By Alexandra Burlacu email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Jan 25, 2013 02:41 PM EST
The official retirement of Nokia's Symbian operating system was long-expected, and now the Finnish company has finally made it official - Symbian is history.
Nokia has released its earnings call report and, among other things, it noted that the Nokia 808 PureView handset, which sports a monstrous 41-megapixel camera, is the very last device running on the now-outdated Symbian OS.
"During our transition to Windows Phone through 2012, we continued to ship devices based on Symbian," noted the company. "The Nokia 808 PureView, a device which showcases our imaging capabilities and which came to market in mid-2012, was the last Symbian device from Nokia."
According to the report, the company sold 2.2 million Symbian devices in the fourth quarter of 2012. During the same quarter, Nokia sold twice as many Lumia Windows Phone devices, i.e. 4.4 million units, and 15.9 million smartphones in total, which means sales of Symbian handsets accounted for less than 14 percent of the overall volume of smartphone sales. Symbian's downfall has also caused a huge decline in sales in Greater China.
"On a year-on-year basis, the decrease in Greater China net sales was primarily due to our Smart Devices business unit, most notably lower net sales of our Symbian devices," reported Nokia.
Moreover, decreased interest in the Symbian platform has also affected the company's year-on-year performance.
"From an operating system perspective, the year-on-year decline in our Smart Devices gross margin in the fourth quarter 2012 was primarily due to a lower Symbian gross margin."
Before Google's Android and Apple's iOS trumped it, Symbian was the world's biggest smartphone platform. It held tight to its position until 2011, when Android finally took over. As of last quarter, Symbian made up only 2.6 percent of smartphone shipments, while Android accounted for a whopping 72 percent. The huge demand for Android had a big say in this matter, but Nokia's visibly decreased interest in making Symbian devices has also weighed heavily on the company's fortunes.
In an effort to turn its fortunes around and keep its head above the water, Nokia has switched to Windows Phone, leaving Symbian to fade away until it became just a logo, a symbol of times past.
The earnings call also notes how revenues from Symbian have been "ramping down," while costs and efforts dedicated to the OS have also been decreasing. Now, Nokia is planning to compete with Android at the low-end of the price range. Currently, the company's cheapest Windows Phone handset is the Nokia Lumia 510.
Nokia has also launched a few low- to mid-range devices last year with its Asha line-up, and the trend is likely to continue for 2013 as well, with Windows Phone OS powering its Lumia series.