Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Nokia Buys Symbian

Nokia will pay $410 million to fully aquire UK-based mobile phone operating system owner Symbian. This is a major move and clearly throws the gauntlet down in the mobile operating system market.

It has also announced that it plans to make the software, which is used in two-thirds of smartphones, available for free. Smartphones are the emerging market with Google to launch their Andriod and Apple’s recently announced upgraded iPhone and Microsoft’s Windows Mobile all contending for this growing space.

Nokia, which makes 40% of all phones sold globally, will pay E264 million for the 52% of Symbian it does not already own. Many of the leading mobile manufactures use Symbian and those with stakes in the company, such as; Sony Ericsson, Ericsson, Panasonic and Siemens have accepted the offer for their shares.

Nokia now plan to develop the platform and establish a common operating system and user interface and the operating system and user interface battle win be an interesting one as Nokia and the manufactures square up to the PC ‘downsizers’. Many of the current mobile offers look and feel clunky and the real test will be developing the right user experience and interestingly this today is being lead not by Symbian but the likes of Apple.

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