Nokia bids final farewell to Symbian

Finnish phone manufacturer pulls plug on smartphone OS after 16 years.

Symbian logo

Nokia, the Finnish mobile phone manufacturer, is to call time on its Symbian smartphone operating system, according to the Financial Times.

The company, which along with Motorola was a pioneer of the consumer mobile phone market, launched the Symbian OS some 16 years ago and it quickly became the market leader.

Despite this strong start, the launch of Apple's iPhone in 2007 seriously hurt Symbian's market share.

The subsequent arrival of Google's Android mobile OS only worsened the situation, resulting in Nokia's smartphone operating system holding only a single digit share in major markets.

The Nokia 808 PureView, released in 2012, was officially the last smartphone model to feature Symbian.

In the first quarter of 2013, the company sold just 500,000 Symbian units, accounting for less than five per cent of its overall smartphone sales.

The final shipment of Symbian devices will take place this summer, and Nokia will now throw its full weight behind Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system.

Talking about the switch to Windows Phone, Nokia said: "It took 22 months to get a Symbian phone out of the door. With Windows Phone, it is less than a year. We spend less time having to tinker with deep-lying code and more time on crafting elements of the experience that make a big difference, such as around photography, maps and apps in general."

Nokia is not expected to formally announce shipments have stopped, as there will still be some stocks of the devices in various parts of the world that will need to be sold.

Its latest Windows Phone-based device, the Lumia 925, will go on sale in the UK before the end of June.

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