Nokia buys out Symbian to create Google rival
With the change in the licensing of the Symbian operating system, something great is going to happen. Nokia has a huge userbase of the operating system, but it is not alone, by using this technology. Maybe some smaller competitors will have a chance to profit out of this change.
Nokia has announced plans to buy out its fellow shareholders in Symbian, the British mobile phone software developer, to create a free mobile phone operating system to compete with rivals such as Google
The Finnish mobile handset maker will pay €264 million (£209 million) for the 52.1 per cent stake in the London-based company it does not already own, buying out Sony Ericsson, Panasonic, Siemens and Samsung.
In addition, Nokia said it will establish the Symbian Foundation, together with other technology and telecoms heavyweights from across the industry, to create one free, open mobile software platform.
Nigel Clifford, chief executive of Symbian, was one of the main speakers during the press conference. He stressed that Symbian is the most widely used mobile-software platform on the planet. "The first 100 million devices took eight years to ship," he told the press conference. "The second 100 million took just two years."
Asked why Symbian is going to give away its licences now, after 10 years, he said: "What we are doing is releasing the deluge that will come from an ecosystem here. In the past, phone makers had to think about which user interface and operating-system combination they would use, then there were developers who had been faced with licence arrangements. This is epoch-making and very different from anything that has happened before."
Of course the entire move is also a clever pre-emptive strike against (most prominently) Google's open source Android OS though it is also likely to rankle feathers at Apple and Microsoft. Ambitiously, the entire unified Symbian OS is also scheduled to go completely open source inside two years with "selective components" at launch.