Adieu, Symbian: Nokia finally lays ailing mobile OS to rest

Nokia has confirmed that it is forever bidding adieu to its Symbian mobile operating system, refocusing its efforts solely on building devices for Microsoft's Windows Phone platform.

The Finnish smartphone manufacturer divulged the retirement in its recent Q4 2012 earnings announcement, saying that last year's Nokia 808 PureView (see image, top) will go down in the history books as Symbian's swan song.

"During our transition to Windows Phone through 2012, we continued to ship devices based on Symbian. 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," the company said.

Mobile phone enthusiasts won't be terrifically surprised by the news, as Nokia had previously admitted to scaling down its Symbian efforts.

Handsets based on the obsolesce OS shipped some 2.2 million units in the fourth-quarter of last year - a figure that, while hardly insignificant, is dwarfed by the 4.4 million Lumia range sales enjoyed by the firm in the same period.

Borne in 1998, Symbian started life as a joint-venture between Nokia, Ericsson, Motorola and Psion. It enjoyed considerable success and was, until 2010, the world's most used mobile platform - in 2006, it boasted as much as 73 per cent of the smartphone market.

However, the arrival and rapid growth of Google's Android OS from 2008 began Symbian's slow decline.