Nokia may have committed its smartphone future to Windows Phone, but mindful of the huge numbers of people still using Symbian devices, it's also made it clear that the OS will only be phased out gradually over the next four years or so.
However, rumours are reaching us that Nokia may now be trying to speed things along – to the extent that the expected follow-up to the N8 cameraphone might be the last new Symbian phone ever released.
Nokia's success over the years has in no small part been built on Symbian's foundations, and Nokia has said it still expects to sell 150 million new Symbian devices during the transition to Windows Phone over the next few years.
But with the company admitting last month that Symbian sales have tapered off quicker than expected, it seems now that Nokia may have decided to fast-track the the wrapping up of its Symbian operations.
According to the Register - and confirming what we ourselves suggested back in November - we're now likely to see just one more new Symbian device hit the market: the successor to the N8 cameraphone that we've been hearing about for a few months now.
That doesn't impact on Nokia's commitment to provide updates and support via its outsourcing arrangement with Accenture – at least not directly, as it's fair to say that if new hardware dries up altogether Symbian support won't be needed particularly far into the future.
The Register doesn't name its sources – either directly or indirectly – but it's a scenario we're entirely willing to believe. Clearly Windows Phone doesn't currently give Nokia the scope for producing a specialist cameraphone on the same level as the N8, which is why it's become increasingly obvious that if a follow-up is on its way, Nokia will stick with Symbian as its OS base.
We just didn't think it would be the last of its kind.