E72We just recently reported that all high-end N series multimedia devices will be running the Linux OS by 2012, even though X series and E series devices will continue to run Symbian OS. We also predicted that Nokia will dumb Symbian altogether before long.

Now it seems like that’s happening sooner than we thought or Nokia wants to admit. Our source tells us that a contact at Nokia’s legal department unofficially affirmed that Nokia will also drop Symbian for the E Series enterprise range. This is no doubt a rumor, but we are pretty confident this could be true. Here’s why.

Nokia, just as the rest as us, are seeing increasingly that the smart phone is not only for the early adopter or the affluent consumer, but is actually becoming ‘the people’s phone’ in the developed world. Nothing tells this story better than seeing iPhone coming to Tesco in UK (via TechCrunch). At the same time, even though N900 might be hyped, it is very geeky even compared to the Android phones coming out, let alone the intuitive bliss of iPhone (see the video below by Engadget).

Even though the subsequent N Series phones would be slightly less geeky and more directed towards the mainstream, they will not carry to business users in real volumes as E Series would do. At the same time, if iPhone goes for Tesco, it’s a smart move to upgrade the business people to Maemo before they get their IT department to get them what the rest of the market already has, namely a decent mobile OS. Now it seems that Nokia wants to hold back just a little bit more to make sure Maemo will not collapse under it when it hits the market inside the N900 before shifting the important E series on the new platform.

Nokia might very well keep Symbian for the low end phones for a quite a while, and even announce producing development tools that will work across the two , but it really is a sea change inside the company on how the view the market if E Series goes Maemo. We all knew this would happen, we just didn’t know it would happen so fast.