While you might be thinking that Nokia's Linux-based Maemo operating system - seen most recently in the company's flagship N900 smartphone handset - represents the company's sole challenge to the iPhone and Android platforms, you'd be wrong if you think it's giving up on Symbian just yet.
The company has published its proposals for the user interface in Symbian^4 for evaluation by the Symbian Foundation, a collection of companies and individuals looking to further the open-source mobile platform.
According to an official blog post
by Nokia's Effie Vraka - via ARN
- the aim of the new Symbian version is to introduce a more modern look-and-feel to the platform, with a widgetised dashboard and consistent user interface between applications.
Featuring auto-save functionality to streamline the user experience, Vraka describes the concepts for Symbian^4 as "[placing] the Symbian User Experience into the race with the Android, PalmOS and iPhone.
It's a fair comparison to make: looking at the screenshots, anyone who has used any of the platforms mentioned will feel immediately at home, with various widgets being made available on the homescreen. Perhaps more surprising is the fact that the interface has quite clearly been designed with touchscreens in mind - an control method which has traditionally been available on the minority of Symbian-based handsets.
The concept screenshots provided by Vraka in no way represent the final design of the next generation of Symbian - but they at least show that a wholesale replacement with the Maemo platform isn't on the company's cards just yet.
Do you think that Symbian can be salvaged with a user interface overhaul, or should the company be concentrating its efforts on Maemo - or perhaps defecting altogether to the Android camp? Share your thoughts over in the forums