The PureView 808 was officially Nokia’s last Symbian device

Daniel Bader

January 24, 2013 12:03pm


During today’s Q4 earnings call, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop confirmed to the world what many already suspected: Symbian is dead.

In fact, Symbian has been dead for quite a while, with the company’s Asha Full Touch devices taking over as the representatives of the entry-level smartphone family and Windows Phone taking that coveted spot at the top of the heap. The PureView 808, built on Symbian’s last iteration, Belle, represents the operating system’s send-off.

The company still sold 2.2 million Symbian devices last quarter, but it was the first time since it launched a Windows Phone device in late 2011 that representatives of Microsoft’s mobile OS sold more than its in-house solution. Nokia sold 4.4 million Lumia devices and 15.9 million “smartphones” overall, though the numbers include Asha, which would not be considered tremendously dextrous by North American standards.

Symbian has been around since 1998, and dominated the smartphone world until the entry of iOS and Android in 2008. Symbian still represented the highest smartphone market share until as recently as 2010 when it was overtaken by Android.

While Symbian-based Nokia handsets never really found a solid footing in North America, there was always a few stalwart diehards willing to spend up to $1000 importing devices from Europe and Asia. Rogers and Nokia always had a very close relationship; the carrier released the N95-4 in mid-2008, the keyboarded E71 in late 2008, the photo-centric N8 in late 2010 and, more recently, the X7.

On this, your retirement: Here’s To You, Symbian.

Via: Nokia (PDF)

  • Ian

    Excelent news!
    With Symbian dead they will finally start churning Android phones!

    Nokia: please keep on making them in colors
    Please skip the cost of metal and make them of light-cheaper plastics and put the $$ towards a BIGGER Battery; add fast upgrades and you will compete with Samsung.

    Keep on with overpriced Win Hardware and you will find yourself competing with RIM.

  • Mark

    I’m still using my unlocked Black N8 on Rogers. It’s a great phone and takes amazining photos. Thanks for the memories Symbian! Cheers!

  • Blas

    It is kind of a bad thing.
    Symbian was far more feature rich than a lot of alternatives. Although it did suffer from hardware limitations it was still a fine OS that didn’t suffer from the same inefficiencies that Android has.
    Windows phone is nice, but it’s a little more limited in several areas than a Nokia that I first got back in 2008.

    Here’s hoping we see a true successor in the future.

    • EvanKr

      Symbian was an extremely functional OS, arguably even more feature rich than Android. However, that’s not necessarily a good thing. Although Symbian did a lot of things, it didn’t do them well, unlike certain modern OSes that focus on the more important points and deliver a superior user experience.

  • skazzers 2.0

    RIP Symbian! 😀 😀

  • George

    I am still rocking my Nokia with Anna, but my next phone will be an Android, unless Win9 blows my socks off.

    Loving the Nokias, but I might have to move away…

  • Miknitro

    WP is a plague to Nokia as much as Elop, they should look at licensing Android an BB10 IF possible before they become a bargain basement buyout for Microsoft themselves as many have foretold.

    Boot Elop!

  • HiKsFiles

    Goodbye, good riddance Symbian… not gonna miss you! I totally agree with EvanKr. Symbian does a lot of different things, it’s really a feature rich OS. Problem is, each and every one of those features are half-baked!

    • Imrightyourewrong

      Exactly. Windows Phone is the future. Not as dated or limited as iOS, but not as goofy and messed up as Android.

  • Stuntman

    My only experience with a Symbian device was the N97. Excellent physical keyboard. Really good screen although resolution is low. Really nice features such as the FM transmitter. Ovi Maps that came with it was really good as well.

    Unfortunately, it was really unstable. The only thing keeping it moderately useful was Opera Mini. I had enough of it after only 7 months and got an HTC Desire Z. I didn’t realise how truly a piece of crap the N97 was until then.

    I actually still use the N97, but as a music player only. You can’t beat the FM transmitter for allowing you to play your music over legacy devices. I play my music over my old portable stereo at home. Until I got my SGS3, I played my music over the FM radio in my car as well.

    I felt that Symbian was one thing that was really holding the N97 back. I think it has the best landscape slider keyboard I have ever seen. It survived a 10′ drop onto a cement floor (plus a number of smaller drops). If only it had a better OS and software.

    My dream would be for Nokia to make a phone like the N97 or E7, but running Android. I don’t think this will happen as Nokia has committed to WP and landscape sliders are no longer popular.

    • stylinred

      that was the ancient symbian on a device that wasn’t given enough ram

      the Anna and Belle iterations were completely different such a shame

  • blackkey

    Its the death of a legend.
    No one disputes that Symbian almost invented the smartphone OS. Hopefully Nokia keeps innovating.

  • stylinred

    Nokia never considered “Asha” as a smartphone it was always considered a Featurephone but without those Asha numbers representing “smartphones” it would show that Nokia has been utterly decimated by their lynching of Symbian and adoption of WP

    Anyhow i love my 808 and likely won’t go to WP even if Nokia does include the 808 sensor on WP later this year

    WP just doesn’t do enough… it doesn’t do half the things my 808 can so it just doesn’t make sense to make the switch to WP

    Android on the other hand can’t do everything my symbian phone can but its the closest of all the OS’s so that’ll be my next