While the Open Handset Alliance and Google are still twiddling their thumbs over the release of Android, Nokia has acquired an extremely valuable asset: the Symbian open mobile platform.
Nokia – which already owns 48pc of shares in Symbian – has managed to convince Siemens, Sony Ericsson, Ericsson and Panasonic to sell their part, with Samsung most likely following suit.
The iPhone might be the coolest mobile handset around but when it comes to widely used platforms, the Symbian operating system (OS) is the leading OS for smart phones worldwide.
As of February 2007, Symbian had a 67pc market share of the smart phone market globally.
Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, CEO of Nokia, said of the acquisition: “Symbian is already the leading open platform for mobile devices. Through this acquisition and the establishment of the Symbian Foundation, it will undisputedly be the most attractive platform for mobile innovation.
“This will drive the development of new and compelling web-enabled applications to delight a new generation of consumers.”
Kallasvuo spoke of the ‘gravitational pull’ the Symbian OS has for application developers and how the industry can be united around this.
Examples of user interfaces designed especially for the Symbian OS include the S60 from Nokia, MOAP (Mobile Orientated Applications Platform) for the 3G network and UIQ designed by UIQ Technology, which is a joint venture between Motorola and Sony Ericsson.
By Marie Boran
Pictured:Nokia Maps 2.0 on the Nokia 6210 Navigator