Just one day after announcing a dozen new phones running the once-proud Symbian mobile operating system, Nokia (NYSE: NOK) has finalized an agreement to dump the creaky OS on management consulting firm Accenture. First announced back in April, the agreement will provide Symbian smartphone makers and developers with the cold comfort of knowing someone will be around to fix bugs and solve problems while gradually winding down development.
After Nokia announced its landmark partnership with Microsoft to build Nokia phones using Windows Phone 7, Symbian was the odd operating system out. For years it dominated as the leading mobile operating system and even with the recent rise of Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) and Google (NSDQ: GOOG), Symbian remains a prominent factor outside of the U.S. That means there is still some opportunity for developers and phone makers to squeeze out a little bit of revenue as Symbian slowly fades into obscurity, but the OS is very low on the priority list of most mobile companies.
Accenture will take on 2,800 former Nokia employees as part of the agreement once it closes in October, Nokia said in a press release. Accenture will support Symbian until 2016, and will also provide consulting services to Nokia as it races to build its first Windows Phone 7 devices.
Nokia announced yesterday that a new version of Symbian will roll out to older Nokia phones as well as some new handsets next month, a product that was likely in development before the Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) deal was finalized.