PureView 808 the last Symbian phone from Nokia

Nokia PureView 808, the last Symbian smartphone
Nokia pours out a 41-megapixel smartphone on the curb for its fallen mobile OS

Nokia has given the Symbian operating system a 41 megapixel salute this week, confirming that the PureView 808 smartphone is its swan song for the once-popular mobile OS.

"Nokia 808 PureView, a device which showcases our imaging capabilities and came to market in mid- 2012, was the last Symbian device from Nokia," said the Finnish firm in its latest earnings report.

Even with its killer camera - four times the megapixels as other top handsets - the photo-focused Nokia 808 PureView couldn't bring back the aging Symbian OS.

Instead, smartphone users have turned to handsets that run Google's Android and Apple's iOS, which now control 90 percent of the market.

The fall of Symbian

While Nokia has pledged to continue to support the Nokia PureView 808, it has acknowledged that interest in smartphones that run Symbian will continue to wane.

"Symbian devices accounted for 2.2 million units of our Smart Devices volumes in the fourth quarter 2012," said the company in its earning report.

"We expect our Symbian devices to account for a significantly smaller portion of our overall Smart Devices volumes in the first quarter 2013 and going forward."

During the same three-month stretch that Nokia off-loaded 2.2 million Symbian handsets, it sold 4.4 million Lumia smartphones, all of which run its new go-to Windows Phone mobile OS.

Even more impressive was the 9.3 million in sales of its budget-OS Asha full touch non-smart phones in the fourth quarter.

The rise of Windows Phone

Nokia Belle, the last major update to the Symbian platform, came out in 2011, but the company dropped it in favor of its true belle of the ball, Windows Phone OS.

"[Nokia phones with the] Windows Phone operating system are positively differentiated from our competitors' products, both outside and within the Windows Phone ecosystem," the company said this week.

Consumers seem to agree. Nokia's Lumia smartphones, running its new mobile operating system of choice, shipped a total of 13.4 million devices in 2012.

That number could've been even better, according to Nokia, which saw heavy demand for its Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 smartphones.

"Net sales grew sequentially as Nokia started shipping new Lumia devices, although volumes were adversely affected by supply constraints as we ramped up our production capacity, particularly related to the Lumia 920."

Out with the old OS and in with the new, Nokia's Lumia smartphones helped Windows Phone outsell Symbian handsets for the first time starting this month, the latest sign of recovery for the Finnish company.

Matt Swider