Has Nokia Fallen Out of Lust With Symbian?

According to Reuters, yes, and all because of some slutty-slut-slut Linux OS named Maemo, said to be the company's new high-end handset platform. Nokia's first Maemo indiscretion handset's said to be landing next week, and probably looks something like this.

Nokia will try again to tackle Apple Inc's iPhone in the top-end of the handset market with a bet on Linux software, several industry sources told Reuters.

Top handset maker Nokia will show its first high-end phone running on Maemo, a version of Linux, next week at the annual Nokia World event in Stuttgart, Germany, the sources said

Come to think of it, it is pretty weird that the phone-sized, phone-shaped, phone-button-having N900 has until recently been consistently assumed to be a tablet, even though the prospect of a QWERTY Maemo handset has been openly discussed for well over a year now, and explicitly predicted as far back as October. There may still be a gutted tablet version, but this thing has the heart, soul and body of a smartphone—I'd say this is what Reuters is talking about when they say "Maemo handset", even if they don't know it.

Kicked out of the high end of Nokia's product line, Symbian—which remember, they recently plunged nearly $400m into—would be relegated to the dregs of Nokia's product line, where it would presumably, eventually, wither and die. Sad!

Anyway, Maemo: It handles great on a tablet, but nobody really knows how it'll translate to a phone. That said, the N900 is largish and has a QWERTY-shaped crutch, so expectations, so majestically shattered last month, are back on high. [Reuters]