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Nokia buys Symbian to set the OS free

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 24 Jun 2008 9:40 User comments (4)

Nokia buys Symbian to set the OS free Nokia is leading the charge among mobile phone manufacturers and service providers to make the Symbian OS the standard in mobile devices. Nokia, who already owned 48% of Symbian Limited, is buying the remaining shares and will be moving the company to a royalty-free licensing model. At the same time they're working with AT&T, LG Electronics, Motorola, NTT DOCOMO, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments and Vodafone to establish the Symbian Foundation for the development and distribution of the OS.
By getting the backing of so many industry leaders they've virutally assured their smart phone OS of choice a place in the market for the next few years. It probably doesn't hurt that it helps established companies at the expense of newer competitors like Google's Android. Being an established platform and royalty-free arguably gives them the advantage.

Although a number of companies have already licensed the OS, the only company to make much progress in actually deploying it has been Nokia. They're hoping that the establishment of the Symbian Foundation will make it easier for other manufacturers to deploy it on a large scale.

"Ten years ago, Symbian was established by far sighted players to offer an advanced open operating system and software skills to the whole mobile industry," said Nigel Clifford, CEO of Symbian. "Our vision is to become the most widely used software platform on the planet and indeed today Symbian OS leads its market by any measure. Today's announcement is a bold new step to achieve that vision by embracing a complete and proven platform, offered in an open way, designed to stimulate innovation, which is at the heart of everything we do."

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4 user comments

124.6.2008 12:55

This article actually made me say "ugh!" I know that Windows Mobile and the iPhone are not everyone's flavor, but Symbian, for me, has always meant phones with proprietary connections and software, so that you are locked into using data plans, MMS, and buying ringtones, rather than the ability to sync your own content between phone and PC without paying extra for it. I am curious to see more of Google's Android and if it can make a dent in the phone market.

224.6.2008 18:32

I think this is a great move that Nokia ia doing this because OS are always a good way to make sure that users can acess the free OS for a download.

325.6.2008 12:16

Sprodigy,

Symbian phones actually support SyncML, recent Nokia models (like E71) come with fully freatured but free MS Exchage sync, there are free sync applications for Windows and Linux. Nobody has to use MMS - feel free to email your photos, or send via Bluetooth/IrDA on a short range, or connect to a LAN and upload via FTP. And you can put just about any music file, and in most recent models video files too, as a ringtone.

Soo...your point was?

(note: I am not a Symbian fan. I look forward to Linux is mobile devices)

425.6.2008 14:13

Originally posted by cd-rw.org:
Sprodigy,

Symbian phones actually support SyncML, recent Nokia models (like E71) come with fully freatured but free MS Exchage sync, there are free sync applications for Windows and Linux. Nobody has to use MMS - feel free to email your photos, or send via Bluetooth/IrDA on a short range, or connect to a LAN and upload via FTP. And you can put just about any music file, and in most recent models video files too, as a ringtone.

Soo...your point was?

(note: I am not a Symbian fan. I look forward to Linux is mobile devices)
My point is there are many Symbian phones out there where you "might" be able to get to the "photos" folder for instance. Symbian might be an open OS, but it's still being locked down and on locked phones, and those that have locks on certain things (photos, ringtones, file sharing, email, etc.) are trying to make a buck by having you use MMS or data plans. That was my point. :-)

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