Nokia prepares to finish with Symbian; 16 years after its initial release

Every mobile operating system eventually fades into obscurity, and in that sense, Symbian has done a good job of surviving in a world where its main proponent, Nokia, now makes Windows Phones. This summer, the final run of Symbian phones will make it to shelves.

While Windows Phone represents Nokia in the smartphone space, the company's main weapon for volume phone shipments now exists under the 'Asha' name, though Symbian devices still sell. With the operating system having been around in various forms as early as 1997, it has held on remarkably well.

It makes sense for the company to drop Symbian. Sales of Symbian devices have declined, and the company claims the OS to be inefficient for its future needs. They state that a Windows Phone device can be produced from scratch in 12 months, while the average Symbian handset needs 22 months of work - hardly surprising given the ancient codebase.

If you'd like a blast from the (fairly recent) past, this video of the Nokia N8 is a good chance to reacquaint with Symbian.

The history of Symbian is fairly confusing due to the number of times it has changed hands, though this article from 2004 marks when Nokia became Symbian's biggest player.

Source: SlashGear

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17 Comments

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Shiranui said,
I thought Symbian was some sort of expensive masturbatory device.

And Wordstar was a famous brand of condoms.....

Symbian never adapted to the touch interface, and it always had its fair share of UI clunkiness, but contrary to popular belief, it was quite a powerful little OS, years before iOS and Android. Reminds me of the golden days of Nokia smartphones and how fast the entire landscape can change.

Indeed, not only it was powerful back then, it is still quite capable. I left Symbian ~10 months ago and went for Android. Lot of things still work better on Symbian.

Belle FP2 should have been the UI for their S^3 series from the start when they went with touch-screens. Nokia being stingy on hardware specs didn't help the platform either.

I'm still using a Nokia 701 w/ Belle FP2, but looking forward to switch to an Android device soon, mainly because of apps my friends use being limited or absent from the platform entirely.

Nashy said,
Should have been gone well before this. It's what killed Nokia.

What almost killed Nokia was the seating on top of their market share and stop keeping up with competitors coming out with new paradigms. It happened to Palm dethroned by MS in the PDAs market and it happened again, history repeats itself, to MS with WM in the smartphones market.

Choto Cheeta said,
So it means there would be no entry level Asha anymore to compete with all those 2.3 android devices ??

Asha phones use the so called series 40 OS, not Symbian.

Nashy said,
S40 is Symbian.

It has only the looks of Symbian, and that's where the similarities end. It's the same OS used in Nokia's old monochrome display handsets. In other words, their feature phone OS.