It's no secret that Nokia's days as a provider of Symbian-powered hardware, software, and services are numbered as it moves its eggs over to the Windows Phone basket -- but I'd been under the assumption that they would be keeping a sizable Symbian engineering staff in-house right up until the moment the last device rolled off the assembly line, some 150 million units down the road. Yeah, well, it's not going to play out that way: instead, FierceWireless reports a Nokia press release issued today detailing that some 3,000 employees will be transferred to consulting firm Accenture, which will then take primary responsibility for the platform's stewardship going forward. The move comes in combination with a planned elimination of another 4,000-odd staff by the end of 2012 with the intention of saving €1 billion ($1.46 billion) in 2013 against 2010's numbers.

Smart? In an effort to accelerate the company's focus on delivering next-gen devices based on Windows Phone, probably -- but it marks another epic fall for a smartphone platform that remains the most widely-used in the world.