Nokia Acquires Symbian OS, Gives It to the Symbian Foundation

June 24th, 2008 at 12:00 am

symbian os licensees

Nokia is on a shopping spree. In addition to yesterday’s acquisition of Plazes , Nokia has now bought the remaining 52% of Symbian OS stock making them the new owners of the operating system. after the acquisition, they gave it back to the Symbian Foundation as an open source OS.

Nokia uses Symbian in all of their smartphones and mobile handsets. Moreover, Sony Ericsson, LG, and Samsung are also using the operating system. This simply shows that Symbian is still the largest and most used operating system in the mobile business. Though the iPhone’s hype has been making a lot of noise, their OS still ranks fourth after Symbian, Windows and RIM in the smartphone market. Add the non smartphones and Symbian takes a huge lead in the overall mobile market.

The conversion of Symbian OS into an open source code after the Nokia acquisition also clearly shows that Nokia is launching a preemptive strike against the upcoming open source OS from Google, Android . Nokia turned over their new toy to the Symbian Foundation where developers from there would be able to modify and enhance the OS as well as create applications native to Symbian. This is similar to Apple’s strategy with their iPhone OSX and SDK.

Clearly, Nokia is covering their bases to remain the dominant handset provider of the world and thwarting efforts from both Apple and Google.

Nokia (along with the foundation’s members) explains its donation to the Symbian Foundation in their press release .

"Establishing the Foundation is one of the biggest contributions to an open community ever made," said Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, CEO of Nokia. "Nokia is a strong supporter of open platforms and technologies as they give the freedom to build, maintain and evolve applications and services across device segments and offer by far the largest ecosystem, enabling rapid innovation. Today’s announcement is a major milestone in our devices software strategy."