Nokia’s acquisition of majority stake in the mobile OS maker Symbian and plans to make the software available as open source are clear indications that the world leader in mobile handsets is preparing to take on the likes of Microsoft, Apple and Google.
An excerpt from ZDNet:
In addition to Android, Symbian, and Windows Mobile, there is now the iPhone with its OS X-based platform. And, beyond those four, there’s a plethora of phone makers that run their own proprietary operating systems on a variety of phones, sometimes with a customized OS for each phone.
The Finnish company already owned 48% stake in Symbian and has been in recent times seeking to project an image of a internet-oriented company. Obviously it does not go down well when a US niche computing firm comes out with an exotic phone model and wins the heart of millions while a search engine touts bridging the information gap ( and tapping a vast market) with a software stack that runs applications on rival handsets. Add to that the presence of LiMo and it begins to make sense why Nokia’s move is quite timely.
The deal could result in an prolonged battle for platform domination in the mobile front. However, the move bodes well for Nokia since Symbian does have a huge developer advantage. Also, by making the platform open source and available on the Eclipse Framework, Nokia is playing its cards well. Ed Brunnete from ZDNet mentions a critical point that perhaps this is the best time for Adobe to also get on the mobile platform bandwagon.
Also, with the Symbian Foundation, Nokia will have the company of few more handset makers in its efforts.
An excerpt from BusinessWeek:
The new Symbian Foundation will be steered by a board of 10 members: five from phone manufacturers Nokia, LG Electronics, Motorola (MOT), Samsung, and Sony Ericsson, and five from network operators and chipmakers AT&T (T), NTT DoCoMo (DCM), Vodafone (VOD), STMicroelectronics (STM), and Texas Instruments (TXN). The goal? “To be the most widely used platform in the world,” said Nigel Clifford, Symbian’s chief executive, during a London press conference on June 24.
Overall, interesting developments relating to consolidation in mobile platforms.