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Nokia Owns Symbian: Literally

June 24, 2008 in Mobile Phone Software

A very, very interesting press release circulated today by Nokia started with this headline:

Visionary move embraces openness and accelerates innovation

Symbian is about to become Nokia.

Symbian is about to become…Nokia

So what’s this visionary move, anyway? Nokia’s decided that its 48% share in operating system and software licensing firm Symbian isn’t enough, and it’s going to make a snatch ‘n grab for the other 52% of it in a 264 million euro transaction. (= $410 million USD) The other current stakeholders are Sony Ericsson, LM Ericsson, Samsung, Siemens, and Panasonic.

And with the purchase of Symbian, Nokia will start the “Symbian Foundation,” (not to be confused with the Phoenix Foundation), an open-source operating system platform that will, I guess, compete with Google’s Android alliance squad, Apple’s iPhone Apps platform, and the LiMo/Linux Mobile Foundation in what is guaranteed to be a bloody showdown.

Other heavy-hitters in the Symbian Foundation include AT&T, LG, Samsung, Motorola, NTT DOCOMO, Texas Instruments, STMicro, and Vodafone.

I consider this a pretty necessary tactic as Symbian was about to feel the pressure on almost every front in the near future – what with all the open-sourcers and non-open-sourcers. Heck, even Sony Ericsson, who’s produced nothing but Symbian phones for a long time, will move to Windows Mobile 6.1 for its next flagship phone, the Xperia X1. So the news isn’t exactly shocking, at least in hindsight…

Read the official press release for more and some nice catchphrases from some of those bigwigs mentioned above.

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