John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Nokia Says So Long to Symbian This Summer

wave_goodbyeTwo years after adopting Microsoft’s Windows Phone as its principal smartphone platform, Nokia is abandoning Symbian, the mobile OS it replaced.

Sources say that Nokia plans to wind down shipments of Symbian handsets this summer. And while it will continue to sell them in the emerging markets where demand for them still exists, it will do so only until stock runs out.

And, depending on how many Symbian devices Nokia has in inventory, that could take some time. Symbian usage has been dropping off precipitously. In the first quarter of 2013, Nokia sold just 500,000 handsets running the OS. This, despite the mid-2012 launch of the company’s 808 PureView. That handset failed to juice sales the way Nokia had hoped, but with a 41-megapixel camera and somewhat flashy design, it will make a nice tombstone for the Symbian line.

The Financial Times was the first to report news of Nokia’s plans.

Nokia’s abandonment of Symbian is hardly a surprise. The OS has been in decline for years, its looming demise accelerated by Nokia’s leap from its burning platform into Microsoft’s arms. As CEO Stephen Elop said last month, Nokia is a Windows Phone shop.

“In today’s war of ecosystems, we’ve made a very clear decision to focus on Windows Phone with our Lumia product line,” Elop said. “And it is with that that we will compete with competitors like Samsung and Android.”

Nokia refused to confirm Symbian’s now increasingly brief future, but the comment it did offer suggests pretty clearly that it’s moving on.

“We can’t confirm when Symbian shipments come to an end, unfortunately,” a company spokesman told AllThingsD. “In general, though, regarding Symbian, the last Symbian phone we introduced was the Nokia 808 PureView, and that’s fitting. This phone extended the platform’s pioneering tradition, and acted as a bridge for the next wave of innovation now seen in our latest models, like the Lumia 925.”


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald