Nokia Handing Symbian OS to Accenture

Part of cost-cutting move in which it will also cut 7,000 employees worldwide

Nokia announced on Wednesday that it plans to reduce its global work force by 7,000 employees.

The company said that it will outsource software activities for its Symbian operating system to the consulting firm Accenture. As a result, 3,000 Nokia employees will be transferred to Accenture, and the firm will provide Nokia with software services. 

The 4,000 remaining jobs affected by the announcement will be eliminated in phases through the end of 2012. The cuts mostly concern employees in the U.K., Denmark, and Nokia’s home base of Finland.

In addition to the staff cuts, Nokia also plans to consolidate R&D sites worldwide. Some sites will expand, while others will be reduced in size or closed altogether.

The changes come partly as a result of Nokia's announcement last February that it will stop developing smartphones using its old Symbian software and will switch over to Microsoft instead. Nokia also hopes that the reorganization will help save $1.46 billion in operating costs by 2013.

The former cell phone giant has had trouble breaking into the smartphone market, lagging far behind competitors Apple, Google, and RIM.