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Friday, June 27, 2008

Symbian does an Android

Nokia recently announced its offer to acquire the shares of Symbian from its partners. Nokia intends to consolidate the various iterations of Symbian, namely S60, UIQ and MOAP, into one single platform under a newly established Symbian Foundation and to open source Symbian in the next 2 years.

This is not too dissimilar to Google's Android initiative which many would view as the reason for Nokia's bold direction. The rise of open source Linux on smartphone devices like Android poses a serious challenge down the road.

As a major shareholder of Symbian, Nokia has all this while been the main purveyor of Symbian OS even though it started out as a partnership with a few other well-known mobile phone manufacturers such as Sony Ericsson and Motorola. Symbian has made little impact in terms of being a smartphone OS brand unlike RIM, Windows Mobile and iPhone which dominate the enterprise space; Symbian is generally treated as a mainstream proprietary OS for low to mid range phones with little to no emphasis on smartphone features. By making this strategic move, Nokia will prevent Symbian from becoming obsolete and evolve into an accessible platform for all mobile device manufacturers to incorporate into their hardware.

Oh, and also Happy 10th Birthday to Symbian.


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