by Anton Shilov
06/12/2013 | 11:10 PM
The Symbian operating system powered the very first mass smartphones from Nokia Corp. more than a decade ago and made the company the dominant player on the market until Apple iOS and Google Android started to take off in 2010. It looks like it is time to say goodbye to Symbian as Nokia plans to completely stop shipping smartphones based on the platform this summer.
The former world’s largest maker of mobile phones will stop shipments of Symbian-based smartphones this summer and will fully rely on Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Phone 8 platform, reports Financial Times. It is not expected that Nokia will actually make a formal announcement regarding end of shipments since there are Symbian-based smartphones on stocks around the world and Nokia’s partners will need to sell them somehow.
Nokia Lumia Q1 volumes increased 27% quarter-on-quarter to 5.6 million units, reflecting increasing momentum. At the same time, sales of Symbian-based smartphones collapsed to 500 thousand a quarter, which indicates that the platform is nearly dead.
However, when pure smartphone shipments are considered, it becomes obvious that Lumia product line has been growing slower than Symbian was falling, an indicator that Nokia’s loyal customers are defecting to other platforms and not transiting to Windows Phone. Starting from Q2 2013 virtually all Nokia smartphones are powered by Windows Phone operating system and it remains to be seen how fast their sales will grow to the levels of Symbian back in Q1 2011.
Given very high pace of smartphone market development as well as keeping in mind that Nokia will continue to heavily promote Lumia, it is highly likely that in Q2 – Q3 sales of Symbian-based devices in retail will stall and the company will not only have to stop shipments, but to write down all the remaining inventory and report a massive loss.