Windows Phone finally outsells Symbian thanks to Lumia handsets

Symbian hangs on in Q4 2012 with 2.2 million devices sold

Things are about to change

Nokia finally caught a break this week with better than expected sales of its Lumia and Asha smartphones, but the real story may be how Symbian has finally been surpassed by the Windows Phone platform.

Unwired View reported Thursday that Nokia was doing some well-deserved chest thumping in a press release touting 4.4 million Windows Phone-powered Lumia handsets sold in Q4 2012, a 51 percent increase over the 2.9 million sold in Q3.

While that may sound impressive, the reality is that Nokia's Windows Phone sales made up a mere 1.7 percent of the total smartphone market from July to September last year, a number that jumps to 3.7 percent when Symbian devices are added to the mix.

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Those numbers were nearly reversed in Q4, but Symbian isn't quite dead and buried just yet.

Symbian lives on

It hasn't been quite two years since Nokia announced the retirement of Symbian, but the aging platform still managed to squeak out an impressive 2.2 million units during the last three months of 2012.

The fourth quarter was more notable for Windows Phone sales finally eclipsing Symbian for the first time, mostly led by strong sales for Nokia's newest Lumia smartphones.

Nokia won't release its full earnings report for Q4 2012 until January 24, but analysts are likely already looking ahead to the first quarter of this year to see if the onetime mobile giant can maintain its momentum.

Via Unwired View