform set to be used in all high-end devices, Symbian has been relegated to mid-tier status.
The continued investment is likely to mean that Nokia will push over-the-air updates to devices such as the C6, C7, N8 and E7, which already run on the platform. Any new handsets are likely to be budget devices.
There is no concrete release date for the first Windows Phone 7-based Nokia handset, and Elop could find himself under considerable pressure in 2011 if the firm's profits continue to slide.
Nokia posted operating profits of €884m in the fourth quarter of 2010, a fall of 23 per cent year on year.
Despite shipping 123.7 million units in the quarter, the once dominant manufacturer has been overtaken by Apple, Google and RIM in the high-end mobile market.
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