Symbian Foundation to 'transition' into licensing body.
The Symbian Foundation has announced plans to "transition the role of the non-profit organisation".
Which means... what? According to its announcement, the Foundation will become "a legal entity responsible for licensing software and other intellectual property, such as the Symbian trademark".
That means Nokia will take on development of the Symbian OS in-house, although it has promised to make this "available to the ecosystem via an alternative direct and open model".
Still a bit hazy? It seems some Symbian Foundation board members have cut their funding for the platform, judging by executive director Tim Holbrow's statement.
"The founding board members took a bold strategic step in setting up the foundation, which was absolutely the right decision at the time," he said.
"There has since been a seismic change in the mobile market but also more generally in the economy, which has led to a change in focus for some of our funding board members. The result of this is that the current governance structure for the Symbian platform – the foundation - is no longer appropriate."
Holbrow said that the Foundation will reduce its operations and staff numbers over the coming months, and that by April next year will be focusing on licensing.
And Nokia's plans? "Nokia remains committed to Symbian as the most used smartphone platform around the world," said Jo Harlow, the company's SVP of smartphones.
"The Nokia N8 generated the highest online pre-orders we’ve ever experienced and we have a family of Symbian^3 smartphones including the Nokia N8, Nokia C7, and Nokia C6-01 which are available now, as well as the Nokia E7 which is expected to ship before the end of 2010."
The true implications of today's announcement remain to be teased out in the coming days.
Stories questioning whether Nokia should be exploring alternative smartphone operating systems regularly provoke heated debate in the comments section of this site.
One thing seems clear now: Symbian is now Nokia's (again) to either develop into a genuine iOS/Android-beater, or to kill off.