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Nokia promises 'something new on Symbian'

Nokia is counting down to a surprise reveal for its ailing feature phone software. Will it be an update to Belle? Is anyone still reading this?

Nokia promises "something new on Symbian" coming tomorrow. The Finnish phone company is counting down to a surprise for its feature phone software -- will it be an update to Belle?

Nokia is heralding the surprise with an eye-wobbling pink and purple countdown on its Facebook page. As we feverishly type against the clock, there are less than 30 hours left to go. That means the countdown hits zero at lunchtime tomorrow.

When the counter reaches 00:00:00, Nokia will -- probably -- unveil Belle, the next update to Symbian. Belle builds on the most recent update, Anna, which first showed up in the X7 and E6 phones announced earlier this year.

Anna, then Belle? Yes, it appears Nokia is giving its updates alphabetical codenames -- just like Google. Where Nokia is going for ladynames, Google's Android software is named after tasty treats: from Donut, Eclair and Froyo to current versions Gingerbread and Honeycomb to the forthcoming Ice Cream Sandwich. But what will the next version of Nokia's Symbian be called? We suggest Clarissa, who might explain what Nokia is playing at.

Belle is expected to draw on Android in terms of features too, perhaps in notifications. Heck, Android notifications are good enough for iOS 5, so why not.

We'd also like to see Symbian incorporate some of the clever features of MeeGo, the doomed operating system seen in the N9, sadly never to reach these shores.

Symbian is still Nokia's bread and butter, especially in the developing world, where feature phones sell like heated baked desserts. But the real countdown is to Nokia's first phone to use Microsoft Windows Phone software, hotly anticipated to drop before the end of the year. It'll be those phones that demonstrate whether Nokia still has what it takes to compete in the new phone landscape dominated by Apple and Android.

Does Belle ring your bell? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below or on our Facebook page. And check back after 1.45pm on Wednesday 24 August to find out all the news on Nokia's "something new".